Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Sempre #1


Rate this book


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?

518 pages, Paperback

First published February 25, 2014

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

J.M. Darhower

28 books7,913 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
13,597 (48%)
4 stars
7,902 (28%)
3 stars
4,032 (14%)
2 stars
1,450 (5%)
1 star
907 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,833 reviews
Profile Image for Alex is The Romance Fox.
1,461 reviews1,119 followers
June 12, 2017
I absolutely loved this book. The title totally stunning…everything about this story is in some way summed up in that title!

It’s Godfather & Cinderella!!
It’s thought-provoking.
It’s about love.
It’s about teenage angst.
It’s about family love.
It’s about loss.
It’s about the challenges in life.
It’s about human slavery, the mafia.
It’s about loyalty.
It’s about sacrifices.
It’s about heartbreak
It’s about murder.

Even after a week, I am still thinking about the story, the writing and the characters.
 photo download 3_zpsyecprbay.png

This is really a love story between two teens,
 photo download 1_zpsfhtbv6pc.png
from totally different backgrounds that are thrown together by, I guess, fate. photo b16ec04b-decf-4ce6-b991-9badb129457a_zpsrtyblhl5.gifHow they find love and healing despite the many obstacles in their way to finding happiness together. Their chemistry and emotional connection was really amazing…and so sweet.
Carmine never deviated from what he felt for Haven. He knew she was the person he had always been waiting for.
 photo download 4_zpsgxnuyibb.png

The intensity of his feelings for Haven was deep and emotional….
 photo large_zpsk2nuyzmd.jpg

From a life of a human slave, never being loved, except for her mother, and never knowing anything about a life outside her cage, suddenly meets a human being who cares and loves her.
 photo images201_zpswwfeml0s.jpg

Carmine made her believe, for the first time in her life, that just maybe there was something good out there for her and just adored how he supported her and gave her the confidence to do it.
 photo beach-happiness-ocean-running-sunset-Favim.com-191893_zpsk5qzuxjm.jpg
The characters are so human and believable and you are pulled into their lives and see the good and bad sides of them and the struggles they go through.
I was fascinated by Carmine’s father, Dr de Marco. Here is a man with so many secrets, such hidden feelings, who has done some pretty bad things but despite those things, I felt his pain as he tried to find redemption and do anything to protect his family that he loves so much.
 photo bd43625b-cc87-4d9b-8330-e58f0edf6559_zpswj8kabem.gif
What I also enjoyed about this book is how I never knew where the story was going to. Who were the real good and bad guys? Would Carmine & Haven find happiness together?

It’s a long book, full of details and characters but I was never bored. I just kept turning page after page…..you know the kind of book you never want it to end but you so want to know the ending? This is was one of those.

And the ending…..wow……..
 photo download_zpsvjy18qag.png

I can’t wait to start the next installment.
Profile Image for Aestas Book Blog.
1,059 reviews74.9k followers
August 30, 2016

5 stars!!

"Could someone do bad things, but not be a bad person? "

I loved this book!! It was a beautiful, yet quietly powerful read.

It did a fantastic job of blurring the lines between good and bad. So many times when reading it I felt conflicted. Everything about some of the situations was so wrong but at the same time, I was liking, maybe even loving, the characters who were doing evil actions. Good guys put in bad situations, forced to make hard decisions that made them do wrong things for the right reasons but in the end the wrong thing to do actually ended up being the right thing... Yeah, if that confuses you, it sure as hell confused me too lol. And I loved it!!!

The story was quite the emotional roller coaster... I cried a little, I laughed a little, it made me care a lot for the characters.

The main character, Haven, is a second generation slave who grew up in a horribly abusive household and is bought into a Mafia family where she ends up falling in love with Carmine, the handsome, hot-headed yet inwardly tormented son of the man who bought her.

[Carmine] never went looking for it, but trouble seemed to find him every time he turned a corner. And Carmine turned a lot of motherfucking corners.

The book is long. 530 pages. But I didn't want to stop reading. At times it is a little slow, in the sense that its not always a burning page turner, but don't let that put you off. The story takes its time in the right places, it takes its time as Haven and Carmine fall in love, as she starts to recover from her abuse, and as she begins to come out of her shell. Sometimes I like books that don’t just rush through the story – it helps me immerse myself even more in the world and in the character’s lives.

“Colpo di fulmine. The thunderbolt, as Italians call it. When love strikes someone like lightning, so powerful and intense it can’t be denied. It’s beautiful and messy,cracking a chest open and spilling their soul out for the world to see. It turns a person inside out, and there’s no going back from it. Once the thunderbolt hits, your life is irrevocably changed.”

I love how this story explores boundaries and extremes. Master/slave, good/evil, right/wrong, excusable/justifiable actions... I'd say the over all theme though of the story is sacrifice.. Does the ends justify the means? To what ends are you willing to go for the ones you love?

Right there in the moment, it was just her and him, no one and nothing else. They were all that mattered - two people, desperately in love and wanting to show each other. No master and slave, no class divides.

And I fell in love with all the Italian endearments that Carmine calls Haven - they just melted my heart!!... I love Haven's quiet strength, and Carmine's fierce protectiveness of her. I loved that he was a character who could be an ass on minute but then have no problems apologizing and admitting it and trying to do better. It felt very honest. He made mistakes and tried again.

There was an ache in his chest, originating in the center of his heart. It was the pain of all-consuming, overflowing love, so powerful it took his breath away.
"Do you feel this? We belong together." He kissed her. " Sempre."

“They're titles other people give us. They don't make us who we are. If you're just a slave, then I'm nothing more than a Principe. Is that all I am, Haven? A Mafia Prince?
"No, of course not."
That's what I thought," he said. "Just because some people see us that way doesn't mean it's what we are. We'll overcome our labels together. They don't matter, they don't make us who we are. We make us who are are. Fuck those motherfuckers."
She laughed. "When did you get so smart?"
"Baby, I've always been smart," he said playfully. "I'm just lazy as hell and rarely show it.”

I fell in love with the whole DeMarco family. Dominic, Carmine's brother, was delightful! Light hearted, caring and protective. And Vincent, the father... I'll admit he made me a little swoon-y at times. It was really great that the author took the time to tell his story and to get inside his head because it gave such insight to the 'why' behind so many questionable actions throughout the story. I'd love to read a book about him. The bits of the book about him and his wife made me teary.

This tension in this book comes from all unanswered questions. Who is Haven? How can she, a slave, and Carmine, the son of a high ranking Mafia member be together? Who is the good guy? Who is the bad guy? To what lengths will people go to save the one's they love?

The first 70% of the book is very character driven. And then all the pieces come together and everything kind of blows up and I almost felt like I was watching a movie, instead of reading a book for the last 30%... lots of action, lots of Mafia warring... quite delicious!

I loved watching Haven's inner and outer strength develop over the course of the book. I loved how fiercely she and Carmine loved each other, how he wouldn't let anyone look down on her...

This book had a happy ending but definitely left the story open for more development.

“How about we just be Haven and Carmine?” she suggested. “We don’t know the ending, but we can always hope for the best.”
“I like that,” he said. “Besides, there’s a reason we don’t know how the story ends.”
“Because it doesn’t.”

The author is writing a sequel now and I know I'll be buying it the day it comes out!!

I'd definitely recommend this book. I have nothing else to compare it to... but its definitely worth a read! *heading off to Amazon to buy a hard copy for my bookshelf*

** EDIT ** OMG!! SEMPRE GOT A MOVIE DEAL!!!!! I'm so excited I can barely type this! *SQUEEEE*

Here's how I see Carmine and Haven:

For more of my reviews, come visit my book blog at: http://aestasbookblog.com/
Profile Image for Christy.
3,912 reviews33k followers
November 7, 2017
5 stars!

This book captivated me from the beginning. What a story! Sempre is a story about choices, sacrificing everything for the ones you love, intense true love, and then you throw in some human trafficking/slavery and mafia connections.

It was heartbreaking at times, but I loved the story and loved the characters (Carmine and Haven). It's one of those books that shows sometimes you are born into a certain life and many things are beyond your control, but sometimes two people who appear to come from totally different worlds can have more ties to each other than imaginable.

I would recommend this book to everyone! Only have good things to say about it!
Profile Image for Hulya Kara Yuksel.
931 reviews1,127 followers
December 1, 2019
Attention please! SEMPRE is going to be a movie!!! I don't have too much information about it yet but I'm going to share it with you as long as I get it. ❤


Normally I don’t prefer to read long books. Long books give me pressure BUT this book.. My God, this story… I can read the damn book over and over again…. It was amazing. It was pure perfection! I loved it, I loved it so much! It was a really unforgeattable reading for me… :)

Forget all the mafia stories you read before and don’t expect too much action with every page but still there is a great story in this book and great mystery… But above all of that there is in love.. And of course there are a lot of other things going on around Carmine & Haven. The tension of the story is simply amazing and it will give you thrill so much… I read the book in 3 days and when I finished the book my eyes were burning from too much reading but fuck it! I loved it a lot.... I enjoyed very much every damn minute. :) Especially when I read the last chapters of the book OMFG my hands were shaking… :) I loved how Carmine worship Haven. I loved how Haven gave her soul to Carmine. They’re perfect together… :)

And I won’t write to you the full story here but all you need is to know this book is about a boy and a girl… About their love, sacrifice and freedom. And their choices for themselves or for their beloved ones… And about How this two broken souls find each other by fate… I’m a hopeless romantic. I believe fate and I believe soul mate. Cause I’m married with my soul mate.. :) And when you read this book you’ll see how to love somebody and be loved in return can chance your life. And maybe because of that Carmine & Haven’s story touched my heart so bad…

Ps. Can't wait to read 3rd book "MADE". I'm really excited Corrado & Celia's story. :)

"When he touched her, she didn’t feel so alone. When he touched her, she felt alive for once..."

