Our Review

“You’re my kind of extraordinary. Levi Carillo, you’re the sweetest of souls.”

*sniff, sniff* Just give us a minute while we wipe the away the copious amount of tears we shed whilst reading this profoundly heartfelt story. Sweet Soul didn’t just tear at our heartstrings…Elsie and Levi brought us to our knees and their story exceeded ALL our expectations.

“I want the world for you, mia luna. And I pray that the girl who claims your tender heart is just as sweet as you. Someone to care for your fragile soul. Someone to cherish the gentle gift that you are, when I am not here to do so…..”

Sweet Soul again (and again, and again) demonstrates what a standout and creative genius this author is. We firmly believe there is nothing Tillie Cole can’t write. Her talent continually amazes us. It was only  last month she had us squirming uncomfortably through the gritty and raw, Reap and now she’s reduced us to sobbing wrecks whilst experiencing one of the most beautiful and soul searing love stories we’ve read this year.

“You’re stealing my soul, Levi. Like a thief, you’re taking my soul and making it your own.”
“I think you already have mine.”

There are so many reason why this book worked for us and why it affected us so deeply. The sheer magnitude of our feelings weren’t only evoked by the stunning writing, or the breathtakingly beautiful and mesmerising love story between Levi and Elsie, nor the crushing pain and overwhelming protectiveness we felt for two people who hurt, and hurt terribly , but also through the struggles of the Carillo brothers which came to a peak in Sweet Soul as we lay witness to the love and heartbreak they’ve shared or shouldered on their own, the bond between these men is soul deep and unbreakable and is what made this book particularly special.

Sweet Soul is the culmination of their journey and is the reason we implore you to read the complete Carillo Boys portion of this series (Sweet Hope and Sweet Fall) in order. There will be those who haven’t experienced their story who may pass Sweet Soul off as a standalone. We say: don’t listen because it is the relationship of the brothers that is woven throughout the three books that makes Levi’s journey such a deep seated emotional experience,  heightened by following the boys through each of their books as they heal and find love to arrive at the point they have in Levi’s story.

Luckily we had plenty of tissues on hand for the moments between Levi and his brothers because they cut straight through our hearts. We can’t even begin to describe the feelings these scenes elicited from us. We sobbed and we mean….sobbed during their interactions throughout Levi and Elsie’s story.

“Please don’t break his fucking heart. Seeing that kid so closed in, pained me every damn day. I won’t see him destroyed by the first person he’s ever let in.”
“I could never hurt him, he means too much to me.”
“Good.”

Levi and Elsie. How can we possibly convey the purity of their feelings, the honesty of their words, and the innocence in their hearts?  We can’t because their story needs to be felt. Their love is breathtaking, mesmerising, spectacularly heartfelt and crushingly beautiful. You’d have to have a black hole for a heart not to be affected by Elsie and Levi and their love story. Our hearts soared with them, and plummeted with them as they were forced to face the painfully sad moments from their pasts.

“You make it easy to forget all the bad.” Elsie
“You make it easy to only see the good.” Levi

Our handsome, gentle, timid, shy and beautiful Levi who bore the emotional scars left from losing his beloved Mother at only 14, such a young and impressionable age, carrying the guilt from the choices he made in his youth was one of the kindest, sweetest and most loving characters we’ve ever met. Where others see flaws, Levi sees beauty and we’re so happy he nagged Tillie to tell his story.

‘I felt like I was in heaven – high in the sky; safe, fed and warm, with the sweetest kindest boy who accepted my biggest flaw.’

The sad, lonely and brave Elsie who’s had so much heartbreak in her past. So vulnerable but so unbelievably strong, despite what she may think. This girl was so pure of heart provoking an overwhelming need in us to shield her from all the ugly and hurt in the world.

“Words are the worst kind of ammunition, Levi. Physical pain fades in time, but bullets of cruelty forever penetrate the soul.”

What we love so much about Tillie’s work is that it’s HER heart we see on those pages, free of any outside influences to mar her words. We are in complete awe the way she deals with the issue at hand and has us feeling part of something real. Her words are THAT powerful! The issue brought to life in Sweet Soul is so relevant today and one we’ve seen played out many times through Social Media, exposing the damage words can cause and it’s handled sensitively in this book. This is a story of survival, strength, hope, family ties and most of all love. It’s a story with a powerful message. Tillie Cole summons us all to be a little kinder, a little more tolerant, to comfort and support those who need a hand and to open our hearts to all the beauty in life to find our happiness and what better message could there be?

“It’s okay.” Two words, two simple everyday words rescued me from dark thoughts; spoken by the sweetest boy I’d ever met’

Synopsis

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.

New Adult novel—contains sexual situations and mature topics. Suited for ages 18 and up

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