Title: Sweet Soul
Series: Sweet Home #4
Author: Tillie Cole
Age group: New adult
Genre: Contemporary romance
Release date: 15th December 2015
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.
Goodreads link --> https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25912332-sweet-soul
“It’s me, I’m back,” I said loudly as I approached, trying not to startle her. The girl didn’t move, and for a minute, pure panic surged through my veins that something was very wrong.
But when my feet stopped before her, she jumped, a hoarse cry leaping from her throat. I stepped back, as those huge blue eyes fixed on mine. Her breathing was erratic. Droplets of sweat ran down her cheeks.
“Sorry, I called out that it was me. You didn’t hear.”
The girl weakly pulled the scarf off her neck, the skin underneath flushed and red. When she looked at my handful of goods her eyes widened. Taking it as my chance to explain, I crouched down and held out the coffee with cream and sugar. The girl’s brow furrowed, causing me to prompt, “It’s for you.”
She swallowed, and my cheeks heated with nervousness at the look of sheer gratitude on her face. Clearly seeing I wasn’t lying, she fought to straighten her weak body and sat further up against the wall. I resisted the urge to help her as she fought for breath. But I stayed back. She’d just been attacked. She didn’t want my touch, even if it was kindly meant.
The girl’s hand lifted up. I thought she was taking the coffee, until her hand landed on her large hood and she slowly pulled it back to reveal her face.
She kept her eyes downcast and ran her tongue over her broken lips. My breathing was held captive in my throat, until she looked up and I released the pent up breath. I could see that she wasn’t as young as she looked. Something in her eyes told me she was near my age, which I quickly realized would make it almost impossible to get her help. She wasn’t underage. I couldn’t make her go anywhere she didn’t want to.
The silence between us became thick and stagnant. I pushed the cup forward to her hand. The girl, regarding the cup like it was a lifeline, slowly reached out and took in her frail grasp. For a moment I thought she might drop the large cup and I steadied the bottom so it didn’t spill.
As my hand balanced the coffee, I could feel the magnitude of her trembling. Placing my coffee down on the ground, I shuffled forward helping her bring the coffee to her lips. As the first taste of the liquid hit her lips, her eyes closed and she took in a stuttered labored breath.
“You okay?” I asked quietly. The girl opened her eyes. Her head tipped to the side, studying my face. She hadn’t heard me. Clearing my throat again, I repeated, “Are you okay?”
The girl watched my lips, and flickering her focus back on my eyes, she gently nodded her head. Helping her rest the coffee on her bent knee, I leaned back, then passed over the bag of food. I realized that she was intently watching my mouth as I lifted the bag and deliberately said, “Sandwiches and cookies.” My cheeks blazed under her attention, and my stomach tightened with nerves. This was the most I’d ever spoken to a girl in my life, and it seemed that she was even more introverted than me.
"Physical pain fades in time, but bullets of cruelty forever penetrate the soul."
Well what more can I saw about Tillie Cole? She is the Queen, President, Sultan, Empress, Chief, almighty ruler of story telling. This story just blew my nerdy knee high wool socks off!! When I found out that there was going to be a book about Levi, the first thing I thought about was who was going to capture out sweet, shy, sensitive boy? During the course of this series, I have become momma-bear-protective over Levi. He had been through so much and all we wanted was for him to break out of his shell and fall in love. This girl would therefor have to be very special to be worthy of Levi's pure heart and soul.
"I like you Elsie. I more than like you. You're the only girl I've ver been able to speak to"
I felt Levi's struggles deep in my bones when he fought with his shyness and social awkwardness. It seemed no one would ever truly get close to him besides his family. That is until he meets Elsie. The way they met was unconventional to say the least, but it all came together so magically, like broken misshaped puzzle pieces needing a little extra glue to finally fit together. Elsie's pain my have even surpassed Levi's in some ways, which forced him to step out of his shy shell and take charge. They were two broken souls trying to heal. Will their shared pain be too much bare, or will it help them break free of the damaging chains holding their hearts captive?
"Something in me cracked.
Because here she was, seeing the real me. She was crying for me. She was breaking her heart for me."-Levi
They both bared the deep dark secrets that haunted them, but Elsie still held back. Her painful demons continued to whisper in her ear, enslaving her and any bright future she may have hoped for. I wanted to jump in the book and hold her close, tell her it was going to be okay. Elsie was both strong yet fragile.
"When you can hear, you can hear what people say about you. You can hear their savage words. If you listen hard enough, you can even hear your fragile heart tear apart." -Elsie
You couldn't help but become emotionally invested in these two amazingly damaged characters. Tillie Cole has a way of taking the flaws and weaknesses of her characters and turning them into hopeful, conquering strength. Elsie and Levi's pain was almost like a separate character of it's own. It palpitated angrily, lurking around every dark corner, just waiting for it's window to pounce and reek havoc on these fragmented souls. Everything had it's purpose though, so hang in there. Levi captured, broke, then carefully mended my feeble heart. This author is an instant one-click for me...no question, hesitation, or indecisiveness. Every story is unique, captivating, and emotional. This series was simply amazing and heart clenching. I had my Kindle tightly gripped (with some close call Kindle abuse) and my tissues readily stocked. If you haven't read this series yet, I highly recommend/demand you get your one-click fingers flexing my book junkies. I can't wait for what comes next from the literary voodoo queen that is Tillie Cole! *insert nerdy fan girl dance*
"One shy lost soul had found a silent lonely heart.
We were both no longer lonely.
We were both no longer lost.
We were found.
and we were blessed."
5 out of 5 Emotional, Captivating, You-Bring-Me-the-Moon-Levi-Carillo Stars!!
AUTHOR LOW DOWN:
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!