Review + Excerpt: Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia

by 10:52 PM 2 comments
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?

Overall Thoughts:
I was captivated from the very first page! No lie.

Poughkeepsie begins with the lovely Livia McHugh going to school via the train station. Every morning at the train station, she smiles at a certain green-eyed stranger named Blake Hartt. Now even though Blake is a beautiful and kind man, he's also homeless, so most people don't even give him the time of day. When a group of mean boys start harassing him, Livia steps in to defend him, which is how the two officially meet, but she doesn't realize that Blake has counted every smile she's ever sent his way.

They start talking and Livia finds that she enjoys being friends with Blake way more than she likes being the girlfriend to her long-time boyfriend, Chris. Blake continues to secretly count her smiles as he introduces her to his family, which consists of his 2 foster brothers: Beckett, an intimidatingly large man with an evil job, past, and life but has a soft spot for his brothers, and Cole, who is the complete opposite of Beckett because he's a sincere, trust-worthy Christian man.

As Livia and Blake fall harder and harder for one another, things start spiraling out of control. She learns more about Blake's traumatic past that has left him with a lot of self-issues; Blake has trouble dealing with the fact that someone other than his brothers could actually love him; Cole is shocked to find himself infatuated with a fiery girl named Kyle, otherwise known as Livia's little sister; and Beckett's thrown off course when he gets the hots for a hard-core chick named Eve and finds out that his dangerous job puts them all in absolute danger.

What I liked about this book:
This book has so much action in it!!! The characters are all so colorful and have their own pasts and stories. It was interesting to see the many different personalities come together in this book.

Also, there was tons of romance! Hot, believable, passionate romance that would not allow me to look away for even a split second.

What I disliked about this book:
There wasn't really anything that I disliked about this book, but I will give you a warning: The romance got steamy at times... really steamy. I didn't mind this at all, but just so you know.

I was addicted. I was touched. I was completely floored.        



She heard him in her ear again. “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 training she’d received from her father about being alone with a strange man tickled the edges of her brain, but she refused to acknowledge it.

“If they’d caused you pain, I’d never have been able to live with myself,” he said as he backed up a step.

“Watching you get attacked would have been more painful than taking a slug to the face,” Livia said. “You might want to find another place to sit. Those idiots could cook up a plan for revenge.”

Instead of being the friendly advice Livia intended, her words seem to slice into him.
Why is he in such pain?

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

He looked like a man who’d just bet his entire fortune and laid his cards on the table.

Carmen Shaw


Carmen N. Shaw is currently a biology major at Georgia State University. She is the owner and developer of the book blog, Understanding Carmen's Story.


  1. Oh my gosh, I just read your review and I'm already adding it to my wishlist. Without a doubt! I hadn't heard anything about it before, but seems like a highly enjoyable story to read. And if there are steamy scenes, woohoo! lol

    Great review :)

  2. Great review! I've been wanting to read this book for a while now and your review made me want to read it asap!


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