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.


She always found him in the same spot when she got off the return train at night, and again, she’d find his eyes and smile into them. She wondered what could have happened to a seemingly healthy man in his twenties that would leave him on the streets.

Livia goes to grad school in the city to study psychology and every day she takes the train in her hometown, Poughkeepsie. Every day a man sits on the station, homeless, playing with a piece of cardboard. Every day Livia just smiles at him and all the other people on the platform, until the day that everything changes. A bunch of boys bully the homeless man and Livia steps between them, warning them to back off and threatening them with pepperspray and they run off.

“You didn’t have to do that.” When Livia turned, she had to tip her head back to see his face as she handed him his cardboard. He’s beautiful.

The man has beautiful green eyes, hence her nickname for him, Green Eyes and Livia is on unsteady ground for a moment. She tells him to leave the station in case the bullies come back.

“I can’t leave.” Green Eyes took a huge breath. “This is the only place where I get to see you.”

Ta ta ta, a friendship blossoms. Green Eyes is called Blake and a real gentleman, he’s incredibly sweet, caring and protective. Livia starts coming to the train station earlier to see him and stay longer just to talk to him. Slowly, it turns out in something more.

“You’re not the guy at the trainstation. You’re my Blake.”

They fall hopelessly in love, but will it work out? After all, Blake is homeless.

“Blake is an easy soul to love, but a difficult man to hold on to. He has a tremendous sense of pride, which he will not see compromised. He finds no glory in accepting help. If he hasn’t earned it, he want’s no part of it.”

This story is not only about Blake and Livia. You don’t read from one point of view nor from two. You read from more than six point of views. The story is also about Blake’s ‘brothers’ Beckett and Cole aka his best friends, Eve and Livia’s sister Kyle as well. It’s a cobweb of storylines.

Beckett is the town’s bad guy, but really, really bad. Hookers at his doorstep, he owns half the city (the bad parts) and his hands have a lot of blood on them.

Cole works at the Church, but his past and his friendship with Beckett, make it hard for him to be a saint.

Kyle has had tons of boyfriends and hook ups, but never felt like someone really loved her for who she is.

And then there’s Eve. She used to be a good girl, but after a tragic incident, she has taken it upon herself to kill whoever was responsible for that… which happens to be Beckett.

Hasn’t life taught me well enough? Love is not mine to find. I’m a fool. Damn it to hell.

Overall, I really liked this book and the characters. They’re all unique and have a good heart in their own way, but they all have their flaws. Nobody is perfect and the writer is not making them out to be that way, just so we can have a happy and sappy lovestory. And don’t let all the heartwrenching lovequotes fool you.

“I feel like I’ve always loved him, and now I just got lucky enough to find him.”

There’s much more to this story.

“She had to kill him. She had to kill Beckett the next time she saw him or all she’d done to become an exquisite monster would be for nothing.”

But dont’ think it’s all heavy stuff, there are a lot of funny moments too.

“Simple shit makes this chick crap bubbles and rainbows.”

“Liv, we’re going to put our balls into it.” She hugged her tightly.
“When did we get balls?” Livia loved her ridiculous sister.
“Just now.”

“If you’re planning on fucking me to death, I’m so on board with that.”

However, I still missed something. When I finished the book, I wasn’t quite satisfied. And the second thing that bothered me a little, was the language. As in, using sentences to declare each other love that no one would ever say in real life. At those moments I got a little annoyed.

“You make the rest of the beautiful things in the world cry for even trying at all. You make it hard for me to breathe.”

I mean… it gets a little too perfect, right? But apart from those two tiny things, I can’t complain. Debra Anastasia created an original world with original characters and especially Blake helped me look at the world a little differently.

“You’ve smiled at him four hundred and forty six times as of a few minutes ago. He announces the number every time I see him.”

amy calloway sisters

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