“Grabbing her hand, he pressed it gently to his chest. His skin was warm to the touch, and she could slightly feel his pulse pounding against her palm.
“Do you feel that? I’m not going anywhere, Haven. This is yours.”

“How about we just be Haven and Carmine?” she suggested. “We don’t know the ending, but we can always hope for the best.”
“I like that,” he said. “Besides, there’s a reason we don’t know how the story ends.”
“Because it doesn’t.”

Ps. If you wanna read this series, I suggest you to read with this order...
* Sempre
* Sempre:Redemption
* Friends - Novella
* Forever - Novella
* Made


“She hadn't known what love was, but she knew it now. Love was the fluttering in her tummy whenever Carmine was near, the twinkle in his eye when he laughed, the heat in her body from his words. Love was happy. Love was safe. Love was green. Love was him, the beautifully flawed boy who made her glow”

"Do you think you could ever love someone like me? She found the nerve to bring up a subject he wasn’t brave enough to broach, to utter the word love that terrified him so much, and instead of reassuring her he clammed up.
“Haven, I could never love someone like you, because there isn’t anyone else like you. You’re one of a kind.”

“My mom used to talk about fate all the time, and I think you’re it… you’re my fate. You were brought to me for a reason, for us to save each other. Because you weren’t the only one needing saved, Haven. I was drowning, and you rescued me.”

“How about we just be Haven and Carmine?” she suggested. “We don’t know the ending, but we can always hope for the best.”
“I like that,” he said. “Besides, there’s a reason we don’t know how the story ends.”
“Because it doesn’t.”

“Colpo di fulmine. The thunderbolt, as Italians call it. When love strikes someone like lightning, so powerful and intense it can’t be denied. It’s beautiful and messy,
cracking a chest open and spilling their soul out for the world to see. It turns a person inside out, and there’s no going back from it. Once the thunderbolt hits, your life is
irrevocably changed.”

"Do you have any idea how important you are to me?” he asked, pulling from her lips. “I’m finding myself again because of you. I never thought it would happen. My mom used to talk about fate, and I think you’re it . . . you’re my fate. You were brought to me for a reason, for us to save each other.”

“Grabbing her hand, he pressed it gently to his chest. His skin was warm to the touch, and she could slightly feel his pulse pounding against her palm.
“Do you feel that? I’m not going anywhere, Haven. This is yours.”

“See how much she’s changed… you did that for her”
“I didn’t do anything”
“You’re the one who made the difference … no matter what you do tomorrow, Carmine, what matters is that you did that today.”
“All I did was love her.”
“Ever think maybe that’s what she needed? Sometimes we don’t have to really do anything. We just have to be.”

“Tell me, Mr. DeMarco. What’s love to you?”
He glared at his teacher. “I think it’s ridiculous you’re even trying to define it like it’s something material you can just go find if you want it. People use the word too loosely as it is. They say they love this and they love that, when they don’t. They just like the shi— uh, stuff. Love is something that changes you, and if you really loved all the crap you say you love, you’d never know who you were because you’d constantly be changing. Once you love, you love forever. You can’t help it.”

“Sogni dóro, mia bella ragazza,” he mumbled, closing his eyes. "Sweet dreams my beautiful girl.”

""When he touched her, she didn’t feel so alone. When he touched her, she felt alive for once..."

"Every “I hate you” echoing from her chest was followed by an “I love you” from his lips. Every time she begged him to let go, he told her he would be there forever. His hold was strong, his arms familiar, but it did nothing to take away her pain."

“Some things in life only happen once, the memories of them lasting forever. They're moments that alter you, turning you into a person you never thought you'd become, but someone you were always destined to be. There's no magical rewind button in life, no take backs or do-over's to fix things you wish you could change.”

"Carmine,” she said. The sound of his name on her lips made his chest swell with love despite the fear. Nothing would ever overpower it. He stared into her deep brown eyes and it seemed as if time stopped. It always would, he realized. Carmine’s world wouldn’t go on without her.
“I love you, too,” he said, struggling to fight back the emotion so as not to scare her. “Sempre."

“You shouldn’t be afraid to take risks. It might not always work out, you might fail miserably and get hurt, but you’ll never know unless you try. And if it does work, wouldn’t it have been worth it?”
Profile Image for TheCrazyWorldOfABookLover.
362 reviews880 followers
June 17, 2018
5 MILLION Tesoro Stars


Grabbing her hand, he pressed it gently to his chest. His skin was warm to the touch, and she could slightly feel his pulse pounding against her palm.
“Do you feel that? I’m not going anywhere, Haven. This is yours.”

I mean, am I supposed to just go on after reading this thing?!

I know there are many reviews with the plot on here so I won't even go into it, but I just desperately needed to express my love for this story.

What perfect, emotional, heartbreaking, soul crushing, sweet, sad, incredible story. I literally had goose bumps the entire time, and was left with no fingernails after biting them all off from the suspense. This story is so insane and all the characters are so entwined I wouldn't even know where to start to go into details about the story line even if I wanted to. And what is most amazing about it is the simple way it's written. To me, it read so well each scene played out like a movie in my mind. If this was a movie, I would have watched it 7,356 times already.

“I love you.” The words tumbled from her lips easily, like they had rolled from her tongue hundreds of times. But they hadn’t. She had never said them before, but as she heard them in her own voice, every cell in her body knew they were true. She hadn’t known what love was, but she knew it now. Love was the fluttering in her tummy whenever Carmine was near, the twinkle in his eyes when he laughed, the heat in her body from his words. Love was happy. Love was safe. Love was green. Love was him—the beautifully flawed boy who made her glow."

I will say this- Vincent- God at first I hated him and could not understand the man for the life of me. But as the story unfolded, I definitely understood and grew to love him. Especially at the end when he GODDDDDD SO SWEET.

Celia and Corrado are freaking amazing, Dominic is a sweet heart who I wished was my relative.

And the best for last – Carmine and Haven -SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I mean could a smart ass, impatient, foul-mouthed little rebel be any more amazing??! And Haven, oh sweet Haven. What an amazing, strong, sweet person she was. Their love was just epic.

“I have a problem with my temper. It’s just, I feel . . .” He hesitated, taking a deep breath. “Look, it’s not because I think you belong to me—it’s because I want you to be mine.”

This is easily one of the most incredible books I have ever read. Definitely in my top favorites of all time. *UPDATE* MOST DEFINITELY MY MOST FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME.

Now- I have wasted enough time writing this and wasted precious moments not reading Sempre: Redemption. I am off to meet with my sweet Carmine once again. I am so happy I was introduced to this story that made me fall in love and broke my heart all at the same time.

Find Me On:
InstagramFB PageFB BlogBlogTwitter
October 8, 2014

Colpi di fulmine. The thunderbolt as Italians call it. When love strikes someone like lighting, so powerful and intense it can't be denied.

I've known about this book for a very long time, and everyone told me to read it. But for some reason I kept postponing it, until I just forgot about. But then I finally decided that I might as well read since the two books I've read by JM Darhower were both 4 or more stars. And I'm so glad I did! This is by far the best book by this author... in my opinion. If you're looking for an epic love story, about love that overcomes the most trying obstacles and characters that will make you want to cry, hit something and basically feel intense emotions, well then, here you go!

Haven, was born into slavery, besides knowing that her mother loves her, it's the only other thing she's ever known. Her Master is a cruel man, she's never known kindness from anyone else but her mother. Until one day she decides to run, the same day she meets Dr DeMarco, the same day she starts her new life.

So for some reason this book almost destroyed my emotions, I'm not sure if it was because Haven was a just a young girl, who'd been so badly abused. Malnourished, beaten... Gah! I just can't! I mean it got me thinking! Somewhere in the world some girl is living the same life and there's no Dr DeMarco or sweet Carmine to save her. That's just how it is.

So how would you feel if you'd never known how freedom felt, and suddenly you were given just a small taste of how it would feel to be free. Haven's character was so strong, she's been added to my very short list of female characters I love! When Dr DeMarco, takes her to his home, her life becomes very different. This is one of those books where you'll love the characters one moment and hate them the next which is how I felt about Vincent and Carmine DeMarco. I loved them in the end but sometimes I felt like throat punching them because I felt like they were so insensitive to Haven's previous life. Especially Dr DeMarco,

Carmine, started off being the arrogant and spoiled star athlete in the book. He had absolutely no regard for anyone but himself, he was promiscuous and didn't have much respect for women. That is until he sees Haven and gets to know her. Haven changed Carmine so much, her appreciation for the littlest things opened his eyes to the world. By the end of this book, Carmine knew about sacrifice and being prepared to lay down his life for the one he loves.

The first half of this book was pretty good for me and I thought I was going to give it a solid fours stars. It started off very well, the combination of heart wrenching scenes and reading about Haven's struggles with acclimating herself to her new life and her budding relationship with Carmine kept me engaged. But the next half of the book was what finished the deal for me, mystery, action, romance and angst are some of the things I look for in a book and Sempre had that and so much more.

