Published: April 1st 2014 by Gallery Books (1st pub. 12/16/13)
Author: J.M. Darhower
Page Count: 528
Barnes and Noble: $4.48
*Note: This is the second book in the Sempre duology. There will be spoilers so please if you haven’t read Sempre yet, please beware! I reviewed the first book so you can find that here.
Synopsis via Goodreads:
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.
The electrifying sequel to Sempre! This is a story about loyalty and love. It is a story about finding redemption— even when all seems lost.
Swearing allegiance to the Mafia in order to save Haven Antonelli—the girl he loves—forces Carmine DeMarco to make the ultimate sacrifice. Sent to Chicago to work for La Cosa Nostra, he refuses to place Haven in harm’s way by taking her with him. She deserves a shot at a normal life. But as he becomes more and more immersed in a world of terrible crimes, he realizes that surviving without her may be more than he is able to bear. . . .
Stunned and hurt that Carmine has left her, Haven must now learn to make her way in the world without him. Her heart aches with the loss, but for the first time, she’s making her own choices and accomplishing dreams she never thought were within her reach. The past, however, is not done with either her or Carmine. As Haven discovers dark secrets about the family who enslaved her and her mother, and why she matters so much in this web of lies, she realizes what terrible pain may still lie in wait for her and the boy she loves. And what they must suffer to find redemption. . . .
I really liked this sequel! Now I usually say that about the majority of the sequel’s I read but Sempre: Redemption was different. I felt like I was riding alongside the characters and feeling exactly how they were feeling.
This book is more about independence and learning to live and find yourself. I would also like to again mention, like the first novel, there is a heavy topic of violence, death, and a dark tone to this story.
We left off Sempre with Carmine signing away his life to La Cosa Nostra to save the girl he loves. When the second book takes off Carmine is in an internal battle with himself. He wants to keep Haven around and love her but he knows that the life he has now will not allow that.
The heartbreak in this book is crazy. Within the first fifty pages or so I cried twice!! Again, I’m an emotional reader but still, my heart and mind was invested in these characters.
You grow attached to these characters in new ways from the first book. You’re introduced to new characters that will steal your breath away. Corrado, Carmine’s uncle, is easily one of the most interesting characters I have read about. He brought this story a unique and different vibe which I really felt the story needed.
I was disappointed with the way the separation between Haven and Carmine happened. I really wished that we could have seen how both characters worked their way through the obstacles standing in their way. I would have loved to see how Haven dealt with Carmine now being part of the mafia and how in turn she tried to help him through some of the obstacles.
Most of the novel the characters are apart and learning how to live without one another. Carmine wanted Haven to have a chance to live and normal life and she had that. I found the parts with them apart still very fast paced but I had grown so fond of the parts of Sempre where they were together. I wished more of those scenes had been present!
When the couple does find their way back to one another, after yet another heartbreak, then I felt more at ease. I had missed those scenes so terribly and I was a very happy camper when they reunited.
J.M. Darhower knows how to suck readers in! I devoured this book in two sittings and I craved more even after the epilogue. I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed these two books.
I found that my newest favorite character Corrado has his own story so you know that I will be hopping onto that train and devouring that book soon!!