Published on: March 18th 2016
Published by: Self Published
Series: Sweet Home #4, Carillo Boys #3
Genre: NA Romance
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(summary from Goodreads)
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.
It’s been over 2 years since I read the first book in this series and it has managed to break my heart many times over. This book is no exception to that and it has taken me nearly a week to find the words good enough to tell you just how beautiful a story this is.
Levi Carrillo is nothing like his big brothers. His gentle and loving heart has suffered so much tragedy that he has become shy and shut off, hiding himself from the world rather than living his life. He has a good, beautiful heart and unlike most of his friends he isn’t interested in the normal things that twenty year olds are interested in. He refuses to live in the frat house, he doesn’t party, he avoids the guys on his team and he has never kissed a girl. He is such a broken and lonely character searching for even a shred of happiness that you can’t help but want to reach through the pages and give him a hug.
Levi’s troubled past is very much centered around tragic events surrounding his mothers death, and it really was emotional to read. I would have liked to know a little bit more about his past in the gang, but then at the same time I don’t think it was needed for this story (I’m just being nosey!).
“She was becoming my girl”
I really loved Elsie, and even though the first time we meet her she is stealing I never felt anything but love and sympathy towards her. Like Levi, her childhood has not been easy and the ghosts of her past still haunt her every single day. She is a very strong character, having survived on the streets for years by herself, but she also has an incredible vulnerability about her and she refuses to speak or let anyone hear her voice.
I really loved Elsie’s development in this book as she finally starts to trust the world again and lets them see, and hear, the real her. Levi’s patience and belief in her is the thing that gets her through the darkness and his determination to show her that she has so much to offer the world helps her to realise her full potential and to stand up for herself and other like her.
“Levi, you…you make me want to give my heart away.”
Levi and Elsie together were perfect and were alike in so many ways. They manage to bond and heal together over the pain of their childhoods. One thing I especially liked was that they both are extremely shy and don’t talk very much and so are able to appreciate the silent moments all the much more. Their relationship has been one of my favourite to see develop and I was rooting for them the entire time (along with all the other characters too!). They caused me a ridiculous amount of tears and swooning with some beautifully sweet and heartbreaking moments.
“You’re stealing my soul Levi. Like a thief, you’re taking my soul and making it your own.”
Bullying is very prominent in this book and at times is very hard to read about. But Tillie, being the master author that she is, takes this very serious topic and creates a powerful story that broke my heart over and over again until I was having to wipe the tears of the screen of my kindle so I could finish reading this book!
“Words are the worst kind of ammunition, Levi. Physical pain fades in time, but bullets of cruelty forever penetrate the soul.”
I can’t tell you enough how much I love this series. I still remember the first time I read Sweet Home way back in October 2013 thinking is would be a nice easy read for my place journey back from my holiday. I still remember the weird looks I got the entire way home after my tearful break down in the middle of a 10 hour flight and since then every book in this series has hit me the same way. All the books in this series are rough and raw and totally heartbreaking. But then there is so much beauty in them and such unique storys with such incredible characters that you can’t help but fall in love with the series over and over again.
“Whoever you end up with, my son, whoever claims your heart, will be a very special girl indeed.” He fingers stroked my cheek. “So much love, mia luna. You will love with your whole being, and it will be forever. You could not love any other way.”
Once again Tillie Cole rendered me speechless in the best way possible and it was a bittersweet moment finishing this book. Tillie is one of those authors that I don’t need to read the description of her book to buy it. Just seeing her name on the cover is more than enough to get me to buy it, and my biggest wish is that more people realise how fantastic an author she is and how beautiful her stories can be.
Re-Readability: YES! (you couldn’t keep me away from it!)
I would recommend this book to fans of: Tillie Cole, the Sweet Home Series, healing romances, books that feature sport, books that feature disabilities.
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.
Tillie is having a Giveaway for a Kindle Fire! Don’t miss out on your chance to win this incredible prize (and just in time for Christmas!)