“You have to teach your heart and mind how to sing together… then you’ll hear the sound of your soul.”
Mia Kelly thinks she has it all figured out. She’s an Ivy League graduate, a classically trained pianist, and the beloved daughter of a sensible mother and offbeat father. Yet Mia has been stalling since graduation, torn between putting her business degree to use and exploring music, her true love.
When her father unexpectedly dies, she decides to pick up the threads of his life while she figures out her own. Uprooting herself from Ann Arbor to New York City, Mia takes over her father’s cafe, a treasured neighborhood institution that plays host to undiscovered musicians and artists. She’s denied herself the thrilling and unpredictable life of a musician, but a chance encounter with Will, a sweet, gorgeous, and charming guitarist, offers her a glimpse of what could be. When Will becomes her friend and then her roommate, she does everything in her power to suppress her passions—for him, for music—but her father’s legacy slowly opens her heart to the possibility of something more.
Sadly, my Renee Carlino-binge has come to an end. I finished up with her debut novel and I can see why she became such a hit as a writer. Sweet Thing was fabulous! It reminded me of Before We Were Strangers, with the hip musician characters living in New York City. This book felt incredibly artistic and was downright fun to sink into.
“…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 loved Mia and Will together – their relationship was the epitome of a slow-burn romance! I can see how some readers might take issue with Mia because she was, at times, horribly fickle. Her inability to make up her mind made me want to shake her on a few occasions, but this trait didn’t make me dislike her in the least. I understood her struggles because the author was able to lay them out and make me walk in Mia’s shoes. Her reluctance to commit made perfect sense to me.
“It’s the only way to know you’re really in love, when you ask the question: Would it be harder to watch him die, or to know he’ll watch me die? Is there more mercy in being the one who does the watching or in being the one who does the dying?”
Will was completely straightforward and often arrogant, characteristics that normally turn me off when it comes to male characters. Somehow, these traits worked for him. He was funny and charming, rather than overbearing and bossy. I liked that he was able to give Mia the space she needed to figure things out in her life, rather than forcing her to do what he wanted. His persistence was endearing, rather than annoying. I appreciated how well Renee Carlino was able to craft his character, making him downright loveable!
My only (small) complaint has to with the seemingly rushed ending. I would have liked to see a few more details about the connection to Lauren from the beginning added in the story or epilogue, rather than attached as an afterthought to the back of the book. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Sweet Thing and would recommend Renee’s debut to Romance lovers who haven’t experienced this one yet!
Rating: 4.5 stars
Ok, I lied. Technically I finished my Renee Carlino binge with Sweet LITTLE Thing, rather than Sweet Thing. This is the companion novella that takes place immediately after Sweet Thing ends. I actually bought this paperback years ago mistakingly thinking it was the first book. When I realized it would have to sit on the shelf awhile, I was quite bummed out.
This was the perfect companion to the previous book because it gave me the answers I was desiring at the end of Sweet Thing. It was fun to catch up on where life had taken Mia and Will, with the addition of a family. Their relationship is always fun to experience and it was great to see how their friendship with Jenny and Tyler had grown as well.
There were a few minor inconsistencies related to Will’s career in this novella, but I still enjoyed seeing what became of his musical talents and the life he made for his family.
Rating: 3.5 stars