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*
Leaning back on the couch, I decided to try and relax, but just as I did, I felt Lexi lean in closer. My eyes narrowed, and I shot her a questioning glance.
“What the hell you looking at so close?” I asked. I wasn’t being a dick, but she was almost on my lap as she tried to look at something on my neck.
Fidgeting with her black hair, she blushed. That only made me more curious.
“What?” I asked again and folded my arms across my chest.
A bony index finger pointed at the side of my neck. I scowled in confusion.
“That tattoo,” she answered with a guilty expression, her pixie face all innocent in her interest.
“Gonna have to be more specific,” I said and gestured to my upper chest, showing the fully covered inked skin above my black T-shirt, my full sleeves, and neck.
“That one,” she pushed again and pointed her finger closer. I gave her an incredulous look. She wasn’t exactly narrowing it down. I tried to think of what I had in that spot, but it could’ve been one of about fifteen things.
Her teeth clenched in annoyance, and she prodded at my neck with the tip of her painted-black fingernail. “That one! The one that says Heighters!”
My humor dropped. As did Lexi’s pissed-off expression, and she lowered her hand.
I remembered when I got that piece of ink. I was fourteen—the same age as Levi. I’d just sold my first teener of coke and was initiated into the crew. Gio’d ordered Matteo—his original right-hand man—to brand me. Right on my neck where everyone could see who I ran with. And the star—the stidda—on my cheek to show our crew’s Sicilian connection.
They were visible statements that I was a Heighter for life.
They’d hurt like a bitch, and, all the time the needle had been scratching at the skin, Axel had beamed a smug-looking grin at me. It was probably the proudest moment of his life, looking at his little bro joining the gang he found so sacred. His family. Matteo got killed in a drive-by shortly after, and that’s when Axel had been promoted, taking his place as Gio’s right-hand man.
Lexi’s light cough pulled me from the memory. I met her eyes once again and snapped, “You get ’em when you officially join the crew. And you never cover it up. You own it. Happy?”
Lexi stared down at her hands in reprimand. “I was just curious. I’ve never met anyone from a real-life gang before. It’s interesting to me.”
I almost spit blood at her words. “Word of warning. Never be curious about the fuckin’ Heighters. Gang life ain’t no picnic or a good tale for a little rich girl’s entertainment.”
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.
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