A blind date is bad enough. But what about a blind kiss—as in blindfolded, with no idea whom you’re kissing?
When Penny was in college, she was pressured into participating in a psychology project to see if physical attraction could exist without seeing, or knowing, a person. Participants found the blind kiss rather repulsive—but not Penny and Gavin. Their kiss was hot and sensual, and they were both instantly attracted to each other. But Penny was on a mission to graduate and perfect her ballet, which she needed to devote all her time to. They would remain friends, she determined. And because he wanted her around, Gavin agreed to a hands-off friendship. Fourteen years later we find Penny married with a son. Gavin is still her best friend; neither has broken the hands-off vow, although, understandably, Penny’s husband is jealous of their relationship. When Penny’s marriage begins to flounder, she is nothing but virtuous with Gavin. Then circumstances change. A girl Penny introduced to Gavin is moving to France...and he’s going with her. This might be a realistic stopping point, as readers may find the focus on a friendship that should be more a bit overlong. Fourteen years! Really, you two. Get real! Or move on! But as they say, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
Carlino’s (Wish You Were Here, 2017, etc.) tale of a couple who exchange passion for friendship is engaging, but she misses the chance to go more deeply into her characters' motivations, giving the reader little empathy for their decisions.