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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Sempre by J.M. Darhower - Review

This is a story about sacrifice... death... love... freedom. This is a story about forever. 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. In a world full of chaos, where money and power rule, Haven and Carmine yearn to break free, but a string of events that started before either were born threatens to destroy them instead. Murder and betrayal are a way of life, and nothing comes without a price-- especially not freedom. How much will they have to sacrifice? Can they escape their pasts? And, most of all, what does it mean to be free? Not everything is as it seems, and no one can possibly come out unscathed, but maybe, just maybe, it’ll be worth it in the end.

 Rhonda's Review:

OUTSTANDING!!
Sempre absolutely stole my heart, and there is no chance of getting it back.

J.M. Darhower took a cause she strongly believes in and centered her story around it.  The outcome  was beautiful, this is a story I look forward to reading time and time again.  The only thing I could have asked for was…. more.  Darhower did a fantastic job telling her story, and bringing her characters to life.  I have always loved movies that involved the Italian Mafia like Goodfellas, A Bronx Tale, Donnie Brasco, and of course the all time classic The Godfather.  This book certainly tips its hat, and I loved every bit of it!  There was so much plot to this story, and twists at every turn, there is action, suspense, romance, betrayal, heartbreak, redemption, and self discovery. 

Haven Antonelli was born into the world of human trafficking / slavery.  She has grown up on a ranch in the desert, never having any exposure to the outside world.  Her world consisted of daily chores, and cruelty.  One day, a turn of events finds Haven being taken away from the only place she has ever known, and sets in motion some major changes for her, along with falling in love for the first time.  There are times when Haven seems really young, and other times she seems more mature.  I think this is consistent to her background.  My heart broke for her many times over, but I loved watching the self discovery and seeing her grow into herself.

Carmine DeMarco is the spoiled, self centered, foul mouthed, self destructive, womanizing son of a mobster.  Carmine has lived a life of privilege, having more than he could ask for and taking these things for granted.  He is the high school football star quarterback, has girls throwing themselves at him constantly, and finds himself in trouble on a regular basis.  In spite of all this, he also has his own baggage stemming from childhood, which contributes to his behavior, drinking and drug use. Carmine doesn’t believe in love, girls are only good for one thing.  That is until he wakes up one morning to find a strange girl in his family’s  home.  As he gets to know Haven and sees the world through her inexperienced eyes, he finds himself viewing his own life differently, and falls completely head over heels for her.  Carmine finally finds purpose to his life, and a new direction.  I loved Carmine so much, just adored him. *sigh*

Dr. Vincent DeMarco is tied to the mob, and fighting his internal battles on a daily basis, while trying to keep his son from entering the life he lives as part of the Mafia.  He went as far as to move his sons away from Chicago to distance them from his way of life.  He travels back and forth a lot so he is absent from his home and sons quite often.  After his wife was murdered years earlier, it has been difficult for Vincent to pick up the pieces of his fractured life and find peace and forgiveness  within himself.  On a chance night he saves a girl from her detrimental fate.  Saving this girl causes him a great deal of turmoil in his quest for the redemption and peace he so desperately seeks.

I loved the amazing cast of characters from the primary to the secondary, that’s why I can’t let this review slip by without mentioning Corrado.  For all his faults, he seemed to be the glue that held things together for Vincent and Carmine.  He had his moments with Haven too. Corrado’s wife Celia provided some motherly moments for Haven and Carmine when needed. I thought she was fantastic! And Dominic DeMarco, Carmine's older brother who is such a sweetheart!! I loved the bantering between he and Carmine.  He has a level head, and is supportive of his family, and offers encouragement to Haven at times when she needs it.

Again, I love, love, loved this book!! From beginning to end there was never a time when I wanted the story to move on.  Darhower poured so much love and emotion in to this novel, I laughed, I cried, and she got my adrenaline going.  There are some loose ends left, but I read that this story will continue with another book, I sure hope so because I want to see how this story continues, because my mind hasn't stop working scenarios.  I can’t wait for more SEMPRE!!!

Thank you to J.M Darhower for giving me the opportunity to read this amazing story! 


5 AMAZING STARS!!!





 

7 comments:

Rachel Firasek said...

I'm half thru so I only skimmed this review, but so far everything you've said is perfect. : )

helpmerhonda72 said...

Oh Rachel, I never put spoilers in my reviews, no worries. :-)

Elena said...

Awesome Review Babe! I felt like I re-read the story all over again. Great Job!

I too can't wait for the next novel,the "loose" ends are driving me wild,I need closure before I combust =P

Thanks for pushing me to read it,it's the best of the best! Loved it =)

helpmerhonda72 said...

Awwww... Thanks babe!!

I know what you like! ;-)

sarabara081 said...

I just started this yesterday! Love it so far! Thanks for the review! :)

exclusiverob01 said...

this book is amazing. is there going to be a sequel????

helpmerhonda72 said...

As far as a sequel goes, this is what I found:

http://published.twificcentral.com/2012/01/author-interview/interview-with-j-m-darhower-author-of-sempre/

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