Posted in Debra Anatasia

ARC: Return to Poughkeepsie (#2) – Debra Anastasia

16086479Synopsis

Beckett Taylor is a murderer. His calling, his craft are destruction and intimidation—whether he wants it that way now or not. He left Poughkeepsie to keep his brothers safe, to keep Eve safe. Set up with happy lives to live, they’re better off without him, right?

But all his willpower crumbles when he hears his brother Blake’s frantic voice on the phone. An unknown enemy has moved in on his old territory, and Livia’s been taken. In an instant, Beckett knows it will take an attack only he and Eve can execute to bring her back. All his self-imposed embargoes are torn to shreds, perhaps along with the new man he’s struggled to become.

“Brother, call Eve. I’ll be there soon.”

In this emotional and action-packed sequel to Poughkeepsie, Debra Anastasia conjures a tale of love at its most raw and ragged. With Beckett and Eve, how could we expect anything less? But even when it’s messy, not magical, true love perseveres. Real love finds a way—for better or for worse until death does part.

5 OUT OF 5

My review of Poughkeepsie

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My Review

If you have been with my from the start of my blog, you will remember that Poughkeepsie and the characters were a major part in the 30 Day Book Challenge and you will also remember just how MUCH I freaking love Poughkeepsie…i think its obvious as its one of my top books this year. When I received a tweet from Debra asking me if I wanted an ARC of Return to Poughkeepsie, I actually could not keep the grin off my face and the second it landed in my inbox I was a goner.

Before you read this review, I want you to buy both Poughkeepsie and Return to Poughkeepsie and read them. I promise you you will not regret divulging your time in these stories and with these characters…you will actually pretty much love them all  (and hate the ones you are supposed to). The story is gritty, its filled with crime and murder…many murder scenes I had to read quickly, but both books are filled to the brim with love and loyalty and despite the fact that Beckett is a murderer, he is so loyal to his brothers that he will do whatever he can to protect them and that they wish and ask for nothing, and that is exactly what he does.

We all know what went down in Poughkeepsie, well the ones of us who have read it and Return to Poughkeepsie is Beckett and I’d say, Eves story too. Beckett is on the run, he wants to redeem himself and after 5 years, 5 years with no contact to his family, one phone call from Blake is all he needs to return. We go through the motions, following Beckett, Eve, Cole and Kyle, Blake and Livias storylines, which all entwine within one another in some way or form. We are also introduced to new characters. Some evil such as Mary Ellen, some I was in two minds over because I adore my Beckett, but in the end I was loving Ryan and I fell in love with Ghandi…you will know who he is and love him too! 😉

All the evils have reasons to go after Beckett; they want to overpower Poughkeepsie for themselves and its up to Eve and Beckett to make sure this doesnt happen. So what in the fucking hell is going to go down with Beckett’s return?

Let’s start with Eve. God, Eve is such a bloody badass! Like seriously, she is deadly, murderous and a girl after my own heart. Hiding a knife in her hair? Uhhh you are awesome. Knowing how to assassin, clear a murder scene, make sure she doesnt get caught, Eve is the epitome of someone who is trained to kill, someone who is careful in her ways but someone who has let love into her heart, no matter how much she told herself she would never love again. Eve was once happy but now? She has seen death, has had her heart ripped out, and this made her change. She’s a trained killer and a bloody good one at that!

She aims to protect her family, and will do whatever she can to do that…if it means going undercover. She has to get information and stay close to Mary Ellen, despite just wanting to kill her. Eve is most definitely a strong character. She loves Beckett even after five years but there is just something about Ryan, the undercover copper she is working with to take down Mary-Ellen. Their banter made me giggle, they had sweet moments too and when shit hit the fan, you knew she cared about him but he didn’t have her heart. She does something in a moment of carelessness but you know the love of Beckett will save her anywhere, any time she needs it. And I was pleading for him to turn up at the right time. She’s strong willed and hides her fear underneath, not wanting to show it at all. I admire Eve a lot, especially with everything she had been through in life. I just hope she had a happy ending…well as happy as can be in book three.

Beckett is a wanted man. We know his crimes, his murders and now on the run from Poughkeepsie, all he wants is to see his family, but he knows the moment he steps foot in Poughkeepsie, the cops will be on him. He thinks everyone will just be better off without him if he dies but something stops him. He wants to be a better man, but its hard for him. He’s always lived this crime riddled life since getting out of the foster system, he built up his empire so his brothers would be safe and cared for, needing nothing when they too get out of the system. He did it for them. We see Beckett try to redeem himself, he tries for five years to be a better man, to help those in need, to care, to not murder and let people deal with things in their own way. He misses Eve like no tomorrow, but he tells himself that he’s not worthy of her, despite loving her and hating the fact she could be with someone else.

