Sunday, October 19, 2014

Jessica Reviews: Sweet Fall (Sweet Home #3) by Tillie Cole

Sweet Fall (Sweet Home, #3)Series: Sweet Home #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: 8/26/14
Pages: 440
Source: Purchase

GoodReads  |  Amazon  |  B&N

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 18 and up.

Can be read as a stand-alone novel.

And he kissed me. Austin Carillo, the Italian boy from the wrong side of the tracks, kissed me. And it was magical. He made feel safe and, for one glorious night. He made me feel beautiful.

I’ve mentioned before, that it is VERY hard for my eyes to get misty, let alone cry. It’s not that I have a heart of stone or made out of ice (although some would argue this). It’s just that I have the emotion of a drill sergeant sometimes. You know the type: hard ass, tough cookies that take a bulldozer to break down her walls. Yeah, I’m one of those tough chicks. BUT, there are times where even I break down like a slobbery, babbling baby. And THIS book definitely did it for me. I WAS A BASKETCASE!

Lexi’s eyes filled with water and another understanding tear tumbled down her cheek. Leaning forward, I kissed the salty drop away.

And that’s how we fell.

Fell into sleep.

Fell into trust.

Fell for each other.

Austin friggin Carillo. There are not enough adjectives in the English dictionary to describe how GORGEOUS this boy is. He is everything a girl could want in a guy: protective of his siblings, adores and loves his mother fiercely, loyal to his friends, athletic and talented on the football field. He is the full, tattooed package. On top of all that, he is committed to the girl he loves. What else could you ask for? Oh wait. One minor flaw though. He’s also in a very bad situation where it’s literally do or die to get out of.  This situation and Lexi’s illness are what keeps these two broken souls apart for a bit, until the unthinkable happens…

As if feeling my eyes watching her, Lexi looked up at me through long black lashes, and I felt as though my chest had ripped open and my heart was on display. It was that moment people talk about. That moment where you look at the same set of eyes you’ve gazed upon thousands of times before, only this time, you see something more within their depths. This one time, it’s as if you are looking down the lens of a spyglass and you can see into another’s soul and it seems to solder itself to yours.

Lexington “Lexi” Hart.

Beautiful Lexi. Dark little Pixie. Not only did Austin fall head over heels in love with his little Pix, but so did I. I wanted to give her a really big bear hug every day she was feeling crappy and un-in love with herself. I wanted to write Post-It notes in her room, in her books, her bathroom, EVERYWHERE, so she knew how stunning and gorgeous she was. What a beautiful being she was to not only to her friends and family, but to Austin’s brothers and mother. I wanted to tell her that everything would be okay and to not worry and carry the world’s stresses on her shoulder. But alas, it’s not that simple. This illness takes over your whole life and your way of thinking. I had no idea that this disorder is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents. That it is the most common cause of death (up to 12 times higher than any other condition) among young women 15 to 24. Women are also much more likely than men to develop this illness. What Lexi was going through in life, was something she, and she alone, had to overcome. Yes, she had amazing support from her parents, doctors and friends, but it was the strength within herself that made her conquer this horrific disease. And of course, the love she and Austin had.

“What do you think of when you look up at the stars?”

“Sometimes I wonder what they must make of our world. Do we fascinate them or disgust them? Do they look down on us the same way we look up at them and wonder what we’re thinking too? Do they see all our problems? Watch our sorrowful excuses for lives with a growing sense of pity? Or do they envy us for just having a life, good or bad?”

“Ever look at them and feel inferior, feel small?”

“I don’t need to look up at the stars to feel inferior, Austin. All I have to do is open my eyes and look at myself in the mirror.”

You once said that you wondered if the stars were looking down on us. Did they pity mankind for the fuck-ups we are? But now I see the truth. I now pity the stars. For as much as humans mess up time and time again, we also get to fall in love. We get to be with the other half of our soul, the one that makes us complete. All the stars get to do is watch from above, wishing it was them feeling this crushing yet liberating emotion.

