Friday, December 20, 2013

Sempre Redemption by JM Darhower Review

In this thrilling and sexy follow-up to Sempre, two young lovers struggle to keep their relationship intact after they become deeply enmeshed in the dangerous mafia-run crime ring they once tried to overthrow.

Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco have been through a lot. Haven was taken in by Carmine’s father, and with his family’s help, she escaped a gruesome fate. However, saving Haven from the dark intentions of a mafia family cost Carmine a steep price: he was forced to swear loyalty to them.

Now, still passionately in love, Carmine and Haven must face the fall-out of Carmine’s forced service, as Haven discovers terrifying secrets about the family that enslaved both her and her mother—and why she matters so much in this intricate web of lies.

Carmine sat in his usual chair in the library, casually strumming his guitar. A sliver of light filtered in from the large window, illuminating his somber expression in the darkness. She called his name but he remained still, continuing to pluck at the strings almost as if he hadn’t heard her. She took a step toward him and was about to say his name again when he let out a long, deep sigh. “I had a dream.”
“Another nightmare?” she asked, walking over to him. He glanced up at her as his fingers stilled, the music stopping, but Haven barely noticed. She couldn’t focus on anything but the green eyes boring into her. Once so alive with passion, she saw nothing but deep sadness marring the bright color.
Carmine set the guitar aside and moved his legs to make room, motioning for her to join him. She climbed into his lap and he wrapped his arms around her.
“Not a nightmare this time,” he said. “It was a good dream.”
“What was it about?”
“You,” he said quietly. “You made a painting—some abstract shit, I don’t know—but it was so good they hung it in a museum and raved about how talented you were. It was like you were the next fucking Picasso, tesoro.”
She laughed. “I don’t even know how to paint, Carmine.”
“You could learn,” he said. “Would you want to?”
“Maybe, but I don’t know how good I’d be.”
“Oh, you’d be good,” he said confidently. “You shouldn’t doubt yourself. You can do anything you set your mind to.”
“Except for play the piano,” she said playfully. “Or the guitar.”
He chuckled. “Yeah, for the sake of everyone’s ears, we ought to leave music to me, but the rest is all you. You can probably do all of that, you know. Draw, paint, sculpt shit into weird shapes and tell people it’s something it doesn’t look anything like. That takes talent.”
She smiled. “And you think I have that kind of talent?”
“Of course,” he said. “There’s gonna be no stopping you once you get started.”
“Thank you,” she whispered, a swell of emotion surging through her at his words. “It means a lot that you believe in me.”
“I’d be an idiot not to,” he said, kissing the top of her head

I LOVED booked one, Sempre. It really knocked my socks off and was one of my favorite books of 2012. I was wicked excited about Sempre Redemption.

The story starts right where we were left off, Corrado on his death bed. JM takes us on another journey with Carmine and Haven. Their love is still as strong. However, as much as Carmine is grateful to have Haven safe but can’t stomach having to work for the La Cosa Nostra.

Freedom is all Carmine and Haven want for each other and with one another. Carmine wants Haven to be free to be whomever she wants to be and be free to live a good life. But Carmine will never be free. He gave his life to the mafia so that he could find Haven.

“Don’t you see, Carmine? How can I ever be free if you aren’t? How can I do those things if you can’t?”

And since Carmine is young, male and stupid, he walks out on Haven. Deciding she would have a better life without him. To say I was DEVASTED would be an understatement! Cried like a baby heartbroken for Haven. The majority of the book has Haven and Carmine separated, living their own lives.  Well Haven was living but Carmine was trying to destroy his life it seemed. He made some real crappy decisions that I was happy Haven didn’t have to witness.  

“Depression took over, suicidal thoughts bombarding his mind. Reckless and unstable, he couldn’t think straight or function normally.”

However, we do get to learn a whole lot more about the organization. It had way more Mafiosi in it then Sempre. I loved all the action and the alpha men. She also puts in a lot of suspense in this one. I was really sucked in trying to figure out what was happening that we weren’t seeing.

JM isn’t a totally meanie. Carmine and Haven find themselves back together in the end. Their love stronger than ever.

“You came into my life because you were meant to be in my life. It wasn’t an accident! So don’t push me away, because I fucking love you, Carmine DeMarca, and you’re just hurting yourself doing it!”

Even though I was disappointed so much of the story had Carmine and Haven apart, I still loved it. I loved getting to know some of the other players in La Cosa Nostra and how the organization worked. I think Carmine and Haven rank up there with my top favorite couples of all times. They balance each other and their love shines through. 

Sempre (Book 1) 

JM Darhower is the author of countless stories and poems, most of which only she has ever read. She lives in a tiny town in rural North Carolina, where she churns out more words than will ever see the light of day. She has a deep passion for politics and speaking out against human trafficking, and when she isn't writing (or fangirling about books) she's usually ranting about those things.

Chronic crimper with a vulgar mouth, she admits to having a Twitter addiction. You can usually always find her there.

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