Title: Sweet Soul
Series: Sweet Home #4
Author: Tillie Cole
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary romance
Release date: December 15, 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.
I'm am so grateful for receiving this arc. And so thankful for Tillie and her beautiful stories. Sweet Soul was truly so fucking sweet.
Sweet, shy, Levi, meets a scared, sick homeless girl, Elsie. It's always interesting to see how authors will spin a story after reading a blurb. I wanted Levi to have a fabulous story, and he got that! The story is so perfect for who they are, and the attributes given to them. And who are they really? Levi and Elsie are so similar is so many ways. Their hearts felt so many of the same things that affected them in the same way. They are both gentle and sensitive and sweet. It's like they were looking at the world through the same eyes. "Twin souls" is a very true statement in their case. I can't think of two better characters that belong together so perfectly (with the exception of my favourite, Austin and Lexi, of course).
Everyone has flaws, but the ones these two had, were what made them so perfect. Perfect for the world and for each other. Witnessing them overcoming and learning throughout their journey and finding their purpose in life, was a really wonderful thing to see. Elsie's back story was interesting and unique. The story lines flowed so well, I didn't even get the urge to fast forward. Which trust me, I'm guilty of doing that too much to get to the end. But when every word written in the book means so much to the story being told, which I really felt was true, I didn't want to miss a single thing. This story made me happy and hopeful. It was also incredibly sad and tragic. I was worried that some of the things that happened was the final straw for them. But when you have the Carillo brothers and friends by your side, anything is possible.
I believe Levi is a man who would never breathe a harmful word against another. The way he stood up for Elsie was so heart warming and awe worthy. If he and Elsie were to actually live in our real world, it would be a better place. Same goes for the rest of the Sweet Home series characters. They are all so generous with their hearts and actions and it makes me smile at how wonderful they are! This entire series is absolutely wonderful and I'm so glad I found it. It also makes me sad it's all over. Maybe there's a secret Carillo brother out there we don't know about? If not, there is always time for re-reads!
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 “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.
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.
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