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'm giving this mother-effin book 5++ stars...like for real! LOL.
I'm not sure how to accurately review this book. Lets begin with,I LOVED IT!!!. Its such a rare treat to find a story that not only has you in tears, but also makes you giggle and laugh at the same time. This book had it all. Tons and tons of drama, heartache, laughter, violence, and lets not forget the explicit banter. Having a sailor mouth myself, I ate it all up and loved every minute of it. I felt the language just added more hidden beauty to the story. In addition to the multitude of explicit language, there were also plenty of gentleman-like talk to balance it all out. The story needed this balance, simply because the characters wouldn't have been the same without it. Speaking of characters, this story had a fantastic cast of characters, I adored all of them. They made me get absorbed in their story. We had the brothers, which consisted of Blake, Beckett and Cole, though towards the end, included Mouse :) Then there are the heroines: Livia & Kyle McHugh and Eve.
Blake & Livia: The story ultimately revolves around this couple. Blake is first and foremost a gentleman. He is sweet, kind, & romantic. However, Blake is homeless and constantly struggles with his past wrongs. Livia is kind and believes everyone deserves a smile. Blake is captivated when Livia first smiles at him at the train station, his home. Ever since that first smile, he's been counting her smiles. Blake makes sure he is always there to receive Livia's smiles, before she boards the train and after she disembarks for the evening. The story of smile number two hundred and eighty six made me cry (you just have to read it to find out why). There are many roadblocks this couple has to go through to get their HEA, but it made for wonderful reading.
Beckett & Eve: This story could not be what it is without Beckett. I adore Beckett. Beckett knowingly sold his soul to the devil to make his brothers' lives easier. Beckett is a beautiful soul, though its far from obvious. He's a foul-mouthed gangster. He's a big-time pimp & drug dealer. He does everything for his brothers. Blake, Beckett and Cole aren't related by blood, but the three are deeply connected to each other and are bonded by their horrible foster care experience. If you mess with his brothers, you will feel his wrath. Eve works for Beckett as his stealthy assassin. Beckett realizes that Eve's initial plan was to kill Beckett himself. Beckett unknowingly starts a series of misfortunes that ultimately resulted in Eve loosing her fiance and unborn baby. Though she's out for revenge, she just can't seal the deal, no matter how many times the opportunity presented itself. She finds herself falling for Beckett and vice versa. But is loving Beckett enough? And can Beckett live with her decision?
Cole & Kyle: Cole is a man of faith. Though he isn't a full pledged priest, he aspires to be one. He keeps his brothers grounded. He wants to save them. Kyle is Livia's baby sister. They are extremely close. Their banter borders on hilarity at times. She is hilarious. Her foul-mouth can give Beckett a run for his money. The things that come out of her mouth had me laughing. I love Kyle. However, Kyle has multiple issues, mostly involving her mother. She tries to placate her problems by sleeping around. While speaking with Livia, Kyle explained her need to sleep around and why Cole is different:
"Do you know how many guys I've been with?" Kyle asked, meeting her eyes for just a moment. "So many. You know why? Because in that moment, just before you let them f*** you, you're the center of their universe. It lasts just seconds, but I like that feeling. I crave that feeling."
"This morning-last night? Whenever it was, standing in the church in front of him? I had that feeling. I was the center of his universe. And we had all our clothes on. That feeling lasted for hours."
Ying and Yang. It was a great sub-plot reading about these two.
Mouse: I just have to mention Mouse, because why not? I LOVE Mouse. He works as muscle for Beckett. He is big, he's bad, he's smart and fiercely loyal to Beckett. The kicker, he loves to knit. He was even knitting ski masks for their next bank job. I simply loved it. He made me laugh and he definitely made me cry. Love you Mouse :)
I apologize for the lengthy review, but it just had to be done. I'm sure I still missed a lot of what I wanted to say, but no matter what, I just can't do this book any justice. It was a wonderfully written story and I give HUGE props to the fabulous author for sharing it. I HIGHLY recommend!