Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Review of Sempre (Forever #1) by J.M. Darhower

Synopsis: 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.

5 Stars!

Review: I'm not even sure where to start with this review. We begin with Haven attempting to run away from her life of slavery and abuse. She is unsuccessful in her attempt, but she does manage to get away from this horrible household when Vincent DeMarco buys her away from her current Master. Vincent is the father of Carmine and Dominic. Carmine is the youngest, but he is the principe or prince of the mafia. It was heartbreaking to see how uncertain and absolutely lacking in self-worth Haven was due to her upbringing. She then had to slowly and, sometimes painfully, learn how to navigate the ways of the world, beginning in the DeMarco household. 

Haven and Carmine have this immediate connection, but neither one of them knows how to deal with it. Carmine has had his share of tragedy, as well, and he has never really let someone in. Haven has never learned to trust anyone, and, really, she has never had the opportunity to trust someone - only to obey. I really enjoyed about the two of them learning how to fall in love and also how to love someone - because those can be two different things. Carmine was so invested in Haven being able to come into her own and be a little more independent, although he is also controlling enough that he struggles with letting her be independent. 

The path is not easy for these two, however. There are many secrets that they are unaware of, and there are many that do not care about their love for one another. In Haven's case, there are many that don't want her to have a life, period. Each character goes through some form of growth and learns that we all must make decisions in life - and then, we all have to live with the consequences of those decisions. The consequences can definitely be very powerful and permanent. I can't wait to read the second book and see how these two are able to navigate not only the emotions and fragility of early adulthood, but also the mafia, secrets, betrayal, and death. 


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