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.
Sweet Fall is the third book in Tillie Cole’s Sweet Home series, but it can be read as a standalone. This is the story of Lexi Hart and Austin Carillo, two University of Alabama students. Lexi appears to be a happy-go-lucky girl who has it all, but beneath the surface she is carrying a secret that could destroy her. As life begins to tear her down, she reaches out for the only thing she thinks can help her cope, putting her on a very dangerous path. Austin is a star football player and former gang member desperately trying to help his family by getting picked in the NFL Draft. Despite his best efforts, he finds himself being drawn back into the lifestyle that he thought he had escaped. As Lexi and Austin both begin falling into the unknown, will their unlikely bond be enough to help them conquer their demons and reclaim their lives?
This was an incredibly emotional book for me. Lexi broke my heart. It was so difficult seeing what she thought about herself. Her self-hatred and perception of how other people saw her were devastating. It was sad how skilled she was at hiding her pain from her friends. Being in her head was almost too much, but at the same time it really helped me to see what people who share Lexi’s affliction go through. Hiding behind her dyed hair and heavy make-up, deep down she was a frightened, broken girl. She had such a tender heart, though, and her empathy and kindness for Austin and his family were beautiful. Lexi was a remarkably strong woman who really did fight hard to overcome her immense struggles. Unfortunately, sometimes you simply can’t do it all by yourself.
I admired Austin’s fierce determination to protect his family, especially his little brother. He tried the best he could to keep his college and football life, which could greatly help his mother and brother, separate from the world of gangs and drugs he used to inhabit. I truly believed that he wanted to build a better life for himself and his family, but sometimes it becomes too hard to escape the past. Despite his tough exterior, it was so easy to fall in love with Austin. Family meant everything to him. The scenes between he and his mother just broke me. He saw Lexi’s beauty, both inside and outside, when she couldn’t see it herself. Also, he was incredibly selfless in wanting the best for her, even if it wasn’t what she needed. His heart was definitely in the right place, but what he didn’t understand was how much he meant to her. She found comfort and hope in their shared brokenness, as did he.
For me this was Cole’s best work to date. The emotions from both Lexi and Austin were real and raw. I liked the slow burn of their relationship. It took them quite a while to trust one another, but when they did it was even more special. They were so different and yet similar. Neither was perfect, but somehow they were just what the other needed. I was blown away by their intense and poignant journey. Sweet Fall was an incredible mix of beauty and pain that deeply affected me. It made me ache, cry, and hope. This was not an easy book to read, but it is certainly one that I would highly recommend. Lexi and Austin’s story has definitely left a permanent imprint on my heart.
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 mother — a farmer’s daughter, her crazy Scottish father, a savagely sarcastic sister and a multitude of rescue animals and horses.
Being a scary blend of Scottish and English, Tillie embraces both cultures; her English heritage through her love of HP sauce and freshly made Yorkshire Puddings, and her Scottish, which is mostly demonstrated by her frighteningly foul-mouthed episodes of pure rage and her much loved dirty jokes.
Having been born and raised as a Teesside Smoggie, Tillie, at age nineteen, moved thirty miles north to the ‘Toon’, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, where she attended University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Religious Studies. She returned two years later to complete a Post-Graduate Certificate in Teaching High School Social Studies. She regards Newcastle to be a home from home and enjoyed the Newcastle Geordie way of life for seven ‘proper mint’, ‘lush’ years.
Tillie, from a very young age has been part of the theatre community and loves nothing more than to entertain through the mediums of cheerleading, dance, drama and singing (sometimes in the rain). She can also be found in nightclubs around the world imitating her favourite artists alongside her crazy BFF’s – The Teesside Massive – or, sat on the front row at the theatre bopping along to her favourite musical, ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show ‘, clad in a only a maids outfit, clutching a bag of rice and sporting a vibrant shade of red lipstick.
One summers day, after finishing reading her thousandth book on Kindle, Tillie turned to her husband and declared, “D’you know, I have a great idea for a story. I could write a book.” Several months later, repeating the same tired line, she was scolded by her husband to shut up talking about writing a novel and ‘just bloody do it!’ Immediately she set off on a crazy journey, delving deep into her fertile imagination. Tillie, ever since, has written from the heart. She combines her passion for anything camp and glittery with her love of humour and dark brooding men (most often muscled and tattooed – they’re her weakness!).
After years of teaching high school Social Studies and following her Professional Rugby Player husband around Europe, they have settled in Calgary, Alberta where Tillie spends most of her days (and many a late night) lost in a writing euphoria or in her dream of pursuing a dazzling career as a barrel-racing, tasselled-chap, Stetson-wearing cowgirl… Ye-haw!