I received this book for free from Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Simon and Schuster on December 16th 2013
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, New Adult, Romance
Source: Blog Tour
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In this thrilling and sexy follow-up to Sempre, two young lovers struggle to keep their relationship intact after they become deeply enmeshed in the dangerous mafia-run crime ring they once tried to overthrow.
Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco have been through a lot. Haven was taken in by Carmine’s father, and with his family’s help, she escaped a gruesome fate. However, saving Haven from the dark intentions of a mafia family cost Carmine a steep price: he was forced to swear loyalty to them.
Now, still passionately in love, Carmine and Haven must face the fall-out of Carmine’s forced service, as Haven discovers terrifying secrets about the family that enslaved both her and her mother—and why she matters so much in this intricate web of lies.
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One of the first reviews I ever posted on my blog was for a self-pubbed book called Sempre. Fast forward almost 2 years, during which time the rights to both Sempre and this sequel were purchased by Simon & Schuster, and I'm beyond excited to finally share my thoughts on the conclusion to Haven and Carmine's story!
This book came to me at the perfect time. I was feeling a bit in a slump and it immediately pulled me right out. At 500+ pages it is a hefty sized novel but you know what? It never felt that way to me. The story flowed from one scene to the next flawlessly, wrapping me up in a web of intrigue and excitement. I was able to finish quite quickly, which is a huge feat for those of you who know my reading speed, and as soon as I finished I wanted to pick up the first book and start all over again.
If you aren't familiar with this series, we have a story of a girl raised as a slave and a boy who grew up privileged. The two together teach each other what it means to live. Haven is a character that is just such a joy to read. She grew so much in the first book and that is nothing compared to the transition she makes in this sequel. She is forced to stand tall and learn to be her own person and I loved how real her progress felt. Carmine continues to be the foul-mouthed, temperamental boy that melts your heart with his capacity to love Haven and do what he thinks is right (even if you want to punch him for it). He has such a way about him. He makes me laugh with his lack of filter and he makes me feel so many other things that I will restrain from mentioning as to not give away spoilers. These two are magic together and truly what I adore in a romance.
As with Sempre, in Sempre: Redemption there is drama, danger, mafia ties and a whole lot of buried secrets waiting to be uncovered that affect all the characters, primary and secondary. The author really upped the ante this time around, leaving me hanging onto every word and clawing at the box of tissues I needed by my side. I became so invested with every character, not just Haven and Carmine. Carmine's father, Dr. Vincent, is one of the most interesting of all. His presence in the story is just, everything. And then there is Corrado… I'm not sure how he passed me by before but I found myself so captivated by him and the part he plays. I would absolutely love to get more in the mind of this character in the future.
The story-telling is remarkable, the characters complex but captivating. The Sempre series has left such an impact on me and is one I will take with me, always. I can't recommend it enough! I will forever be a fan of J.M. Darhower's amazing ability to tell a story and look forward to anything and everything she writes in the future. To her, I thank you for your brilliant words. <3
You were worth it.