Sunday, June 2, 2013


I am so excited! Today I not only have my review of Sweet Thing, but also a great excerpt to share with you. I also have a giveaway, courtesy of author Renee Carlino.

Sweet ThingSeries: n/a
Category/Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: 4/14/13
Format: ebook
Pages: 324
Source: Received from author for review

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 cafĂ©, 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.


I wanted to read Sweet Thing from the moment I laid eyes on it. I mean, come on, there's a love story between friends, and music. Impossible for me to resist, right?! And in those respects, Sweet Thing definitely delivered. But what I did not count on, was how much I would love WILL RYAN.

 "To love is brave and Will was the bravest person I knew."

Will Ryan....this man was absolutely, heartbreaking perfection. It's not often you come across a character like Will. He was utterly charming, handsome in a casual and approachable way, a musician with talent and standards beyond belief, soooo sweet and lovable, and has the type of personality that causes everyone to fall in love with him. He is a modern day man in black, and yet wears ironic and ridiculous t-shirts. He was a patient man, more patient than anyone should ever be. He is a man who recites poems like prayers and listens patiently, waiting for a sign. He was neurotic and eclectic and bizarre at times. Will was a total win. He was impossible not to love.

"I cried because I knew that if I gave myself to Will, I would be left in pieces...left behind. The only way I could hang on was to be his friend, even though every part of me wanted more."

 Ohhhhhhh, Mia. You poor sweet, thick-headed girl. I adored you. You were such a wonderful and loving young woman. You had gone through a terrible time, and I admired your ability to keep moving and make a wonderful new life in New York. And how you frustrated me! Will Ryan was your roommate and best friend. It was clear to everyone in your life that this lovable, caring, and talented man was whole-heartedly in love with you, and yet you resist. I wanted to be mad at you, and at one point I sat my Kindle down and cursed at you. Until I remembered... you, Mia, were still searching for yourself. Trying to reconcile who you thought you should be with who you really are. Trying to maintain a friendship with the only man you love, because if he leaves, it will break you. And then, I just sat back and waited for you to come to the realizations that would move you from young lady who is lost and afraid, into a woman who has come into her own. It was quite an angsty but worthwhile ride. 

Sweet Thing was so different than what I expected. But if you ask me what I had expected going in, I'm not sure what I would say. Maybe I thought the story would be simpler? I don't want to give it away, but the Sweet Thing started in a way I never expected, moved to Mia's journey to discovering her true self and love for Will, and then came full circle, and touched back to the beginning. I have to give the author a tremendous amount of credit because she did not take the easy was with the character and their journey. And yes, I did get so frustrated with Mia and her changes of heart, but she remained true to Mia's character, and this made the payoff even sweeter. Sweet Thing could not have had a better, more satisfying conclusion.

Sweet Thing, with it's sweeping love story, remarkable characters, and WILL RYAN, is a love story that stands out from the rest.

Favorite Quotes:
  She picked up the mug and sniffed it. "Good god, Mia, it's like the fucking 90s in here. What's going on with you, Winona Ryder?"

  "So will you do this with me, Mia?" he said, looking hopeful. 
"Yes," I breathed. 
"And will you play music with me every day?" 

Excerpt from: “Track 8: Hopes and Dreams”

  Once I was admitted at the hospital, they gave me some pain meds and took X rays. I had a hairline fracture on the top of my foot and other than the missing toenail, that was it. It still hurt like hell. While I was waiting to get my crutches and temporary cast, I told Jenny she could go. I knew she had to go coach a tiny-tot soccer team and it was getting late. She argued with me for twenty minutes and then I said, “It’s not like you’re gonna drive the fucking cab, Jenny! I’m fine, they’re giving me Vicodin.” I convinced her to go, but not before she talked to two doctors and a nurse, verifying that I would be okay to ride home by myself.

   On the way to my apartment, I asked the driver to stop at a market so I could get dinner, which consisted of wine and chocolate. When we pulled up to my building, the cabbie got out and helped me onto the curb. I stuffed my prescription, along with the wine and chocolate, into my purse and wrapped my bag around my wrist. I hobbled into the stairwell. Once inside, I looked up and saw Will sitting on the landing outside of our door. He had his legs out in front of him with his elbows resting on his propped-up knees. His head hung down with his hands tangled in his tousled hair. A fragment of light streamed over his winged forearm. He looked like a fallen angel waiting to be let back into heaven. I made my way to the bottom of the stairs. When I hoisted one of my crutches onto the first step, Will’s head jerked up. He got up and bolted down, arriving at my side in two seconds. Appraising me, he asked, “Why didn’t you call me?” He grabbed my crutches and purse and tossed them aside.
   I didn’t answer him.
  When he reached his arm behind my legs to scoop me up, I protested. “No, Will, just help me get up the stairs.”
  “You’re a hundred fucking pounds, I can carry you,” he said and then bent down and put me over his shoulder. He smacked my ass gently as he climbed the stairs with relative ease. “You’re a stubborn woman.” Will was surprisingly strong for a thin guy and I figured it must have been from lugging the band stuff around for years. He set me down on the counter and went to retrieve my things.
   When he returned, he stood between my legs at the counter with his eyes narrowed.
  “How’d you know?” I said.
  “Martha called me. You should have called me,” he said, looking discouraged.

  “What did she say?” I said, attempting to dodge the scrutiny.
  “She just said you broke your foot and then she mumbled some crap about a breathing rose.”
  I laughed. “That was a one-liner on friendship.”

  “I guess. When I called the hospital, you were gone already. By the way, where the hell was Banker Bob?”
  He squinted and shook his head. “Of course.” He looked repulsed but didn’t say anything more about it. I should have told Will that I hadn’t seen Robert in weeks, but I didn’t.

