Sunday 2 November 2014

Review ~ Made (Forever 0.4) by JM Darhower

Reviewed by Donna ~ 5 stars!! (but that is seriously not enough)

“What made you this way?” He blinked away the light rain as it hit his long lashes, and after decades of no comment, he finally… finally… broke his silence. “Sweetheart, I wouldn’t even know where to begin.”

I am sitting here, tears streaming down my face just trying to come to terms with what I have just read. I have to take my hat off to JM Darhower because there are no words that could articulate just how brilliant this book is. I loved with a passion Sempre and Sempre Redemption and didn’t think that JM Darhower could exceed them, but not only did she exceed them, she blew them out the water.

I loved Corrado Moretti from the time I first read about him, he was an enigma and I was intrigued about the man nicknamed the Kevlar Killer. I always felt that this man was intrinsically deep, he kept himself to himself, showed no emotion, was completely cut off and only had one Achilles heel, that being his wife Celia. I wanted, no needed to know what had happened that had shaped this man to be what he was today. Don’t get me wrong, he was honourable, he was fiercely loyal, protective, and ruthless but in his own way he was always a bit insecure in himself, he didn’t believe he had the capacity to love and be loved. Corrado never showed any attachment or emotion, only with Celia, so how had she infiltrated this man of steel? What was so different about Celia? We soon see that Corrado does in fact have the propensity to love and when he does, he falls hard, irrevocably, that forever kind of love. The blinkers are on, no other woman exists, this is the woman that he is prepared to die for, to kill for, and she is his forever, his soul mate, his reason to live. This relationship is truly beautiful and a match made in heaven, but where did it all begin?

"You're worth more than a moment, Celia," he said, reaching out and grabbing her hand again. "I'd rather give you a lifetime."

This is where JM Darhower’s literary genius shines through, so descriptive was the prose it felt like I was a bystander looking in and watching this child grow up. Thought provoking, emotional, gut wrenching at times, but we finally see what maketh the man.

From the first page I knew that I was going to be destroyed reading this, when you try and fathom a background for a character that you know nothing about you run through so many scenarios, but nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to read. Corrado’s childhood was awful, I mean truly awful. The only person he had fighting in his corner was his dad Vito and him being in the Mafia meant that he was away from home all the time. Corrado was left at home with his mother and sister, his twin sister. We live Corrado’s childhood through Corrado’s eyes and you cannot help but imagine and feel everything that happened. This is where my allegiance to Corrado begins. This is where I became his protector, like a tigress with her cub, anyone that hurt him was on my shit list and there are quite a few on there. But it is through these early chapters that we really see why Corrado is like he is, like I said, heart breaking. Words cannot comprehend and I wish I could just use this review to vent but I don’t want to give anything away, but those early chapters killed me, kudos to JM Darhower because they were raw but just so perfect.

I have to pick out one scene in particular and that is Corrado’s beginning through his father’s eyes. Father and son don’t often have a heart to heart, but how Corrado took his first breath will forever be ingrained into my heart and head. This scene was brutal, but just so perfect, the tears fell freely, but this scene showed a totally different side to Vito and one that totally cemented my hatred of another character.

“The part of him, he guessed , that had died the day of his birth. The part of him that never got brought back to life. It was a part of him that knew nothing of sunshine, of happiness, of love, of compassion. His heart didn't beat. His lungs didn't breathe . He was a walking corpse. The living dead.”

This book lives Corrado’s life from beginning to part way through Sempre Redemption. We get a lot of background on him, Celia, Vincent and Maura, Antonio and the rest of the gang. How Corrado entered the Mafia, his fight to earn his place and prove his worth, the immense recognition he earned from Antonio, how trusted he became and how him and Antonio could communicate through looks alone, these two together were unstoppable. We learn how Corrado became a MADE man, all questions are answered, all loose ends are tied up in a pretty bow and some not so pretty. But one thing I can take away from this book is that Corrado was more of a man than I ever gave him credit for, my eyes have been opened and I love this character with a passion. I may feel an immense amount of sorrow for his childhood and what he had to go through to get where he was, but he made the best out of the bad hand he was dealt. He became indispensable, he more than made his mark on so many lives, he may not have thought himself worthy, but he was worth more, so much more.

“Gotta do what we gotta do, any means necessary to make it out alive. And besides, people should never be punished for protecting family, no matter what."

As I have said, I love Corrado, this book was more than I ever could have imagined. I championed for his book and I was not disappointed. JM Darhower should be immensely proud of this book, by far her best book to date. I kneel down before you, Queen of Mafia, truly fantastic book, no amount of superlatives could do this book justice so I am just going to say READ it and if you haven’t read Sempre and Sempre Redemption, please read them in order, it is a fantastic series and one of my all-time favourites.

“But I named you Corrado… my wise, brave ruler." "Why not Vito Junior?" "Vito Junior died," he said, matter-of-fact. "You're the one who made his way back."”

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