I had NO IDEA this book would affect me this much. I thought I was going into a run-of-the-mill NA book. The kind that are getting so repetitive it makes me want to go run and screaming for the hills because I can’t take them anymore. But this one…this one…was DIFFERENT. From the very beginning I was completely and utterly hooked. I could not put it down. I wanted to stop everything that was happening in my life and just keep reading. And once it was done, I wanted to read more. I wanted MORE Austin and Lexi. I wanted to know what happens after the Epilogue. I know we got a quick glimpse of them in SWEET HOME/SWEET ROME but I still wanted more. More damnit! I’m selfish like that. Ha! ;) (Sidenote: I am so, SO happy that I read this series backwards because had I read it in order, I don’t think I would have loved her so much. In the first and second book, she didn’t grab my attention. She was a secondary character that was more in the far background than anything else. I didn’t feel anything for her. I wanted to know more about Ally than I did her. But I am THRILLED that for once, reading a series out of order, worked out beautifully.) Once you read this book, you too will want more Austin and Lexi.

 Rating: 5 stars

Favorite quotes/scenes:

“Pix, what I feel for you is fuckin’ scary. I thought you were gorgeous from the first time I saw you standing in the empty stadium like some dark pixie lost in a weird dream. But then what I felt for you quickly went to shit. I worried for weeks that you would destroy me, my family, the way my brothers made money…And you have destroyed me, Pix, but never how I thought. You destroyed the fence I’d built up to keep people out. You destroyed the hard-ass persona I wore like a shield. But even more than that, you destroyed any reluctance I had to find comfort in someone else. You fuckin’ bulldozed me, Pix. You, my tiny dark pixie, made all my defenses crumble to dust.”


Ti amo, Pix. Ti amo tantissimo.”

“You…you love me?”

“More than the stars in the sky.”


P.S. I applaud the author for having the courage to write this. The strength she had to put pen to paper and write something that affected her so greatly, I know was not an easy task. It takes bravery of the highest order to open yourself up and bare your soul for all to see and read. And to that I say THANK YOU for being so honest and genuine and for giving the readers Lexi and her Austin.

The Sweet Home Series

Sweet Home (Sweet Home, #1)  Sweet Rome (Sweet Home, #2)  Sweet Fall (Sweet Home, #3)
(covers lead to GoodReads page)

Connect with Tillie Cole

Website  |  Twitter  |   GoodReads 


  1. I hadn't heard of this series before. It sounds very powerful. It's great when a book has you feeling so much.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  2. I love New Adult, but I agree that the genre can get a bit repetitive so the fact that you say it is different really makes me want to check it out. Great review.

  3. Oh wow! I can't believe this book had such an emotional impact on you, Jessica. I feel like I need to read it right away in order to experience the emotional rollercoaster you went through.
    I absolutely love the sound of Austin! I think I'm going to fall very hard for him. :)
    Lovely review!

  4. Ok I'm stuck with Mr. Carillo, he sounds so fucking edible like a lo-lo-lollipop!

  5. Oh goodness, Jessica. What an incredible review! I can tell how much you were affected by Lexi and Austin's story. And I'm telling you right now that I will be reading this. I picked up another book that you reviewed and were so touched by, and I loved it. LOVED.IT! I happen to have Sweet Home sitting on my desk. I met Tillie at a signing in Seattle and she's the sweetest thing. I may read the series out of order though. Something I rarely do. But it worked for you. ;)

  6. Ooo first time I'm seeing this series. Dang that sounds really really good! Thank ya for the heads up!

  7. I love your enthusiasm for this, Jessica. I just read an NA book that was one of those run of the mill variety, so I'm curious about this one.

  8. Great review. Adding this to my list now.

  9. gah her books sound wonderful. So glad to hear they don't at all sound the same as some of the NA out there. I want to read this, but I'm scared I'll cry like a baby.


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