I have a new book boyfriend and his name is Will Ryan. I’m in love. Oh, and did I mention he was a bit of a rockstar?? 😉
Sweet Thing was a sweet, heartbreaking and romantic story that kept me up reading all night!
This was one of those books that shifted my entire TBR. I had other plans but suddenly I felt compelled to read it.
I’ll admit though I was hesitant to start it at first because I’d heard about some people being frustrated with the heroine, but then I realized that a lot of my favorite books (Thoughtless and Beautiful Disaster for example) had frustrating heroines at times too and I still loved them so I didn’t want that to hold me back from giving this a shot.
“…sometimes we figure things out and then life changes and we have to figure it all out again.”
Hit hard by the death of her father, Mia decides to move to NYC for a while to sort through his things and take over the cafe he ran. On her way, a chance meeting in an airport crosses her paths with a gorgeous musician, Will. Something about them just clicks and they spend the entire flight talking about their shared love of music.
Turns out she has an apartment for rent and he’s looking for a new place to stay and shortly afterwards they become roommates. Mia insists on keeping things strictly platonic between them – ignoring the pull she feels towards him. She has her life planned out ahead of her – she wants a life partner who can give her stability. Her father was a musician and her parents split when she was young giving her the fear that a relationship with Will, who is so much like her father in spirit, will just end up breaking her heart and so she strongly resists the temptation.
“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 book is about her journey of realizing the important things with life. It’s heart breaking at times, frustrating and painful, but there are also sweet, beautiful moments that shine though.
Music plays a huge part in this book. Will is a musician on the brink of fame, Mia plays nearly every instruments, and her father lived and breathed music as well. The story is full of musical references that tie everything together.
Will is now on my list of favorite rockstar boyfriends. With his crooked smile, tattoos and an adorable fear of flying, he was hard not to fall for. I don’t think he could have been more adorable if he tried. He was just so sweet, loving, and so endlessly PATIENT not to mention gorgeous and talented as well. Oh, and he cuddled Mia’s dog at night when it was sick. I dare you to read that scene and not have your heart just melt into a puddle of goo.
As frustrating as Mia could be at times, I still really liked her character – especially her love of compound swear words, lol.
“There are at least five swear words I like better than fuck. My favorites are compound words like apeshit, craphat or batshit, but above all, my numero uno, all-time favorite swear word is assclown, without a doubt. Asshat runs a close second. I must say, very few things give me greater pleasure than calling someone an assclown when they really fit the bill. I love it more than puppies and baby seals.”
I guess no one is perfect and she wasn’t trying to be mean or heartless about pushing him away, she was just scared. Scared of where things could go, scared of ending up with a broken heart. And despite the fact that her heart was always pointing her towards Will, she fought long and hard to follow her head instead.
“My real fear was that I would fall in love with Will or that I already had and then he would just leave me alone, broken and pathetic.”
But it just made my heart break each time she pushed him away. I could see how badly it was hurting him and I just wanted to shake her!! I mean, tell me this isn’t heartbreaking:
“He looked so pathetic standing there, rejected. He corrected himself a couple of times when his body made involuntary movements to reach out and touch me. He was fighting the urge just to simply take my hand or kiss my cheek. I didn’t know why I was being so harsh… The charade and the constant touching created so much confusion. I couldn’t tell anymore what we were to each other.”
The middle of the book was painful for me, but not in a way that made me dislike the book, just in a way that hurt. It had what I’d call quiet angst. It didn’t make me want to rip my hair out or throw my kindle, but I still just wanted to shake sense into Mia and scream in her face that what she was looking for was standing right in front of her. Will was just so perfect and clearly so desperately in love with her ♥
“Just let me kiss your mouth,” he whispered, his eyes pleading.“
How do you say no to that??? He just kept giving and giving and it hurt to watch his heart being broken no matter how well he tried to hide it and say he was okay just being friends. But his patience with her was a huge part of why I loved him so much. It was like a part of him understood that she needed to go through her process and he was willing to wait.
“Don’t be silly, Will is no dummy.” She paused for a long second. “He’s in love with you.”
“How do you know?”
“I can tell and anyways, he told me. I believe his exact words were cosmic, soul-shattering, air in your lungs kind of love.”
But I tried to see things from her perspective, and understand what she was afraid of. See, technically she had a valid fear in a certain respect…. But what it came down to was her needing to decide what was worth the risk and whether she could bring herself to take that leap of faith and put her heart out on the line in exchange for a beautiful relationship.
Now, this isn’t a love triangle story technically, but there are other relationships that happen on the side. I guess you could say they’re mistakes ones. But you would tell always that they were wrong and they never lasted. It was always Will and Mia at the heart of it all, but it just took Mia a long time to give in to that fact.
Despite romance playing a huge, central role in this book, it’s also just as much a journey of Mia’s self discovery, of piecing together her past, and in doing so finding what was holding her back from Will in the first place.
And in case you’re wondering about the title of the book: “sweet thing”. It’s what Will calls her, right from the start of the book. C’mon, tell me that’s not just fucking adorable??? *melt*
I’ve been asked if it’s a rockstar book and… hmmmm, yes and no. I guess you could call it one. Will does become a bit of a rockstar and there are all the associated issues that go with being with someone on the brink of fame. As I said, music plays a huge part in this story, as does him becoming a little bit famous, but that isn’t the central theme of the story, it’s more just a part of it.
The story is very well written. The writing is smooth and captivating and keeps you totally immersed in the story. I read it in one sitting and didn’t want to put it down.
I loved Will and Mia and really enjoyed their story. I wish they (well, Mia) hadn’t made so many choices that kept them apart but that’s kind of the way life is, right? It’s imperfect and the journey isn’t always smooth but thankfully their story had a beautiful, happy ending (epilogue and all) that left me smiling.
“He buried his face in my neck and pulled me into a hug. I threw my arms around him and whispered, “Never let me go.”
He tightened his grip as his mouth moved to my ear.
Sweet Thing was a fabulous debut novel and I’ll be watching out for more from Renee Carlino!
4 – 4.5 stars. I want to give it 4.5 but some of Mia’s decisions keep pushing it back to 4, and then Will’s sweetness strongly keeps bumping it right back up to 4.5… so I guess it’ll rest somewhere in between, but closer to 4.5 😉
Sweet Thing is a standalone.
Sweet Little Thing is an optional follow-up novella.