Saturday, 11 January 2014

Review ~ Sempre (Forever 1) by JM Darhower

Reviewed by Donna ~ 5 Stars

“Per sempre.”

“Sempre?”

“Always and forever.”


How comes I have waited so long to read this series? Seriously, I have missed out! It was through the hype for the sequel Sempre Redemption that my book brain was drawn towards this book, I downloaded both books and started…and I couldn’t put them down, in 2 days both books were done, gone…I was a wreck but I knew that I had read 2 really damn good books. I never thought that a book about the mafia would be so interesting and so addictive, but they were. From the first till last page I was there, enveloped in this grisly but incredibly romantic tale that kept me enraptured, I lived and breathed this story and I didn’t want them to end.

This is the story of Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco. Haven was in a bad place when she was rescued by Vincent DeMarco, she was a slave whose father was her master. Since she was born, her life was full of abuse and neglect and she should never have witnessed some of the things that she had. Her nights were full of nightmares and the days were no better either. Always wanting for food, being dirty and living in an outbuilding, to say her life was dire is an understatement. Once “bought” by Vincent she is taken to live with him and his two sons, Carmine and Dominic. Dominic is on the straight and narrow, his life is focused, he does well at school and has a great girlfriend. Carmine is on a downward slippery slope, having witnessed his mums murder and been shot when he was younger, these events left him with issues, deep rooted issues that he lets dictate his life.

Haven is a very complex character, yet considering what she has been through is extremely strong. Having had such a woeful and sheltered upbringing when she is suddenly thrust into her new environment she has a lot of adjusting to do. She can’t comprehend that she is not living the life she once was and works hard to keep the house clean and the men fed, but she is constantly on guard for fear that “bad behaviour” will bring with it serious consequences. It takes Vincent, Carmine and Dominic quite a while to make her see that she actually has a life now and that she needs to grab it with both hands. Whilst she may not be totally “free” so is certainly no longer a slave and the men try to slowly but surely introduce her to the goings on of the outside world.

Carmine has the reputation of a drinker and recreational drug user, he has a constant stream of different girls he uses for sex but never kisses. He does not want to make attachments. His mothers death left him physically and emotionally scarred, he actually feels that he died that day too. The Carmine that exists is just a shell of the person he was. When Carmine finally “notices” Haven it seems that he gets hit by the “Colpo di fulmine” the thunderbolt of love, kaboom as Dominic says. They help each other “heal,” they are so good for one another, two broken souls on a voyage of discovery and this is documented brilliantly. Carmine is so protective over Haven, he totally changes, even going against his dad in some instances. This is a slow build romance and it is beautifully written, extremely emotional and totally and utterly captivating. You can’t help but be moved by their story. However, as with any Mafioso connections, will true love run smooth or with the Cosa Nostra cause problems for these young lovers?


“Love. The word perplexed him. He wasn’t swimming in lust anymore. This was uncharted territory, and he was fucking drowning.”

I would love to rant and rave but it would give away too much of this brilliant story. Be prepared though, have Sempre Redemption downloaded ready to go as you will want to carry on with this captivating story.

“He had finally found his light in the darkness, the spark that snuffed when his mom died reignited in Haven.”

I have found another author that will be an auto download, not only did I fall in love with the story, but I fell in love with the writing style. You could tell that the author had spilled their love and life into this book. I was emotionally connected and emotionally invested and I didn’t want it to end. Such an amazing read, well done JM Darhower!

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