before we were strangers · book blog · book review · carey heywood · carolina days · chasing daylight · missed connections · renee carlino


Ok, ok, I’ve been pretty MIA lately. I could tell you everything I’ve been doing but I doubt you’ll be interested in EVERYTHING I do. Pretty much, if I’m not reading or at work, I’ve been out enjoying the sunshine, but now that September’s here, things are starting to settle down.

To tide you over until I open up my computer to write a full length review of something, here’s some quick reviews of some of my favorite recent reads!


I would give this book ALL the stars, and more if possible.

From the beginning to the end, this book is perfection. Matt and Grace met as young kids in college. They spent this perfect, idyllic time together, but somehow all of that disappeared. Fifteen years later, Matt’s life is not going how he thought it would at all, and then he sees Grace on the subway. It’s far too late to catch up to her but he’s struck by this meeting.

As we go deeper into their past together, all I kept thinking was HOW?, how did everything fall apart, how did they lose touch, how did they not go back to each other. It’s a crazy series of events, things that might not even happen now with cellphones and social media. But they lost touch, and through misunderstandings, they never saw each other again until this moment on the subway.

Matt puts himself out there, knowing it’s a last ditch effort and posts a Missed Connection. In a way that is truly Matt and Grace, Grace comes upon the post and reaches out to him.

You can see her apprehension when they first get together and are dying to find out what it stems from. I love that we basically get to see Matt and Grace meet and fall in love in two separate occasions and it couldn’t have been more perfect.

And Ash? I LOVE Ash so much. She’s pretty perfect.

I also LOVED that Monica gets her moment. In the past, you don’t like Monica, but in the present you see a woman that while into her image and fashion she is also FIERCELY into defending her family and I loved that about her so much.

If you haven’t read this book yet, read it, read it now!!


I absolutely LOVED this book.

First things first, if you must know any one thing about me, you must know that I absolutely, completely, incomprehensively am scared of dogs. There’s no real rhyme or reason to it, but if I see a dog coming I either casually sprint to the other side of the road, or pause in panic, whichever really. Now, with all that said, I absolutely LOVED Zeus. His dedication to Mitch is amazing. The way he intuitively knows when Mitch needs him around is perfection. Never have I been captivated by a dog in a story, mainly for my ridiculous fear. But I want to think that if I met Zeus in the street I might not run away (unless he licks me, then you’ll just see me on the ground, in a ball, crying).

Ok, now on Mitch and McKenzie. (Sorry but Zeus deserved to be talked about!)

These characters are so perfectly flawed. I loved both of them from the moment I met them. They’ve both been broken and bruised before and are hesitant to start anything with anyone. Whether by someone or by life, they’ve been dealt some rough cards but they ways they find to deal and move past what’s happened to them are what truly make you love them.

I loved the insight into a Vet’s (as in veteran, not veterinarian, I might not usually bother to make this distinction but in this book, both could be possible) life and how it is to cope with PTSD and loss of limbs; it’s truly something that you or I may never fully understand unless we go through it but Carey does a wonderful job of shedding some light into what someone that has gone through this goes through on a daily basis. The constant struggle for independence and also the fight with doing certain things that in our everyday life we might not even think about.

McKenzie has had it rough in past relationships and she’s not looking to get into anything new. She has to truly let go of her past and allow her heart to open once again in order to let Mitch in. She has this amazing support group in her best friend Rachel and her husband. This family she’s made in them is all she needs to get through anything, but once Mitch starts to peel through her layers, she has a hard time keeping him out.

I absolutely LOVED this book and recommend you read it the second it’s available in your reading device of choice!! [Book will be available Sept. 21, can’t wait for you to fall in love with Mitch too!!]


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