 He reached down and grabbed my leg, holding it up to look at my foot, which was encased in plaster. A shudder ran through me and I realized it had been a few hours since my last pain pill. As if he could read my mind, he reached over and opened my purse, taking the paper bag out from inside.
  “Wine, chocolate, and Vicodin? Really, Mia? I don’t think this is a good idea.”
  He was so serious it was touching, but I was really okay and I wanted him to relax.

  “I’ll just have one glass, but I need a pill stat, my foot is killing me.” He got me a glass of water and handed me the meds and then he poured us both a glass of wine. “I want to get into the bath, but I can’t get my foot wet. Can you help me?” I could feel heat creeping over my cheeks. Will’s eyebrows arched and then he shot me a sexy smile. “No funny business!”

“Who, me?” he said as scooped me up. Once inside the bathroom, he set me down on the closed toilet and drew a bath. I reached over and dumped about a gallon of body wash in to make bubbles.
  “Let me get undressed and I’ll call you when I’m done so you can help me in there, okay?”
  “Sure,” he said and then walked out. The combination of the wine and pain meds was kicking in. Will was being perfect and respectful, but I wasn’t going to parade around naked with my foot in a cast. I wrapped a towel around myself and called him back in.

“Okay, I’ll lift you over and just leave your foot out until I can get something underneath it.” Once I was standing with one foot in the bath, he positioned towels on the side of the tub. “Mia, you’re going to have to let me see you so I can help you lie back, or are you going to take a bath with that towel wrapped around yourself?” he said with a smirk.

 “No, I can do it myself. Just turn around for a sec.” He shook his head and sighed.
  I tossed the towel and then slowly sat down, holding my broken foot out of the water. I thought it must have been some kind of amazing Olympic feat considering how much work it was to sit while suspending one leg in the air. Once I was in, I rested my head back on a towel and sank into the water, positioning my cast on another rolled-up towel propped on the side of the tub. The water felt heavenly and I luxuriated in the bubbles.
  “I’m in.”

  When he turned around I watched him drink me in slowly. Although the bubbles mostly covered me, I realized my position was insanely erotic with my legs open that way, lying back. The warm water consumed me and I know I must have been glassy-eyed from the meds. I studied his beautiful face as he stood there paralyzed; he was listening to God.


  “Yeah?” he whispered.

  “Do you want to get your guitar and play me something?’

   “Sure… okay.” He turned on his heel and walked out. When he came back he had our wine glasses and his acoustic guitar. He never met my gaze; he just seemed undaunted. He handed me the glass and I took sip and set it on the side of the tub. As soon as he hopped up on the counter, he started strumming away. He played a long intro and then began singing the words to Van Morrison’s “Sweet Thing.” I watched him intently. He closed his eyes and let each word linger in the exquisite tone of his voice.
  His face was so determined and his hands were so precise. I was feeling woozy and aroused. I made sure Will’s eyes were closed and then I closed mine and let my hand travel down my body as the sound of Will’s voice resonated everywhere in me. I moved in and around myself, imagining Will’s perfect hands on me as he sang the words:

And you shall take me strongly in your arms again
And I will not remember that I even felt the pain

And we shall walk and talk in gardens all misty and wet with rain

And I will never, never, never grow so old again
Oh sweet thing, sweet thing oh, my, my, my, my, sweet thing



 Oh, that Will Ryan...I hope you enjoyed the excerpt!

Purchase Sweet Thing at:



I have one copy of Sweet Thing to give away, courtesy of the author.





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.


Connect with Renee at:



  1. Your paragraph on Will Ryan has me more than convinced! He sounds like a brilliant and completely loveable character. I think I might be falling for him already actually. ;) Plus that excerpt has me eager to read more. Lovely review, Andrea!

  2. Sounds good though it is tough sometimes not to internally yet at a protaganist... : }

  3. AWWWWWW!!! My thoughts exactly!! Will was AMAZING, while Mia was a freakin' pain in the arse at times!! I know what she went thru was tough, but COME ON, Will cared for her, took care of her, and tried so much to love her, and she was just like NOPE, not going there kind of thing. I hope Renee comes out with a novella or something with just Will's POV, Awesome review, and I'm so glad we both loved this one!!

  4. Oh, Andrea! What a fabulous review and a winning recommendation! ;) I've wanted to read Sweet Thing since I first saw the cover as well...something about it's simplicity. Anyway, I now cannot wait to get to Sweet Thing! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the excerpt! :)

  5. I realized after you stopped by that I read your review on my phone this morning and never commented..I love your review and of course I bought this. I have seen so many outstanding reviews and hey there is coffee on the cover!!!

  6. Your reviews are amazing. I'm just a noob :p
    But I read this book a couple weeks ago and fell in love with it. It's one of my favorite books in 2013 (:

  7. Oh, great review! I hadn't heard of this one but it sounds wonderful. I love people who love music...and musicians. swoon. Will sounds like a fantastic character, and I think I can relate to Mia. I don't think the guys were like Will (actually loving me back) but I've often had crushes on people that I decided I should be friends with because I don't want them to leave.

  8. Ahhhh you are killing me with your reviews!! I swear, my TBR pile grows every time I come to your blog lol!! This sounds like a must read!! Fab review!!

  9. heard so many awesome things about this book from my friends so now even I am naturally interested hehe. It sounds emotional and angrsty and think I would love Will.

  10. Really looking forward to this one. I think I'm going to try to fit it in this week.

  11. I bought this because it was on sale a while back, but I haven't really thought any more about it. Now I really want to read it.

  12. Beautiful review! This book sounds amazing! I have a thing for musician's too! Will Ryan sounds absolutely swoon worthy! I'm adding this to my TBR :) Thanks for sharing!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  13. that excerpt *fans self* oh my. this is definitely on my list!! thanks for sharing your review! =)


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