5+ Star Book Review: SEMPRE by J.M. Darhower

February 25, 2014 Book Review, Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Favorite Books, New Adult 0

About the Book




Title: Sempre (Forever #1)

Author: J.M. Darhower

Release Date: January 31, 2012


My Rating: 5+ Stars


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.


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My Review


“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.”

This book, in all its brilliance, beauty, tragedy, romance, and hope… hurt me. It broke me in to thousands of tiny pieces, put them back together, only to break me over and over again. And I loved every second of it.

An epic romance between two fantastic characters, set against a backdrop of Mafia violence and secrets, this is an unforgettable story. It is about two kids, only seventeen, who seem much older than their years because of what they have had to endure. Though their pasts are completely different, Carmine and Haven understand one another. Their love is intense, real, beautiful and hopeful. Unfortunately, even a love this great is not immune to the outside world, and circumstances outside of Carmine’s and Hope’s control threaten to destroy them. They are victims of circumstance, and though they crack occasionally, they are each so strong in their own way.

J.M. Darhower possesses that elusive quality that some authors have: the ability to show, not tell. I did not have to be told how the characters were feeling at any given time, I felt it myself. It’s a quality that makes for a story and characters that are infinitely readable, as you become a part of their world. A world that includes intense emotions, plenty of mystery, suspense, and action, and characters that touch the reader’s heart. I felt their fear,desperation, sadness, and their love.

I absolutely loved this book. A story shrouded in the dark traditions of The Mafia, yet filled with love and tentative hope. There is violence, there are secrets, and there is death, but there is light. This is must-read and I’m starting the next book in the series right away.

“He kissed her slowly, softly, pure passion emanating from him. It was an innocent kiss, yet so much more. It was a kiss of redemption, of forgiveness and pride. It was a kiss that said no matter what may have happened in the past, there was still hope for the future.”

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.


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