Mafia is all about La Famiglia and secrets are taken to the grave. When La Famiglia unravels, it's not a pretty thing. This book was fantastic! The perfect combination of dark, angst, romance and mafia all rolled up into an awesome Young Adult novel. If my recommendations mean anything to you, then you'll read this book!
Profile Image for Kristin (KC).
251 reviews25.1k followers
February 7, 2017
Sempre is not your average feel-good love story. It is a gritty portrayal of various harsh realities and agonizing circumstances. Although my heart broke for the majority of this story, I enjoyed it immensely and found it both inspirational and humbling. I also found a new respect for individuals born into dreadful conditions beyond their control.

Haven was born into slavery...and one could say that Carmine was born a slave to the pressures and expectations of following his father's footsteps into the mafia. On the outside, Haven and Carmine have had vastly different childhoods—but upon closer inspection, their lives were all too similar. Their love for each other was young, but true and deep—and I enjoyed watching it blossom into maturity. Although this book was focused on very serious and sometimes dark subjects, there were also many moments of fun and lightheartedness, for which I was grateful.

This beautiful story is as intense as it is touching. It's about redemption and hope.  Its about sacrificing everything in the name of love no matter what the cost. It's about dying for what you believe in, but ultimately, it's about being able to just truly LIVE.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Book Stats:
▪ Genre/Category: New Adult
▪ Steam Caliber: Mild/sexy
▪ Romance: Complex, intense, and beautiful young love.
▪ Characters: Protective hero. Heartbreakingly damaged and abused heroine.
▪ Plot: An intense, unconventional love story focused on pain, redemption, and hope. (*Human trafficking*)
▪ Writing: Passionate. Poetic. Gorgeous. Compelling.
▪ POV: 3rd Person Perspective
▪ Cliffhanger: Mild/doable. Ending open for more story.
▪ Next Installment: Follow up.

November 4, 2017

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

🎃 Read for the Unapologetic Romance Readers Halloween 2017 Reading Challenge for the category of: a romance novel with blood on the cover 🎃

Good books make you ask questions - but sometimes, bad books make you ask questions, too. Questions like, "Why is this book so long?" "How did this even get published?" And, most pressingly, "What is it about this book that people actually like?"

I read SEMPRE for our book of the month over at URR, and am only just now finishing it because of how awful it was. It wasn't even spectacularly awful - just dismally so. Everything about this book dragged. Most of those 500 pages? They're all padding. The story, without all that fluff, is pretty simple. Haven is a teenage slave. Carmine's father buys her. He falls in love with his slave, and she falls in love with him, and it's all hearts and cuddles and tender moments - until the mafia steps in and says, "Hell no."

I hate to say it, but I was on the mafia's side in this one. I was like, "Hell no," too. 

Here's my biggest issue. SEMPRE reads like the author wanted to write fanfic of Goodfellas, Godfather, and Sopranos, but she also really wanted to write a disgustingly fluffy book like Stephanie Perkins, but she also wanted to write a really edgy new adult book with SEX, but she also really wanted her hero to be a Nice Guy, but she also really wanted her heroine to be pure and virtuous.

Even though, you know, she grew up in a world of sex trafficking.

So what we have is a PG-13 mafia/human trafficking book where most of the book takes place in high school and there's a few random scenes that seem to be heavily inspired by the three mafia books I mentioned, all written from Carmine's father's POV. Haven is a slave, whose mother is basically a sex slave, but Haven herself is used for cooking and cleaning and that's it. She's innocent about everything, and even asks, in all seriousness, whether there are colleges in California.


I mean, there's sheltered, and then there's how-the-hell-did-you-not-know-that.

Carmine is everything I hate in a hero. He swears a lot and punches people out to show how tough he is, and Darhower desperately tries to make him the good guy by punching out these people on Haven's behalf and having all these forced intimate moments with her. Forced in the technical sense, that is: not the rapey sense. And Haven is so naive that she makes me sick. You can tell that she's just supposed to be so adorable because she nibbles at food, nuzzles at people, peers up at people, and chases fireflies while the adoring Carmine just sits there and smiles in vacant admiration because that's what people do when they watch cat videos, and Haven is basically supposed to be the human equivalent of a cat video - only for some reason, it's not cute when a person does it, just disturbing.

I'm still blown away by how boring and terrible this was, and that it has a 4.2 average rating on Goodreads (did we read different books?). SEMPRE took a dar topic and tried to make it a cute love story. The result is a book that comes across as both tone deaf and ridiculous.

1 star
Profile Image for Debra Anastasia.
Author 39 books3,785 followers
April 4, 2012
Sempre was fantastic. It is a real reader's book. Knowing this book was self published explains a lot. It is a raw story, straight from the author's imagination and heart. It shows. Sempre was a treat for me, after I had completed the day's tasks, I'd get to read until my eyes gave up. Carmine and Haven became alive. You want everything good for them. There is action, romance, and a great plot. There's also a much bigger purpose for the book. It shines an unflinching spotlight on modern day slavery.

Darhower does one of my very favorite things--blurring the lines between the good guys and the shining white knights. She does it so effortlessly, I actually smiled when I realized I was heartbroken because a murderer was injured. That takes some serious talent.

I hope you decide to treat yourself to this book. Please remember that it's not chick lit. This isn't bubblegum, gigglepants stuff, though you will laugh at times. It's novel with a journey that feels very important to take. Load it up on your eReader, you will not be disappointed.
Profile Image for Claudia Lomelí.
Author 8 books76.7k followers
April 9, 2020
OMG. I love this book. I can't even describe how much I liked it. Maybe I'll review it later, now I'm feeling really emotional because it's over. Definetly worth reading.


This book was simply amazing, it's a MUST-read. I loved everything about it. It has great character development and a good plot (with some really unexpected twists). Carmine DeMarco is hilarious (and really lovely) and OMG, I think I'm in love with Corrado Moretti, haven't met a more badass character than him!

All in all, this book deserves ALL THE STARS <3. The love story is beautiful and not only that, this book has EVERYTHING, if you are looking for drama, suspense, action, humor and a good dosis of romance, you must read this.
Profile Image for Jess-i-ca ~Sometimes a Gif Witch~.
797 reviews750 followers
October 16, 2018
10/16/18- Finished Audiobook today. Still absolutely love this book!!!

Ahhhh Sempre…..One of my absolute favorites!!!!

amazing photo amazing_zps15969676.gif

So I have been highly anticipating this book since I heard it was being re-released….Honestly I didn't feel they changed too much regarding the book....There are a few things I wish they kept **cough cough angry dragon** but whatever..

Haven is a slave

Carmine is the son of Vincent who buys Haven.

 photo DGG-006235_zpsa865f2ff.jpg

Carmine is a disgruntled teen who saw his mother being gunned down as a child. He doesn't do well with relationships and looks to acting out and drugs and drinking to dull his pain...

love photo February-01-2012-21-50-58-tumblrlw9y61ZRQN1qj5t08o1500_zpsb7b3a976.gif

Haven and Carmine meet and are two total opposites. However, they have a special spark that strikes someone like lightning.

"Colpo di fulmine"

love photo tumblr_mogcooXGtP1rdw96to1_500_zpse28924ee.gif

Haven gets caught up in a predicament.

danger photo tumblr_m9gejbTIK31rnbgkp_zps06c57248.gif

Carmine wants to save her and in the end he would do just about anything for Haven...

love photo tumblr_mpf78uqqyO1qii8hro1_500_zps9ab9d1db.gif

"I love you too, Sempre."

love photo tumblr_mgas66AGwv1rm4qs9o1_500_zpsf91bc18a.gif

*ARC provided by Edelweiss on behalf of Gallery Books in turn for an honest review.*

Original Review Dec 2012

This is one of my most favorite books ever! Everyone should read this and see the awesomeness of this book! I can't wait for Book 2!

So I was looking through my books and I realized I never wrote a review for Sempre before...There are not enough words to describe how I feel about this book and if you have not read it, you should! Read it now! Stop what you are doing this very second and read this book!

The storyline is great, the characters are great and its just overall a kickass book!

My feelings about Sempre:

listen photo tumblr_m2d43sr7eo1rnt0quo1_r2_400_zps9a716b50.gif

J.M. Darhower:
Profile Image for Karla.
986 reviews1,096 followers
March 4, 2012
4.5 Stars Riveting!
I had a love/hate relationship with this book, this story, and these characters. What I mean is that the life they live and the things they do, I would never condone, but in their world, the mafia famiglia, it is the norm and the story is based on that. I constantly questioned their actions, but as the story unfolds you come to understand, and past history, why they react so severely to certain situations and need to have total control.

Haven is the teenage slave that Dr. Vincent DeMarco “rescues” and I use that term loosely, because although her surroundings have improved, his hate for her is quite evident. I was not taken with Vincent, I found him to be lacking as a father, and his total disregard for Haven really put me out, but as the story progresses my heart feels for him and all that he has endured. He has two sons Dominic and Carmine, they live with him far from the world that all too often calls him back to Chicago. Dominic is sweet, easy going and embraces Haven as part of the family. Carmine is a hot-head, reckless and his abrasive personality has Haven running in the opposite direction. As they spend more time together she learns to relax around him and he becomes nurturing and protective of her. He’s still reckless, but is trying hard to be a better person for Haven. Theirs is a unique and unconventional love story. They are so young, and Vincent seems to look the other way when it comes to their close proximity, particularly their sleeping arrangements. Although for the most part of the book it is innocent, as much as it can be for two teens, it then progresses in sexual nature. I don’t know too many parents that would allow this, but again, this is not the “All American” family. You feel that Carmine and Haven are meant to be together, and the love they have for each other is undeniable.

