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
About Sweet Fall:
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18759345-sweet-fall
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.
*CAN BE READ AS A STAND-ALONE NOVEL*
“Why the war paint, Pix?”
“Because I can’t stand the girl underneath,” she whispered
“Why the tattoos?” Lexi asked
“Because I can’t bear seeing the scars of my past.”
Tillie Cole is a very gifted writer and this story is fascinating, heartbreaking, beautiful, funny, tender and wonderfully written. This is not exactly your typical jock-meets-Goth-girl story, it is much richer and more nuanced than that, and I really recommend you give this book a try.
You do not need to have read the other books in the series (I did not but I plan to read them now) to follow Lexi and Austin’s story. Austin is the star player on the University of Alabama’s football team, and Lexi is part of the cheerleading squad. But he is also a tattooed, former gang member struggling to break free from his past. She, too, has her own painful struggles that are handled with incredible sensitivity and care by Tillie Cole.
There were many times during this book that I was afraid something terrible would happen to Austin or Lexi, and I read the story with my heart pounding. Austin is a beautiful boy inside and out and showed great compassion and caring for others, all hidden beneath his tattooed, tough-guy exterior. Lexi struggles to keep it together, even as all others see is an offbeat but talented cheerleader on a very tough college squad.
Sweet Fall is very much about not judging a book by its cover and not expecting others to conform to your idea of of “perfect”. Acceptance, of both yourself and of others, is the message I took from this story and I applaud the author for writing about a very difficult and painful subject. I highly recommend Sweet Fall and I can guarantee you will fall in love with Austin Carillo!
(*ARC provided by the author in return for an honest review.)
It took me less than two minutes to see movement from behind the Denny Chimes, the large tower in the quad, protected by the shade of trees. A tweaking-looking kid scurried past me, stuffing a small white packet into his cargo shorts. I kept my head down so he wouldn’t recognize me, but I saw what he’d just bought.
Coke on campus… Fuck! Coach had been right.
“Austin, there you are, man. I was thinking you weren’t gonna show.”
I flew forward, ready to tear my eldest brother a new asshole, when I caught someone walking out from the shadows.
My heart skipped a motherfucking beat.
No… no… no… no, no, no, no, no, no!
“Hey, Austin!” Levi said, waving, and my stomach rolled to the point I felt sick. My baby brother came strutting forward, jeans and T-shirt too big for his teenage body and all the pockets weighed down with perfectly measured packets of snow. He was fairer than me and Axel, who, quite frankly, could pass for my twin. Levi was our baby brother… the damned innocent one. The one who still had a chance stay clear of the wrong side of the law.
I knew he was working with the crew, of course. We all did as kids, but it was doing things like being a lookout back at the trailer park or counting out cash and collecting packages, but no fucker had mentioned he’d started dealing.
I flicked my chin in greeting and, pulling him to my chest, met Axel’s eyes over his shoulder. Axel’s face dropped and he turned away. He knew I was pissed, but, knowing Axel, he didn’t give a shit.
“Done good tonight, bro. Nearly got enough for Mamma’s next treatment,” Levi said, pride lacing his voice as he pulled back to look at me.
Closing my eyes, I took a long, deep breath.
“Austin?” Levi questioned, and I felt his eyes focused on me. “You good?”
Opening my eyes, I pulled him close by gripping his two-sizes-too-big shirt. “When did you start dealing with the crew?” I hissed out, and Levi took a huge fuckin’ gulp, the blood draining from his face.
Levi’s gray eyes darted back to Axel, who was walking toward another group of guys heading in our direction. Great. More frat boys looking for a fix, a fix from my fuckin’ doppelganger… at my school!
Yanking Levi back, I placed us behind the protection of a tree, way outta sight. I couldn’t be seen dealing or even be associated with dealers, or my scholarship would be revoked on the spot. The dean was already suspicious. Hell, he never even wanted me in his school. It was Coach’s persistence and Rome Prince’s demands that had him caving in. He’d never wanted the boy with the rap sheet from the trailer park on the wrong side of the tracks.
This shit would play right into his hands.
Checking that we were hidden, I shook Levi, who was busy staring at the ground, by the collar. “Levi! When the hell did you get recruited to deal coke?” I hissed.
“‘Bout a month ago,” he admitted reluctantly.
“A month,” I stated in disbelief.
A goddamn fuckin’ month.
He nodded, and I gripped his head in my hands. “Fuck, Levi. Why? I told you never to go down that road. Do easy shit for the crew, that’s fine. But not this! You’re a born wide receiver like me, but you gotta get your grades, focus on school to get in here at UA. The crew, Lev, the motherfuckin’ crew! Gio won’t ever let you leave. Ain’t no way we’re both getting out!”
Levi pulled back and rested his back against the tree, arms folded over his chest in defiance, a scowl firmly on his face. “Mamma’s getting worse, Aust. Medicare ain’t cutting it no more. We wanna keep her pain free, we need to pay for it. She needs a frame all the time now too. She hasn’t left the trailer in weeks. Can’t walk without shaking and falling to a heap on the floor.”
Levi’s eyes filled with tears, and my throat clogged up tight at the sight. The kid was fourteen. four-fuckin’-teen. He shouldn’t be concerning himself with paying for medical bills, selling drugs, or taking care of Mamma.
“And why the fuck has this been hidden from me?” I asked through gritted teeth, my jaw aching from the pressure.
Levi dropped his head. “Mamma never wanted you to know. Said you had enough to worry about. And I knew you wouldn’t approve of me being in with the Heighters.”
And hell if that didn’t make me feel like shit.
About Tille Cole:
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 giving away a Kindle Fire HDX and this is open internationally!!