Series: Poughkeepsie Brotherhood #0.5
on November 22nd, 2015
Genres: Dark Romance
Buy on Amazon
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
It ends with the beginning.
This legendary, indie, cult-favorite series ends its tale with the story of the Poughkeepsie brotherhood before the tattoo. Before the train station, before the church, before a criminal empire there was a foster home and three teen boys who chose each other as family, because the ones they were born into didnÔÇÖt exist.
Still in high school, Beckett is already laying the groundwork for a grander life ahead, one where his brothers want for nothing and get some respect for once. But even as he plans, Beckett must decide if heÔÇÖs ready to make that choiceÔÇödiving in to a life that trades his chance at a future, his chance at something as simple as first love with a girl named Candy Cox, for their chance to find happiness.
Blake, Beckett, and ColeÔÇÖs devotion to each other is forged by fists and the driving need to belong somewhere, to do more than just survive this life. Readers of the series know they each get there in the end, but before we count smiles, we must first shed tears. These early days of the Poughkeepsie brotherhood will play on your heartstrings before serrating them with a knife; theyÔÇÖll lift your soul with music, only to leave you with nothing but a desperate prayer for hope.
And when you reach the end of the beginning, youÔÇÖll be ready to start the series all over again.
Does Debra Anastasia know her readers or what? As soon as I finished Poughkeespie Begins, I wanted to crawl back into the lives of Beckett, Blake and Cole and dive in to a re-read of the Brotherhood series. These boys, who later become outstanding men, kinda own me. I love every bad thing about them (errr, Beckett) and their incredible resilience. The story line is mesmerizing and wholly addictive. But this review is about Poughkeepsie Begins, a treat release if there ever was one.
We come to know and love these men throughout the three book series, but Poughkeespie Begins is a wonderful snapshot to the time when their connection was forged, when they created their “…all three of us or none” creed and the blueprint that is their family. Although there are many secondary characters that create strife and take the boys to task, there are a few characters that standout in this book for good reasons. With the introduction of Candy Cox and their foster sisters, Summer and Wintery, the genuine and altruistic nature at the core of each of these young men is highlighted. This is certainly one of the leading factors that led me to love these boys so much. The story is woven around the months leading up to the boys gaining their freedom from the foster family (and the monster foster father) that brought them together.
We see Cole, probably the most damaged of them, take on and bring to heel one adversary, only to be subjected to a massive set-back when he is close to aging out of the foster system. With Blake, we see his early struggles with his condition, how he develops his love for music and seals his fate. Blake has a sweet and sentimental nature that drives the love he feels for his brothers – he is always, always at their backs and at times is more of a risk taker then one would think. And Beckett…he may be a bad seed and there is no doubt that he does very bad things, but all that melts away when he’s focused on his girls. It’s fun to see the early glimpse of his biting humor and how a little thing like the “Pink Princess”, Candy Cox, gets under his skin. For this alone I wanted to bow down at her feet. She was easy to love, and easy to envy. As the new girl, she tries to keep an open mind and to try keep the peace, but under it all there is one thing that pushes her sensible side away – her feelings for Beckett. Beckett’s caustic wit and raw sensuality no doubt being part of his allure.
I finished the three book series a year ago and it remains one of my favorites. The strife, their camaraderie and compassion, the adversity the overcome, is enough to break your heart, while bolstering your love for the underdog’s that they are. This story stole my breath and a few hours of sleep too. Debra Anastasia is one of the rare writers that can make a small group of teenage hoodlums and misfits literary hero’s. Poughkeepsie Begins is MUST read is a 5 ++ Star read.
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When she ducked under the bleachers, he was a dick, right off the bat. His buzz was wearing off, but he was still high and broken at the closeness of her. ÔÇ£YouÔÇÖre missing your boyfriend during his lawn ballet.ÔÇØ He assumed a stanceÔÇödouche mixed with confrontationalÔÇöthat he knew stopped people. It set up his walls real nice. With everyone.
Everyone but her. She walked right up to him. She pushed him hard once, twice, until his back hit one of the supports. And then she slapped him.
He took the slap and rolled his eyes. ÔÇ£That all you got for me, pink princess?ÔÇØ
And then she was kissing him. Oh, God. Kissing him and palming him with the same ferociousness he felt. He grabbed the metal behind him to keep from attacking her and nailing her right on the concrete floor littered with cigarettes and chip bags.
She pulled away and slapped him again, growling, ÔÇ£Fuck you, Beckett Taylor. DonÔÇÖt you ever do that to me again. IÔÇÖm worth more than that, and you know it.ÔÇØ She stepped back, leaving cold space and his heated erection between them.