Then we meet Corrado, Vincent’s brother-in-law and Celia, Vincent's sister, mafia wife. I loved them. Corrado pulled the trigger without blinking an eye, human life disposable to him, but if it protected the famiglia he saw it as nothing more than necessary measure…and again I will reiterate that I loved him. Celia is all too aware of what her family is and what they do, but her love for her husband, brother and nephews, even Haven, is so evident that I could not help but love her.

Halfway thru the books, the unveiling begins and that’s when I had trouble keeping up, because when you think you knew the answer or predict the outcome…no, no, no…it was not to be. I would get to the end of a chapter, tell myself to walk away, do something else, but I couldn’t. I was in it for the long haul. Talk about emotional overload…EXHAUSTING!! I hated the things that these people did, but yet I was rooting for them. Why?! The writing. You have now connected to these characters and you overlook the bad, and hope for the good…what is good for them! There is violence, there is death, and I cried. I never saw it coming, and it was like someone ripped my heart out of my chest. My predictions were for the most part unfounded and the author would then pull me in another direction, and again I assumed, and again I was wrong.

These characters, this story, stayed with me, disrupted my life, had me lost in thought for hours, and I loved it. I did take issue with a few things, one being Haven’s swift recovery. She adjusted rather quickly and for someone who was sheltered from society, she seemed to be more knowledgeable than I would have expected. The other was the ending, way too abrupt and too much left to the imagination. I wanted closure, I needed closure, I wanted the end to be wrapped up with a pretty little bow. I didn’t get that. I hung in there for the whole book, a long book, when through the emotional wringer and I felt cheated, and those are my reasons for removing a half a star.

Thank you Kristen for recommending this phenomenal read, it was everything you said it was!

Profile Image for AleJandra.
832 reviews415 followers
May 17, 2019

"They were two broken kids, desperate to be whole again, struggling to find balance in a world out of their control.”


Cada que releo esta novela, me dan ganas de editar mi reseña, pero creo que ya mejor me daré por vencida, nunca escribiré una reseña digna de esta historia, que demuestre un poco todo lo que me hizo sentir.

Sempre fue mi primer ventana a la Mafia Italiana, antes de este libro yo no tenia idea de que era o que existía toda esta cultura. Desde entonces este tema se ha vuelto uno de mis mayores placeres y no solo por novelas. Me hizo querer ver todas las películas con este tema, documentales y libros biográfico.

Esta reseña es de la primera edición de este libro, mi reseña principal de la historia.
-Si quieren leer mi reseña de la edición de bolsillo, click aquí.
-Si quieren leer mi reseña del audiobook, click aquí.


Una novela súper recomendable. La amé por completo.

La historia comienza cuando el Dr. Vincent DeMarco lleva a Haven, una chica que es esclava, a vivir a su casa, en la que también viven sus hijos Carmine y Dominic.

La historia de Haven, la protagonista, te rompe el corazón. Ella es hija de una esclava, creció aislada en medio del desierto, y sus días están llenos de trabajo y abusos. Ella nunca tuvo la esperanza de ser libre. Pero cuando Haven tiene 17 años, su vida corre peligro y su madre le ordena que huya. Falla en el intento y cae en las manos del Dr. Vincent DeMarco, su nuevo amo.


Carmine, a tenido una vida de privilegio. Nació en una familia adinerada, que es parte de la mafia italiana, conocida como La Cosa Nostra. Lo llaman Príncipe, ya que se espera que siga los pasos de su padre y trabaje para la mafia. Él es el típico "chico malo", grosero, imprudente e impulsivo.

“Why drown in love when you can have so much fun swimming in lust?”


Pero en realidad Carmine está enfadado con el mundo, está lleno de nostalgia y tristeza. Mi personaje favorito sin duda, lo que más me agrado de él, aparte de que se la pasa diciendo fuck todo el tiempo, es que a pesar de su narcisismo, sabe reconocer sus errores y se disculpa por ellos.


La narrativa es muy buena, va cambiando de un personaje a otro y te ayuda a entender todo este mundo que está lleno de secretos y mentiras. Es una historia de amor que te hace suspirar, pero también tiene escenas crudas. Violencia, abuso y crimen, que retratan el mundo de la esclavitud y la mafia.

"Could someone do bad things, but not be a bad person? "


En algunas partes sentí una narrativa un poco poética y lo que más disfrute fue el huso de frases y palabras en italiano.

"Colpo di fulmine . The thunderbolt, as Italians call it. When love strikes someone like lightning, so powerful and intense it can’t be denied.”


El protagonista me enamoraba cada que hablaba en italiano, ya es uno de mis top book boyfriends.

"Ti amo, mia bella ragazza, Per sempre"
Sempre?" she asked.
Cracking a smile, he brushed his pointer finger softly across her lips. “Always and forever.”


En conclusión: Todo el mundo debería leer este libro, es simplemente perfecto.

Profile Image for Jasmine.
269 reviews668 followers
October 25, 2014

“Colpo di fulmine. The thunderbolt, as Italians call it. When love strikes someone like lightning, so powerful and intense it can’t be denied.”

Ever know what it feels like to have your heart ripped out, stomped over and being handed back over to you and then to have it crushed yet again? Well, no? Really?

Read this one for ye almighty love that is this glorious book.

WARNING: Possibly lengthy review ahead because that's how I deal with my feels when a book decides to rip my soul apart and owns my life. Don't say I didn't warn ya.


Sempre begins off with a fuzzy prologue which introduces Haven Antonelli, a modern slave that has been living off in a desert and is later being taken away by a man named Vincent DeMarco. Whisked off by this unknown man into his own home, Haven struggles to adjust with her new life as opposed to her old one where she has been abused; physically and mentally.

Living under this same roof is Dominic & Carmine DeMarco, sons of Vincent; but only one of them will be hit by a whirlwind that is Haven.

In a story where family doesn't just equate to real bloodlines, loyalties will be tested and sacrifices will be made in this thrilling Mafia read as we embark into the lives of 'la famiglia'.


Let me just say that I found it extremely hard to believe that this is the same author who wrote Monster in His Eyes because Sempre evoked almost all humanly possible emotions in me whereas MiHE did the total opposite. And this is also where I say, THANK HEAVENS that I decided to give this author another shot because this book simply stripped me raw of my emotions and left me naked and crying in my puddle of feels.

Fuck, thinking of this book right now is already making me quiver.

I mean, fan-fucking-static book . Honestly, I couldn't even tell that this book is mighty lengthy. One minute I plopped onto my bed and read it, next thing I know 2 hours had passed and I'm silently whimpering as I'm torn apart reading this epic beautiful love story that is Carmine and Haven. And the next morning I woke up late for work, go figure. #sorrynotsorry #ihavenoregrets

Haven. I love that girl so so much. Her character is just all sorts of inspiring for me. Her naivety and innocence at first had already captured my heart but it was her optimism that totally sold me. Even after all the shit she's been through (which breaks my fucking heart), she was still such a brave soul and so eager to live. Even the foul-mouthed teenage boy saw something so alive flicker in her as he watched her in their library.

"“But then she happened. The girl who had never been able to call her life her own taught a boy who had the world at his fingertips exactly what it meant to live. He wasn’t alone anymore.”


And there's Carmine. He was a man-whore with a temper that flares and has a foul mouth that could fill up a potty mouth jar within a day or two. But with a past and a possible future that weighs down heavily on him, he was just another lost young soul. When he's with Haven, he realizes that a privileged boy like him is no different than this abused girl he's in love with; both equally broken but still have the heart in them to help each other heal and live and love again.

“How about we just be Haven and Carmine? We don’t know the ending, but we can always hope for the best.”
“I like that. Besides, there’s a reason we don’t know how the story ends.”
“Because it doesn’t."

This was the best kind of young love I could actually ask for. Slow build-up but undeniable chemistry throughout. The kind of bond that these two shared, the commitment they had for each other despite their contrasting background; it was tough, raw, gritty, powerful; jeezus it just sent my heart into a turmoil as I watched this couple reached every milestone in their relationship and all I can say is: it was so heartachingly beautiful on so many levels. FLUTTERS AND FEELS AND HEARTACHES.

"Love was the fluttering in her tummy whenever Carmine was near, the twinkle in his eyes when he laughed, the heat in her body from his words. Love was happy. Love was safe. Love was green.

Love was him - the beautifully flawed boy who made her glow."

"And I love you. Per sempre."
"Always and forever."

The entire Mafia aspect in this story also sucked me in so deep in this read. I found myself perplexed with this entire "la famiglia" and the mystery surrounding it all made this book even more compelling than it already is. Even the secondary characters are so well-developed! Thrilling, suspenseful and a whole lot of BAMF action from Vincent and Corrado (yes ladies, we're gonna to have a fight over this gentleman here), this book can only keep getting better from here on out.

"Leave. Because I'll be forced to kill you if you don't, and I'm wearing my favorite shirt. It'll ruin my night to get your filthy blood on it." - Corrado


Well if you've made it through my feels, THANK YOU FOR LISTENING! ♥♥ If not, THANK YOU STILL! ♥♥ If you've yet to read this book, READ IT. I swear I won't put a gun to your head but read it if you you're looking for that one powerful motha of all love reads that has mafia written all over it.

All I can say is that Sempre is no doubt a story of freedom, love, redemption, hope and sacrifice. Ultimately, it shows you the depths of how far one is willing to go in the name of love.

"Sempre. No matter what happened next, or what went on tomorrow, nothing would ever take that away. Their love existed, depsite everything else, and it was that love that would go on forever. The moment was etched in time, transcending the constraints put on them by life."
Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,593 followers
November 24, 2013

This book is a true emotional roller coaster!!I fell in love with this book from the beginning wow it is really so good!!!I had so many emotions while I was reading it..
Both main characters go through so many bad things, but they still manage to get past all of them and start over....

