and cherished for a decade.
Kristiansen returns from his native Norway to the sleepy town of Blossom Grove,
Georgia, where he befriended Poppy Litchfield as a child, he has just one thing
on his mind. Why did the girl who was one half of his soul, who promised to
wait faithfully for his return, cut him off without a word of explanation?
when Poppy fell silent. When he discovers the truth, he finds that the greatest
heartache is yet to come.
14 and up.
Dottie’s Star Rating: 5+++ Stars
This is a review I suspect will be very difficult to write. This book is one of the most special books I have ever read. It both broke my heart as well as made me feel the kind of profound love (depicted in this story) that can completely nourish a person’s soul. Does that make sense? Probably not, but yet, it’s accurate. This book made me cry both happy tears as well as ugly tears. And with very few exceptions, books really don’t make me cry. Get misty, sure. Get completely choked up, absolutely. Ugly cry? No way, not until now. But this book speared my soul.
But, don’t let that make you hesitate to read it! This book hurt my heart, yes. But the reward for that pain was so profound, so nourishing, and so beautiful that words cannot really describe it sufficiently. There are no words!
This book is very different than any of Tillie Cole’s other books. It’s not gritty like her MC series (Hades Hangmen). It’s not dark and mysterious like her Scarred Souls series. There’s actually not really any crime element at all, nor is it very similar to her Sweet Home series (other than these characters are young too). It’s not sexy, per se. The love scenes are more of a fade-to-black type and yet, they are profoundly beautiful too. (I think this is both because they are young, plus, this book isn’t meant to be sexy, it is meant to be an emotional journey and succeeds in this endeavor remarkably.) This is a complete departure from Ms. Cole’s usual types of books (if there is such a thing), yet this is a story I believe she was born to write.
Poppy met Rune when he moved into the house next door (when he had just moved to America from Norway) and they were both five years old. She was delighted to see there was a boy her age moving into the room directly across from hers and in her normal, exuberant style, greeted him with enthusiasm…
“What’s your name?” Poppy asked. Her head was tipped to the side. A small twig was stuck in her hair.”…I cleared my throat. “My name is Rune, Rune Erik Kristiansen.” Poppy scrunched her face up, her big pink lips sticking out all funny. “You sound weird,” she blurted…”Nei det gjør jeg ikke!” I snapped. Her face screwed up even more. “What did you say?” Poppy asked, as I turned to walk into my house. I didn’t want to speak to her anymore. Feeling angry, I spun back around. “I said, ‘No, I don’t!’ I was speaking Norwegian!” I said, in English this time. Poppy’s green eyes grew huge. She stepped closer, and closer again, and asked, “Norwegian? Like the Vikings? My mamaw read me a book about the Vikings. It said they were from Norway.” Her eyes got even bigger. “Rune, are you a Viking?” Her voice had gone all squeaky. It made me feel good. I stuck out my chest. My pappa always said I was a Viking, like all the men in my family. We were big strong Vikings. “Ja,” I said. “We are real Vikings from Norway.” A big smile spread across Poppy’s face and a loud girly giggle burst from her mouth. She lifted her hand and pulled on my hair. “That’s why you have long blond hair and crystal-blue eyes. Because you’re a Viking”…”Rune,” she said, her voice serious and strong, “you live right next door, you’re a Viking and I just love Vikings. I think we should be best friends.” “Best friends?” I asked. Poppy nodded her head and pushed her hand further toward me. Slowly reaching out my own hand, I gripped hold of hers and gave it two shakes, like she’d shown me. A handshake. ”So now we’re best friends?” I asked, as Poppy pulled her hand back. “Yes!” she said excitedly… “Poppy and Rune, best friends for infinity.”….
Out of the mouths of babes! These two quickly became inseparable and I think I fell in love with them in that very moment they met. As I read their story, it pulled me in by my heart and grabbed a hold of it so completely that I think this book will never really let me go. I can already tell the book hang-over I am beginning to feel “coming on” will be epic.
This book was absolutely beautiful. It is about a love between these two people. It is the kind of love we all long for, yet very few of us achieve a love as intense and strong as theirs. Theirs is the type of love that spans time and continents, and although life happens around them, it never lets go of them either.
This is not to say their love was without issues. They were definitely there. There were times where I wondered where Ms. Cole was going with this story; I guessed and yet, I guessed wrong. I changed to another hypothesis, yet that was wrong too. What really happened kinda blew my mind and I never saw it coming.
I loved these two. They made me believe a love can be everlasting, no matter what life throws at you. Their love made me think maybe a man can love just as deeply as a woman can love (something I sometimes wonder about – not to say men don’t love deeply, just differently – but the way Rune loves Poppy became a whole new type of love unto itself)! They were young and yet, their love transcended time. It was the type of love that could go down in history.
…I was lying in bed, when I heard the window opening. Sitting up, I saw my curtain be pushed aside. My heart leapt into my mouth when Rune stepped in. I smiled as he walked forward, shucking off his shirt and throwing it on the floor…Rune walked slowly to my bed, standing to wait by its side. Shuffling back, I lifted the cover and Rune climbed in, immediately wrapping his arms around my waist. As my back nestled perfectly against his front, I sighed in contentment. I closed my eyes. Rune pressed a kiss just below my ear and whispered, “Sleep, baby. I got you.” And he did. He had me. Just like I had him.”….
This was an absolutely breathtakingly beautiful love story. It will make you cry. It will spear you in the heart at times. It will make you believe in a love that can supersede anything else that life can throw at us. It is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read.
I’d like to thank Tillie Cole for providing this ARC for an unbiased review. I would also like to thank her for writing such an amazing story. It will remain in my heart forever!
North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish
father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she
could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.
BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player
husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and
thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting
pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.
is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and
the fabulous minds of her characters.
published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark
Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.
than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee,
while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of