Release Day Review: Felony Ever After (a Domino novel)

Felony Ever After by Helena Hunting, Debra Anastasia, Nina Bocci, Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward, Leisa Rayven, Liv Morris, Tijan, J.M. Darhower, Belle Aurora, K.A. Robinson, S.M. Lumetta, Katherine Stevens
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: March 22nd 2016
Links: Ebook • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the authors in exchange for an honest review

***13 Authors put their brains together to write ONE story***

Verity Michaels is new to New York City, but even she knows riding in a stolen a cab is not a normal way to meet someone. Damn it if that tattoo-covered would-be felon isn’t everywhere now, and lighting everything on fire under her skirt.

His name is Hudson Fenn, and he’s frustratingly impossible to pin down. He works as a bike messenger, but has the manners of a prince—along with a strange tendency toward breaking and entering. As much as Verity knows he’s not her type, and likely to land her in jail, she can’t help but find her truest self when they’re together.

Can she be brave enough to give Hudson a real chance? Will he be bold enough to reveal the man beneath the ink, or will his secrecy doom their connection? Also, WTF is the deal with Verity’s boss? No less than thirteen of your favorite romance writers have teamed up to tell this sexy, wacky, snort-inducing tale. With them you’ll visit the world’s most irritating office, a VIP room of questionable cleanliness, and the fanciest apartment a bike messenger has ever inhabited, but you’ll still never see this ending coming.

I absolutely LOVED the idea of Felony Ever After! Thirteen authors collaborating on ONE story – I was really excited to see how it would all work out. While I found the story fun but way over the top, the actual execution of it by all the authors more than impressed me. Despite the slightly different writing styles, I nearly couldn’t tell that each chapter was written by someone else, the story moved so smoothly. I would definitely read another book like this!

Verity Michaels gave up her failed dream job as a photographer and moved to NYC to work an office job with a perverted boss. On her way home one day, a gorgeous tattooed man jumps into a cab with her, offering to split the ride, but soon enough ends up hijacking the taxi and bringing Verity home. Is he a felon or a white knight?

“You’re a total criminal, aren’t you?” she asked, but to her surprise, she was grinning ear to ear.
He shook his head. “Have I stolen your heart yet?”
That stopped her cold. She blinked several times. “What?”
“Don’t answer,” he whispered. “I won’t take it until you give it freely.”

Hudson Fenn is more than just his tattoos and his job as a bike messenger, and he’s determined to show Verity that he’s perfect for her. Hudson is sweet, sexy, and hilarious – but he’s still keeping secrets that Verity is dying to know. He’s a bike messenger by day, but what does he get up to at night?

Felony Ever After is over-the-top hilarity. I laughed so much during this book – it truly is a fun read, even if I didn’t completely love it. The story kind of glosses over things, never really delving into the plot, but it’s a quick, entertaining read. Each author writes one or two chapters at a time, and you really can’t tell that much whenever it switches authors. If you’re a fan of any of the authors of this unique anthology, I recommend you give this book a try, if only to experience this kind of collaboration!

3.5 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


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Blog Tour + Early Review & Giveaway: Return to Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia

Return to Poughkeepsie blog tour

I’m SO happy to be a part of the Return to Poughkeepsie blog tour! I adored Poughkeepsie, and I’m so glad that Beckett is finally getting his own story. Today I’m reviewing Return to Poughkeepsie, and don’t forget to enter the giveaways below!

Return to Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia
Return to Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia
Series: Poughkeepsie #2 (full reading order below)
Release Date: December 30th 2013
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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.

Purchase:
Amazon • B&N

review

Beckett!!! I love this man to death. Seriously. He is rude, abrasive, crude, crass, naughty, and a bad, bad man. BUT he has a heart of freaking gold that holds so much love for the people most important to him: his brothers, their wives and children, and most especially Eve. Eve, the love of Beckett’s life, who is a total babe and badass, who he had to leave so she could find a better life with a better man. Oh, Beckett just makes me swoon–and laugh!

We never got to know what happened to Beckett–where he went, what he did–at the end of Poughkeepsie. But now… we finally get his story! He’s left Eve and his brothers to protect them, because he’s a wanted man. Well, he’s always been a wanted man, but this time, he has to leave for good.

From book 1:

“Know this: I love you so fucking much,” Beckett said. “No other person has been to me what you are. No one else ever will be.” He leaned down and gave her the sweetest, gentlest kiss.

And has Beckett’s love for Eve changed? Not for a single second. This man may have blood on his hands, but he loves with his whole heart. And he knows he has to become a better man in order to come back into the lives of the ones he loves. So for the next 5 years, he becomes a normal man. No more killing, no more illegal dealings. Just him and his new dog, Gandhi (who is just adorable!) and his liquor store.

“Yeah, but, you see, I pictured, like, I don’t know, doing something huge. Saving the world.” Beckett shrugged.
Blake shook his head. “Sometimes you can save someone’s whole world just by smiling at them. Kindness is one of those things that has immense value to the person experiencing it.”

