Published: February 25th 2014 by Gallery Books
Author: J.M. Darhower
Page Count: 528
Barnes and Noble: $11.95
Synopsis via Goodreads:
THIS IS A STORY ABOUT SACRIFICE… DEATH… LOVE… FREEDOM. THIS IS A STORY ABOUT FOREVER.
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?
This book was a roller coaster of emotions. I included the proper synopsis of Sempre from Goodreads because I’m all over the place with my thoughts! What a book this is. It is gripping, heartbreaking, interesting, and shocking all wrapped into one.
I picked up Sempre after seeing it on my book recommendations page. I ordered it right away and when I got my copy in the mail I jumped straight in. I didn’t imagine that I would grow attached to the characters or feel so deeply about them.
This is a heavy novel. The story follows a young woman who is broken in more ways than one. It deals with the topics of abuse, both verbal and physical, violence, and death. There is a very heavy mafia theme to this story. I wasn’t aware when I dove right in how utterly heartbreaking this book was going to be.
I cried more times then I can count while reading. Now I’m a pretty emotional reader and this book pushed me over the edge! The writing was beautiful, paired with the characters, my heart was pressed over the edge.
The love story between both Carmine and Haven is what some may describe as earth shaking. It showcases that even with flaws two people can come together in the most beautiful of ways and hang onto the innocence that each have inside of themselves.
Neither of these teenagers asked for the lives that they were born into, nor did they ask for everyone to try and hold them back. They know deep down that their love is forbidden, that it is looked down upon, but it doesn’t matter. When the lightning bolt strikes it strikes. <– Special little toss in from the book 🙂
This book goes beyond a love story. The secondary characters in my eyes were just as important as the main cast of characters. Their backstories show why Carmine and Haven are the way they are. They help make the pain felt by the couple come alive.
Throughout the book it was interesting to see the growth and development of both of the characters. Haven begins to grow into herself and embrace normalcy and Carmine is no longer the boy who couldn’t bring himself to open up/trust anyone.
I have also completed the sequel, Sempre Redemption, and my heart aches even more. J.M. Darhower has a way of writing that will make you swoon and have your eyes filling with tears from both happy and sad moments.
“How about we just be Haven and Carmine?” she suggested. “We don’t know the ending, but we can always hope for the best.”