Friday, May 9, 2014

Patrycja's Review: Nowhere But Here by Renee Carlino

Nowhere but Here

Title: Nowhere But Here
Series: No
Author: Renee Carlino
Release Date: May 5, 2014
Rating: 2.75 – 3 stars
Cliffhanger: No

A Chicago reporter in her mid-twenties unexpectedly finds love in Napa Valley when she’s assigned to spend a week with a famously reclusive genius.

Kate Corbin has lost her spark. From the outside, her life seems charmed. She has a handsome, long-term boyfriend and a budding journalism career at a popular Chicago newspaper. But in reality, her relationship is going nowhere, and she’s quickly losing motivation for what she once believed was her dream job. When her boyfriend dumps her unceremoniously, Kate loses all hope of finding love.

With no living family and few friends, Kate confides in her boss. Trusting that the hungry, ace reporter is buried somewhere deep inside, he gives Kate the opportunity to jumpstart her career. The assignment: to interview the famously reclusive R.J. Lawson, a wealthy tech genius who disappeared years ago but recently reemerged as a Napa Valley vintner. The week takes an unexpected turn, however, when Lawson refuses to divulge any information. Desperate for a lead, Kate turns to Jamie, a vineyard hand who shows her the romance of wine country—and stirs her aching heart. But his connection to Lawson is ambiguous, and when Jamie disappears before the end of the week, Kate is left to investigate another story: the truth behind the man who stole her heart.

I am really sad while writing this review. I feel like someone cut one of my wings or stole my favorite toy. Rating Renee Carlino’s book only not quite full three stars, breaks my heart.

If you follow my reviews, you probably know what makes me tingle all over and go crazy for a book. I’m easy girl to please, usually. I need a sweet, toe curling romance with nice, but realistic, not annoying characters, some steam and most of the time I have a winner. Last year, Renee Carlino wrote absolutely off the charts splendid read. Sweet Thing was definitely right up my alley. I expected to be as enthralled by Nowhere But Here. Unfortunately, despite it being decent book, I was not swept away. I could not connect with main characters as much as I did with Will and Mia and that left me down. Guessing major twist while being only 10% into the story didn’t help at all. And having insta love thrown to the mix was the last nail to the coffin.

“To exist in each other’s souls so strongly that you are bound without a physical tie is the greatest mark of love…”

The story started promising. Kate is a journalist working in one of Chicago’s magazines. She always wrote boring articles about stupid and not very important things, like lipstick or wine. She definitely wanted to spread her wings and write something more creative. One day she gets that chance, though. Her editor asked her to interview R. J Lawson. That man is a genius and millionaire, he was also not doing any interviews for years . He’s philanthropic recluse that bought a winery and now his wine is winning many awards and is very popular. Writing a piece about him is Kate chance to finally be ‘real’ journalist.

When Kate is in Napa Valley she meets Jamie – one of R.J’s employees and quickly falls victim to the intense chemistry between them.

Wine, sex and romance in sunny California? Sounds great, right? That’s what I thought when I was impatiently waiting for Nowhere But Here to come out. Regrettably, it sounded better than it was in reality.

I tried to analyze what exactly, in my opinion, went wrong. What made Nowhere But Her ‘not quite there’ novel for me. And I came up with a long list.

Firstly, I’ve guessed the entire plot after reading about 10% of the book. I was like ‘No, it can’t be! It’s too obvious!’ but the clues where popping up everywhere, so I started to get bored.

Secondly, insta – love. This was the most disappointing and heartbreaking for me. After Sweet Thing where romance was slowly building up and everything felt so realistic, I’ve got… insta – love! I thought I was going to cry in frustration. It was like ‘wham – I see you, you’re hot– bam – we know each other 2 days but we have sex – thank you ma’am – we love each other !! YAY! And I thought Renee Carlino is a master in perfect love built up…

Next, was the fact that I didn’t love Jamie and Kate as a couple. They were so boring together! No spark, no banter, no real connection. Nothing that made them original. Will and Mia had music, Jamie and Kate? I am not sure what.

What’s more, Kate spent in Napa Valley about four days! It was a short span of time and it left me wanting more.

On the other hand, the writing was great. Renee is amazing storyteller and it shows. The way she pictured winery was wonderful. I could almost taste the wine myself. And don’t let me start on how picturesque was the scenery! I wish I could be there myself.

Summing up, Nowhere But Here didn’t sit well with me. I guess, it’s one of those stories that just couldn’t grab my attention… or maybe it just me that did not get the ‘feel’ of it. However, I still adore Renee Carlino and will read her next books with hope of getting the same bewitching story as Sweet Thing. I also strongly believe that most of the other readers will appreciate Jamie’s and Kate tale more than me, so if you loved Carlino’s work, don’t give up!


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