This is about hope,faith,love and sacrifice..

Haven is a young, innocent girl who paid for the mistakes of others. ..She was born a slave..and she has been held captive...Until DeMarco who is a part of mafia take her to live with him and his two sons Carmine and Dominic...

Carmine and Haven fall instantly in love...


I love how these two find each other..Their relationship wasn't easy and was forced with obstacle.It's not easy when you are in a family Mafia..They were forced to make decisions and sacrifices to save one another..

But real love makes every sacrifices worth it...

"Do you have any idea how important you are to me?"
" I'm finding myself again because of you.I never thought it would happen.My mom used to talk about fate all the time and I think you're it...you're my fate.

"Ti amo tantissimo, mia bella ragazza."


Haven is really a remarkable character.She is innocent and vulnerable but even with all those awful things she experienced in her life she remained to be a very strong and intelligent character!!

Carmine...OMG *sigh* I love him!!!
He was a jerk at the beginning but when he meets Haven everything changes!!He started sees things different...
He loves her with a passion I've never seen before. There's absolutely nothing he wouldn't do for her.

If you haven't read it,you must read it right now!!
I'm sure that when you start it you will not able to put it down!!
Profile Image for Kristalia .
394 reviews615 followers
October 5, 2015
Final rating: 5/5 stars

“How about we just be Haven and Carmine?” she suggested. “We don’t know the ending, but we can always hope for the best.”
“I like that,” he said. “Besides, there’s a reason we don’t know how the story ends.”
“Because it doesn’t.”

✍ ☘ ❦ ☕ ❂ ✄ ☸ ⚡ ⚓ ☁ ☂ ✎ ✍ ☘ ❦ ☕ ❂ ✄ ☸ ⚡ ⚓ ☁ ☂ ✎ ☸ ⚡ ⚓

“Ti amo, mia bella ragazza. Per sempre.”
“Sempre?” she asked.
Cracking a smile, he brushed his pointer finger softly across her lips. “Always and forever.”

✍ ☘ ❦ ☕ ❂ ✄ ☸ ⚡ ⚓ ☁ ☂ ✎ ✍ ☘ ❦ ☕ ❂ ✄ ☸ ⚡ ⚓ ☁ ☂ ✎ ☸ ⚡ ⚓


MY INNER SELF: Stop reading now! You have your final exam tomorrow!
ME: But i can't! I don't wanna stop!
MY INNER SELF: But you must, you will fail!
ME: I won't fail, even though i have no idea what i just read in the whole freaking exam book.
MY INNER SELF: Then what are you waiting for?
ME: Fine. *goes to study*
20 minutes later...
SEMPRE: read meeeeeeee...read meeeee...you wanna know what happens next!!!!!!! Look, in your exam book, look what i found:

*falls out of trans* Please, stop, i am trying to learn....
3 hours later...
MY INNER SELF: ok, you can read now.
MY INNER SELF: for 20 minutes....
ME: I hate myself...
the next day
ME: vaffanculo, my inner self :(

Anyway, now that i finished retelling my imaginary conversation with myself, lemme tell you what i think of this book...

I loved it - and its the type of the book i would reread again and again (which i kind of did when i finished the book.. i started from the beginning).


“Some things in life only happen once, the memories of them lasting forever. they're moments that alter you, turning you into a person you never thought you'd become, but someone you were always destined to be.”

This story is not entirely pretty - insert mafia, family business and slavery and you know what to expect. But it's also a story of freedom and choices, of love and rivalry, of two broken teenagers...

"They were two broken kids, desperate to be whole again, struggling to find balance in a world out of their control. What's black and white and red all over? Carmine was, Haven thought. A soul savagely ripped in half, bleeding out for all to see. The ying and yang, the good and evil, the love and pain all at odds with each other. Two sides, two vastly different worlds, but someday they’d merge as one. They had to."

They try to understand each other... Haven and Carmine are born in different worlds, but they are the same inside... She was raised as a modern slave, he was raised as a mafia prince... But they are more alike then they thought they were...

But, this is not only a love story - danger is around the corner... And there is no escape.



Haven :

He smiled. She didn’t mind his company. “Do you wanna talk about what happened?”
“There’s nothing to talk about. I survived. That’s what I do. I’ll keep surviving until I don’t survive anymore.”
“So, you're saying you're a survivor?”

Born as a slave, and raised as one, she knows the truth - She will never be free. Being abused, beaten and when finally threatened to be killed - she tries to escape...where she utterly fails. But, when Dr. Vincent DeMarco, who visited her 'master' takes her away, she finds out that there is more to life than she ever thought...

“Do we need to be saved?”
“Don't we always?”

Haven is scared and afraid of the new life she is given... She tries to understand where she fits in the 'family' that now she belongs to. Haven thinks that she just changed masters and nothing else. She expects nothing, but is given more than she could hope for. Carmine. Dr. DeMarco's trouble maker son, the one who understands her more than anyone else.

“My mom used to talk about fate all the time, and I think you’re it… you’re my fate. You were brought to me for a reason, for us to save each other. Because you weren’t the only one needing saved, Haven. I was drowning, and you rescued me.”

I understood Haven... it's not easy when your life changes drastically and when your whole life is controlled by other people. So i found her reactions and feelings quite reasonable... I loved her, she tried her best, even when it was hard to cope with.

Carmine :

“But then she happened. The girl who had never been able to call her life her own taught a boy who had the world at his fingertips exactly what it meant to live. He wasn’t alone anymore.”

Carmine... broken inside... hell of a teenager outside... Trouble maker, womanizer, quite rude, reckless, likes to get in fights and everything else that follows the reputation of "bad boy".

But, Heaven changes him, as much as he changes her. She balances him out perfectly, and he dropped his every act, every anger he had toward world just to be the man he thought she would want him to be...

“Tell me, Mr. DeMarco. What’s love to you?”
He glared at his teacher. “I think it’s ridiculous you’re even trying to define it like it’s something material you can just go find if you want it. People use the word too loosely as it is. They say they love this and they love that, when they don’t. They just like the shi— uh, stuff. Love is something that changes you, and if you really loved all the crap you say you love, you’d never know who you were because you’d constantly be changing. Once you love, you love forever. You can’t help it.”

i must say, i loved him quite a lot (because he never ) and i love him because even though he was trouble and walking disaster, he was still a good man on the inside. He just need someone to understand him.

Other characters :

They were fabulous. Deep, and well characterized. I love Vincent, Celia and Corrado,Nicholas, Dominic and even Maura and Haven's mother...they were fantastic characters.

Especially Vincent...i underestimated him in the beginning, i thought of him as evil SOB but he was someone else entirely. I loved him in the end.

And Corrado and Celia were great as well. I was impressed and shocked of what Corrado did near the end, to protect his own...

And Nicholas... he was understimated too...by me and by everyone else. And his jokes were really funny :D



I highly recommend it... It's funny, heartbreaking, lovely, beautiful and just awesome. It's a story i wont forget for a long time ;)
Why are you still here? go read it :D

“Sogni dóro, mia bella ragazza,” he mumbled, closing his eyes. "Sweet dreams my beautiful girl.”



Awesome news :D Sempre was bought by Simon & Schuster which means that it will be re-released November 4th as an ebook. With new stuff in it ♥
Now i can reread it again and with new experience (probably) :D
But if you have not read Sempre yet, better wait for re-release ;D

Sempre will be re-released November 4th as an ebook with revamped content. ACK! Don't worry, those who already own it... we've worked hard to make sure the plot isn't affected by the srs bsns editing we're undertaking on that bad boy, so your copy is just fine *pets self-published copy*. It'll just be more tightened and focused when it's re-released (and may or may not have some extended content of the sexual nature... but yeah... MOVING ON... DON'T KILL ME... I LOVE YOU).

-Taken from JM Darhower’s blog post

Can't wait ♥

This review can be found on my blog: infinity-of-time.blogspot.com also known as...

Profile Image for ~ Becs ~.
709 reviews2,136 followers
April 14, 2012
Wow! This is astonishingly good book. If I could have given it more than 5 stars, I would have and I don’t even know if there are words to review it but I’m going to give it a go.

This is the story of Haven and Carmine. Haven is a slave born to a slave who was fathered by her master. She has known a life of intolerable cruelty, abuse, neglect and slavery. She is bought by Vincent DeMarco, a Mafioso, and taken to live with him and his 2 sons Carmine and Dominc. Dominic is a happy go lucky easy going teen but Carmine is the archetypal bad boy – a rebel without a cause. He’s seriously traumatised by witnessing his Mother’s murder as a child and is dark, unco-operative and antagonistic. He’s vain, selfish and arrogant and wears this as a suit of armour to prevent people from seeing the hurt deep inside and to close himself off from everyone emotionally.

Haven starts her life at the De Marco’s battered, bruised, malnourished and underweight. She is terrified of putting a foot wrong and the ensuing punishment but she realises her life is better here and yet she is not free. She’s an amazingly drawn character – there’s a wide eyed innocence and awe to her which showed in the scene where she sat captivated by the fireflies caught in a jar. She’s amazed and captivated by all the new things in her life but she’s also a victim of her experiences and is cautious and terrified and wordly beyond her years in that respect. There’s an inner strength to her – she may not be free but her mind soars and there’s an integrity to her that allows her to see beyond Carmine’s armour to the person he should always have been.

