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.
“No one has really seen me in years… But when you saw me for the first time, you actually saw me. You saw me, and then you smiled like I was just the same as everyone else on that platform.”
Blake Hartt spends his days sitting at Poughkeepsie train station waiting to see the girl who has him captivated, waiting to count her smiles towards him. Blake Hartt is homeless, but seeing the girl day in, day out makes his days so much better. Livia always sees him sitting there, in the shadows, never asking for any handouts. She sees him, for him. It’s not until some bullies were picking on him that she stands up for him and that is when Blake and Livia finally meet. She finally gets to see his green eyes up close after nicknaming him for so long.
After that initial meeting, Livia spends more time with Blake before her morning train and after her night train. She has a boyfriend, but she’s been trying to dump him for a long time and when things seem to progress with Blake, she knows she definitely cannot continue the relationship with Chris. Her heart is calling out to Blake. When she finally finishes with Chris, he doesn’t accept it. He won’t be the laughing stock of Poughkeepsie and he feels he’s been shamed by Livia for choosing the homeless guy over him. He decides he’s going to do everything he can to get rid of Blake and get Livia back, thus starting his plan to win her back, even though Livia wants nothing to do with him. This starts part of the story, but you’re going to have to read this book to find out what happens.
Blake was a beautiful soul to read. Albeit, he was homeless and afraid of the sun as he seemed to think it changed his appearance. But he was gorgeous; he never asked for anything and would never accept handouts until he felt he deserved it. He was tormented about his past, but he was charming, chivalrous and well spoken beyond any means. Growing up in foster care, he knew how to look after himself after living on the streets for so long, yet he was a gentle soul. He absolutely worshiped Livia, grateful for every moment they spend together.
He has two ‘brothers’ whom he met at his foster home and they were everything to him. They all had matching tattoos and looked out for one another. Beckett is the naughty brother. His business is anything but legal and being the first out to grow out of the system, he felt it was up to him look after his brothers so trying to gain respect in the community was something he had to do so when Blake and Cole came out of the system, he could protect them and make sure he gave them everything he could. Although what he does is illegal on so many levels, the love he has is fierce and he will do anything, even die for the two of them. Cole is also a tormented soul. He lives in the church and is trying to become something better of himself. His past, as you will read, is horrific and he had been brought up afraid of love as he thinks love is pain. But then comes along Kyle, Livia’s sister, and everything changes for him. He’s found his purpose and he’s found love and those two were a treasure to one another.
The three of them each carry heavy baggage, but together they have come a long way since their childhood and foster care and although they aren’t blood related, they couldn’t be closer or more bonded in any other way.
Livia was a strong, independent, level headed young woman. She didn’t care that commuters would talk about her when she was with Blake, she only cared about him. She was kind, caring, full of love, but she could be tough and wouldn’t hide from dangerous situations, as you will find out when you read this book. I loved how much she felt for Blake. She didn’t care that he was homeless, she saw him, for him. She didn’t care that he had no money, she just knew that she wanted to be with him, homeless or not. She loved him and made sure to help him through his childhood issues, without being judgmental and she was there every step of the way .The love they had for each other poured from their core and with everything thrown at them, it only made they stronger.
Kyle, Livia’s sister also had a tormented soul. She felt it was her fault her mother had left when she was born so she set out to punish herself over it. It’s not until she finds Cole and he tells her she has to be her, that she stops hurting herself over her mother’s departure and she finds solace with Cole. Their journey isn’t one without harm but their love for one another is strong to fight anything. Kyle becomes the woman she was meant to be when she found Cole and Cole became the man he was meant to be with Kyle. A match made in heaven…literally.
I have to say, I completely fell in love with Beckett and Kyle. They seemed like people who I’d love to be my best friends. They had potty mouths that kept making me laugh at the things were they saying and to be honest with you, I can have a potty mouth too, so I would definitely be joining in with the banter those two dished out to everyone. I also loved that they were fiercely protective of their loved ones. You hurt their family and friends and you were a goner. Family was immensely important to them and I really enjoyed how much everyone protected one another, especially when everything blew up with Beckett’s business drama and with Chris’ revenge. The two dramas interact and all hell is blown up that you become engrossed over what is happening. I literally could not put the book down.
I could never say that the characters outside of Blake and Livia were secondary, because you see everyone’s story and it combines into the book. You see everyone’s past and why they are involved the way they are, and how it formed them into the person they are today. All the stories are really heartbreaking.
The ending to me was one of perfection. Blake and Livia got their happy ending after everything that had happened in the book and you could tell that they really were made to be together; they were soul mates. This book has a little bit of everything wrapped into it. It has romance, banter, murders, kidnapping, jealousy, revenge, love, steamy moments, friendship, bonds, midnight mass but most of it, it’s about finding love and protecting those you love. It truly is a beautiful book to read and you would be mad not to give it a read.
It really did captivate me and I cannot wait for book two, where we get to read about Beckett.