Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sweet Home by Tillie Cole

Sweet Home** 5 out of 5 Stars **


At age twenty, Molly Shakespeare knows a lot.
She knows Descartes and Kant.
She knows academia and Oxford.
She knows that the people who love you leave you.
She knows how to be alone.

But when Molly leaves England's grey skies behind to start a new life at the University of Alabama, she finds that she has a lot to learn--she didn't know a summer could be so hot, she didn't know students could be so intimidating, and she certainly didn't know just how much the folks of Alabama love their football.

When a chance encounter with notorious star quarterback, Romeo Prince, leaves her unable to think of anything but his chocolate-brown eyes, dirty-blonde hair and perfect physique, Molly soon realizes that her quiet, solitary life is about to dramatically change forever...


First let me say that I am a born an bred Alabamian.  I know all about southern boys and football...all about the Alabama Crimson Tide.  Being born and raised in Alabama you'd have to live under a rock not to get it.  I'm not an Alabama fan and the words Roll T*** will NEVER come out of my mouth.  I'm an Auburn Tiger, I bleed Orange and Blue.  That being said, Bama fans know their football and they have the championships to prove it.

Tillie Cole nailed it in Sweet Home.  Everything from the way we talk to how much we love our football.  She definitely did her research.  I loved this book.  A lot of people have compared it to Beautiful Disaster and I can see where that would come into play.  Rome has a lot of the same mannerism and that temper!  Other than those few things, being based in a college town is the only other similarity.  I loved the writing style though I would have loved to have had Rome's POV.  I loved how  I would think things were winding down and then something else would happen.  I loved how possessive he could be and how crazy he got if he thought he was going to lose her.

Things I loved:

  1. Rome's possessiveness...in and out of the bedroom
  2. Their game day ritual kiss
  3. His need to protect her from everything
  4. His way with words
  5. The southern setting
Things that didn't work:
  1. Shelley
  2. Rome's parents
  3. She runs...A LOT!
All in all, this book was great!  I loved it and I hate that I'm finished reading.  Take a chance on it!


Molly is 20 and working on her Masters.  She's British.  She's anything but your normal college girl.  She's mousy and nerdy, spending her days studying.  She has brown hair and hides behind a big, black pair of wide framed glasses.  She's almost antisocial.  She's had a rough go at life.  Her mother died giving birth to her.  Her dad died when she was 6 and she lost the last remaining family she had, her grandmother, at 14.  She's completely and totally alone in the world.

Rome is your typically good looking southern boy.  He's Mr. Football at school...the quarterback.  He is all male.  He has brown eyes and dirty blonde longish hair.  He's built like well a football player.  He's tall, strong, and has that southern drawl.  He's also a ladies man but has never actually had a girlfriend.  Things aren't perfect a home though and he's hiding a secret.

They meet for the first time outside the class she is the TA in.  He helps her with her books.  By the end of that class he's smitten and intrigued.  He knows things will never be the same he just hasn't figured out why yet.

"It only took Romeo one look at Juliet and his fate was sealed.  Maybe I'm just like my namesake, and maybe you're just like yours."

She is pledging a sorority and as initiation they are to kiss a guy blindfolded and guess the food they just ate.  He literally pushes the guy in front of her to the floor and tells him he's in his spot.  He kisses her and it's hot.  So hot it makes everyone in the room stop and watch.  It goes on and on, and they kiss as if they need each other to breathe.  When she pulls away from him he kisses her again.  The kiss is broken up by Shelley.  Shelley thinks she has a claim on Rome and makes it known her dislike for Molly.  While she's screaming at him he almost kisses Molly again.  He leaves the party in a huff when he doesn't get the exact reaction he wanted.  We meet Alley, who she befriends at this party....she's also Rome's cousin.  She lets us know that their kiss isn't the norm for him.  She goes to Alley room to use the bathroom and finds him on the balcony.  They hang out and a connection is formed until a drunken Shelley shows up and throws herself at him.  She leaves angry.

They end up getting into a debate in class that's borderline painful both taking hits at each other in front of the class.  In the hallway afterward, she finds out that he didn't sleep with her.  He also lets her know that he let Shelley know that they would never be together.  His parents are horrible people and they have it planned that he will marry Shelley.  Rome lets her know that's over and he wants her before leaving for a game and staying gone for days.

She sees him days later arguing with his father and then his father punches him.  She ends up taking care of him and being supportive after his father has gone.  The spend the day together in the library.  Things are easy with them.  Her asks her to go to his ballgame and she refuses and he's hurt.  He leaves her a note under the door asking her to come again.

She decides to go to the game and here they begin a ritual before every home game.  She gives him a good luck kiss in front of everyone.  It's sweet.  He's playing horribly before hand and the kiss becomes what everyone says is his good luck charm since he end up with MVP following it.

