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
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*
Walking behind Axel, I gripped his arms and wrenched him back. “Back the fuck off, Axe,” I ordered as Axel stumbled back. Looking over Axel’s shoulder, a pair of huge green eyes glanced up at me, and I stilled.
Hell. It was that cheerleader. The one I’d spoken to after the game.
I tipped my head up to the sky. Someone up there really fuckin’ hates me.
Axel was suddenly in my face. “The bitch saw too much. She needs to know she can’t talk. I gotta deal with this shit now! Can’t have no loose ends,” he hissed out, his hands fisted at his sides as the cheerleader seemed to sink her tiny body back even farther against the wall, eyes darting everywhere but on us. She was crying, for fuck sake. Her black makeup was all over her pale face.
“She won’t.” I looked at the chick. “Will you?” I practically growled. She was frozen with fear. “Fuckin’ tell him!”
More water filled her eyes and she began shaking her head. “I-I-I won’t.”
Spinning Axel around by his arm, I said, “The cops are just about here. You need to split. I’ll make sure she doesn’t squeal.” Axel spit on the ground at her feet before pushing past me, but not before I grabbed his bicep again, my mouth at his ear. “You and me need to talk. You’ve fucked up, brother—Levi dealing for the crew, bringing this to my school, everything! I’m not gonna let this shit go.”
Scoffing a laugh at my threat, Axel ripped his arm from my hand and marched off in the direction of the parking lot. I watched him go, and the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. I wasn’t getting a good feeling about something. Like some big fuckin’ omen was following my brothers. It was obvious Axel was getting in deeper with the crew, moving up, getting in tighter with Gio, and by the looks of things, dragging Levi with him.
Dragging him straight into hell.
A shuffling sound from behind me pulled my attention.
- The chick. I’d almost forgotten about her.
Just as I turned around, I caught her edging away, trying to make her escape. That is until she saw me watching and froze, like a damn deer caught in headlights. I had to sort this shit quick, protect my family. No matter the cost.
“What the fuck did you see?” I snapped coldly.
“N-nothing, I saw nothing…” she whispered, all huge eyes on her tiny face. She must have only been about five feet flat.
“You’re lying,” I said coldly.
“No… really…” she whispered. I could see her pulse slamming in her slim neck.
What the fuck was she doing here in the quad, on her own, at this time of night anyway? Only reason I was even lifting weights this late was because Rome and me always put in extra sessions, way more than anyone else.
I pushed my chest against her body and heard a short sharp inhale of breath. “You saw my brother. What was he doing? And don’t fuckin’ lie.”
I knew she knew what was going down, of course, but I needed her so fearful of me that she wouldn’t say shit even to her closest friends. I had to make sure she kept her mouth shut. Couldn’t go spreading rumors around campus.
With a slump of her shoulders, I saw the fight leave her body. “Drugs. I think he was selling drugs.” She sighed in defeat. “No. I know he was selling drugs.”
Breathing in through my nose, I tipped my head back.
“I’m so scared too. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to fall. But I don’t know how to win”
I fell in love with this series from the moment I first read Sweet Home, which is the story of Molly and Rome. And to be completely honest, my wanting to read Sweet Fall, was mainly driven to see more Rome and Molly. Well that was until I started reading it, I immediately fell in love with Lexi and Austin’s story. Sweet Fall takes place at the same time Sweet Home does, and please note that if you have not read Sweet Home, you don’t need to read it to read Sweet Fall, this can be read as a stand-alone. Although if you plan on reading Sweet Home and Sweet Rome, you need to read them first as Sweet Fall will contain spoilers for these first two books.
Lexi has just lost her best friend Daisy to the same demons she battles with daily. But to her friends, she is the perky college student that always seems to have a smile on her face. But beneath the makeup she wears is a girl who struggles to one day be normal and happy.
‘She Concealed her tears but shared her smiles’
Austin and Rome grew up together playing football but lived very different lives, Rome grew up with money and privilege where Rome came from the wrong side of tracks only knowing double wides, gang life and struggling to put food on the table. Like Lexi, he too never shows the people around him the real him and hides behind his tattoos .
“Why the tattoos?
We all have secrets, Austin. Some people’s are bigger than others, that’s all. Wouldn’t you agree?”
When these two first meet, it’s on the field after a winning game when all is quiet, and they make a connection. They then meet again but its due to her being in the wrong place at the wrong time and it’s not so nice and she is left terrified for her life and even more, terrified of him. But as time passes and circumstances keep throwing them together, they soon learn that even though they have lived very different upbringings and live very different lives, they truly are a lot like. They hide behind their makeup and tattoos, never showing the world the real person they are, never showing the demons they fight and their daily struggles.
And that’s how we fell.
Fell into sleep.
Fell into trust..
Fell for each other.
Both these characters were so amazing, it truly was hard to not feel so connected to them. We got to see a different side of them, one they never let anyone else see except for each other but they don’t even show each other 100% of their true self.
Sweet Fall was written in dual POV and I really loved that it was, you truly got to see both their struggles, it wouldn’t have shown a true picture of their story if you saw it only from one point of view, you wouldn’t have felt nor understood what both of them were feeling and experiencing, the internal struggles that they battled as well as the external ones.
This book was such an intense emotional read that really took me by surprise. I truly did not expect this book to be so intense and have them struggling with such dark troubling demons. I also truly didn’t expect it to also be this amazing and to love it so much more than Sweet Home. I absolutely fell in love with Molly and Rome and didn’t think any of the other character could even measure up to be as good but I must say, I loved Austin and Lexi so much more. I became emotionally connected and invested in these two right from the start and could not get enough of them. As much as I loved this book, I must say there were a few times I had to put the book down to take a breather due to the intensity at times. Although I found myself not able to stay away for long and picking it right back up soon after putting it down, I needed to know what was going to happen to these two. I pretty much inhaled this book within a 24 hour period, but now I am left with a serious book hangover and so looking forward to Sweet Hope, hope it’s going to be Ally’s story.
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.