He swallowed, his pounding heart trying to beat some common sense into his brain again. It wasnÔÇÖt working. He let go of the bleachers and advanced. ÔÇ£You have some fucking nerve. YouÔÇÖre the one up there prom-queening it with goddamn Ryler.ÔÇØ
She┬ástood her ground as he came at her. And he knew he was intimidating. Shit, full-grown men stepped aside when he was coming. But Candy raised her chin. He was amazed at the fight in her, right there. He pulled her into a dip, just like fucking Pyler had, except he did it like a man who wanted a woman and knew what to do with her body. Candy needed to push him away; she needed to turn her
Instead┬áshe groaned and bit his bottom lip hard enough to draw blood. He put his hand┬ábetween her legs and dragged it up to her breast, squeezing hard so she would feel it through her coat. She sunk her nails into the skin at his neck. She was a buried treasure. He was sure as fuck no one knew about this side of her. Only he could get her panting like she was. He spanked her bottom once.
ÔÇ£Ow.ÔÇØ She was shocked.He┬ástopped kissing and looked her in the face as he spanked her again, more┬áforcefully this time. Her ÔÇ£OwÔÇØ was quieter, and the hunger in her eyes far deeper than her years.
Again he spanked her. And this time she purred. Fucking purred. He began slow, circular caresses over the denim that covered her ass. He was desperate to see the red imprints from his hand.
ÔÇ£Fuck it.ÔÇØ Beckett picked her up and set her back against the metal support heÔÇÖd tried to cling to before.
They werenÔÇÖt alone. Red tips of cigarettes glowed, gentle murmurs of illicit behavior could be heard if you knew how to listen for trouble. Still, he heldher against the pole and mimicked the motions he was desperate to do with her. He dropped his mouth to the zipper on her coat, which kept her safe from all
his intentions. He used his teeth to pull it down to her cleavage. He buried his face, licking and nuzzling her sweet-smelling neck. He used his chin to move material so he could access more of her chest. She smelled like goddamn candy. His dick could pack gunpowder in a cannon it was so fucking hard. After a moment, the murmurs added up. Too many. He glanced around and noticed the cigarettes being ┬átubbed out. He let his prize slide down the metal gently. He leaned down to kiss her lips, then her forehead, right under the edge of her fuzzy hat before whispering, ÔÇ£Go. Cops are here. Go.ÔÇØ
And then Candy, sweet-smelling, homework-doing Candy, stuck her hand in his jacketÔÇÖs hidden pocket and took the gun out. He pulled her hands and his gun close to make sure the safety was on before letting her tuck it into her bra.
ÔÇ£Anything else?ÔÇØ she asked.
And then he slipped the rest of the merchandise in his left pocket into her right one. She turned and left.
ÔÇ£And donÔÇÖt you ever talk to me again, Taylor. I have a boyfriend!ÔÇØ She stormed away as the resource officer stepped up next to him.
ÔÇ£You have a way with the ladies, son.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£IÔÇÖm not your son.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£ThatÔÇÖs the truth right there. ÔÇÖCause if you were, youÔÇÖd be on that field kicking footballs instead of selling at my school.ÔÇØ
When Beckett was let off with a warning due to lack of evidence, his one thought was of her. Candy was so perfect for him it hurt.
There are a lot of eyes in Debra Anastasia’s house in Maryland. First, her own creepy peepers are there, staring at her computer screen. She’s made two more sets of eyes with her body, and the kids they belong to are amazing. The poor husband is still looking at her after 17 years of marriage. At least he likes to laugh. Then the freaking dogs are looking at herÔÇösix eyeballs altogether, though the old dog is blind. And the cat watches her too, mostly while knocking stuff off the counter and doing that internal kitty laugh when Deb can’t catch the items fast enough.
In between taking care of everything those eyes involve, Debra creates pretend people in her head and paints them on the giant, beautiful canvas of your imagination. What an amazing job that is. The stories hit her hard while driving the minivan or shaving her legs, especially when there’s no paper and pen around. Within all of the lies she writes hides her heart, so thank you for letting it play in your mind.
Debra has written a smattering of books in a few genres. There are two paranormal romances in the Seraphim series and now four contemporary romances in the Poughkeepsie Brotherhood series. Fire Down Below is the first in the comedic Gynazule series, with the second, Fire in the Hole, coming in late 2015. The Revenger, a dark paranormal romance, is lurking in the wings, waiting for its upcoming debut, and the last, a novella called Late Night with Andres, is special because 100% of the proceeds go to breast cancer research. (So go get it right now, please!)
You can find her at DebraAnastasia.com and on Twitter @Debra_Anastasia. But be prepared…