Carmine, when he finally takes notice of her, is so taken by her. He’s had a succession of girls for sex, never allowing them to get close or kiss them on the lips – he’s a real manwhore at school. He sees something in Haven, something which helps him rediscover the part of him he thought had died with his mother. She moves him, makes him fiercely protective and possessive and allows him to become the person he should have been. He’s horrified by her past experiences and wants, more than anything, for Haven to be free.

They fall in love slowly and plenty of time is given to telling this part of the story and it is simply beautiful. I was tearing up on more than one occasion and the emotions, so beautifully expressed, hit me right in the solar plexus, it’s just soul deep. Their first kiss is just stunning. More than anything, Carmine wants Haven to be free but he’s just a kid but knows he is growing up in the Cosa Nostra and will one day achieve this goal for her.

Just as their love is deepening into something very permanent, events set in motion before Haven was even born, start to surface and all hell is unleashed around them and, without giving away too much, Carmine has to make a huge sacrifice to free Haven and that’s ultimately what this novel is about – sacrifice. Many people sacrifice their lives, their freedom and their choice in this one and it is all done in the name of love and loss and it is so very, very beautiful and heart wrenching.

Carmine is an amazing character – he evolves from a vain and spoilt selfish teen through his love for Haven into a man who is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for her. Haven would also make the same sacrifice for him. I see plenty of potential for a sequel here – much is left unresolved, threads unsecured at the end and I really don’t want to let them go. I want to see where Carmine’s decisions will take them now that Haven is free and there are still secrets being kept that could drastically change their direction. So come on JM Darhower – a sequel, if you please.

The narrative in this one is beautiful and sighworthy and here’s a few that took my breath away.

“How about we just be Haven and Carmine?” she suggested. “We don’t know the ending, but we can always hope for the best.”
“I like that,” he said. “Besides, there’s a reason we don’t know how the story ends.”
“Because it doesn’t.”

“I ran, too, you know. My mama told me to run away and leave her there. I only did it because she asked me to.”
“So you know the guilt I feel.”
She nodded. “But you didn’t let her down, Carmine. You did what she needed you to do.”
Carmine brushed away her tears. “And what’s that?”
“You survived.”

“Haven, I could never love someone like you, because there isn’t anyone like you,” he said. “You’re one of a kind.”

He ran the back of his fingers along her flushed cheek. His touch was soft, and she leaned her head in his direction. “My beautiful girl,” he said.
She took in his expression. “You think I’m beautiful?”
“I don’t think you’re beautiful, Haven,” he said. “I know you are.”

Profile Image for Lucia.
735 reviews816 followers
November 25, 2013

Million stars! A must-read and definitely my all time favourite.

My Haven and Carmine:

Carmine DeMarco is troubled, tempramental and problematic teenage boy who does what he wants and when he wants. He doesn't really care about anything until Haven comes along...

Haven Antonelli knows nothing else as being unequal, a slave, a servant. When she is put with DeMarco family, the life she knew so far is turned upside down. Will she be able to adapt?

Italian mafia, slavery, freedom, danger, love and sacrifice. All these are topics of this book. This story reminded me to never take anything for granted and to enjoy simple things every day.

Sempre is extremely powerful and intese story. The one that you will never forget. It was beautiful and fascinating to read about two poeple from completely different backgorunds growing close together and falling in love.

Amazingly crafted characters, excellent writing, captivating storyline. This story was flawless! The use of 3rd person narrative made it very special for me. As a reader, I was able to connect with main as well as supporting characters and all of them became very close to my heart.

I can't express how much I love this story. Mrs. Darhower put her soul into it and I savoured every single word she wrote. As soon as you can, I highly recommend you to pick this book up and read it. You won't regret it.

MORE REVIEWS ON MY BLOG Reading Is My Breathing

*ARC provided by publisher as an exchange for honest review*
Profile Image for The Devil's Advocate.
20 reviews53 followers
March 6, 2014

 photo 1044942_677989478894730_418748532_n_zpsa3610046.jpg

Dear Reader,

Sempre is not your typical romance book.


Because the author managed to tug at the strings of my heart before I even started reading the story.


Simply because of a mere introduction. This is how J.M. Darhower started her novel:

While Sempre is a work of fiction, the concept of modern-day slavery is not make-believe. There are an estimated 27 million people in the world today, coerced and forced into sexual or labor slavery. The majority of them are females, half being young girls. They’re our mothers, our fathers, our sisters, our brothers. They’re our friends, our lovers, our neighbors, our kids. They’re us. It could happen to anyone, even you.
Human trafficking is the second most lucrative crime in the world, making more money every year than Google, Nike, and Starbucks combined. It happens everywhere, from the poverty-stricken providences of Cambodia to the affluent suburbs of California. Two children are trafficked every minute-that’s a 2880 a day.
Become an abolitionist.
If we don’t fight for them, who will?

 photo cm-51892-1512c5918e9370_zps255e2b7e.gif

I was rendered speechless by those simple words. I started thinking about those people out there held against their will. I sympathized with them, and I cried for them. All of that was before I even started reading the story.

 photo Jamie_zps44f544c5.png

Haven Antonelli, a second generation slave, grew up isolated in the middle of the desert, her days full of hard work and terrifying abuse. She never let herself hope for anything different in fear of constant disappointment. She knows that she will never be free.When Haven’s life is threatened, her mother orders her to run. And she does… But she soon finds herself in the hands of Dr. Vincent DeMarco, her new master…

 photo boy-cute-guy-hot-man-Favimcom-111239_zpse775dfc1.jpg

Carmine born into a wealthy Mafia family, lived a life of privilege, never having to answer for anything he did. He is the typical “bad boy”, rude, reckless, rash, and a trouble maker. Carmine is angry at the world…He is a broken soul, all vulnerable on the inside.

 photo You-changed-my-life-without-even-trying_zpsfa5febdd2_zpsfc523f37.jpg

But that changes when he meets Haven.

Carmine is immediately drawn to her fragility and innocence. However, his bad attitude scares her off, especially because he is her master’s son.

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.

 photo you-made-me-complete-love-quote-timeline-profile-covers_zps372dea21.jpg

As months pass, Carmine and Haven fall in love…they start to heal each other slowly.

“And I love you,” he said, his voice a whisper, but Haven felt it powerfully, deep down in her soul. “Ti amo, mia bella ragazza. Per sempre.”

What I loved about Carmine the most is that he had no problem apologizing for his faults.

The way he showed Haven his love, the way he tried to understand her, the way he wanted to soothe her pain, it gave romance a new definition.

I also loved the way he reassures Haven about his feelings for her.

 photo tumblr_mosozd7Kkr1rcsm4to1_500_zpsae2f6aea.gif

As their love blossoms, Haven starts to hope again, live the life that should’ve been hers, and breathe freely.

Because for once, life is GREEN

 photo tumblr_m9zw0quqgj1rw8rduo1_500_zpsc090dfae.gif

This is not only a romantic, riveting, and exhilarating story about hope, redemption, life, death, and love.

Sempre is about surviving in the most severe situations.

“Life’s a struggle, and it would be so easy if it came with an eraser, but it didn’t. What’s done is done, as hard as that was to accept.”

 photo tumblr_m5fpowAz2q1r6mpdgo1_400_zpsc984388a1_zps2daa882b.gif

“One of the strangest things about living in the world is that only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever… sometimes a sound far-off music makes it true; and sometimes a look in some one’s eyes.”

Click here to read my review of the second book :)
Profile Image for Grecia Robles.
1,521 reviews366 followers
September 26, 2019
*** 5 Colpo di Fulmine STARS***

Primeramente quiero agradecer a AleJandra , ya que sin ella no hubiera podido leer este maravilloso libro. Thank you so much eres un sol.

She stroked her thumb across his cheek, sending tingling through him. “Do you really feel that?” “Yeah. It’s like you have static under your skin.” She smiled. “What do you think it is?” “Colpo di fulmine?” he suggested. She just stared at him, and he smiled. “I guess you’re gonna want a translation.” “Please.” “It’s when you’re drawn to someone so forcefully that it’s like being struck by lightning

Este libro es HERMOSO ES MAGIA PURA y Goodreads debería de darle estrellas infinitas porque se lo merece.

Desde la primera página que leí me enganchó, es un libro un poco largo, pero que no contiene relleno ni un capítulo o página está demás. Está narrado en tercera persona, a mí a veces no me gusta pero aquí me pareció perfecto porque sabías lo que pasaba con la mente de cada personaje. Es un libro tierno, tiene partes muy divertidas que me hicieron reír mucho, es tan romántico que derrama miel y tiene su parte de acción y como todo libro de mafia está lleno de secretos.

Me enamoré de este libro de cada palabra y frase escrita que contiene.
Narra la historia de dos adolescentes una esclava y un chico hijo de uno de los miembros de una familia italiana que pertenece a la cosa nostra, o sea un príncipe de la mafia; al principio parecen tan diferentes porque ¿Qué pueden tener en común una chica que es esclava y un chico rico? pero por dentro son tan iguales ya que los dos están dañados llenos de cicatrices y quieren ser libres de la vida que les tocó

Haven es un personaje tan bonito, es inocente y muy dulce, vivió toda su vida siendo esclava y cuando por fin vió el mundo por primera vez, lo veía con tanto asombro y eso me hizo reflexionar que somos tan insensibles y damos todo por sentado que ya casi nada nos asombra por eso bien dicen que tenemos que ver la vida con ojos de niños.
Me encantó como fue evolucionando su personaje de ser una niña insegura y asustadiza a convertirse en alguien fuerte que toma sus propias decisiones.

