Title: Sweet Soul
Author: Tillie Cole
Series: Sweet Home #4 / Carrillo Boys #3
Release date: 15th December, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance / New Adult
One shy lost soul.
One silent lonely heart.
One love to save them both.
Life has never been easy for twenty-year-old Levi Carillo. The youngest of the Carillo boys, Levi is nothing like his older brothers. He isn’t dark in looks or intimidating to everyone he meets. In fact, he’s quite the opposite. Haunted by a crippling shyness and the tragic events of his past, Levi spends his days with his head buried in his books, or training hard for his college football team. Too timid to talk to girls, Levi stays as far away as possible and completely on his own… until he saves the life of a troubled pretty blonde, a troubled pretty blonde that might just be the exception to his rule.
Elsie Hall is homeless. Or at least that’s all anyone ever sees. Everyday is a fight for survival on the cold streets of Seattle, everyday a struggle to find food and keep warm. Alone in life—a life that’s dangerous and cruel—her will to keep going is an ever-losing battle. In her world of silence, Elsie has given up hope that her life will contain anything but constant struggle and pain… until the beautiful boy she has severely wronged comes to her rescue at precisely the right time.
New Adult novel—contains sexual situations and mature topics. Suited for ages 18 and up.
AMAZON: US | UK | CAN | AUS
I moved to throw the useless wallet away when, just as it tipped upside down, something fell to the ground, obviously from a hidden compartment. Looking down, my eyes focused on what looked like a necklace lying on the wet ground at my side.
Reaching down, I picked up the necklace, noticing an old tarnished cross dangling from old scratched wooden brown beads. It wasn’t a necklace; it was an old set of rosary beads.
I held it up to the light, turning it in my hand. A small smile etched on my lips. Although old, they were beautiful.
Laying the rosary on my lap, I delicately ran my fingertips over each scratched and worn out bead, down to the cross at the bottom. There, in heavy silver, was the image of Jesus dying on the cross. I didn’t know why, but the sight of this obviously well used rosary brought tears to my eyes, and a harsh sting to my heart.
Instinctively, I lifted my hand to the locket hidden well beneath my hoodie and took a deep breath. This, my simple gold locket, was all I had left. The only link I had to her, to my past. It was my most treasured possession. The only possession I had.
The image of the boy in the locker room sprung to mind and my stomach instantly fell. This was his rosary. I’d taken his rosary; something that probably meant a great deal to him.
Leaving the rosary on my lap, I opened the wallet again, and there in clear center pocket was the boy’s face. Pulling the driving license from the wallet, I read his name: Levi Carillo.
KINDLE FRIENDS FOREVER: Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse Nuttall
5 SOULFUL STARS
This read literally left me trembling. It’s vibrates love, it wrenches your heart; it is outstandingly beautiful. Disconnecting from the outside world was easy as this read was so absorbing and so unputdownable from the very first page. And like all the books in the Carillo brothers’ saga which cover sensitive issues, Sweet Soul touches on a subject very close to my heart as an educator. It was clear to see that the author had painstakingly put her soul into writing this story. I could even imagine her tears falling while writing what we’ve all been patiently waiting for. So can this book be read as a standalone? Unfortunately not. You’d be missing out on the whole essence of these brothers’ lives, their highs, their lows, them striving to become better men. Now they’ve found happiness and stability alongside their women. But what Ms Cole has done here is simple to put into words. Never expecting less of her storytelling techniques, she conveyed to the reader the coming together of two emotionally damaged young people and their traumatic experiences.
Levi, the youngest of the brothers, is a brilliant football player, a good student and attracts the attention of the gals where he is studying. His friends try to cajole him into partying. They want him to let his hair down for want of a better phrase. But he can’t, doesn’t want to and gives all sorts of excuses to not socialise. Why? He knows he’s not capable of it. This gentle strapping lad can’t overcome his shyness and has no wish to change either. However, one day his life will change drastically. He’s robbed of the one thing that means more than life. Something he has cherished with all his heart and was the only connection to a person no longer with him. Heartbroken, he can’t find solace. Then the story takes a swing in the direction towards the culprit. His surprise was tenfold, his emotions were put to the test, his generosity and his family’s benevolence was of such that I couldn’t help but sob.
