Feb 4, 2013

Sempre by J.M. Darhower


Book Description:

Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco had vastly different childhoods. Haven, a second-generation slave, grew up isolated in the middle of the desert, her days full of hard work and terrifying abuse. Carmine, born into a wealthy Mafia family, lived a life of privilege, never having to answer for anything he did. Both now seventeen, a twist of fate causes their worlds to collide, making them question everything they ever believed. Entangled in a web of secrets and lies, they learn that while different on the surface, they have more in common than anyone would think.


Christina's BookReview


Haven Antonelli has not lived a normal life. Born and raised as a slave to the Antonelli family, Haven has is a victim of human trafficking. A crime that is still sadly very real.  When Haven tries to escape her life she is finally given the one ray of hope that can change her life. Although Haven isn’t free she is given the chance to finally experience some semblance of a normal life when Vincent DeMarco “rescues” her. Life with the DeMarco’s is something new to Haven and as she starts to “serve” them Haven is now learning to become much more than a survivor.  Haven finds the one thing that she has never had…hope. And hope comes in a very unlikely form.

Carmine DeMarco is your class act jerk. He goes about life with no worries, no cares and definitely no filter. Carmine says what he wants, when he wants and how he wants. There’s nothing that can hurt him because he has buried the pain. Carmine DeMarco is set to become the Principe of La Famiglia and there’s nothing he wants more.  When Haven walks into his life nothing will ever be the same. Colpo di fulmine. Love strikes these two unexpected souls and life for Carmine and Haven will never be the same.

Will Haven ever be free? Will these two fight for their love? Or will life be too much for them to handle?



Okay so first things first. This book was FANTASTIC! I’ve been told to read this book for some time now but didn’t have the chance. When I finally did, I saw what everyone had been raving about.  

From the very first page Sempre will suck you in and capture your attention until the very last page. 

This story is one that will always stay with you. I can guarantee that. Haven and Carmine’s story is one filled with sadness, angst, love, devotion and pain. A story that feels as real as it comes.

“Human trafficking is the second most lucrative crime in the world, making more money every year than Google, Nike, and Starbucks combined.”

That’s what you first read when starting this book and it is, sadly, the truth. This is a world we see through Haven’s journey. Haven was born and raised a slave and when the book begins we are given a strong dose of it. She is then taken to the DeMarco resident and expects to be treated the same. But Vincent DeMarco isn’t like her previous Master. In her new life Haven learns to finally live, to love, to speak up, to read and write among other great things a normal girl should be doing at her age. She learns what it is to truly be a “free” woman. And none of it was possible without the help of the one person that burrowed into her heart and opened their heart to her.

Sheesh…what can I say about Carmine? Hmm…he is one bad-ass, angst ridden, foul mouthed beautiful creature! My first impression of him was just an eye roll. He didn’t give a shit about anyone and was a Class A asshole. But wow was I just…slightly wrong. :-) Although his temper does not change throughout the book we do see his tenderness, his love, and his unbreakable devotion for Haven and those he care about.  The way he fought for Haven was something that will have girls’ hearts melting. When Darhower wrote this book she knew what she was doing. She was giving us a guy that will make us swoon for a very long time…maybe SEMPRE. My only concern with Carmine was his short fuse and temper. He thought with his heart all the time instead of his head. For a normal person that is fine. But for a Mafia Principe that was not good. 

Which brings me to the Mafia aspect of the story. Wow…just wow. Reading this book is like a wake up call for people that take things like that lightly. It’s gritty, grimy, and fucking crazy! The characters you meet in this book are some of the most lethal motherfuckers in the world. Well at least in the world the book is set in. :-) From Vincent DeMarco’s cool and collected scary demeanor to Corrado’s “take no prisoners” personality.

I have to mention the secondary characters because without them it just wouldn’t have worked. First there is Maura, Carmine’s mother. She was the one that saved Haven’s life and the catalyst for all that happened. You will love her or at least what you hear about her. Then there’s Celia, Corrado wife. She was sweet and caring although she is the wife or a mafia lord. Through her you saw that because you marry someone that does bad things it doesn't mean that they are bad or that anyone who loves them is. I liked her character because of that. Then there’s Dominic DeMarco, who’s just adorable, loving, caring and just damn great! He’s the big brother everyone wants. I enjoyed having him apart of the book. Then there’s my favorite, Nicholas. If there was something I loved about Haven and he being “friends” it was that he listened to her, he didn’t judge her and he always tried to make her laugh. His jokes were so corny but so fucking adorable that you totally love him or at least like him during the book.  He was great and I’m devastated about his circumstances (no spoiler, you will see when you read).

So okay I think I ranted a lot. :-P I just really enjoyed this book. 

There were things I didn’t like though, one of them being Carmine’s possessiveness. Second being, that the story dragged with mundane everyday life for Haven and Carmine. It could have done without some of the “filler” stuff.  Third being, Nicholas circumstances.  This is why Sempre only got 4.5 Stars. A really high 4.5 Stars. :-)

But don’t let those things sway you from reading this. You should read it! And if you don’t then we aren’t friends anymore…:-D just kidding. 

 BUY this. READ it. LOVE it.  


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