Tuesday, August 26, 2014

~Blog Tour & Review: Sweet Fall by Tillie Cole~

Title: Sweet Fall (Sweet Home #3)

Author: Tillie Cole

Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Publication Date: 26th August 2014
Blog Tour Organised By: Kelly @ Have Book Will Read

Buy links:

From the USA Today Best Selling Sweet Home Series, comes Sweet Fall; a tale of heartache, beating the odds and finding strength in the most unlikeliest of places.
We all have secrets.

Secrets well buried.

Until we find the one soul who makes the burden of such secrets just that little bit easier to bear.

Lexington "Lexi" Hart is a senior at the University of Alabama. Surrounded by her best friends, her loving family and having fulfilled her life-long dream of making the Crimson Tide cheer squad, everything is going exactly as she always dreamed it would. But beneath her happy exterior, demons lurk, threatening to jeopardize everything Lexi has worked to achieve.

When events in her life become too much to cope with, Lexi finds herself spiraling down into the realm of her biggest fear. Lexi falls hard, victim once again to the only thing that can destroy her and, on the way, finds herself falling straight into the dangerous tattooed arms of a guy from the wrong side of the tracks.

Austin Carillo, starting Wide Receiver for the Alabama Crimson Tide, must get picked in this year's NFL draft. He needs it. His brothers need it. Most importantly, his mother desperately needs it. Brought up in a world where the poor are forgotten, the sick are left to fend for themselves and no hero miraculously appears to pull you out of hell, Austin had no other choice but to make a living on the wrong side of the law—until football offered Austin the break to get his life back on track.

But when a family tragedy drags him back into the clutches of the gang he believed he had left far behind, Austin finds himself falling. Falling back into criminal ways and falling deep into a suffocating darkness. Until a troubled yet kindred spirit stumbles across his path, where Austin quickly finds he is falling for a young woman—a young woman who might just have the power to save him from his worst enemy: himself.

Can two troubled souls find a lasting peace together? Or will they finally succumb to the demons threatening to destroy them?
New Adult/Contemporary Romance novel—contains adult content, sexual situations and mature topics. Suited for ages 17 and up.



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. 

Twin Sisters' Review
Overall Rating: 4.5 Rockin’ ★★★★☆

What defines a person?  Is it the shape of their body or face? Is it their upbringing? Is it their past?  Is it their soul?  Author Tillie Cole attempts to answer these questions.  From the beginning of the story, the heroine and hero are at odds. He is a former gang member from the wrong side of the tracks.  She is the bubbly carefree cheerleader from a secure loving home.  They are both students attending the University of Alabama.  He is the star wide receiver and she is the best flyer on the cheer squad.  The author conveys introspective elements in this book that are soul searching and thought provoking.  Society teaches us to strive for the perfect face and body that conforms to its ideal and being different is wrong.  The stigma of not having model qualities or the ideal home life, fuels our indifferences and intolerance of others.  The author makes this the focal point in her book. 

Austin is the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. He has had a rough life but not by choice but through circumstances of his birth. He is gorgeous, covered with tattoos and piercings that he uses to hide his battle scars.  Football is his release. He's a great wide receiver and has potential to play professionally.  His brother is second in command in his former gang and now his younger brother Levi is being initiated into that world.  Austin’s mother is gravely ill and is in the last stage of ALS, a horrific disease that has ravaged her body and caused her great suffering.  In order to pay for her medication, the brothers sell drugs.  They agree that family is the most important thing and no matter the consequences or the cost their mother will not have to suffer this debilitating disease and unbearable pain without help.

Lexi hides her disorder so well no one recognizes what is happening to her until it is almost too late. She has a problem with her self-image so she starves herself to achieve the perfect "photo-shopped" body her mind demands.  Lexi finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time when a drug deal is going down on campus.  She is confronted by Austin's older brother and told that she must keep this a secret and if anyone finds out she could end up dead.  Slowly, a truce and friendship begins to bloom between Lexi and Austin. As their relationship develops into more both find themselves at odds with the world’s encroaching problems surrounding them.  My thoughts were all over and I kept wondering…Will Austin succumb to the demands of his former life? Will Lexi give in to the voices plaguing her?  Do they have a future, let alone one together? 

