CS MAXWELL ~ WHERE'S MY MUSE
Title: Sweet Thing
Author: Renee Carlino
Genre: New Adult / Contemporary Romance
Where To Buy
A USA TODAY bestseller, Sweet Thing tells the story of Mia Kelly, 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.
What reviewers are saying about Sweet Thing. . .
Maryse's Book Blog - "It gave me every emotion and in just the right amount. My perfect read. . . 5 stars PLUS!!!!"
Selena's Book Blog - "Her writing style is so fresh, the tone, the dialogue, the plot, the characters.... everything... just everything was marvelous she is definitely an author to watch out for."
A Love Affair With Books - "If you are looking for a new author, a new read or might want a bit of a cry, I highly recommend SWEET THING"
Book Addicts - "This book made me FEEL; it made me yearn for a happily ever after."
The SUBCLUB Books - "I was hooked and hanging on every word from the Prologue all the way to the Epilogue, I had a hard time steering my eyes away from the story it had a fierce grasp on me and I happily obliged to ride the journey alongside the characters."
Shh Moms Reading - "This is 5 HUGE stars ~ a soul searing beautifully written book that now owns a piece of my heart."
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.
Rushing onto the plane, I looked down the aisle and spotted my seat right away. And then I saw her. I saw her…
She appeared to be sleeping; she had ear buds in and a travel pillow around her neck. Right before I approached, she glanced up at me and that’s when I blurted out, “Hey!” I paused, searching for words as I stared directly into her eyes, her really gorgeous eyes, the kind you just want to dive into and swim around in. “Do you want the window seat? It’s all yours if you do.”
She scowled. “Huh? Uh, no thanks.”
I think I pissed her off. Man, this girl was cute, pretty, no… beautiful. She had a bunch of silky, dark hair wrapped in a bun on top of her head. I never get nervous around women, but in that moment I was more nervous than I had been in my entire life.
“I’m a terrible flier,” I told her. “Please, I need to be in the aisle. I’m sorry, do you mind? I’m Will, by the way…”
She stood abruptly and grabbed her things. Without making eye contact, she stuck her hand up and mumbled, “Yeah, fine, you can sit there. I’m Mia.”
Rearranging the overhead compartment, I startled her when I threw her bag on my seat. She looked up at me. Man, those eyes.
“Sorry, baby, I’ve got to make room for her.” She shrugged and pretended to ignore me, but seconds later I caught her staring at me out of the corner of her eye. I was totally getting to her.
I plopped down in my seat, looked over at her, and smiled. My eyes were immediately drawn to her blushing mouth with its naturally pink, pudgy little bottom lip. I wanted to suck on that lip.
“Why didn’t you request an aisle seat?”
“Well, you see, sweetheart, I like to be right behind the emergency exit. I’ll hop over this seat, jump out the door, and be down that super slide in a split second.”
“Then why not request the exit aisle?”
“I am not the person for that job, trust me.”
“Damn, chivalry is dead. It doesn’t matter anyway; our lives are in the hands of these hopefully sober pilots and this nine-hundred-thousand-pound hunk of metal, so…”
“Can we stop talking about this? I don’t think you understand.” I didn’t want to shut her down, the banter was refreshing. Plus, I love girls with brains and a backbone, but my nerves were getting to me. I took out the rosary I’d bought in the gift shop started to peel the price tag off it. She continued needling me with her melodic little voice. It was hard to concentrate on what she was saying because I was mesmerized by her, completely enchanted by the way she smelled, her eyes, and man, those lips.
After chuckling at another one of her digs, I finally turned toward her and whispered, “Hey, little firecracker, you like taunting me, don’t you?”
“Sorry,” she mumbled. I winked at her and watched her reaction. She sucked in a breath, making the tiniest sound, and then swallowed and looked away, but not before her eyes trailed down my entire body and back up.
While I was memorizing the safety procedures, the pilot scared the shit out of me when he came on the speaker to announce that we were cleared for takeoff.
“Jesus Christ! Did he sound drunk to you?”
With a look of sympathy, Mia turned toward me and in the calmest voice said, “Not at all. Relax, buddy, everything will be fine and you should probably tone down the Jesus Christs, at least while you’re still wearing that thing.”
I asked her to open the screen so I could see us get off the ground and then I leaned over and inhaled deeply. She smelled so clean.
“You smell good,” I told her. “Like rain.” She blushed again and then asked me about my guitar. She knew something about guitars, I could tell. When the plane started to take off, I gripped the armrest. She put her hand over mine and just held it there while we continued our conversation. The warmth of her hand was calming. When I would tighten my grip, she would tighten hers. I think it was subconscious. I’m sure she didn’t notice she was doing it, but she comforted me.
When she mentioned that her father had just passed away, her eyes started to well up. I took my other hand and put it on top of hers. I think that was first moment she realized where her hand had been because she yanked it away and wiped her eyes. I immediately apologized for her loss.
“It’s okay, but I’d rather not talk about it right now. Let’s talk about guitars.” She had this really sweet, genuine, but totally pained, look on her face. It was like she was trying to be strong and hide the hurt, but her expressive eyes and face made that impossible.
We talked the whole length of the flight and I just kept thinking that I had to know this girl. I needed to be in her life, but I could tell she was going through something, so I tried to keep it light.
As we started to descend, I panicked at the thought that we could walk off this plane and never see each other again.
“Mia, we’re going down. I need to know everything about you right now! How old are you, what’s your last name, what street do you live on? If we make it out of this, I think we should jam together, you know, musically or whatever.”
“My last name is Kelly, I’ll be at my father’s café most days—Kell’s on Avenue A. Come and have a coffee with me sometime and we’ll talk music. Oh, and I’m twenty- five.”
It seemed like we had so much in common. I couldn’t believe my luck getting to sit next to her. She was beautiful, but in the humble way, not insecure, humble. She was smart and funny and sarcastic and witty and she loved music, but on top of that she was gentle. She wanted to comfort me, even if she didn’t realize she wanted to, and that’s what she’d done. Maybe it was fate that I sat next to her that day, or serendipity, divine intervention, who knows? However you look at, I got seated next to the first girl to ever really steal my heart. I was in love from that moment on. I knew Mia, with all her grief, sensitivity, and depth would be a challenge, but that made me want her even more.
I lowered my voice. “We both have double first names. I’m Will Ryan, twenty- nine. I live at 22 Mott Street in the storage closet. I work at the Montosh. I’m O negative, you know, the universal one, and I play in a band called the Ivans. Oh, and I love coffee. It was nice to meet you, Mia.”
“It was nice to meet you too,” she said.
“We made it,” I told her. “You know, they say people who have stared death in the face together are bonded for life?”
She giggled. “Your antics are cute, Will.”
“I was going for irresistible,” I said and then I watched her stumble and nervously grab her things. I walked behind her, up the aisle toward the exit. Some dickwad practically knocked her over when he tried to cut into the line. “Hey! Watch it, buddy!” When Mia turned and shot me the cutest smile, I said, “See, baby, chivalry isn’t dead.”
I followed her all the way out to the curb. She didn’t turn around once as she waited for a cab. I lit a cigarette, looked up to the sky, and prayed. Right as her taxi began to pull away from the curb, she glanced over at me. I waved really big and mouthed, “Goodbye, Mia, you Sweet Thing.”
At that moment I wanted so badly to call Dick Payne and tell him about the flight. I wanted to tell him I didn’t think about dying once… All I thought about was living.
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