Review: Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino


Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino
Renee Carlino April 14, 2013

Rating: A
Heat: Warm

Heroine: Mia Kelly – Pianist, Lost 
Hero: Will Ryan – Guitarist, Charismatic 






Sweet Thing is a very sweet, passionate, heart-breaking, romantic contemporary all rolled into a very unique and authentic story. Four simple and honest words: I love this book. I knew I was going to love this story from the very moment I met the hero, Will. He's mine, ladies. *wink* Then, I definitely knew it was kismet for me to read this book when I realized the author and I are musical soul-sistas: Eddie Vedder/Pearl Jam, Van Morrison, Bon Iver. Be still my heart – I love all of the music mentioned in this story. Mia and Will’s story is a beautiful tale that I promise you will love!

When Mia Kelly's father suddenly passes away, her life changes. Her father left her his coffee shop and his apartment in East Village, NY. Mia decides to uproot her life, where she lived in Ann Arbor, MI, and move to NY until she figures things out. But Mia definitely has no intentions to follow in her father's free spirit footsteps. She wants success and stability in her life.

On her way to NY, Mia meets Will on the plane. She is immediately attracted to the very sexy and interesting man with tattoos and a gorgeous smile. When she discovers he's a musician, she knows he is not someone she could be with, even though she truly is attracted to the artsy type of guys. Being a struggling musician, in Mia's eyes, is not enough for her. She wants someone with a stable career. However, sometimes life doesn't always go according to one's plan.

Once Mia settles into her new life in NY, Mia and Will's paths cross again and Will ends up being Mia's roommate. Mia makes it clear up front they can be friends only, even though it's obvious she is fighting her attraction to Will. Aside from the incredible chemistry between these two, they also have musical alchemy – as Will would call it. If only Mia would let go and be free, she would find that she and Will are not only musical soul-mates, but perfect for one another.

“And so it began, my secret and suppressed obsession with the sensitive, tortured, artist soul. An obsession I was still fighting tooth and nail and one I wouldn’t admit to anyone, namely myself.”

This lovely coming of age story centers around Mia and her journey of self-discovery. Mia is desperately lost when she comes to NY. She was so sure of herself until she begins to live the life her father lived, with his eccentric friends, in an eclectic city where being yourself is often expressed through art and music. And then, when she meets Will, she becomes even more confused by the life she thought she wanted and by the life that has been presented to her, one that talks to her soul.

So, as Mia fumbles along, she makes a lot of mistakes, especially with Will. I really like Mia. Something about her confusion and pain and grief spoke to me. I felt for her. I completely understood that learning things about yourself, things you’ve been denying for so long, can be confusing and scary. But, damn, some of her actions were so incredibly erratic and fickle to the point she came across as mean and harsh. And the closer Will and Mia would get, the more she would push him away. She let her fear of losing Will rule her emotions. Mia was in some serious denial and needed to learn to trust herself and Will. He would've done anything for Mia if she would just let him into her heart and let herself be happy. But, this is Mia's journey and she had to figure things out on her own. Mia does find herself, but man, the things she does until she gets there frustrated the hell out of me. She definitely learns her lesson the hard way. I felt sorry for her, but I also wanted to slap her. Then hug the crap out of her. But even though Mia drove me crazy, I rooted for her the entire way. I wanted nothing more than for her to be at peace with herself and give Will the chance he deserved.

To love is brave and Will was the bravest person I knew.

Sweet, sweet, amazing Will Ryan. He is so incredibly talented and loves BIG. I think if it wasn't for Will, this book would not be what it is. He is the heart and soul of this book. The author captured Will's personality perfectly. He wears his heart on his sleeve. He's gentle, quirky, spontaneous, talented, poetic, sensitive, neurotic, and loves Mia unconditionally, no matter how many times she pushed him away. And, to be honest, no amount of words will be able to describe this beautiful, charismatic man, who stole my heart the moment he walked onto the pages. I can't tell you how many times I felt like screaming at Mia to just look at Will and see this man for who he is, besides the struggling musician she only let herself see. As it turns out, Will isn’t struggling. He’s made quite a name for himself in the music industry. And, like Mia, he is trying to work things out on his own. I do want to clarify something, though. Will was not Mia's doormat. He stood up for himself. And, when he finally reached his limit with Mia, he makes her work to win him back. Will is a good man and all he wanted was for Mia to see herself the way he saw her. The man has the patience of a saint. Sigh. I love Will.

“Never let me go.” He tightened his grip as his mouth moved to my ear. “Never.”

Where have you been?”

Waiting for you.”

I've been here. Why did you go away?”

You neded to figure things out on your own. I was just waiting for you to come around.”

While this book isn't full of steamy sex scenes, the sexual tension is extremely thick for most of the book. You can feel the tension between Will and Mia. And, at some point, I thought I was going to strangle Mia if she didn't just give into her attraction. But even with the obvious attraction and intense sexual tension, Mia and Will are friends first and foremost. They form a strong friendship, where they bonded over music. They had late night jamming sessions together. They would dance and goof off in the apartment together. They even had an interesting night of Tequila and chocolate. I might have to try that sometime. One of my favorite parts of the book is when they just sat and listened to a whole Bon Iver CD—For Emma, Forever. No words were necessary between them as they let the music speak for itself. So, although it took a while for Mia and Will to finally make love, because that's exactly what they did, they made slow and sensual love, it was well worth the wait.

This story has a myriad of rich characters who play an integral role in this story. I absolutely adored each and every secondary character, especially Jenny and Tyler. And Jackson, Mia's dog, won me over. The story behind Jackson's name made me smile.

Will and Mia's story is a tumultuous, captivating, and a magnificent love story. This is an emotional journey I think everyone needs to experience. I cried. I laughed. I smiled. I felt giddy. I felt frustrated. I swooned. I melted. And, finally, I was completely wowed with the perfect happy ending.


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