Beckett’s not comfortable being a good man, but he’ll do it for those he loves, because he’s just that kind of man. He’ll do literally anything to keep Eve, Blake, Cole, Livia, and Kyle safe. And if you thought there was some crazy intense action in Poughkeepsie? Wait till you get to Return to Poughkeepsie. Beckett might try to be a good man, but his past life finds a way to catch up with him. Between him and Eve, there wasn’t a dull moment in Return to Poughkeepsie, and I loved it!

Beckett and Eve are hot hot hot together, and I just adore them, but I also loved how we get more of Blake and Livia, and Cole and Kyle! The couples are married, and Blake and Livia even have two adorable children. Getting a glimpse–actually, it’s more than a glimpse, so yay!–into their married lives was so satisfying to read. But it’s not all a happily ever after. Kyle and Cole are having problems with conceiving. No matter how hard they try, Kyle just can’t get pregnant, and it’s heartbreaking to read. But this part of life is real, and I was impressed with how Debra Anastasia conveyed this in the book.

We get introduced to more characters, both good and bad. Like Ryan!! I totally adored him, and the antics of his vindictive ex-girlfriend. There’s a new baddie in town who’s trying to take over Poughkeepsie, but Eve so isn’t going to allow someone to take over her town. I love Eve. I think she’s the bomb. She’s an incredibly skilled killer, but she uses those skills for good to protect those she loves… just like Beckett. And even though 5 years have passed since she’s seen Beckett, she still loves him. The two of them are absolutely perfect for each other. They match each other, challenge each other, and love each other so hard. It was wonderful seeing these two together again, because they deserve to have a happily ever after together, even if they aren’t ‘good’ people.

The only problem I had was with the blurb. I kept waiting and waiting for Livia to be kidnapped, but it never even happens until midway through the book! I did love the book, but I was a little miffed. Still, Beckett stole my heart all over again!

“I love you, Eve. You’re the only heart I have.”

Eeep! The Poughkeepsie series is an absolute must-read! You’ll fall in love with all of the brothers, and the story, romance, and action will keep you riveted.

4.5 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.

Reading Order: Poughkeepsie series

Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia Return to Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia Saving Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia

#1 ~ Poughkeepsie: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Return to Poughkeepsie: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Saving Poughkeepsie: Ebook • Goodreads (Nov. 22, 2014)

about the author

Debra AnastasiaDebra 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.

Goodreads • Twitter • Facebook • Website

giveaway

ebook set of Poughkeepsie and Return to Poughkeepsie

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Review: Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia

Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia

Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia
Series: Poughkeepsie #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 22nd 2011
Purchase: Ebook • Paperback

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.

I don’t even know where to begin with the book. Poughkeepsie was beautiful. Enchanting. And so very, very heartwarming. I loved every single part of this book! From the story to the characters to the writing, everything was flawless. And that last line of the blurb–”racy, profane, funny, and reverent all at once”–perfectly describes Poughkeepsie. This book will make you laugh and giggle, and then sigh and swoon. But there’s also so much action going on too! Poughkeepsie kept me on the edge of my seat, and there was never a dull moment while reading.

Most of the book is mainly about Livia and Blake and their enchanting love story. Livia is just a normal, kind woman who manages to smile every day for this one homeless man in the train station she goes to. And that homeless man is Blake. He’s only 25, but the reasons for why he’s homeless is tragic and so heartbreaking. Blake will make you melt. Even though he has such a painful past, he still manages to have a heart of gold. He is the perfect gentleman, and says the sweetest things. He counts all of Livia’s smiles! *Siiigh*

As he and Livia become closer, as they fall more in love, they have to face problems dealing with Blake’s homelessness and his one other problem that I don’t want to say because it’s a spoiler! I adored reading Blake and Livia’s love story. It’s so raw and emotional and full of love; these two are perfect for each other.

“Me? I want you to be sure,” he said.
“You,” Livia whispered.
“Me.” His eyes were full of intent.
“Always you.” Livia gave him her biggest, heartfelt smile.
“Five hundred.” Blake touched her face as if she might be a mirage and smiled back only when she didn’t disappear.

We also get introduced  to Blake’s brothers Beckett and Cole. They aren’t truly brothers, but they’re brothers in all the ways that count except for blood. They’ve all got matching tattoos to symbolize their brotherhood. A music clef for Blake, who is a piano genius; a cross for Cole, who is a priest’s assistant; and a sword for Beckett, who walked into the bad side of town at the tender age of 18 so he could find a way to rule and protect his brothers. These three have such a powerful, unwavering bond, and I loved the relationship dynamics between them all. With Beckett, he’s rude and crass and so freaking hilarious, but he loves his brothers so, so much. He’d kill for them–actually, he has–and protecting them is his number one priority. Cole and Blake are quieter people, but they are no less loving.

And Blake’s not the only lucky one who gets to fall in love. Livia and Blake are center stage, but Cole and Beckett take the spotlight sometimes too. We get to see all the brothers fall in love, and fight for their loved ones. I fell in love with all the characters and their stories. This book is so unique, and I couldn’t put it down for a second. Poughkeepsie is an absolutely fabulous read, one I highly recommend!

5 hearts!

5-hearts

lacey

Reading Order: Poughkeepsie series

Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia Return to Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia Saving Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia

#1 ~ Poughkeepsie: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Return to Poughkeepsie: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Saving Poughkeepsie: Ebook • Goodreads (Nov. 22, 2014)