Author: Tillie Cole
Series: Sweet Home Series #4, Carillo Boys #3
Publisher by: Independent
Published on: December 15, 2015
Genres: New Adult Romance
Page Count: 278
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.
Of the three Carillo boys, Levi is the quiet, sensitive one who, up until this point, we knew very little of. He’s very much unlike his brothers who have a hardened exterior and an intimidating aura to them. Instead, Levi is the typical boy next door that spends his time playing football, studying, and being with his family. Plagued by shyness, he’s never felt a draw toward any of the girls who have shown interest.
Like his brothers, Levi struggles with his demons, most of which revolve around the loss of his mother from ALS. Through a number of memory flashbacks, we get to see so much more of the bond he had with his mother. I however was disappointed to see that Levi being pushed into the gang and forced to shoot another human was hardly brought up. I thought for sure that would be a part of his struggles, but the only person who mentioned it was Axel.
Elise was a new character introduced to the series – the silent homeless girl who, through the act of stealing, was given a second chance at life. I thought her character was well written and we learned a great deal about her through her actions and flashbacks. I felt she had perfect balance of sweet innocence with determination and strength. The demons she faced overshadowed Levi, which may be why the author didn’t focus much on Levi’s past with the gang involvement.
Of the series, this one doesn’t rank highest on my list. I cannot pinpoint why that is though. Maybe it’s because I am drawn more to those bad boys and Levi was just too sweet for this naughty girl. The love scenes were just that – making love – a far cry from the usual “fucking” we tend to see in Tillie’s other books. No, this was sweet love making, which is fine, just not what I’m used to. I also felt that there were some parts that were just too predictable for me. (no spoilers, but the coffee house…) The lack of some pending danger (the demons both struggled with were in their past) made it a bit anti-climatic, and as I said, predictable.
Do I still love the Carillo boys – um, hell yeah! I’m sad to see the series wrap up, but I think it was time. This book gave closure to the series and the Carillo boys. I cannot wait to see what Tillie has in store for us next. She is, and will continue to be, one of my automatic “one-clicks”!
Twenty sprints later, I threw a wave to Jake and Ashton who were still hitting their sprints. I made my way inside. I always finished first. Football was my life. It was what I did best. It was the only constant I’d ever had; I could trust football, I could trust the routine.
It never let me down.
It never left.
My cleats tapped on the tile floor of the locker room as I toweled off sweat from my face. I hit the showers, and in less than five minutes under the boiling spray, with only a towel around my waist, I headed into the locker room. I entered the change area, just as a movement caught my eye, right in front of my station.
A girl. A petite, thin girl—scraggly long blond hair sticking out of a pulled up hood; dressed in dirty black jeans, chucks riddled with holes, and a scuffed black leather jacket.
I froze, startled by what the hell a girl was doing in here, in the football locker room. Then my eyes widened when I realized exactly what she was doing. Her left side was to me, her rail thin body showing me most of her back.
Her hands were in my bag.
Instinct kicked in and I stepped forward. “Hey!” I shouted. But the girl didn’t move. I shouted again, my heart beating fast. It seemed like it took her a minute to hear me. She froze, and flashing me a quick glimpse of her shocked dirty face hidden under her black hood, she pulled something to her chest and sprinted out of the locker room, then straight outside.
I stood rooted to the spot, completely shocked, until I remembered that my bag was wide open. I rushed forward and looked inside. At first I didn’t think anything had been taken, then I noticed my wallet was missing from the inside pocket. I began throwing my clothes and sports crap out onto the floor, searching the entire bag. But as I reached inside the hidden compartment, there was nothing.
She’d taken my wallet.
Standing straight, I ran my hands through my wet hair. My eyes darted around the room. I questioned how the hell she’d gotten in here? In a secure room?
I breathed out through my nose, trying like hell to calm down, when shards of ice sliced, like spears, down my spine. Every part of me stilled as a further realization kicked in. My wallet. My wallet not only contained all my cards and ID, but also the one thing that mattered the most to me—in my whole life.