Spotlight/Review: Poughkeepsie Begins by Debra Anastasia




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 didn’t 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 he’s ready to make that
choice—diving 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 Cole’s 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; they’ll 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, you’ll be ready to start the series all over again.

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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. “You’re
missing your boyfriend during his lawn ballet.” He assumed a stance—douche
mixed with confrontational—that 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. “That all you got for me, pink princess?”
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, “Fuck you, Beckett Taylor. Don’t
you ever do that to me again. I’m worth more than that, and you know it.” 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 wasn’t working. He let go of the bleachers and advanced. “You have
some fucking nerve. You’re the one up there prom-queening it with goddamn
She stood 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 she groaned and bit his bottom lip hard enough to draw blood. He put his hand
between 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.
She was shocked.
He stopped kissing and looked her in the face as he spanked her again, more
forcefully this time.
Her “Ow” 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.
“Fuck it.” Beckett picked her up and set her back against the metal support he’d
tried to cling to before.
They weren’t alone. Red tips of cigarettes glowed, gentle murmurs of illicit
behavior could be heard if you knew how to listen for trouble. Still, he held
her 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 stubbed 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, “Go. Cops are here. Go.”
And then Candy, sweet-smelling, homework-doing Candy, stuck her hand in his
jacket’s 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.
“Anything else?” she asked.
And then he slipped the rest of the merchandise in his left pocket into her right
one. She turned and left.
“And don’t you ever talk to me again, Taylor. I have a boyfriend!” She stormed away
as the resource officer stepped up next to him.
“You have a way with the ladies, son.”
“I’m not your son.”
“That’s the truth right there. ’Cause if you were, you’d be on that field kicking
footballs instead of selling at my school.”
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. 

Bj's Reviews

4.5 “Brothers to the End” Stars!

Lovers of bad boy, heroes from the wrong side of the tracks, will not want to miss the Poughkeepsie Begins prequel to the Poughkeepsie Brotherhood Series. Whether you are looking for the answers to all your questions as to how these characters first began their connection, or you are looking for the background to the series to gauge your interest in reading this series, Poughkeepsie Begins is sure to fit your need.

Although chronologically the first, Poughkeepsie Begins is actually the last book written in this series. As this was my first Poughkeepsie Brotherhood Series book, I likely have a totally different perspective than most, but I completely loved the set-up for what I am now sure is a series I must read. I am a complete sucker for underdog romances. Add in a tough, macho alpha hero, and I’m a total goner. As if that weren’t good enough this series sports three heroes all hell bent on protecting others who need their protection, even if their chosen means for achieving these results are certainly completely unconventional.

Their (Beckett’s, Blake’s and Cole’s) story begins in a foster home. While fortunate to have a home at all, the humanity of that home was certainly to be questioned. Beckett, Blake and Cole, however, did their best to shield others from this cruelty and, as part of that process, built a bond with each other stronger than blood.

Even while in high school, Becket moonlighted in the crime underworld in an effort to build a kingdom to protect his brothers, and the others they had taken under their wing, with the only gift nature bestowed him–his hands.

His conviction to the protection of his brothers and others, however, doesn’t go unchallenged when a new good girl, Candy Cox moves to town and takes an interest in him. Beckett knows he isn’t worthy of her, and moreover knows she would never stand by his side if she knew who he truly was, and yet he can’t help but dream of what happiness with her could be like. A happiness he never thought he would even have a chance of achieving. In the end, however, he will need to decide on a choice that may potentially end his chances for happiness forever, but ensure the survival of his brothers and the others he protects.

I can’t wait to see how these characters continue to develop in the books to come!

Source: Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review.

Bj's Reviews Rating