He might've taken my life, but he didn't break my spirit. No one did, and no one ever will. Don't let them break you. Don’t let them win. You fight the fight. It’s the only way to be free.

Carmine Il mio bel ragazzo ti amo sei il mio colpo di fulmine
Caí enamorada desde que apareció, tengo una debilidad por los bad boys que por dentro son unos teddy bears, él es tan tan lindo es todo sarcástico no tiene filtro siempre dice lo que piensa, es finicky, picky malhablado y OMG ! cuando hablaba en italiano me derretía toda por dentro.
Carmine es TAN BELLO!! Aparentemente es todo brabucón, un bocazas a veces anda enojado explosivo pero en el fondo es todo lindo, es un alma bella y sensible. Es mi bebé hermoso y LO AMO!!
Mi personaje favorito Per sempre.

No puedo explicar los sentimientos que me provocó el romance de Haven y Carmine, son de esos amores tan épicos que son insuperables y difícil de olvidar.

"I love you,” he said, his voice a whisper, but Haven felt it powerfully, deep down in her soul. “Ti amo, mia bella ragazza. Per sempre.”

Los personajes secundarios me encantaron empezando por Vicent y Corrado que los pasas de odiar a amar en un segundo y quiero deseo que tengan su HEA.

En conclusión este libro es fantástico y como ya saben me encantó, la temática de la mafia italiana me pareció tan increíble, ya que a pesar de que hacen cosas ilegales tienen ese código de honorabilidad la famiglia está primero y me hizo tener esa doble moral porque quiero que los corruptos y delincuentes paguen pero aquí los defendía.

1 Rereading Sep 2017
2 Rereading Sep 2018
3 Rereading Sep 2019

Cada vez que leo este libro me gusta más y lo sufro más .
Carmine sigue siendo mi bebé Hermoso malhablado, picky con el alma buena y Haven siguen siendo esa niña dulce, ingenua que ve la vida por primera vez y que ama con todo su corazón a Carmine.

Pero el que cada vez que leo esta historia me gusta más y es Vincent De Marco, su historia de amor me parte el alma, cada vez que leo como sufre Vincent me desgarra el corazón y es que la primera vez que leí el libro empecé odiándolo pero ahora ya es la tercera vez, el segundo libro lo he leído dos veces y leí made la precuela entonces ya la veo con otros ojos ya lo entiendo y quisiera tener el poder de quitarle todo su sufrimiento, como quisiera que las cosas hubieran sido diferentes para él.

Una tercera lectura que disfruté de principio a fin, terminé amando el libro más si es que se puede.

BTW… No había caído en cuenta con el personaje de Natalia ni en la primera ni en la segunda lectura pero después de lo que me enteré en Made OMG!!! La autora nos dejó inconcluso ese asunto.
Profile Image for k.
100 reviews284 followers
August 12, 2016

"―Hummingbird?―Yeah, hummingbird. Colibri. You kinda remind me of one. ―Why? ―I don‘t know. They‘re these little birds that flutter around and hum. And you know, you‘re kinda the same way."

This book was absolutely amazing!Sempre, can almost be interpreted as a messed up version of Cinderella..if Cinderella was in the mafia business. We have the mistreated female servant who falls in love with the wealthy and very handsome prince.. except in this story the prince is dropping the f#$%! bomb every 3 sentences. Darhower does an amazing job of making you fall just as in love with this story as the ever classic, Cinderella. *sigh*
"Ti amo, mia bella ragazza. Per sempre." "Sempre?" She asked. Cracking a smile, he brushed his finger softly across her lips. "Always and forever"

CARMEN FREAKING DEMARCO will you please marry me right now? Like right now! I have to have you for myself. Carmen is one of my all time favorite book boyfriends. He's jsut one of those love able bad boys that we can't resist!

“Grabbing her hand, he pressed it gently to his chest. His skin was warm to the touch, and she could slightly feel his pulse pounding against her palm. “Do you feel that? I’m not going anywhere, Haven. This is yours."

At over 500+ pages, I thought for sure this book would lose my attention but it never did. It was consistently captivating from start to finish. The characters were so fantastically well written that you fall in love with all of them. Carmine & Haven grew and matured over the book, and I fell in love with the supporting cast as well.

"They were two broken kids, desperate to be whole again, struggling to find balance in a world out of their control."

Sempre is now officially going to be classified as one of my all-time favorites. Besides the heartbreaking realization of Haven's slavery filled world and the disheartening circumstances that surrounded Carmine & Haven's love for one another, there was also a comedic feel to this book that kept it from becoming too dark or disturbing. Seriously, Darhower is a freaking genius and I can't wait for book 2.

"Despite everything, he was still her world, her one and only. Part of her may have felt dead, but there was still another part of her that lived for Carmine DeMarco."

This book had it all, an epic love that made my heart clench; sadness and gut wrenching moments that will make you cry. The entire time I was reading this I was nervous for I knew that something horrible was just going to happen...

"Carmine‘s heart felt like it was being ripped apart, his voice an agonized whisper. ―Why did they have to take my hummingbird?"

If you are considering reading this you absolutely should. This book has something in it for everyone. Seriously, go pick it up right now. Right now. It sat on my TBR list forever.. and I hate hate hate that I missed out and waited so long to read it.

“How about we just be Haven and Carmine?” she suggested. “We don’t know the ending, but we can always hope for the best.” “I like that,” he said. “Besides, there’s a reason we don’t know how the story ends.” “Why?” “Because it doesn't.”

Profile Image for Svetlana.
49 reviews177 followers
December 1, 2017
You know, I actually really enjoyed this book. I was so hesitant to pick it up at first because I didn't know if I was going to like it. But I'm so glad I gave it a read wooot wooot! The story started off a bit slow and it took me a while to warm up and connect to the characters. But once I was in.. BAM! I was IN! Angst should be Darhower's other name because damn. The sis really knows how to write a book which oozes it.

The story hugely dealt with Mafia organisations and how it impacted those who were a part of it. Everyone just whipped out their guns and went PEW PEW PEW at every little thing. You'd get a bullet between your eyes for simply looking the wrong way. But my favourite part of the story were the characters. They all had such messy and unpredictable lives due their associations with la famiglia . Yet they were incredibly passionate people. They'd sacrifice themselves for those they loved and they hated with the same intensity.

I know this isn't everyone's thang but if it is yours then definitely check it out!
Profile Image for Beatrice Masaluñga.
1,141 reviews1,672 followers
May 30, 2016
Many thanks to my book girlfriend, Camille, for recommending this book to me. <3 This book has been on my TBR for ages and I finally get to pick this book up. Just the perfect timing I'm still on the mood for Mafia/Assassin themed books (currently obsessing with it).

Haven Antonelli grew up as a slave with her mother and they're both abused for years. She lived her whole life being afraid because of it and never lose hope that one day, she'll be free. When Dr. Vincent DeMarco-- a Mafia member-- took her, she's adjusting to a new rich life that she never had. She still works hard for doing household chores and has yet to earn Dr. DeMarco's trust. Also she met his sons, Dominic DeMarco and Carmine DeMarco. Carmine somewhat made her curious. He has this bad boy image and he has a strained relationship with his father because of what happened in the past. They're both longing for someone and understand each other's feelings despite of being flawed. So many things happened and everything has put them into a test.

Sempre is simply a gem and it gave me a bad case of book hangover. It took me a while to write something and organize my thoughts. Oh my god. What a beautiful story between a slave and a mafia prince (a hot-damn-colpo di fulmine-worthy- mafia - prince) . I think this is a perfect book to start when you're going to dive in to Mafia themed books for the following reasons:

- It's somewhat in between YA and NA.
- Trigger warning: there is an abuse but it's less graphic/violent. Not to the point you will cringe. I find it mild unlike the other ones I've read.
- It focuses more on the character / family drama.

The plot is well written and each scenes are very detailed. J.M Darhower's writing style is hands down beautiful and I'm fully engrossed with the story. The romance between the characters is absolutely slow burn and the other thing that I love about this entire novel, all the characters aren't left out. Everyone has their role in the story and they played it so good and they're all complex. Dr. DeMarco is probably the most complex character. He's a broken and stern man with a huge heart. Carmine may not understand his good intentions, but I love how he's protective of him and doesn't want his son to expose into a dangerous life. He wants Carmine to live free and not follow his footsteps. Whatever happens, he's there for his son for good and bad times.

Haven is indeed a strong heroine. She's selfless, loving and caring. Her character development is such a wonderful thing to see.Grab me some cherry coke and let me fangirl on Carmine DeMarco. My Mafia Prince. Goodness lord, I'm a sucker for bad boys. He's a sweet bad boy and his love for Haven...

"Haven, I could never love someone like you, because there isn't anyone else like you. You're one of a kind."

eeeeeee!!! *squeals more like a banshee*I swear there are more swoon worthy quotes, especially what Colpo di fulmine means (not going to mention it here because you need to find out) and Overall, I love this book..per sempre
Profile Image for Jen.
1,655 reviews1,002 followers
November 6, 2014
What an amazing story! I thoroughly enjoyed this mafia romance; and the love that develops between Carmine and Haven is truly EPIC! We have two teenagers who are far totally different walks of life. Carmine is basically considered a "Mafia Prince" (even though his father is fighting for his son not to be involved in "the life"); and then we have Haven who was saved by Vincent (Carmine's father)from a life of slavery. Although, to Haven it feels like she has moved from one Master's house to another. She trusts no one, and I can't say I blame her. As time goes on though she gets to know the sons of Vincent..and I must say that I was impressed with both of them. Dominic is the oldest one, but he has a heart of gold-he really does. I am amazed the lengths that he goes to make Haven feel comforted, accepted, and never less than himself. Carmine is a tougher guy to like at first. He disrespects the girls that he is "sleeping with," he has extreme anger issues...Oh let's face it..he has so many issues it is hard to keep up. Not many truly like him, because he is just a plain a-hole that has no regard for anyone including himself and his own well being. Then along comes Haven, and these two bring out the best in each other. Carmine does a total personality change, and amazingly as he falls in love with Haven he is as loyal as they come. I fell in love with him; but also with Haven too. They belonged together, and if I have ever doubted fate in my romance books, this is the book that makes me a firm believer in it!

