Christine's Review: Sempre (Forever #1) by J.M. Darhower

Monday, October 06, 2014
Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco grew up under vastly different circumstances. Haven, a second-generation slave, was 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 and excess. Now, a twist of fate causes their worlds to collide. 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 began before either of them were born threatens to destroy them instead.
Murder and betrayal are a way of life, and nothing comes without a price-especially not freedom. But how much will they have to sacrifice? Can they escape their pasts? And, most of all, what does it mean to be free?



Colpi di fulmine. The thunderbolt as Italians call it. When love strikes someone like lighting, so powerful and intense it can't be denied.

I've known about this book for a very long time, and everyone told me to read it. But for some reason I kept postponing it, until I just forgot about. But then I finally decided that I might as well read since the two books I've read by JM Darhower were both 4 or more stars. And I'm so glad I did! This is by far the best book by this author... in my opinion. If you're looking for an epic love story, about love that overcomes the most trying obstacles and characters that will make you want to cry, hit something and basically feel intense emotions, well then, here you go!

Haven, was born into slavery, besides knowing that her mother loves her, it's the only other thing she's ever known. Her Master is a cruel man, she's never known kindness from anyone else but her mother. Until one day she decides to run, the same day she meets Dr DeMarco, the same day she starts her new life.

So for some reason this book almost destroyed my emotions, I'm not sure if it was because Haven was a just a young girl, who'd been so badly abused. Malnourished, beaten... Gah! I just can't! I mean it got me thinking! Somewhere in the world some girl is living the same life and there's no Dr DeMarco or sweet Carmine to save her. That's just how it is.

So how would you feel if you'd never known how freedom felt, and suddenly you were given just a small taste of how it would feel to be free. Haven's character was so strong, she's been added to my very short list of female characters I love! When Dr DeMarco, takes her to his home, her life becomes very different. This is one of those books where you'll love the characters one moment and hate them the next which is how I felt about Vincent and Carmine DeMarco. I loved them in the end but sometimes I felt like throat punching them because I felt like they were so insensitive to Haven's previous life. Especially Dr DeMarco, (view spoiler)

Carmine, started off being the arrogant and spoiled star athlete in the book. He had absolutely no regard for anyone but himself, he was promiscuous and didn't have much respect for women. That is until he sees Haven and gets to know her. Haven changed Carmine so much, her appreciation for the littlest things opened his eyes to the world. By the end of this book, Carmine knew about sacrifice and being prepared to lay down his life for the one he loves.

The first half of this book was pretty good for me and I thought I was going to give it a solid fours stars. It started off very well, the combination of heart wrenching scenes and reading about Haven's struggles with acclimating herself to her new life and her budding relationship with Carmine kept me engaged. But the next half of the book was what finished the deal for me, mystery, action, romance and angst are some of the things I look for in a book and Sempre had that and so much more.

Mafia is all about La Famiglia and secrets are taken to the grave. When La Famiglia unravels, it's not a pretty thing. This book was fantastic! The perfect combination of dark, angst, romance and mafia all rolled up into an awesome Young Adult novel. If my recommendations mean anything to you, then you'll read this book!

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