Monday, December 14, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Sweet Soul (Sweet Home, #4; Carillo Boys, #3) by Tillie Cole

Sweet Soul (Sweet Home, #4; Carillo Boys, #3)

Title: Sweet Soul #4
Series: Can be read as a standalone
Author: Tillie Cole
Release Date: December 15, 2015
Rating: 4 stars
Cliffhanger:. No
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.

Moving my hand, I ran my fingers over the brown beads. “Why do you hold these, Mamma? You always have them with you. Right now, you’re clutching them real tight.”
Mamma sighed and brought the rosary to her chest. “I use them to pray to Mother Mary. She gives me strength, mia luna. I pray to her for strength.” Mamma’s voice cracked again and I tried to think hard. I tried to think why she needed strength.
Blinking, a thought came to me and I asked, “Is it Austin and Axel? Do you pray for them? Because of the Heighters?”
Mamma sighed and ran her finger down my cheek. “Always, mia luna. I always pray for them. For what they do each night for that gang.”
I shook my head, knowing there was something else. “But what—”
“Shh,” Mamma whispered. She then held up the rosary and placed it in my hand. She curled her hand around mine and pressed the beads into my palm. “Levi, you take these now. I want you to have these. I want you to keep them for strength. For the strength you will need someday soon.”
I frowned and shook my head. “No, Mamma. They’re yours. I’m strong with you around. I don’t need these.”
Mamma’s head dropped, and she took a deep breath.
“Mamma?” I questioned. She was acting real strange.
Mamma wiped her cheeks and a sad smile spread on her lips. “Va bene, mia luna. I’ll keep them for now. Grazie. Always thinking of your mamma. But one day, when… when I’m not here, you keep these with you. I want you to remember that these are yours. You are not your brothers, Levi. You are kind and shy, not hard and boisterous, ready to fight the world. You are my quiet baby boy. My sweet, sweet soul.”
“I’m not weak,” I pushed, hating that I wasn’t like my brothers. Axel and Austin were strong and tough. I wanted to be just like them.

Mamma pressed a kiss to my forehead. “Never, Levi. You are a Carillo boy after all. But you are different from Austin and Axel. They are alike in so many ways—hot headed and tough, hard on the outside until they let you in. You are the timid one, the gentle brother—inside and out. You are the one to carry his heart on his sleeve. You are the one who watches silently from afar and loves with all his soul. ” Mamma huffed, and said, “Whoever you end up with, my son, whoever claims your heart, will be a very special girl indeed.” Her finger stroked my cheek. “So much love, mia luna. You will love with your whole being, and it will be forever. You could not love in any other way.”

Sweet Soul is another very emotional and intense story by Tillie Cole. She has yet another time captured on the paper all of those… feels; the good, the bad, the ugly… It was, at times heart wrenching to read about yet.. I was so invested into the characters’ lives stories, in their pain and hopes and dreams that I just couldn’t stop myself from reading even though it hurt me in many ways.

Levi Carillo is different than Austin and Axel, his tough as nails big brothers. Levi’s gentle, loving… shy. He has a good, golden heart and is just not interested in things most twenty year olds are. He doesn’t party, he has never kissed a girl… He’s just a little bit lonely and broken. Missing his mother. Trying to find happiness. When he meets homeless, sick girl a little bit younger than him, his instincts and empathy kick in and he persuades Austin and Lexi to help her.

Elsie and Levi were both very complex and complicated characters.I will admit that this novel, although exceptionally sweet in some moments, left me quite open and venerable. Some subjects had hit me more than others.

"Telling stories of love, he brought to her life
A moment by his side: no pain, no strife"

This book is full of heavy issues – bullying, homelessness, suicide attempts, loneliness. Beautiful and harsh, bittersweet. Yet I loved it.

I was sad to reach the ending and say goodbye to the characters. Sweet Home series gave me many hours of blissful reading. I am not sure if I am ready to let it go.

All in all, Tillie Cole is superb writer! In my opinion every single story she’s written down is exceptional and unique in its own way. Sweet Soul is no different. I highly recommend picking it up if you are looking for a romantic story that will get you thinking about life in general, cruelty and why people hurt others. This was very rough, raw and honest love story.

”Words are the worst kind of ammunition, Levi. Physical pain fades in time, but bullets of cruelty forever penetrate the soul.”

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 farmers daughter, her crazy Scottish father, a savagely sarcastic sister and a multitude of rescue animals and horses.

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