His family will always come first and he will always drop everything to run back to safe them, and that is exactly what he does when Livia gets taken. I love Beckett a lot, and if you look past all the murders, there is someone who loves with everything, loves his family, wants them safe and protected and if that means not being around them, not having contact then he will do it. But it kills him not knowing about their life for the past 5 years. We watch him kick into ‘boss’ mode and get all his old ’employee’s’ to help him take down Mary-Ellen and her father from overtaking Poughkeepsie . Yes, its Beckett’s turf, although not being around for 5 years and he can still turn on the charm and the fear into people.

I did enjoy seeing two sides to Beckett. His old self returning and the calmer one, the one who wants to redeem himself, helps other people, even owns a shop! Despite seeing this whole other caring side, you know deep down that it could be enough, but its not enough. He wants Eve with him, wants his brothers and sister-in-laws with him and you know he still has the murder inside him. But WELCOME BACK BECKETT, you utter babe you, with your fierceness, your pet names, your banter and your heart full of love for everyone.

We indulge into the lives of Cole and Kyle so much more in this book. Their story is most definitely heartbreaking and clutches at your chest because of everything they go through. But Cole is there, every step of the way with Kyle when a part of her dies every month and a bigger part of her dies after something happens. She is distraught, blaming herself but Cole is there, holding her, soothing her best he can, telling her just how much he loves her, how he is not going to let her go. You seem them both struggle in their own ways, but their love never falters between them. You know Cole will be there in a heartbeat when Kyle needs him and you now Kyle will do the same.

EEEE Blake and Livia ❤ One of my favourite couples. I loved seeing their story advance. They really went through so much shit in Poughkeepsie and to be standing strong together, to have a family of their own, jobs, a house, it was pure bliss to witness them. To see their love grows each day, that they will fight to their dying day to be together…which is technically what happened, but these two hold a special place in my heart. They banter, they confess their love, they have others who have their heart now too, and they are perfect. When Livia gets taken, Blake will do whatever he can to get her back, and her reverts back to his ‘tramp’ days to find her. Love definitely overpowers these two and I was so glad when Livia was safe and sound, back with Blake and her family. I liked seeing Blake overcoming his sun fear, the one which killed me a little in the first book. We see him overcome so much and it was amazing to see him so content and happy with his life, with his family, with his love for Livia. These two definitely deserve so much happiness together.

The suspense over what will happen will keep you on your toes and turning the pages. From the first page…no the first sentence I was hooked and I knew, I just knew that Return to Poughkeepsie would be another book that stole my heart and had me reading well into the night/morning, not wanting to put it down, needing to know what the eff was happening or going to happen with each and every storyline and character.

Grab it now and get to know each and every character. Fall in love, be on tenterhooks and bug Debra for book three now! I need it after that little teaser in the back.

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Poughkeepsie links:

Amazon UK || Amazon US

Return to Poughkeepsie:

Amazon UK || Amazon US

Posted in New Adult, Romance

Falling Into You – Jasinda Wilder

17448960Synopsis

I wasn’t always in love with Colton Calloway; I was in love with his younger brother, Kyle, first. Kyle was my first one true love, my first in every way.
Then, one stormy August night, he died, and the person I was died with him.

Colton didn’t teach me how to live. He didn’t heal the pain. He didn’t make it okay. He taught me how to hurt, how to not be okay, and, eventually, how to let go.

5/5 stars
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My review

So you know how I always mention that if a book makes me cry then it’s a great one? Well I full on ugly cried throughout this book, so much so, I had to stop, redo my make-up so I could go to work.

Oh god, Jasinda Wilder completely drew me in with Falling Into You. It didn’t take me long at all to read it because I literally devoured it. I couldn’t get enough. Ms. Wilder had me beaming, then sobbing then feeling every single emotion both Nell and Colt were feeling. The songs, dear god, they set me off and because I was also listening to music on my Ipod, songs that were convenient to that scene appeared and I was a mess. But I did like feeling this way as I’ve said; books that make me sob are great ones.

Nell and Kyle grew up together. Since the moment they were born they have been inseparable and to everyone, it seemed inevitable that one day they would end up together. During one argument, their confusion for how they were looking at each other differently came to light and since that moment, they had been together. From best friends to lovers, it seemed an easy transaction for them both. And it was perfect. As a first love, Jasinda captured what it was all about. From the awkwardness of talking about sex, to the desire they had for one another.

