I received a copy of this book for free from the Author in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.
Sweet Soul by Tillie Cole
Series: Sweet Home #4
Published by Self-Published on December 14, 2015
Genres: Inspirational Romance
Amazon | Goodreads
Also by this author: Raze, It Ain't Me, Babe, Heart Recaptured, Souls Unfractured, Deep Redemption, Sweet Hope, Reap, Ravage
Also in this series: Sweet Hope
From the USA Today bestselling Sweet Home Series, comes Sweet Soul, a heart-wrenching story of love in its purest form.
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. Every day 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 heartache 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.
Levi Carrillo, main male character in Sweet Soul by Tillie Cole, was dealt a crappy hand, well all the Carrillo brothers were, but unlike Axel and Austin, Levi has been battling his demons silently to the point where he was dying a slow and agonizing death. In order to save him and help him back to the brother that was so open to affection as we saw in Sweet Fall, something/someone needed to came along and shake the walls that he had built around himself.
At first I was hoping that the person/woman to do this for him would be the red-head cheerleader that kept making googly eyes at him while he practiced on the field. I wanted Levi’s story to be different from his brothers. I wanted him to not have to battle an almost insurmountable foe in his life and possibly in the life of the woman who would complete him.
Little did I know just how broken Levi was, and no self-absorbed cheerleader was going to go about fixing what was broken in Levi, especially when I saw the high school tactics being used to gain Levi’s attention. I knew that it would take someone who would understand him to bring him out of his hardened shell, and in enters Elsie.
Each book in this series is unique in the fact that they each have their own treasure that needs just the right person to come along and uncover it.
Right off the bat I would like it to be known that I’m not a huge fan of stories (in a series) featuring the younger siblings simply for the fact that there’s a possibility that I will always see them as the younger sibling and not as an adult who should be having intimate relations, lol. But, as always with Tillie Cole, she knocks down any barrier I might have without any complaints from me.
When Elsie first enters the pages of Sweet Soul I thought she was part of a nefarious plot that came from Levi’s past, even though I know that everything dealing with his gang life was taken care of in Sweet Hope, I knew that anything was possible with these Carrillo boys and the past that continually strives to not remain in the past. Thankfully, Elsie wasn’t part of something darker that would destroy the Carrillo and Prince family in the way I was thinking. But sadly, something that had to do with their past regrets almost ended up being the very thing that brought this family to it’s knees and it all surrounded Levi and the pain and guilt that was eating him alive.
At first I couldn’t wrap my head around what Levi would have to feel guilty about, I did know that loosing his mom at the age he did and in the way he did really messed him up, but I always felt that Axel should’ve had the hardest time coping with their mom’s death simply because he wasn’t there for her like Austin and Levi were, that’s why I thought his book was such a great ending to this series. But I understand that Mrs. Cole felt like the series wasn’t over if Levi didn’t get his happy ending, because at the end of Sweet Hope I felt like things with Levi were unresolved.
While I understood why Lexi became a figure of stability for both Levi and Elsie, at the same time I felt that Elsie’s struggle was so very different from Lexi’s that in each interaction my mind would be boggled as to why she was the one they looked to and not Molly or Ally, or all three equally. But because these interactions weren’t frequent it didn’t bother me as much and it didn’t take away from the beautiful, and I do mean BEAUTIFUL, story that was building between Levi and Elsie.
After reading the previous books in this series and the books out of Tillie Cole’s Hades Hangmen series I’ve learned to stop assuming where the storyline will take me and to just prepare myself to be taken along for a ride. Sweet Soul, took so many twists and turns that for a second I almost wanted to say, “No more!” simply because I didn’t know how much more these characters, let alone the emotions I’ve invested in Levi and Elsie’s story, could take.
Bringing together two very, VERY, broken people out of a messed up encounter, how can you then create a beautiful and lasting story out of their most painful situations that they are still bleeding from? I truly don’t know the answer but some how and some way Tillie Cole finds the answer every time I pick up and read one of her works, and Sweet Soul by Tillie Cole is nothing short of this feat. In this last (I hope) installation of the Sweet Home series our sweet and shy Levi finds confidence, and an unshakable love in Elsie and in return Elsie finds home in the sweetest soul she has ever met with no strings attached. Masterpiece of a story.