"You're not the only one who feels like splittin' when times get rough, baby, but from now on, I won't let you run anywhere if I'm not right there runnin' beside you."

Things change between them later that night.  He climbs the balcony to her room and things start to get out of hand.  She stops it and they spend the night watching movies and talking.  He tells her he hasn't been with anyone since he met her and wants to be with her and only her.  They officially become a couple but she doesn't want anyone to know yet.  He doesn't like it but eventually agrees.  They begin spending every free second together.  He finds out about her family and about how she runs.  He tells her that she won't run from him because he won't let her.  They grow closer and closer, falling hard for one another.  He outs them in front of their friends.  A guy makes some rude comments about her and he goes all Travis Maddox on the guy and beats him up.  Then if that's not enough Shelley makes an appearance and then calls his parents and lets them know about the new girlfriend.  You know from reading this isn't a good thing but there is no way as of yet of telling how bad it's going to get.  We see him out a few days later eating with Shelley and his mother.  Molly doesn't handle this well and runs.  He chases her and tries to explain.  This is the first glimpse of the power his parents really have over him.

He eventually shows up at her room and when he can't get in through the window just storms the house.  He explains what's happened and promises there will be fall back because of his actions but he doesn't care.  They end up having sex for the first time.

His parents invite them for dinner.  He knows this isn't good and tries to convince her not to go...as does Alley.  She's determined and when they get there we find out in a hurry that Shelley is there and it's a set up.  They brought them there to make them break up.  He refuses, chooses her, and disowns his family and they leave.  He's mad at her for making him come but also afraid that he's lost her.  She tries to tell him she loves him but he keeps interrupting.  He tells her he loves her and then she tells him she loves him too.  

BOMB about to drop...

3 months pass and she finds out she's pregnant.  Rome shows up while she's having a melt down and she has no choice but to tell him what is going on.  She tells him she'll deal with it and he won't hear it.  His reaction is different than I though it would be.  He is actually happy about the baby.  Shocked but happy.  I loved how he always made her say "we're pregnant" not I'm pregnant.  He was there to reassure her that they were in it together and he wasn't going anywhere.

"You're my life now; you're my everythin'.  You and our baby."

They end up having to go to a function that his mother and father planned.  There's no way to get out of it.  His parents hate him...I mean pure hatred.  They are out to hurt him.  While at this function, his mother and Shelley lure her into a room alone and his mother hits her.  This causes her to fall belly first into a desk.  She ends up on the floor covered in blood while his mother keeps hitting her.  Shelley, finally having gained a little integrity, runs out screaming for Rome.  Everyone is in the room, their friends are crying and he's holding her on the floor while they cry.  It was horrible because you knew what was happening and even as a reader you wanted to stop it.

She wakes up in the hospital to a very upset and sad looking Rome.  He tells her they lost their baby and she shuts down.  Completely shuts him out, she won't talk, can't look at him.  He's trying to be patient and supportive but he's grieving to.  I got angry at her here because even though I understood she was hurting she pretty much hung him out to dry.  He gets angry and storms out of the room.  Once he's gone his mother shows up and tries to strangle her.  The nurse gets the woman off her and she's arrested.  The damage is done and there is nothing left for Molly to do but what she does best...run.  She goes home to England without a word, phone call, or anything.

For the first time in my life, I was running to something, not away from it.

After weeks of being gone she has coffee with her ex and she realizes that she's made a mistake.  She board the first plane to his championship game letting her friends know she's coming.  She gets there right as the players come on the field but he has no idea she's there.  When they finally get his attention his reaction is priceless.  He makes his way slowly to her.  They do their ritual then he sits down with her on the ground.  He forgives her just glad to have her back and then goes on to win his ballgame.  They celebrate in his hotel room after the game :)

The epilogue takes place months later and he's being drafted to the NFL.  It's a happy time for him but he's scared because he doesn't know where she's going to school.  He's afraid they will have to be away from each other but she lets him know that she chose the school in the same city as him and they will be moving together and starting their lives.


It was a beautiful story and I loved the ending.  It took awhile to get there but they eventually make it.  I give it 5 stars because it's everything I thought it should be.  Just for the record...when a southern man is talking about his dad and he calls him "daddy" it's pronounced "deddy or "de eh dee".  Alabama really does love it's football, whether it be Alabama or Auburn (WAR EAGLE!).  Check this book out, it's definitely worth the read!

My Rome / Molly


Favorite Quotes:

"Let me put this in a way that you can understand.  You, Kate Middleton, have just kissed the Prince William of the University of Alabama and possibly all of American collegiate football."

"We're star-crossed, Shakespeare.  Fateful star-crossed lovers.  We have a lifetime to get to know each other, unlike our namesakes.  I'll make sure we get our happily ever after."