Maylin's Reviews > Sempre

Sempre by J.M. Darhower
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's review
Feb 02, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: kindle
Read from February 02 to 06, 2012

I feel it necessary to point out a couple of things for those considering reading this.

1. Human trafficking (not sex trafficking) is the main theme and it is not romanticised in any way. Quite the opposite.

2. Although this was originally fanfiction it is considerably revised. Not only is it less than half the length but the POV is different.


2.2.12 I never meant to start reading this now as I have another half dozen books on the go but I just took a look when I dled it and got sucked in.

I would prefer to read this as the novel it is and review it on that basis. However others seem to want to jinx any chance it has at success because a much (much) longer version was once published online for free.

I read most of the original (enormously long) Emancipation Proclamation and this is considerably different. It is much more streamlined and has a much more Italian feel to it (which might be due a lot to names but it seems like more.)

So far much of the graphically sexual content has been removed which actually seems much more fitting for this story.

Although I enjoyed the original EP there are many things that make this a better read for a novel length work. The main family situation is much less complicated and cluttered. The Prologue was in the present day and from the female protagonists POV rather than a rather detached back story. The sons are not really aware of their fathers involvement with the mob (or certainly choose not to be). The whole thing is less 'gangsta'

The underlying intrigue with Haven's birth and how it ties in with things and the sense of trouble brewing is happening much earlier and lifts it from being merely a romance. I am looking forward to devouring this.


Having now finished the book I am left with a feeling of both incompleteness and also rightness. The way things were left seems much more realistic for the circumstances and I think it was brave of the author not to conjure up some unrealistic HEA.

There has been a fair bit of discussion as to whether human trafficking is a suitable subject for a romance but I never felt any distaste about it. There was no sense of it glamorising the master/slave relationship, quite the opposite. This was in its own way an Emancipation Proclamation of its own. The author is also active in raising awareness of modern day slavery so she not only talks the talk but walks the walk, something that demands my respect.

There was something a little jerky about the narrative if you were expecting it to be similar to the first draft but in another respect it seemed to illustrate time passing and Haven's development short vignettes.

One thing that did make me uneasy was the casualness of the violence and there were times it came close to glamorising (or at least normalising) the Mafia lifestyle. What alleviated this was Vincent's absolute focus on making sure Carmine never followed in his footsteps.

I loved the way the full story unfolded and the circular nature of things - so, so, true.

My favorite bits though were some of the descriptions of Carmine's frustration at mundane things - I was laughing out loud at him helping to clean his room (how true!) but him shopping for things for a picnic was hilarious.

Lastly I have immense admiration for anyone who has the guts to self publish and put themselves out there.

A gripping read.
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