Monday 14 December 2015

Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway ~ Sweet Soul (Sweet Home #4) by Tillie Cole

Title: Sweet Soul
Series: Sweet Home #4
Author: Tillie Cole
Age group: New adult
Genre: Contemporary romance

Release date: 15th December 2015

Book Description:
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.


Elsie grabbed her pen and paper; I took her hand. I walked her out of the pool house to the kitchen door. I opened the door, and Elsie walked through. When she glanced over her shoulder, I said, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Elsie smiled and walked up the stairs to her room. Just as I was about to shut the door, Lexi appeared from the darkened dining room, a sleeping Dante in her arms.

I opened my mouth to say something when Lexi beat me to it. “Dante woke up for a feed a while ago. I was in the dining room when I saw Elsie run by and leave. I panicked at first thinking she was running away, then I saw you by your pool house. Saw you let her inside.”

My face was on fire as Lexi spoke, rocking my nephew in her arms. I didn’t say anything, but I clearly didn’t need to. “You like her. A lot,” Lexi stated. Unable to lie to my brother’s wife, I nodded my head.

Lexi moved closer. “You’re taking her out tomorrow?”


Lexi nodded, then went to walk back up the stairs. Before she did, she turned round, and looked like she wanted to say something, but stopped herself. Needing to know what it was, I questioned, “What?”

Lexi looked in the direction of the stairs, in the direction Elsie went, and she said, “I think she’s been through more than we can understand, Lev. I’ve tried to talk to her every day, but she avoids conversation completely.” Lexi sighed and added, “I think she’s really broken inside. Severely. I think there’s something dark in her past that’s haunting her.”

My heart ached, and just as I turned to go back to my room, I whispered, “Then we’re the same. That’s what makes her so special to me.”

Lev…” I heard Lexi hush out softly, but I was out of the door and into the pool house before she could react.

My mind raced with what Lexi said, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t already see. Elsie didn’t speak, she was too timid and shy.  She’d lost her mamma, like I had lost mine. And I could see she was lonely, just like me.

Taking off my jacket, I walked to the table to clear away the mugs, when I saw a piece of paper was lying on the top. I wondered what it was. Suddenly I recognized Elsie’s handwriting.

Moving round the table, I dropped to the seat. The paper was folded in two, my name written across the top.

My heartbeat picked up speed as I opened the paper. At first I was confused by the centralized column of words, then my heart burst apart when I read a poem that Elsie had written:

Alone and lost, appeared this saint,

With pretty gray eyes, darkness can’t taint.

He stole her from cold, from blustering storm,

Kind and gentle, he took her from harm.

Fearful of dark, he created her light,

A jar of gold, chasing demons of night.

Telling stories of love, he brought to her life,

A moment by his side: no pain, no strife.

He gifted her poems, a gesture on whim,

With every word read, she could see only him.

She counted the days until he returned home,

The boy with his light, the girl not alone.

Invisible to all, a shade wandering in dark,

He brought back her faith, with his pure kind heart.


I love poetry, Levi.

Thank you for the book.

Elsie x

Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***

“Whoever you end up with, my son, whoever claims your heart, will be a very special girl indeed.”

This was one read that I knew was going to be extremely emotional and Tillie Cole did not fail to deliver on that note. Levi Carillo was always the quiet one, for a child he had lived through and seen a lot, seen and been involved in things no child should ever see, but what were the lasting effects?

“…I was drowning in life. Drowning in my own shyness. Being kept down by my past.”

Levi Carillo was a bit of a loner, even though he played ball and was amazingly talented and popular, he always left that part of him on the field. As soon as the game was over he would go home and study, he kept himself to himself. He was extremely intelligent, extremely innocent, quite introverted and incredibly lonely. Everyone he loves leaves him, he kept his heart guarded, his feelings on lock down his emotions were not there for the taking…until he met Elsie.

“My mom brought me the stars. Levi Carillo, you bring me the moon.”

Elsie had had an even crapper life if that was even possible but Elsie had hit rock bottom, she was alone…very alone…she needed help, she needed a friend…she just needed…everything. People looked at her in disgust, they turned the other cheek but Elsie had haunted Levi since their paths first crossed and when they crossed once again Levi made sure it counted.

“You’re stealing my soul, Levi. Like a thief, you’re taking my soul and making it your own.”

Levi had the hugest of hearts and this guy just made me melt, so many heart felt moments, tender moments and in this book Tillie Cole really cuts Levi Carillo open for us all to see. There are no stones unturned as we get to know Levi Carillo heart and soul, warts and all. Those people that are quiet and introspective often hold their pent up emotions inside and Levi was a volcano of emotions just waiting to explode. Even though the Carillo family were extremely tight Levi felt that he couldn’t share his innermost thoughts and feelings and when he bleeds them out it was haunting, I cried A LOT, that scene was one of the most intensely emotional scenes I have ever read and even now just thinking about it brings me to tears.

“You’ve given me…me.”

Elise’s back story is pitiful and for her to trust anyone is a miracle in itself but I am so glad that she could see that Levi and his family were the genuine article. Elsie’s self-confidence is at ground zero, it has been decimated through illness and bullying, both of which have had an appalling effect. Tillie Cole covers many difficult subjects throughout this book but she delivers them with compassion and empathy, these points are not there for the shock factor but bring to life an extremely broken woman that has fallen on the hardest of times. Everybody needs somebody.

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

Both of these characters have zero experience with the opposite sex and so we share with these two all their firsts, but this relationship is borne from friendship first and foremost and they take time to get to know one another first. This is where Tillie Cole really excelled as she delivered that naivety, the shyness, the hesitance and reticence. I just fell in love with these two unconditionally and couldn’t help but champion them along. They both had their insecurities but together they worked, they complemented each other and brought out the best in each other, these two really were soulmates.

“You make it easy to forget all the bad.”
“You make it easy to only see the good.”

I believe that this is the last in this series, so for me this is a bittersweet review. I have loved every one of these couples and am hesitant to leave them behind even if they are all happy. I am hoping that Tillie Cole may revisit them going forward because there is just too much Bama hotness for these men to not grace our pages ever again.

“You’re my kind of extraordinary. Levi Carillo, you’re the sweetest of souls.”

About the Author:

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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