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.
♥ BONUS SCENE from WILL’S POV ♥
Track Y: A Prayer for Us
(The Scene at the Wedding)
Looking around at the remaining guests, the little white lights everywhere and the glistening pond, I thought Jenny and Tyler’s wedding couldn’t have been any better; it was complete magic. Playing music with Mia made an already perfect night spectacular. I wanted to grab a bottle of champagne and stroll around the little pond with Audrey, but I couldn’t find her anywhere.
I made my way up to the cottage and entered the front door. Right away I could hear movement. The moment I turned the corner to head down the short hallway, I saw Mia in sneaky mode, quietly closing one of the bedroom doors. When she turned, she ran right into my chest.
“Have you seen Audrey?” I said.
She just stared at me, blank-faced.
“What, Mia?” She remained expressionless and then dick-stick Dustin walked out of the room and stood behind her. “Oh no. Really? Really, Mia? You and him?” Holy shit, she was fucking him in there. Oh my god, she’s gonna need disinfecting. And then Audrey walked out and stood next to Dustin. “What?” I started laughing uncontrollably. Why wasn’t I invited to this party? “The three of you? What the fuck?” I searched Mia’s face. She looked sad. I couldn’t believe it. I turned and headed down the hallway, thinking what a travesty this was—my best friend and my girlfriend together with Dustin, the filthiest, STD-ridden dirtbag in the universe.
I went straight for the bar, grabbed a bottle of whiskey, and then headed toward the pond. I could hear Mia yelling behind me. I kept my head down, got into the little white boat, and rowed away from the dock. I just kept thinking How could Mia do that, did she have no dignity? and How could Dustin use her that way when he knows how precious she is to me? How could he when he knows that I would have given anything to be with her, to be with Mia.
She yelled at me to come back and talk to her.
“I’m not. Talking. To. You. Ever!” I screamed. I saw Dustin with his arm around Audrey, standing behind Mia. I stood up in the boat, barely able to keep my balance, and flipped them off with both hands. “Fuck all of you!” I almost fell over, so I sat down and rowed farther into the darkness before yelling a final, “Don’t look for me!”
I could still see them under the lights, but I knew they couldn’t see me. When I got to the other side, I pulled the boat up onto the shore and started on the whiskey. First I heard her and then I saw her coming toward me from the footpath.
“Don’t fucking come near me, Mia. I swear to God I will row myself into the middle of that Goddamn pond and stay there till next year.”
She stayed where she was and in the calmest, sweetest voice, said, “I walked into the room and thought you and Audrey were having sex. I couldn’t see who it was behind the screen. I tried to sneak back out, and that’s when I ran into you. I was confused.”
I believed her, but I couldn’t face her in that moment. Audrey and Dustin had humiliated me and I knew Mia felt sorry for me.
“Go away, Mia.”
I spent the next hour in that little boat, thinking about everything, thinking about my life, thinking about the time Mia had asked me what my hopes and dreams were. I knew without a doubt they included her, but I also knew I had to be patient with her. The fact that Audrey and Dustin, that pencil-dick, were probably screwing around right in front of my face, didn’t even bother me. I just thought about how relieved I was that it wasn’t Mia.
I headed back to the cottage and found her sleeping, absolutely peaceful and beautiful. Her long, dark hair was braided and resting over her shoulder. She was on her side; the quilt was shrugged half down, exposing her almost completely in her T-shirt and underwear. Honestly, by that point I had gotten over wanting to fuck Mia. When I thought about being with her, I only thought about making love to her, sweetly. That night I wanted so badly just to have slow, soft, sleepy sex with her. I lay beside her on top of the quilt and watched her sleep. I thought back to earlier that day at the wedding when she came walking down the aisle, how badly I wanted to see her in white, but still how stunning she looked. I thought about her reaction when she saw Jenny and the way she’d lovingly but enviously stared at Jenny on her dad’s arm. I knew Mia was thinking about her own father and that the grief and pain was still weighing heavily on her. I thought about how she was always alone, even when she dated that dipshit, Bob. Mia just seemed like this lost little soul and I knew it would be a while before she came around. I passed out thinking about what it would be like to hold her and praying that she would let me; praying for us.
A few hours later I woke up to the feel of her gentle hand pulling my belt open. I noticed she had removed my shoes and tie. I looked down at her through foggy, squinted eyes. She smiled lovingly at me. There was just a hint of pity in her expression, but her face was warm and kind.
“I got it,” I said. “Come back to bed.”
She slid back into bed while I stripped down to my boxers. She turned away from me and onto her side. I curled up behind her and hitched my leg over hers. I reached my hand up under her shirt to her warm, soft skin. I was holding her; she didn’t stop me. It felt so good. That moment was tender, raw, and sacred, and I would take a fleeting moment like that any day over an eternity of mediocrity.
“Are you okay?” she whispered.
“I am now.” I kissed her hair and inhaled deeply. “It hurt more when I thought it was you,” I said and then I dozed off again. I woke up practically laying on top of her. My hands were on her sides and my head rested on her stomach. I think I was crushing her, but she didn’t seem to mind. She was running her hands through my hair. She smelled like Mia always smelled, clean and cozy and like home. I stayed there as still as I could; I wanted it to last forever. And then I thought, “Oh screw it. I’m going for it.”
I anchored my fingers and tried slowly to pull her panties down. She pressed herself against me like she liked it and then I think she felt me hard beneath her and jerked away to sit up. I watched her blushing face. She bit down on that pouty bottom lip.
I whispered, “Sorry, baby.”
Her lips curled into a tiny smile, and she leaned over, kissed my shoulder, and breathed, “Get some sleep,” just barely loud enough for me to hear.
When she left the room, I looked down at myself and laughed. Patience, my friend, patience.
Casey Peeler says
I’ve heard that this is a fabulous read!!! I’ll be adding it to my never ending TBR list! 😉
This sounds like a good one! I’ll definitely be getting it. Thanks for the great post!
I thought it was just the romantic bone in my body talking! I melted over how Will called Mia “Sweet Thing”, too! I’m sort of glad it’s not just me. Will’s POV was amazing. It would be interesting to hear the whole story from his perspective. I loved this book so much.
Jenny V says
Oh, I loved it. You could really feel all the emotions. I was so angry when Audrey came on the scene. Loved it. Thank you Renee. I look forward to more from you.
Debbie D says
I just finished Sweet Thing, I loved every word. I think the people who don’t like the book do much because of Mia are losing sight of the fact that this is a girl who is finding out who she is and what she wants from life. She has an ideal in her head about what she should want and it takes her a while to figure out that she has to listen to her heart to be truly happy. Make sure you have your tissues within reach.
there has been some mention of at missing letter on the kindle version at around 66% when will gives mia the xmas gift. did anyone else happen to find this letter on the kindle and if so what did it say?
Randi palmer says
Sounds like a great book!
Jen Reilly says
Enjoy your review, added to my TBR 🙂
Jamie Carollo says
sounds like a great read!!!
Thanks for another fantastic giveaway! 🙂 I am looking forward to reading her books. I’ve heard a lot of good things about them.