Review…Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia

He counts her smiles every day and night at the train station. And morning and evening, the beautiful commuter acknowledges him—just like she does everyone else on the platform. But Blake Hartt is not like the others . . . he’s homeless. Memories of a broken childhood have robbed him of peace and twisted delusions into his soul. He stays secluded from the sun, sure the world would run from him in the harsh light of day.

Each day, Livia McHugh smiles politely and acknowledges her fellow commuters as she waits for the train to the city. She dismisses this kindness as nothing special, just like her. She’s the same as a million other girls—certainly no one to be cherished. But special or not, she smiles every day, never imagining that someone would rely on the simple gesture as if it were air to breathe.

When the moment comes that Livia must do more than smile, without hesitation she steps into the fray to defend the homeless man. And she’s surprised to discover an inexplicable connection with her new friend. After danger subsides, their smiles become conversation. Their words usher in a friendship, which awakens something in each of them. But it’s not long before their bond must prove its strength. Entanglements from the past challenge both their love and their lives.

Blake’s heart beats for Livia’s, even if her hands have to keep its rhythm. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love never fails. Love never fails, right?

In an interwoven tale of unlikely loves and relationships forged by fire, Debra Anastasia takes readers into the darkest corners of human existence, only to show them the radiant power of pure adoration and true sacrifice. Complicated families and confused souls find their way to light in this novel, which manages to be racy, profane, funny, and reverent all at once.

*****

There are very few times that I stray from my favorite genre of paranormal romance. I read different reviews from different sites and blogs and have come across stories that I have high hopes for only to be, let’s say, underwhelmed by. This is NOT one of those stories……

I started this book and was hooked by the third page. No, not hooked…more like obsessed, in love, heartbroken, well, you get the picture.

We begin by meeting Blake and Livia. Blake is a young man who sits every day at the Poughkeepsie train station and waits to see Livia, a grad student and train passenger, who gives Blake his daily dose of sunshine in life…..her smile. Blake is a kind, soft spoken, extremely polite and well mannered and is also homeless. Livia is sweet and caring and feisty when she is backed up against a wall….and she will certainly be put to the test during this book.

They begin a friendship that introduces us to their lives and families where each character is developed so well that I feel as if I can go down the street and have a cup of coffee with them.

Blake has two foster brothers, Beckett and Cole. The three boys have endured so many awful hardships in life and your heart will break a million times over before the end of this book. Beckett is a real tough ass with a heart of gold. He lives his life completely on the wrong side of the law but loves his brothers so purely and unconditionally that you can’t help but love him, no matter how terrible his faults are. Cole is working to be a priest and has a hard time overlooking Beckett’s “line of work” but again, you just can’t help but love Beckett! Each brother’s story is told throughout the book and each brother’s story will rip your heart out. But in the end, they will all have their own turn at a happy ending….you will just have to trust me! I am so not going to give any of it away ;-)

We also meet Kyle, Livia sister. Three words…I LOVE KYLE. She is hilarious and fun and fiercely loyal to her sister and totally someone you’d love to be friends with. She is also a complete emotional mess. Her story is one of personal loss and overcoming the loss to learn to live….and love.

There is also Eve, Mouse and Livia and Kyle’s dad who are also amazing characters. Perfectly flawed in their own ways.

I will also tell you we meet some, let’s say “unsavory”, people that you will loathe as the story unfolds……but luckily karma always wins in the end.

I loved every minute of this book. For every tear I shed, there was a total laugh out loud moment that followed. This book was everything I love about books. I felt every emotion the characters felt and I pictured every scene in my mind so completely that I felt as if I was there with them. I texted all my reading friends and MADE them get this book and start reading it….and I wasn’t even halfway into the book myself! I thank you, Debra, for writing this book.

My only complaint? There should be a warning label on the cover: You will need a box of tissues, anti-puffy eye cream and a babysitter for your kids….. because they will be on their own till you’re finished reading!!

Heat Factor: Sizzling

  2 comments for “Review…Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia

  1. 01/14/2012 at 2:23 pm

    I LOVED Poughkeepsie!!!!! I love how each character brought something to the life of the other. Mouses back-story broke my heart.

  2. 03/13/2012 at 7:25 pm

    What a great review! Makes me want to revisit my own novel to see if I can improve it to invoke the same emotion you felt, Jillian! I loved this line: “Each character is developed so well that I feel as if I can go down the street and have a cup of coffee with them.” Okay, I think I have to get this book, based solely on this great review!

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