There is so much that takes place in this story, it has it all: drama,betrayal,humor,love,grief...you name it; it has it. I loved the journey that the author takes us on, and it is one of those books that I became fully absorbed into the lives of the characters. The past few days I have been walking around in a daze, as even when I closed the book; it was still playing in my mind! To me, that is the definition of an Epic book, and a brilliant author. Sempre goes on my keeper shelf for sure, and I can even see that down the road I would be interested in rereading it again! I won't ever forget the lengths that Carmine goes through for the love of his life. He is so dedicated to Haven, and just thinking about it melts me.

Do I highly recommend this book...Absolutely, I do! I am kicking myself that I waited to read it for so long! Just a top quality book that I will never forget. Sempre will go down as one of my all time best romance books! Thank you J.M. Darhower for delivering such a masterpiece!!
Profile Image for *TANYA*.
1,002 reviews312 followers
December 22, 2017
This was a very good story. There's a love story within a love story. Vincent, the dad, was perhaps my favorite character. I want him to overcome all of his past transgressions. Carmine and Haven's love story was cute too.
Profile Image for ✝✝ Ⓓaisy ❣ ✝✝ .
493 reviews271 followers
December 6, 2013

"Tesoro's kinda like sweetheart, but it means treasure..... which, right now, you literally are"

 photo giphy-3.gif

Haven meets Carmine in a unexpected way and they both fall in love.... but can it just be so simple as that for them?
Definitely not.

Haven, a girl who struggles throughout her daily life until one day..... she feels like a free woman!

 photo 9234548c3815924277c41dbcc3e880b4.jpg

 photo giphy-2-1.gif

Meanwhile, Carmine has his own ghosts.....Losing his mama meant he lost himself, then came Haven!

 photo 2138a7d62c36cb9ffc2f7fce257646bf.jpg

" I'm taking about the boy who shared his chocolate bar with me when he probably never shared anything before, who gave me his mama's favourite book because he thought i deserved to read. I'm talking about the boy who treats me like a regular girl, the one who desperately needs his bedroom cleaned and laundry washed but chooses to live in a mess and wear dirty clothes because he's too polite to ask the girl he kisses for help"

 photo giphy-4.gif

Carmine, is my one of favourite book boyfriend. This new version Sempre become sexier definitely.... but there is something in the original version that I love more.

SEMPRE is one my favourite book which is gull of mystery, love and action. If you have meet Carmine, hope you meet him soon!

"I love you"
"And I love you"
"Always and Forever"

 photo giphy-5.gif

**BR with gorgeous Jessica**
Profile Image for Pearl Angeli.
624 reviews963 followers
June 5, 2016
(Buddyreading this book with my lovely sis Eunice)

"When love strikes someone like lightning, so powerful and intense it can't be denied. It's beautiful and messy, cracking a chest open and spilling their soul out for the world to see. It turns a person inside out, and there's no going back from it."


A 5/5 Sempre Stars for this book!

I believe this is one of the best books written so far.

Sempre is yet another masterpiece where J.M. Darhower uses a dark theme as a plot device for a YA/NA romantic genre.

The story centered around Haven who grew up as a slave under the Antonelli family. She was about to escape and ask for help when she stumbled upon Dr. Vincent DeMarco who brought her to his home and basically gave her shelter. In return, she was also to work as his slave-- with restrictions and certain rules to never get out of the house or open any code inside. In her new home she met the notorious bad boy Carmin DeMarco, a Mafia prince who has the entire world under his fingertips. What soon blossomed between them was an unexpected love which eventually became a complication to their situation where danger continues to threaten them and heavy decisions matter.

I loved the concept of this book and the exquisite romance of two young people who fell in love against seemingly impossible odds. I expected it to be something different, something that I'm used to in a Mafia romance, but I was surprised by its uniqueness. The writing of J.M. Darhower and the ardent tone she used gave me a plethora of different emotions.

She was quiet, running her fingers across his abs and tracing his scars with her fingertips. "How about we just be Haven and Carmine? We don't know the ending, but we can always hope for the best."

"I like that," he said. "Besides, there's a reason we don't know how a story ends."


"Because it doesn't."

Carmine and Haven's love story was one of a kind. I absolutely loved their exchange of lines and the way their cheesy yet heart-warming conversations moved me. It also helped a lot that Carmine was such a cocky, sarcastic, yet very passionate and sweet guy. Just a heads up, this guy is extremely jealous and possessive but I admit to myself that I didn't have any problem with him being that way because well, who am I to complain? His character was defined so perfectly and I just could't do anything but SWOON.

"You were brought to me for a reason, for us to save each other. Because you weren't the only one needing to be saved, Haven. I was drowning, and you rescued me."

At first I did have a little problem with the pacing. The book, I admit, did drag out too long. BUT! I realized when I got to Chapters 40 and beyond that those dragging scenes were a necessity. They were like spices that made the whole book entirely meaningful and dramatic. If the story did not finish with a BOOM, and if the story didn't have that beautiful climax, then I'd probably resent its slow-pacing but then I loved how the overall story turned out so it didn't become a problem with me.

There were many places Carmine would go back to, many things he would have done differently, but one thing he wouldn't take back was what he had done to save her.

As a whole, this book was a real surprise. The drama, the sentiments, the dilemma, and even the slow-burn flaw that the author managed to convey were so overwhelming and thought-provoking. I cried a lot of times as I went through its pages (How could an author do that to me?) and I experienced a great deal of adrenaline-rush after reading those action scenes in the near-end. It was just so good!!!

To those who love heavy drama and romance with action-packed scenarios, you definitely should read this book. I cannot be alone in this, guys! I have to get you to read and experience the beauty of this book, too!

Their love existed, despite everything else, and it was the love that would go on forever. The moment was etched in time, transcending the constraints put on them by life..

Pearl's Book Journey (1)

Profile Image for Irina.
409 reviews66 followers
July 3, 2014
That's it! I've had enough!

There's so much in here that rubs me the wrong way, I'm surprised I've gone this far as it is.

DNF @70%

I'll start with the worst, and move on upward

It was waaaaaay too long and too slow!!! I mean, this is like reading someone's diary: all the meals they're having, bathroom breaks, lectures at school, overstuffed descriptions, constant dialogues that don't contribute to the story - there's only so much your brain needs to get the image. Why overdo it? Quantity doesn't necessarily mean quality. If I were to edit this book, it will shrink to the one third of it. The rest is absolutely useless, in my opinion.

Love at first sight is a guarantee for a boring romance, not to mention a huge mistake in a book of 1500 epub pages. What does it leave a reader with? Exactly - nothing to look forward to. In my case, it also means being unable to connect to the couple and believe in their romantic relationship.

Carmine, who is your typical rich and spoilt teenager, behaving like a first-class asshole and a womaniser. Not only is he drinking alcohol more often than not and uses drugs, but he also pushes an innocent girl whom he claims to like do the same! Oh, and don't forget his violence towards anybody who will as much as look at the girl, landing those guys in a hospital! What kind of chivalry is that? And, as soon as the magical L-word is out (which was way sooner than realistically possible), the guy drops all his 'faults' and becomes a saint. Sorry, but I don't buy this kind of romance.

Absence of steam. None whatsoever. I can handle it better in a normal-sized book, but to go for so long without any adrenaline is stressing me out.

Mafia world. It's my personal opinion, of course, but when the mafia is the central force in the story, I can't help but dislike it normally. There are exceptions, but this was not one of them unfortunately.

Lack of drama. And by this I mean the lack of anything significant. There was no hardship for two young people to become close, no problems, arguments or even misunderstandings in their relationship. The only captivating thing about the MCs and the whole book in general, was the mysterious past of the girl and what was so important about her role that turned DeMarco's world upside down. This was the only reason I kept on reading. And as soon as my questions were answered more or less, I've decided to give up...

Finally, I don't know if I'm getting older, but I found myself much more fascinated with Carmine's father, Vincent. I'd much rather see him recover from his loss, try to redeem himself and stop this lonely existence. If I cared for anybody's happy ending here, it would be his. But for some reason, I don't see it happening, so there goes my last hope.

Profile Image for MR Taylor.
13 reviews5 followers
November 26, 2011
This was terrible as fanfiction and I'm assuming will be even worse as self pull-to-publish, just by the names.

ETA: Just to clarify, I read about 10 chapters of this when it was fanfiction and couldn't force myself to read on. I was simultaneously offended that the author thought that a slave/owner relationship could be anything but unequal in power structure and bored at the writing style.
The author's website says she has made large edits, which I applaud, and I want to point out that I have not actually read this book in its current form. However, I saw enough earlier that unless she started from scratch (unlikely, from the book description), I have ZERO desire to read it. And neither should you.

And just a little PSA to everyone: please educate yourself on human trafficking. There are a multitude of resources available to you. And it is NOT SEXY.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,833 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.