Would I recommend this book:  Yes.  Tillie Cole delivers again an extraordinary book that opens up a world that is often hidden because of the stigmas associated with it.  This is a heart wrenching story beautifully written and delivered through this thought provoking book.  The depth of the characters’ anguish brings the drama to life while the plot heightens their plight and enables us a glimpse at their suffering and traumatic existence. 

Would I recommend this author:  Yes.  Tillie Cole is on my favorite author list and she once again proves why.  Sweet Fall is an intricately woven story using life’s hardships and experiences to engage the reader in an unforgettable read. 


The truck rocked as Austin jumped up with me and he ran his hand through his hair almost in nerves as he stood beside me, staring at the view that had me so entranced.
“Austin… the moon. Why’s it so big?” I whispered in awe.
The orange-hued moon seemed impossibly large, so impossibly close. So close that I could almost touch it; it’s hazy reflection spanning the entire width of the river before us as it sat happily on the horizon. “It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”
“It’s a Supermoon. The moon’s at its closest orbit to the Earth tonight. It’s size and closeness is an illusion to us here on Earth.”
“When the moon’s that low on the horizon, it appears huge to us, but it’s no bigger than what we see every other night.” Austin pointed to moon before us and I couldn’t help but blink up at him surprise.
“Is this why we’ve come so far outta town. So we could see it in this setting?”
Austin fidgeted in embarrassment and nodded his head in one curt movement. “Supermoons don’t happen often and to really appreciate it, you need to get away from city and all the light pollution.” He then gestured to the stars above. A sky so full of diamonds that it didn’t seem like there was any room for the plain ol’ dark night sky. Every part was packed full of stars. I’d never seen anything like it.
“Austin… It’s beautiful. I… I can’t believe what I’m seeing. It’s like a dream.”
Feeling his intense stare on me, I immediately looked down, blushing. Austin cleared his throat and took a seat on the blanket, opening his large bag of barbeque.
I joined him on the blanket and wrapped my arms around my legs. Taking a huge steak, Austin leaned back against the side of the truck and met my eyes. I couldn’t help but smile.
“What?” Austin asked warily.
“I would never have thought you would be into all this.” I gestured to the sky. “Astronomy. Supermoons, stars.”
Austin seemed embarrassed and shrugged. Nothing more said in response.
“You sure you don’t want any of this?” Austin held out the large bag of food and I shook my head. Austin tossed the bag to the side, sucked the juices of his fingers and tipped his head up to enjoy the view. I did the same.
“How’s your momma?”
Austin’s breathing hitched for a moment, but then replied, “Still in hospital. But I saw her today and she’s feeling a little better.”
“I’m sorry that she’s so sick, Austin. Sometimes life’s just not fair.”
Austin dipped his head to look my way and asked, “Yeah? And how do you know life ain’t fair, Pix?”
Every muscle tensed at his question. I tried to relax, but I could tell by Austin’s inquisitive expression that he’d caught onto my apprehension. “I just do, Austin. What you see on the surface isn’t always the reality.”
There was an awkward pregnant pause, then Austin said, “You’re preaching to the converted, Pix.”
Austin waved his hand and sprawled out on his back. “Get down here. The view’s better.”
Licking my lips in nerves, I slowly slid onto my back and gazed at the night sky.
Austin pointed his fingers at a pattern of stars. “The Big Dipper.”
I followed his index finger as he mapped out the constellation.
“Wow,” I whispered, the moment feeling surreal.
“Ursa Minor.” Austin continued and I followed his demonstration with rapt attention. “Ursa Major, Cassiopeia, Draco…” And he went on, guiding me like Virgil through the complex ocean of stars. It didn’t take me long to stop following his hand pointing up at the sky, and to study the carefree, joyous expression on his usually hard and emotionless face.
He was beautiful… and there was so much more to him than I ever imagined.
Taking a deep breath, Austin lowered his hand, his fingers brushing over mine. A contented sigh slipped through his full lips and I felt weightless as he began making patterns on the back of my hand with his fingertip. He was entranced as he looked down and watched the motion of his caress.
“Why do you love the stars so much?” I whispered, trying to calm the frantic shivers shooting down my arm.
Niente puo’ essere paragonato alla bellezza delle stelle.” The Italian from his lips was as smooth as velvet.
“What does that mean?”

Nothing compares to the beauty of stars.”

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