Mia Kelly is a twenty-five-year-old walking Gap ad who thinks she has life figured out when her father’s sudden death uproots her from slow-paced Ann Arbor to New York City’s bustling East Village. There she discovers her father’s spirit for life and the legacy he left behind with the help of an old café, a few eccentric friends, and one charming musician.
Will Ryan is good-looking, poetic, spontaneous, and on the brink of fame when he meets Mia, his new landlord, muse, and personal heartbreaker.
A story of self-discovery and friendship, Sweet Thing shines light on the power of loving and letting go.
Wow! What an absolutely beautiful story about how grief can affect your life and relationships. I read this book in one sitting, I literally couldn’t put it down! If you noticed I typically go for the more erotic stories, but this one just touched my heart. I could feel for Mia, and I fell deeply in love with Will.
Mia battles with herself, and her belief of who she should really be, what she wants in her life, and the man she thinks is best for her. Mia’s parents always gave her unconditional love. Her father “Pops” was a musician with an old soul, he loved her and guided her with music and values based on respect. Mia’s mother was more grounded, she was business minded, and her stepfather was a lawyer, they guided her in values of money, and responsibility. She had all the core values, but it was more of a war of her free and easy going musical part, and her business and responsible side of her raging in her mind. When her father dies it forces her to face many truths and she goes back to New York City to decide her next steps and continues her father’s business.
I love Will!! There isn’t one part of Will’s characteristics that made me feel anything but respect and hope for him. He is sarcastic, but not obnoxious and he was adorable! He is a musician, who is flying back to NY when he meets Mia on the plane. Will is TERRIFIED of flying and Mia helps him through the plane ride by talking about music. I literally was laughing out loud at some parts! They part ways and Mia figured that was the last time she would see him again.
Thank you Renee Carlino for not letting that be the case. They become friends, best friends, and Will becomes Mia’s lifeline. Together Mia and Will’s story takes you through all of the pain of grieving the loss of someone close to you. I felt so bad for both of them at various points. I was crying for Mia’s sense of loss and despair and then crying for how she hurt Will over and over. Literal TEARS! I felt so much emotion and so much hope for Mia that I was truly engaged the entire time.
This is a beautiful stand-alone book, that you will feel hope, love, anger, and you will also have laughter. I didn’t find myself skimming because I was hanging on every word. It was truly a Sweet Thing!
“Ask” by The Smiths
There is just something inherently happy about this song and when Will sings a couple of lines to Mia, it speaks volumes.
“Yellow Ledbetter” by Pearl Jam
This is an old favorite of mine that Will performs at Kell’s Café. Even though he doesn’t sing the words until the very end, I just had to have him play that smooth, sexy guitar solo.
“Pictures of You” The Cure
This song has stuck with me for many, many years. There is this building up feeling with the guitars in the beginning; it’s like a really delicate crescendo before Robert Smith starts singing. Will plays this in the apartment, just goofing around with the song, when Mia surprises him and discovers how truly talented he is. I always thought of Will singing these lyrics to her because I think the lyrics are powerful and romantic. I chose a live version because they jam a bit longer in the intro and I love that.
“Wash”(iTunes Session) by Bon Iver
and a stem remix called “We Washed Texas” by St. South
THIS IS THE SONG. This song wrote half the scenes in my book. I’m putting two versions because of how much I love it. The emotion in the original version and again that building up, the crescendo that helped me to build the drama in a scene is what I love about it. I would get completely emotional listening to this. When Mia asks Will to make her feel better in chapter (Track) 17, this was the song I was listening to when I wrote it. The second version I just recently started listening to while writing two new scenes from Will’s point of view. It’s a much softer and sort of melancholy version.
“Cheer Darlin’” by Damien Rice
This is such a sexy, bluesy, sad song. I didn’t reference it in Sweet Thing, but I felt like Will was singing this to Mia for much of the book while she strung him a long and especially when he walks in to find her with Robert.
“Hole in the Ocean Floor” by Andrew Bird
I listened to this many times, especially while Mia was in Memphis. It helped me to visualize the scene. I like the fragility in it. It’s one of those songs where you need to be quiet and just listen to fully appreciate it. This extremely talented artist inspired some of Will’s gifts.
About the Author
Renee’s first friends were the imaginary kind and even though her characters haven’t gone away, thankfully the delusions have. She admits she’s a wildly hopeless romantic and she blames 80’s movies staring Molly Ringwald for that. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on the next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.
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