Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia

Book description via Amazon:

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.

It was really hard for me to get into this book at first. I just couldn’t get past the fact that a girl falls for a homeless guy who may or may not have mental issues. But I trudged through the first few chapters and I’m glad I did. It was a great story and very well-written even if it started out as a Twilight fanfic (I am not a big fan of Twilight. Sorry!).

I liked Livia and Blake. They were both very gentle, kind-hearted people so when I got past the whole homeless thing, I was rooting for them to end up together. Especially because Blake was such a sweetheart. He may be one of the sweetest book males ever! He had so little, nothing really, yet he did theee most sweetest things for Livia! He did seem to have some mental issues, but Livia not only wanted to fix him, she encouraged him to fix himself. I loved Livia’s sister, Kyle. She was feisty and had the dirtiest potty mouth. She said whatever she wanted, when she wanted, which made for some of the most hilarious banter. The story didn’t revolve around Livia and Blake. A lot of it focused on three different relationships coming together, besides Livia and Blake’s. One relationship was between  Beckett, Blake’s foster brother, and his assistant mercenary, Eve. The other relationship was Cole, another foster brother, and Kyle. This is the first of it’s kind that I’ve read where the book is actually split between different relationships, but I don’t think it took away from the story at all.

Each relationship was unique, so it kept me interested and wanting to find out more. I’m pretty sure if it only focused on Blake and Livia, I would be wanting to know more about these other characters. And while it would be nice to read a second and third book based on the other relationships, I appreciate that the author didn’t leave me hanging with questions and concerns that wouldn’t be addressed for months. It’s not always nice to leave your readers hanging! So this was definitely a nice change.

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