Please Ms Cole. What have you done to me? If all your characters in this series left me spent, Elsie completely floored me. More tears were shed. I despaired. My sympathy was utmost for this absolutely beautiful character with a handicap that would not be the only reason for shaping her character. Her traits were so exquisitely developed and with such a sensitivity that I just came undone. Elsie’s life is a harsh one. Self-confident she has not, but a will to live… I wanted to jump into the book and save her. I knew she had one though.
Bullying is for me, the root of all evils. There are scenes in this read which tore at my heartstrings. When Elsie eventually opened up to Levi and explains what she had had to suffer, it is shocking. However, and this is sad to say, believable.
Elsie’s thoughts. “I had opened the Pandora’s box that held in check my tears and pain.”
This read really should have been called Sweet Souls because that is exactly how I felt about these two wonderful, outstanding young adults. Moments so tender literally took my breath away, left me with a lump in my throat, and I have to confess that while writing this review, my tears flowed freely. It was a matter of dry them ’cause you won’t be able to write on gal!
Elsie ~ “He’s saved me. He’s good for me. We’re good for each other.”
Now then, apart from the behaviour of those who go out of their way to make one suffer so much for their own depravity, there are also three more important factors which have to be mentioned. Firstly, many of us have no idea how people live in a cocoon of silence. Tillie has outdone herself by describing Elsie’s disability. I could literally hear Elsie making an effort to tell Levi what she had been through and how she felt. He fell even more in love with her; I did too.
Levi ~ “I’ll be your voice when you can’t speak.”
Secondly, she was so damn sweet, so wise beyond her years that she was the force behind Levi coming out of his shell. He blossomed into a man in front of my eyes. Taking on his responsibilities, I saw happy future for them although I fear that this will the last book in an unforgettable series. And last but not least; the bedroom scenes. Actually, I don’t think it is necessary to mention them as I want you to enjoy them as much as I did in all their innocence.
The poems are indescribable Tillie. Thank you! Bravo to you lady.
Levi ~ “I love that you love my voice. I love that I never hide who I am, disguise how I sound. Because I’m tired of trying to please others.”
Elsie ~ “You’re my kind of extraordinary. Levi Carrillo, you’re the sweetest of souls.”
SWEET HOME NOVELS
Amazon & USA Today Best Selling Author, Tillie Cole, is a Northern girl through and through. She originates from a place called Teesside on that little but awesomely sunny (okay I exaggerate) Isle called Great Britain. She was brought up surrounded by her English rose mother — a farmer’s daughter, her crazy Scottish father, a savagely sarcastic sister and a multitude of rescue animals and horses.
Being a scary blend of Scottish and English, Tillie embraces both cultures; her English heritage through her love of HP sauce and freshly made Yorkshire Puddings, and her Scottish which is mostly demonstrated by her frighteningly foul-mouthed episodes of pure rage and her much loved dirty jokes.
Having been born and raised as a Teesside Smoggie, Tillie, at age nineteen, moved forty miles north to the ‘Toon’, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, where she attended Newcastle University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Religious Studies. She returned two years later to complete a Post-Graduate Certificate in Teaching High School Social Studies. Tillie, regards Newcastle to be a home from home and enjoyed the Newcastle Geordie way of life for seven ‘proper mint’ and ‘lush’ years.
One summers day, after finishing reading her thousandth book on her much loved and treasured Kindle, Tillie turned to her husband and declared, “D’you know, I have a great idea for a story. I could write a book.” Several months later, after repeating the same tired line at the close of another completed story, she was scolded by her husband to shut up talking about writing a novel and “just bloody do it!” For the first time in eleven years, Tillie actually took his advice (he is still trying to get over the shock) and immediately set off on a crazy journey, delving deep into her fertile imagination.
Tillie, ever since, has written from the heart. She combines her passion for anything camp and glittery with her love of humour and dark brooding men (most often muscled and tattooed – they’re her weakness!). She also has a serious side (believe it or not!) and loves to immerse herself in the complex study of World Religions, History and Cultural Studies and creates fantasy stories that enable her to thread serious issues and topics into her writing — yep, there’s more to this girl than profanity and sparkles!
After six years of teaching high school Social Studies and following her Professional Rugby Player husband around Europe, they have finally given up their nomadic way of life and settled in Calgary, Alberta where Tillie spends most of her days (and many a late night) lost in a writing euphoria or pursuing a dazzling career as a barrel-racing, tasselled-chap wearing, Stetson-sporting cowgirl… Ye-haw!
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THE SCARRED SOUL SERIES
THE HADES HANGMEN SERIES
To be released in 2016