Tag Archives: Review

Review: Return to Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia

Return to Poughkeepsie by Debra AnastasiaBeckett 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.”

Release date December 30, 2013


Wow. Seriously. Wow. I don’t even know where to start. I can’t give away jack with this review, which ties my hands quite a bit *snicker, where’s Beckett* but let me see what I can do…

All the stars. Really. Fast paced and riveting, emotional and heart-wrenching, this story started with a bang and really never slowed down. There were moments–just brief flashes–where you could take a deep breath, but then once again, the action picked up again and you were once again thrust into the story. Just like Poughkeepsie before it, I think Return to Poughkeepsie would make a phenomenal movie.

Not only are all the beloved characters from Poughkeepsie here, but we meet new characters and honestly fall in love with a few of them. How much did I love Ghandi? I really would like a Ryan of my very own. And, dude… Trish? I couldn’t have laughed harder at her antics. At one point I cackled and then looked around to see who heard me.

Which just makes my point about this story and this series. It’s not just a story about a couple, or a family, or some friends. It’s happy, it’s sad, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry. You’ll be absolutely infuriated to the point of swearing and consumed with joy that you won’t be sure you can contain it. Or maybe that’s just me. Nah, it’ll be you, too. I’m sure of it.

Beckett owns me. And Eve… she’s even more amazing here than she was in Poughkeepsie. If ever there was a couple meant to be together, it’s them. There’s plenty of Blake and Livia, Cole and Kyle, but to me, the focus was Beckett and Eve. And I’m so glad.

Since my hands are still tied and I can’t say anymore, go and buy it the moment you can. Inhale it the way I did: enjoy the humor, seethe when life’s unfair, cry when your heart heals. Trust me.

*ARC received for honest review.

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Filed under Beckett, Blake, Cole, Debra Anastasia, Eve, Livia, Poughkeepsie, Return to Poughkeepsie

Review: Where We Fell by Amber L. Johnson

Oliver Bishop is having a seriously bad day. With one diagnosis, his life suddenly has an expiration date. Confused about the numbness he has to the idea of it, he unwittingly puts himself directly in the sights of a girl that just may give him a reason to fight – and to live.

Available on Amazon October 28, 2013

This is a novella? Hmmm… funny, it doesn’t really seem like a novella. Maybe it’s the fully developed characters, or maybe it’s the gripping story line that had me clicking my ‘next’ button in a mad fervor, anxious to know about this diagnosis, what it means for Oliver, how he’s going to handle it. And anxious, I was—I don’t do angst and anxiety well, so walking through his diagnosis and treatment with Oliver made my heart ache. But imagine my surprise when that wasn’t even the hardest part. Nooooo… that came when Oliver is pumped up and excited with wonderful news, but stumbles upon something and interprets with his eyes and not with his heart. His growth as a character is enormous, though, and his ability to step back and right some wrongs, well—

Let’s back up for a minute, I think I’ve jumped ahead. Oliver is about to graduate from high school when he’s diagnosed with Lymphoma. Stunned, he follows a comforting routine of dinner at the diner, where he meets Hannah, a college student and all-around most awesome chick ever. As the summer progresses and Oliver goes through treatment, she’s at his side, offering what he needs almost before he knows he needs it—and certainly before he can even think to ask for it. Their relationship is physically innocent, yet emotionally vast as they begin to rely on each other, connect on countless levels, and form a single unit. Gifting him with a camera and album, she encourages him to record his memories, knowing he’ll look back on them in appreciation once he’s cured. And she’s certain he will be. I don’t have sufficient words for the fabulousness that is Hannah.

Oliver records his summer as he goes through treatment and falls in love with Hannah. When she returns to college, he plans to regain his strength and surprise her the moment he’s able.

But… well, you have to read it from here; I don’t want to give it away.

Where we fell favorite

Trust me that every heart clench and every tear shed will be worth it. The range of emotion in this book is enormous, spanning the lowest, most aching pain to dry-eyed shock to heartwarming love. And everything you can imagine in between. As I said at the start, this doesn’t feel like a novella. It’s such a complete story, it spans such emotion, and the characters are so well written. I’m impressed with the author’s ability to fit that into a 25,000-word novella.

So, eight hundred million stars. Or five. I think I’m only allowed to give five.

Thank you to Amber L. Johnson for providing me with a copy of Where We Fell in exchange for an honest review.

About Amber L. Johnson:

Amber is a full time mom, full time wife, is employed full time, and writes when she can. She believes in Happily Ever Afters that occur every day – despite the obstacles that real life serves up on a regular basis. Or perhaps they’re sweeter simply because of them. She always has 2 rubber bands on her wrist, a song in her head, and too much creamer in her coffee cup that reads ‘Cocoa’ – because she’s a rebel. If she’s not at her desk, with her boys, or behind the computer, she’s supporting live music with her arms raised above her head and eyes closed, waiting for the drop.
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Filed under Amber L. Johnson, novella, review, romance