But then, I was on edge, because of the synopsis. I was waiting in suspense of when the death of Kyle would happen. I didn’t like that feeling at all because I was dreading it. Dreading to find out how he would die. And oh god, I cried so much I had to put my kindle down and take a few minutes before I could continue.  My heart broke for both Kyle and Nell.

I instantly loved Kyle. He was the best friend Nell ever had. He was always there for her, making her happy, comforting her when she was sad or upset and he was protective over her. They were both there for each other. When feelings changed for one another, it was inevitable. They grew up together, spent every day together; they knew everything about each other so it was just down to time as to when they would be together.

They were happy-go-lucky, in love with one another, waiting to take the next step all their friends were taking. Shift two years in to the future, and they were the happiest they could have been. Then one night it was all taken from Nell. Kyle was taken from her in the most terrible and perhaps heroic way. He saved her but Nell couldn’t see that. She saw her kill him.

When this scene occurred I, 1. Thanked my stars I wasn’t on the train to work, and 2. Cried my heart out until I just had to shut my kindle down and get some sleep. It was just heartbreaking watching Nell’s reactions and sobs and cries for Kyle, and it just hit my core, the amount of pain they were both feeling, all different types of pain consuming them.

Since that fatal day, Nell was never the same. She didn’t cry anymore, she held all the pain and guilt inside of her, still blamed herself for Kyle’s death and just pottered on in life, having nightmares of that night. She still held on to everything, wanting Kyle back. It choked me up over how she kept all the pain inside and wouldn’t let it out. Kyle was her best friend and boyfriend whom she loved and watching him die that way, I know I would never be the same again.

At the funeral we meet Colton – Kyle’s brother whom Nell has never met. There is this connection between them, they share pain over Kyle but it was more than that. But Nell runs and tries to ignore it. She has just lost Kyle.

When she saw Colton after two years, busking in Central Park, that spark is still there, but so is the pain, for both of them, but more so Nell. Colton can see that and is determined to help her through it. Not to tell her it will all be okay, because it won’t, but just get her to open up, get her to release all the pain and to cry. He sure as hell knows about pain, suffering through his childhood and then the pain he suffered in New York. But he’s dealing with it and tries to help Nell deal with it too.

I loved Colton. Sure he seemed like the tough guy and he was, but he was now reformed. Under all the exterior and the tattoos he was just has broken as Nell, but he found ways to get through it. He was caring, protective and music was his way of speaking. I adored all the music he wrote, they were all heartfelt and had me crying. He wasn’t perfect by any means but he really loved Nell and would do anything to help her through the pain, in turn, helping himself too. His advice and his own past experiences of pain and getting through it were enlightening and truthful. And as I’ve mentioned, they both went through horrific things but together, they were trying to make things okay and less painful.

I liked how things weren’t all rosy and cherries on top, they were both feeling the effects of losing loved ones but together, they made it bearable to live each day and to find love with one another. Even at the end of the book, they were still hurting but being together, falling into each other, they knew they were meant to be and they would always be there, to ease the pain somehow and down the line, maybe erase the pain and just leave the guilt and grief behind and turn it into great memories of lost loved ones.

The sex scenes. Oh heck. Seriously, you’ll be fanning yourself because the chemistry between the two of them is off the scale as is the sex. Colton certainly knows what he is doing and how to bring intense and explosive pleasure to Nell. There’s this overwhelming connection that they both share and it just made the sex between them even hotter. They both know what they want and how to please each other and I just…*sigh* would like a Colton for myself.

Music is a massive factor in this book. The music spoke the emotions that both Nell and Colton are going through. Each song represented what they were feeling, from pain, to love, there was a song for each chapter of their life. And it didn’t help that I was listening to my IPod when I was reading this book and songs relevant to the scenes would play, which in turn made me break down reading the scenes.

Falling Into You, is definitely a Five star book. I loved every second of this book. It’s emotional, but there are parts where I was laughing and smiling despite the theme of the book. You’ll want to hug all the characters, take their pain away too and connect with them, not just through the music but you’ll think about your own losses. Your heart will ache but it will get better, you’ll make it through the book, through Nell and Colton’s journey to try and be okay and in the end, you will be.

You all need to give Falling Into You a read, Jasinda Wilder wrote an AMAZING book!

Posted in Romance, Suspense

Poughkeepsie – Debra Anastasia

13038680Synopsis

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.

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My Review

“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.