“A toast… to taking a chance, because that chance taken may be the very path that leads you to your happily ever after.”
This story took Ally to a place I never saw coming. Actually, it was better. Way better. Full of suspense, excitement and love, this book couldn’t have been any better. Tillie Cole struck gold! It is hard to talk about this book without giving anything away. What I will tell you is that there were some truly exciting moments in this story. There were kick-ass action scenes, tender moments, jaw-dropping reveals, scary-as-shit surprises, and O-M-G sexy times. Every part of this book mattered. It was brought together flawlessly and created a must-read book.
The connection I felt with these characters was instantaneous. I knew most of them from Sweet Fall, but this story really brought some of them to life. They came off the pages and into my home. I was completely engrossed in this book! Ally was incredible. She was smart (always a must for me,) and tough. Her determination was more than admirable. But what really caught my attention was her passion. She was filled with it. Passion for art, for love, for friends, for life. She was all in. It was beautiful. And when she met Elpi and the emotional wreck that he was, it was like she washed him in her passion. They were the perfect match. The fluid balance they offered each other was inspiring. I couldn’t get enough of them from beginning to end.
“He was living, breathing poetry. Not love poetry, but the poetry which tears out your heart, rips it to shreds, pushes it back into your chest, and makes you question what the hell just obliterated your soul.”
Elpi was a mess and I loved him. I was so excited when he was introduced to the story! With a sordid past and the guilt that follows, he was covered in a shroud of self-loathing. I hated it for him, but I completely understood him. I related to Elpi more than I care to admit. It is hard to let go when you don’t think you deserve the chance. There are few pains that rival feeling that you have hurt the ones you love most. I ached for him and desperately needed his pain to end. Being in Elpi’s studio was my favorite space in the story. I felt like I was there with him. (Oh how I wish!)
“Lei era speranza… She was hope. La mia luce… my light.”
The duel POVs was clutch. I needed to know what they were thinking and boy did I get it! Being in the mind of Elpi, especially, was heartbreaking and eye-opening. Oh Elpi… Sigh…
One of the many great parts of this book was that we were reunited with the whole Sweet Home Series gang! The love was all there and I couldn’t help but smile. They were further along in their lives in this story and it was a great way to conclude the series. I felt completely at peace with how it ended knowing that they were all so happy and content. The storylines were brought to a close naturally and realistically for each and every character. It was so fun to read about how it they turned out.
I think I managed to experience EVERY EMOTION POSSIBLE while reading this bad boy! I mean, Holy Book Hangover, Batman! I blame this all on the aforementioned passion. Ally’s passion mixed with Elpi’s angst was just more than I could take. And I loved it. I absolutely loved it. My heart was pounding during the last 10 percent! So much comes to a head and I needed these characters to win. They deserved a win. I stayed up until the wee hours of the night reading this book. I simply couldn’t put it down. #noregrets
What makes a Tillie Cole’s book so brilliant is that her writing is realistic and honest. She is obviously an educated woman and researches relentlessly- this is reflected in world building and backgrounds she gives her characters. I never find myself questioning her choices. I just read. No, I devour. Her books are always a hit. I purchase without even reading the blurbs. They are just that good.
5 Sweet Home Stars and pair it with Southern Comfort and cola.
Buy the Series
Sweet Home – http://amzn.to/1yCOI3K
Sweet Rome – http://amzn.to/1F53GSm
Sweet Fall – http://amzn.to/1NCMybj
Sweet Hope – http://amzn.to/1BOPZVK
Vin sat forward like an excited child. I had to stop myself from laughing at the grin on his face. “So,” he said conspiratorially, “Elpidio…”
“Yes,” I croaked, my voice barely audible. The mere thought of curating his work made me feel weak at the knees.
“At last I’m commissioning his first show and I am looking for the right curator to put it all together.” His eyes narrowed. “Do you believe this could be you?”
“Yes, sir,” I retorted with confidence. “As soon as I heard about the position, I dropped everything to fly out here to meet you. I know I’m the best person for this job. I’ve studied his work. I’ve written academic journals on his methods and on his themes. I’ve written articles on his rise to fame.”
Vin sat back, clasped his hands and nodded his head. He seemed to have lost his enthusiasm. My stomach rolled. I wanted this position so, so much.
“I’ve read your articles and journals, Ms. Lucia,” he said. I waited for him to say more. “You’re an exceptional art scholar and you clearly have a passion for my protégé.”
“Yes, sir,” I replied, “He’s one of my favorite contemporary sculptors.”
I paused at what I’d just said and lowered my eyes to inspect the wooden table. “No, excuse me,” I said nervously, “Elpidio is my absolute favorite contemporary artist, period.”
Vin’s head tilted to the side. “Why?” Vin’s eyes had lit up with interest.
“Why…” I whispered, contemplating how I could express my love for his work in words. I took in a long breath, thinking through my answer, and opted to speak from the heart.
I closed my eyes picturing his sculptures and let my words flow. “His works… They are both the saddest and most beautiful pieces of art I have ever seen. Every curve of the marble comes from deep within his heart. The themes of his works are both provocative and gutting at the same time. I could get lost in every single one of them, all day, everyday for the rest of my life and never tire of it. They are raw and poetic… so tragic, yet so beautiful. The merest of glances at any one of the pieces evokes a kaleidoscope of emotions from the very depths of the soul. I don’t know what else to say except that his work communicates with me like no other,” I patted my hand over my heart, “it speaks directly to every fiber of my being. I feel his work. I feel it, as though it lives and breathes, just like you and I.”
Opening my eyes, I blushed in embarrassment as I realized just how lost to my thoughts I had become. Vin leaned forward again and tapped my hand with his.
“Well, Ms. Lucia, that was quite the answer,” Vin said, with a hint of humor in his tone.
Huffing a nervous laugh, I brushed a loose piece of hair from my face.
“He’s quite the sculptor.”
Amazon & USA Today Best Selling Author, 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.
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 forty miles north to the ‘Toon’, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, where she attended Newcastle 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. Tillie, regards Newcastle to be a home from home and enjoyed the Newcastle Geordie way of life for seven ‘proper mint’ and ‘lush’ years.
One summers day, after finishing reading her thousandth book on her much loved and treasured 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, after repeating the same tired line at the close of another completed story, she was scolded by her husband to shut up talking about writing a novel and “just bloody do it!” For the first time in eleven years, Tillie actually took his advice (he is still trying to get over the shock) and immediately 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!). She also has a serious side (believe it or not!) and loves to immerse herself in the complex study of World Religions, History and Cultural Studies and creates fantasy stories that enable her to thread serious issues and topics into her writing — yep, there’s more to this girl than profanity and sparkles!
After six years of teaching high school Social Studies and following her Professional Rugby Player husband around Europe, they have finally given up their nomadic way of life and settled in Calgary, Alberta where Tillie spends most of her days (and many a late night) lost in a writing euphoria or pursuing a dazzling career as a barrel-racing, tasselled-chap wearing, Stetson-sporting cowgirl…