Published: October 27th 2014 by J.M. Darhower
Author: J.M. Darhower
Page Count: 530
Amazon: $3.99 (Kindle)
Barnes and Noble: $3.99 (Nook E-Book)
*Note: This is considered to be the sequel to the Sempre duology but the events that happen in this novel give away spoilers to the ending of Sempre and Sempre Redemption.
Synopsis via Goodreads:
The world knows the notorious Kevlar Killer, but few have ever seen what lies beneath his armor. The abused child. The neglected teenager. The broken man. He always did whatever he had to do in order to survive.
It’s kill or be killed.
Throughout his life, he has been there in the shadows, a witness to everything from beginning to end. Bound by loyalty and honor, there’s only one thing he would sacrifice it all for: family.
Never get close. Never get attached. It’s a lesson that has been brutally pounded into him since childhood, but they’re words the DeMarcos make it difficult for him to follow. Through them he finds love and grieves loss, realizing the world isn’t quite as black and white as it’s made out to be.
This novel is in my top 10 best books I have read this year. I have found myself going back and re-reading my favorite parts and all I can think of is “Corrado Moretti, how have you wormed yourself into my mind?” Like the rest of the series, this book contains swearing, violence, abuse, and steamy scenes.
This book follows the infamous Kevlar Killer from his earliest days. Corrado didn’t have a good childhood. His father is absent quite a lot, his mother is physically and verbally abusive, and his twin sister manipulative.
While reading about his childhood there were lots of times where I felt horrible about the life he had to endure at such a young age. Of course being the emotional reader that I am, I cried at several of the parts. From an early age he learned how to take care of himself and how not to grow attached to anything or anyone.
That flies out the window the moment he meets the stunning (both inside and out) Celia DeMarco. She is everything that Corrado isn’t. She is loud, passionate, and has the biggest heart. It isn’t until they meet later in their teenage years where things are set into motion.
After deciding that the life his father lives is the life he should live Corrado tries to find his ground in La Costa Nostra. The boss of this mafia is none other Celia’s father which means that both Celia and Corrado will be running into each other more than ever before.
The hardships that both Corrado and Celia go through before they have her father’s blessing is saddening. Corrado wants nothing more than to be with Celia but he knows that without the blessing he is as good as dead if he tries to make a move. As time goes on things work out and the romance really begins to bloom and take off.
The couple have a love like no other. They both know the risks of the life Corrado lives and they know that certain things just won’t be in their life plan, such as having children. This part broke my heart because Celia would have been such an amazing mother.
The love that these two had for one another is truly heart stopping. Corrado isn’t the typical husband but no matter what he loved his wife fiercely and she would be the only woman in his book. He knew how their story would end and he wanted to try and give her moments to remember.
He is a ruthless killer, he has done terrible things, he has destroyed things in his wake, but no matter what he will always bring home flowers to his wife. He will always make sure she is okay and not hurting. He holds her above himself and will gladly die to protect her.
What I also loved seeing was the different relationships between the characters in this novel. We get to see more of Vincent, Celia’s brother and Carmine’s father, and see how he fell in love with the sweet Maura. We got to know Antonio, Celia’s father and the head of La Costa Nostra during this time.
We also get to see different scenes that happen in Sempre and Sempre Redemption through Corrado’s eyes and in my opinion it made them even more heartbreaking. He was in this lifestyle much deeper than Carmine or Vincent ever were. He knew the outcome of these situations before he even walked through the door.
I was so intrigued about Corrado from the moment that we met him and I am beyond thrilled that he has his own book! This story was utterly perfect, there is not one thing that I would ask to be changed. It is real and it is raw. Corrado is one of those characters that will stick with you.
There is no way that I could ever forget this man.
“Smiling, Celia leaned up on her tiptoes and kissed him. She pulled back, pressing her hand flat against his chest. His heart thumped erratically against her palm.
“You’re wrong about yourself,” she said seriously. “You said you were heartless, but that’s not true. I can feel it, Corrado. It’s in there. And as long as it’s beating, I know it’s there, working overtime, and you’ll never convince me otherwise.”