Review: Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Review: Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino

My Thoughts

Sweet, heartfelt and completely captivating.
A lovely romance that began with happenstance, but was destined to be real.  An incredible debut novel by Renee Carlino!



sweet thing coverMia 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.


My Review

I had this book filed to read for awhile and when I had the opportunity to squeeze a book in, I couldn’t resist. Something about the synopsis continued to call to me and I’m so very glad I read it because I LOVED it! Surprisingly, this is Renee’s debut novel because she writes like a pro with words flowing effortlessly and beautifully, totally hooking me from the beginning. There was something intangibly real and special about this book, which kept me reading until I finished it. The only aspect I struggled with is that Mia, made some awful choices that I couldn’t understand. Because… WILL… he’s well, ahhhhmazing. I fell hard for Will Ryan and I assure you, that you will too.

25-year-old Mia Kelly moves from Ann Arbor to New York after her father’s death. On the plane, she meets gorgeous musician Will Ryan and they connect over their love of music (Will plays guitar and Mia plays the piano). Their time together is short-lived, however, when they go their separate ways at the airport. Once in New York, Mia takes over running her father’s business, a coffee house named Kell’s. With her father’s loss, she feels more lost than ever … caught between following in her dad’s free-spiritedness and fully embracing the musician’s life style or being practical-minded like her mother and pursuing a career in business.


Soon, destiny interferes and bringing Mia and Will together again just as Mia is looking for a roommate. Will moves in and their friendship grows, their connection strengthens and their attraction escalates. But Mia ignores the intensifying feelings… Will is just like her father and that scares her. Will’s love of music runs deep and he’s amazingly talented. But Mia is stubborn, determined to stick with her plan of finding a stable guy with a practical job. It was killing me to see her push Will away. Their connection is so special and Will is just absolutely incredible. He’s crazy-talented, kind, thoughtful, passionate, sensitive and everything any girl would want, but Mia continues to deny what is happening between them.

There’s no denying, however, that Mia is falling for Will. Her insecurities fuel her bad decisions and she’s convinced that she’ll end up in a relationship like her divorced parents. As word of Will’s talent spreads and record deals hit the table, she’s terrified he’ll leave her.

“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.”

Their relationship grows slowly, cautiously, but in such a real way. Will is so persistent, constantly trying to be with Mia. So many times, in efforts to protect herself and appease her fears, she is mean and deceiving. I couldn’t believe how she hurt him continuously when he was so amazing to her, always.

Thankfully, however, this story has a wonderful, full-circle, happy ending. And there are so many elements I loved about this book. I loved the circle of friends that cared so much about each other… I loved the way music weaved heavily through the story line… and I loved the quiet way the love between Mia and Will grew. It all felt real, intimate and special. Mia and Will were two kindred spirits that were meant to be together, and together, they are “mystical alchemy.”


Ultimately, this story is about Mia letting go of her insecurities, her preconceptions and allowing herself to be who she was meant to be, with the person she’s meant to be with. It’s a wonderful, romantic read that I highly recommend you pick up. It’s one of my favorite stories of the year.



Check out the playlist for Sweet Thing on Spotify! Click below to listen in!


About The Author

reneeRenee’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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



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  1. Novel Girl said:

    I’m reviewing this one, too. Heard so many great things. I’m excited!


  2. Jayme said:

    I enjoyed this book too! I agree with you about Mia, I almost felt like she was a little shallow, but maybe that is just how it was supposed to be.


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