Sempre (Forever) by JM. Darhower had me so entirely consumed that when it was over I was satisfied but upset... I wanted more, I still want more and that want is moving to needing more of this emotionally captivating story!!!
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.
I honestly can't even begin to describe HOW amazing this book was. I was entirely engrossed in a way that had me still thinking about these characters in the middle of reading another book... well actually I've since read two books and still had these characters or their story out of my mind. It was like The Sapranos with a little of the movie Taken thrown in ... meets Jamie McGuire's Beautiful Disaster. It kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire 500+ pages... yes it was a long book but it certainly didn't feel long and I'm anxious for more... I'm anxious to see what will happen with these characters that have come to consume my every thought! Thank you to all my Girls who recommended this book but a big Thank You to Gitte for going on and on about how amazing Carmine is ♥.
Haven is an absolute doll... I honestly enjoyed watching her becoming who she was supposed to be all along. She goes from this very timid, scared girl to a young woman with confidence who is filled with love to give and even to receive. She moves to the DeMarco's home as a servant and is actually happy there because her previous home was horrible. She was treated terribly by her old "Master".... emotionally and physically abused, starved, and most importantly robbed of her freedom. But she didn't know any better because she grew up in that life... it was all she ever knew. Moving to the DeMarco's house was scary for Haven because of how she was previously treated and because she didn't know that a "slave" could be treated differently..... The DeMarco's treated her fairly, even showed her kindness, even showed her what it's like to have friends and a family, and the best of all she learned what it's like to fall in love.
Colpo di fulmine.... is what Carmine experienced when Haven moved in with the DeMarco's. I can't even begin to describe my feelings towards Carmine... at this point I don't even care that he was a 17 year old when the story began because... wow, all I can really come up with is wow. He had that total bad boy thing going on, he used girls for one reason, he didn't treat anyone with respect, he was selfish, and he was reckless.... until he met Haven, until he saw something in her that he wanted... no, he needed. He wanted to get to know her, he wanted to spend time with her, and for once in his life he didn't mind her being around or touching his things. I don't know what it was about Carmine, but I couldn't get enough of him. Watching him interact with Haven was touching... especially when he would begin to lose his temper and would either try and back track or would stumble through an apology because the last thing he wanted to do was hurt her in any way.
With his 18th birthday approaching Carmine is left having to make a decision about his future... a decision that isn't so easy to make now that Haven is in his life. Everything was always so clear until.... La sua bella ragazza.... his beautiful girl, entered his life and turned it upside down... in a good way, a very good way.... She helped him begin to heal from the emotional wounds he's carried for years, she made him laugh and smile, and most of all she made him want to be a better person... she made him want to be a better man for her. He didn't understand his feeling for her right away but he knew there was something about her that he couldn't get off of his mind and it certainly didn't help that she seemed scared of him. So he took the time to ease into her life and get to know her. When they share their first kiss... it's explosive for both of them because it's technically a first kiss for both of them. Carmine may have used girls but he never kissed them... never... and that could only mean one thing......
"Ti amo tantissimo, mia bella ragazza. Per sempre"
This is another one of those reviews where I really want to get a lot of my chest and share all the beauty, the sadness, the heart break, and the love with you.... but there isn't much I can share with out giving anything away. This is one of those books where I want my fellow book lovers to have the opportunity to experience all of the beauty, sadness, heart break, and love that is all wrapped up in this extremely consuming, beautiful story!
Sempre (Forever) by JM Darhower was an absolutely FANTASTIC read... so fantastic that I'm ready to read it again... so fantastic that I couldn't concentrate on the two books I read after I finished Sempre.... so fantastic that I am praying, I have my fingers crossed, and I will beg if I have to... that there will be another book, that some of the unanswered questions will be answered and that we will get the chance to spend more time with the beautiful Carmine and Haven! Make sure you check out Sempre... I hope you love it as much as I do!!!