I heard about Sweet Hope over Instagram from the other bookish accounts I follow as they reposted teasers which Tillie Cole uploaded about her new book. Needless to say, I was intrigued by the uproar of excitement people were showing about the last instalment of the Sweet Home Series. Tillie then posted up a request for bloggers who wanted to join the book tour, so here is my entry for this wonderful tour brought about by Have Book Will Read Book Blog (what a mouthful!). I have never read a romance novel in my life! I can hear your grasps of shock and glares of immense disapproval. However, it was never a genre that intrigued me, but I am willing to give any book genre a go at least once. When it came to Sweet Hope I started reading with an open mind and had no expectations, only to be astonished by the story and Tillie Cole’s extraordinary writing style.
Amazon & USA Today Best Selling Author, Tillie Cole originates from a place called Teesside on that little and awesomely sunny (okay I exaggerate) Isle called Great Britain. She was brought up by her English mother and her crazy Scottish father, a savagely sarcastic sister and a multitude of rescue animals.
One summers day, after finishing reading her millionth 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, she was scolded by her husband to stop 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 to write and the rest is history.
Sweet Hope is about a girl named Ally who works as a museum curator creating exhibitions for artists. She has always been unlucky in love and moves to Seattle after landing her dream job curating the exhibition of her absolute favourite artist of all time, a sculptor named Elpidio.
Elpidio is a recluse and no one in the art world had ever seen him, so when they meet she is utterly surprised to find herself passionately attracted to this man. Their romance takes their lives by storm but he is not a knight in shining armour. He is a hard man with a broken past which he cannot face and Ally is determined to break down his walls and heal his hurts. Yet, despite their unbreakable bond his past catches up with him and the odds are stacked against them.
From the moment I began to read I knew I would love it! There is something about Tillie’s writing style that sucked me into the story straight away. I was teleported by her words into the very room, the very car and the situation the characters were in. I feel that this was because of the way she describes the characters so subtly you do not even notice you are taking the information in. It is because of this, I could see each characters face distinctly in my mind. In fact, the character Molly looked exactly like a girl I knew in high school also named Molly who just happened to be British as well. Please do not laugh, but to me Levi was Nick Jonas covered in tattoos. Do not ask me why, Levi is Nick Jonas to me. I have only seen his face as flickers on the TV and have never watched a show of his, I don’t even know what it was called and had to google what his name was!
Each character had their own unique voice which was distinct and realistic. Elpidio’s voice in particular was my favourite because it was very manly. I always cherish masculinity in a male character as I find in books written by female authors, their men feminine sounding. But not, Elpidio. He was A MAN. His swearing, his actions, his temper all made him so heartbreakingly real.
I have no idea how she does it, but when the three Carillo brothers reunited I started to cry. Keep in mind, I have never read the other books and I knew nothing of their backstory. Nevertheless, there was something about the way she wrote it that had me sobbing like a baby. There was a connection between Axel and Austin- there was love. Plain and simple, her words exuded sibling love like no other and it moved me deep in my heart.
I loved the music references that popped up whenever they were together. I wanted to listen to those exact songs as I read it but the playlist wasn’t released on Spotify yet. However, those who are going to read Sweet Hope I urge you now- Go and get that playlist!
What accompanied that playlist was immaculately described sex scenes. I am referring explicitly to the first sex scene when I say WHAT A SEX SCENE. Move over dull Fifty Shades of Grey because there is a new queen of sex in town. Tillie, I take my hat off to you. Well done, you had me fanning myself the entire time and I literally said out aloud when it was done, ‘Now, that was a sex scene!’. It was not over the top, it was not dry or annoying as some can be, but it was real, it was filled with yearning and it was fucking sexy. So, I should probably add that this is not a book for peeps under the age of 18.
Chapter 20- the chapter I knew it was all going to go wrong. As I turned the page to read ‘chapter 20’ I had a gut wrenching feeling harked the end of it all. Without giving it away, I was utterly destroyed in this chapter. I was hysterical and inconsolable. It was done really well and written magnificently. It was truly genuine, which made it all the more beautiful and moving.
The structure of the book was well executed from the beginning, to the middle and to the climax which crushed my soul. Then, the ending came and it was majestic. It brought my soul back to life and I was reborn under a wet t-shirt of tears and fogged glasses. Without spoiling too much it goes into the future to show where the characters all end up after the terrible climax. It is utterly healing and awe inspiring. From what I gather, it also brings all the Sweet Home series together.
In conclusion, I now know why everyone was so excited about this book. It utterly destroyed me and I loved it. I will be going back and reading the remainder of the Sweet Home Series. I suggest that you read the first few books in the series before going to this one. I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything by not reading the other books as everything you need to know about their past is revealed anyway. I recommend you read the others because I believe it will give the story more context and you will understand the characters backstories in a way I couldn’t. Go and read this book, you will not be disappointed!
Sweet Hope Cover & Blurb
When all of my best friends were falling for their soul mates in College, I was left behind. I was Ally, the pretty cousin of superstar quarterback, Romeo Prince. I was Ally, the best friend to the most amazing group of girls I've ever known--a title I loved, but one I became tired of 'just' being. And I was Ally, the one on which they could all rely.
But to me, I was Ally, the girl with the heart no one had claimed... And I was, Ally, the girl, who underneath it all, was heart-breakingly lonely.
I LOVE love; the thought of it, the nervous excitement of falling for Mr. Right, the desire of someone becoming my entire world... of me becoming theirs. I’ve always wanted passion, heart-stopping, epic, life-changing romance... I’ve always wanted the fairytale… I’ve always wanted it all. It just never seemed like I would get it.
For the past few years I've thrown myself into my career as a museum curator. I’m the best of the best, the person every museum wants to hire, so when an opportunity came up to move to Seattle, I jumped at the chance. My cousin and my best friend lived in Seattle and I needed a change.
I needed a new beginning.I wasn't expecting to meet anyone in the Emerald City. I wasn't expecting to work closely with the reclusive new sculptor my all-important gallery design was centered around. And I certainly wasn't expecting to fall for him... heart-stopping, epic, life-changing love...
My real life fairytale come true. But, like in every fairytale, there’s a villain, a dark and tortured soul... I just didn't know that the villain and the hero in my story would end up being one and the same.