November 2015 Book of the Month & Giveaway

January 4, 2016 03:28 PM Posted by juliannadouglas

Due to the busy nature of the holidays, I fell behind on my Book of the Month posts, so I'm excited to finally bring you some new reading recommendations. November was an excellent reading month for me. Four out of the five books I read that month ended up receiving five stars from me. That must be some kind of record.:-) I had a hard time deciding which one to highlight as my book of the month, but since my focus as both a reader and a writer is romance, I ultimately decided on the only one that was actually a romance novel. It's the second in a series that isn't quite like anything I've ever read before. It's kind of a family saga, except in this case, the family is a band of three brothers who grew up together in foster care and are unrelated by blood. In their case, though, they couldn't be closer if they were blood brothers. They were all abused, both in their foster home and before by their blood families, so they made a commitment to always look out for one another.

Beckett, the oldest, sees it as his sworn duty to protect Blake and Cole, and he did it by becoming the baddest, bad-ass gangster Poughkeepsie has ever seen. He's done terrible things in his life, including murder and being involved in nearly every illegal activity know to man, but he did it all to set himself up as an invincible foe to anyone who might try to hurt his brothers. Now that Blake and Cole are settled with new wives and building their own families, Beckett is a lost soul. His love for Eve, a woman who used to work for him, makes him want to be a better man to be worthy of her, so he leaves town to start a new life that doesn't involve crime. However, five years later, he is drawn back into the life he left behind when his sister-in-law is kidnapped by a new gangster who's moved into his old territory.

Eve lost everything when her husband and baby became collateral damage in one of Beckett's crimes. She then devoted herself to becoming a lethal assassin with the intention of infiltrating Beckett's operation and killing him for revenge. She ended up falling in love with him instead. He promised to come back for her, but after waiting on him for five years, she's decided to move on with her life. When she hears that someone new is trying to take over Beckett's old stomping grounds, she gets herself hired by them to try to put a stop to it, and when her cousin, Blake's wife is taken by her employer, Eve will stop at nothing to get her back. But how will she handle it when Beckett finally waltzes back into her life on the same mission?

There are so many reasons why this book shouldn't have worked for me: it's dark and gritty, I'm not usually a fan of uber alpha heroes or heroines, I'm not really a fan of rough, almost violent love scenes. But somehow the book just draw me in and won't let go. I love its uniqueness, I love the family drama, and the author never fails to wring plenty of emotion, angst, and vulnerability from her characters that allow me to connect with them on a deep level. To me, an author being able to make me like things I typically wouldn't like is the mark of a truly great writer. That's why I'm naming Debra Anastasia's Return to Poughkeepsie as my November Book of the Month. If you like dark, emotionally intense stories of love and loyalty, not just of the romantic variety but also of the familial variety, then you should definitely give this book and the entire Poughkeepsie series a try. Keep reading to learn how you can win a copy for your own library.

Return to Poughkeepsie Book Cover 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.

Warning: This book contains quite a bit of strong and/or crude language that may offend some readers. Also the sexual content is a mixed bag. The love scenes for the secondary characters are sweet and sensual with only a moderate amount of detail, but Beckett and Eve's love scenes tend to get pretty rough and include the use of a sex toy and asphyxiation, giving theirs a more erotic feel.

Read my complete review of Return to Poughkeepsie.


If you would like to win a copy of Return to Poughkeepsie to see how wonderful it is for yourself, just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. One lucky winner will receive an eBook of the book. I will gift it to them via the eBook retailer of their choice (Amazon or B & N). Good luck!

International Entrants: You are welcome to enter my contest, but please note that not all eBooks are available in all countries due to copyright restrictions. If this is the case, Amazon does offer an option to trade for a gift card (I'm not sure about B & N). Also, I'm only able to gift the eBook via US retailers, and apparently due to the book being an indie published title, the price seems to vary widely between the US and most other countries. Therefore the amount I pay for the eBook here (currently $2.99 USD) may not fully cover the cost in your region.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Categories: Book of the Month, Giveaways

Tags: Debra Anastasia, Poughkeepsie