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.
Finally, I get to talk about this amazing sequel to one of my favourite books. Well, let me tell you it was everything I expected and much, much more.
There is obliviously a back drop of gangster mentality and turf warfare, especially now Beckett is trying to hang up his boots to protect his family from further harm. This doesn’t work out too well for him and there are elements who would draw him out using his relationships as his weakest link. They don’t know Beckett too well. It’s those emotional ties that make Beckett so dangerous. He will do whatever it takes for those he loves.
Relationships is where RtP shines for me, just like in the original Poughkeepsie. The character interactions and developments are really magnificent.
Something that always strikes me about Debra’s writing is how visceral it is. The reader gets to feel they are right there in the centre of the action, experiencing every moment and emotion with the characters. In the case of Return to Poughkeepsie, almost like they are part of the extended family too. I won’t lie, this sense of being there left me blushing furiously on more than one occasion.
Debra doesn’t hold back. Beckett is a violent criminal and just because he’s trying to turn his life around doesn’t mean he goes soft in this long awaited sequel. If anything, it’s the opposite, Beckett has long since accepted the destructive parts of himself and how he is capable of as much darkness as he is of great, selfless love. His passion floods every page and in this book there are no short cuts to redemption. His scenes with Eve are powerful to the extreme. In book one we learned how Beckett’s influence had first broken Eve’s life and then shaped her into the woman she became. They have more to overcome than most and both realize needing to be with someone isn’t enough to make it happen.
But this book isn’t only about Beckett, he is a puzzle piece slotted into a much larger picture containing an array of individuals. Each individual in turn is their own puzzle made up of pieces they are trying to fit together. Some old and much loved characters return such at Blake and Olivia, who are now coping with life as a young married couple with kids.
Meanwhile there is the complete contrast of Cole and Kyle dealing with the heart wrenching grief of infertility. It’s a sadness that’s all consuming and bleeds from every word these two share. I could practically feel the glass wall neither could quite breach when they tried to embrace each other and ease their pain.
Not one to shy away from tough situations, Debra struck a nerve with a situation surrounding an adult character with special needs. Oh my gosh, my heart leapt from my chest reading some of those passages. My fear for what the character might go through was quite upsetting.
I struggled to empathize with the selfishness of her carer while also trying to understand why the character acted as she did. At one point I struggled to feel sorry for someone I knew Debra meant for me to pity. I found her weak and repulsive in her actions. I know repulsive is a strong gut reaction but this book doesn’t come with a promise all the characters will be lovable, only that they are all human, with all the frailties and strengths of human beings just trying to scramble through life with no road map.
This is a wonderful book. A highly anticipated and remarkable read threaded together as seamlessly as quality silk. A must read going into 2014.
About the author
Debra Anastasia is busy, just like every other mom. There's dinner, the dogs, the two kids, the two kids, and her ongoing battle with...ahem... digestive issues, which combined with her adolescent boy sense of humor makes for colorful and sometimes cringe-worthy social media updates. Her first love and crowning achievement is her thriving career as the weirdest mom on the block.
Her writing started a decent handful of years ago when--along with the animals and humans in her house--the voices of characters started whispering stories in Debra's ear. Insomnia was the gateway to plots that wouldn't give up, wouldn't let go. Now they stalk her everywhere. Halfway through making lunches, a twist takes hold and--fingers full of peanut butter--she finds somewhere, anywhere to write it down.
She's eternally grateful to Omnific Publishing, which has now published four of her books: two in the Seraphim Series and two in the Poughkeepsie Brotherhood Series, as well as her novella, Late Night with Andres. That one is special because 100% of the proceeds go to breast cancer research. (So go get it right now, please!) She also very much appreciates her open-minded readers, who embrace everything she has to offer, with a focus on anti-heroes and bathroom humor.
Debra lives in Maryland with her family. You can find her at DebraAnastasia.com and on Twitter @Debra_Anastasia. But be prepared.
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I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support and encouragement through 2013 and wish all the best for 2014!