Sempre (Forever) by J.M. Darhower

Book description via Amazon:

This is a story about sacrifice… death… love… freedom. This is a story about forever. Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco had vastly different childhoods. Haven, a second-generation slave, grew up 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, never having to answer for anything he did. 

Both now seventeen, a twist of fate causes their worlds to collide, making them question everything they ever believed. 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 started before either were born threatens to destroy them instead. Murder and betrayal are a way of life, and nothing comes without a price– especially not freedom. How much will they have to sacrifice? Can they escape their pasts? And, most of all, what does it mean to be free? Not everything is as it seems, and no one can possibly come out unscathed, but maybe, just maybe, it’ll be worth it in the end.

Wow. This was the most sweetest yet heartbreaking and gut-wrenching story I have ever read. It was hard not to love it. I wish I didn’t wait so long to read it. It’s almost like the author took bits and pieces from some of my favorite books and brought it all together.

Haven is taken from her life of being a slave and is forced into the DeMarco household by Dr. DeMarco himself. She meets his two sons, Dominic and Carmine, and begins her transition from being a slave to being normal. But what is normal when all you’ve ever known has always been far from it? The longer she stays there, the deeper her connection gets with Carmine and the more she learns about the tragedy that the DeMarcos have suffered from, which may involve her more than anyone let on. Carmine and Haven are from two very different worlds, almost opposite ends of the spectrum, yet they are more similar on the inside than they realize.

First, I think you should know that this is a very VERY long book. I only have the ebook but I imagine its hardback to be the similar in size to the last Harry Potter hardback. I don’t like stories that drag on so I promise you that this does NOT drag on. In fact, I never wanted to finish it. It could have easily been split into 2, maybe even 3 books but THANK YOU J.M. DARHOWER FOR NOT DOING THAT!

The first part of the book covers Haven’s transitioning into the DeMarco household. We meet the family and get a glimpse into Dr. Vincent DeMarco’s life in the mafia (I don’t think they like it to be called that but it’s the only word I can think of that describes that lifestyle) and how much he wants his sons to stay away from that type of life. We get a feel for hot badboy Carmine, Vincent’s youngest son, of course he’s a trouble-making manwhore with a potty mouth, just the way I like it! And we get into Haven’s head as she adjusts to their world. The second part of the book is pretty much Carmine’s and Haven’s story of coming together and trying to work things out, despite the circumstances. They try to just be together without having their pasts or backgrounds get in the way. It’s one of the sweetest love stories and also the most heartbreaking because we see what broke their souls in their pasts and how they still struggle with that pain. We also see Haven’s growth and progress in Carmine’s world, as she meets his friends and learns how to do small things she never dreamed she would like grocery shopping and driving. The last part of the book is full of action and suspense as Haven’s and Carmine’s backgrounds crash into each other; sh*t hits the fan. Their worlds collide and the consequences end in blood shed.

Is it a happy ending? Is it a tragic one? READ IT TO FIND OUT! There is a lot more to this story than what is in its book description. I had this on my wishlist for a while because I wasn’t sure I would like it but now after reading it, I want to punch myself in the face for waiting for so long. J.M. Darhower’s blog mentions that a sequel is in the works. Yes f*cking please! I will be the first to pre-order that sucker. I will take whatever you got, Darhower! Sequel, short story, excerpt, follow-up, spin-off about Dominic? JUST GIVE ME MORE!

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