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.
I spent days inside the minds of these characters. I read Sempre and then immediately dove into Sempre: Redemption... I couldn't get enough of these characters. They were so raw, edgy, dark and damn delicious!!
I easily gave Sempre FIVE stars... How could I not?? I mean the mafia, dangerous men, and a hot son with anger issues but who also had a tortured side that just made me swoon all over the effing place? Then a house slave who needed to find herself in order to figure out what her likes/dislikes were, experience the real world and not be scared of getting beat for stupid reasons... It was just an amazing story that I absolutely LOVED.
SO moving on to Redemption I was so curious to where this story was going to go other than the obvious of Carmine being turned into a little minion for the Mafia and trying to earn his title of Mafia Prince but what I got was soooo much more than I thought and also a lot of what I didn't want either.
The characters were still the same. Carmine and his very eclectic mouth was still entertaining and swoon-worthy. I mean the way he cussed just sent flutters all over my dirty, dirty mind..
Haven was the one person I was most curious about in this sequel. I wanted to see where the author took her. She definitely expanded her character, let her experience the outside world... umm do some other stuff and I was interested but at the same time I was mad...
*If you have not read this book then skip to after the red font so I don't ruin anything for you*
Here is where there is going to be spoilers because I have decided I cannot give this review without giving away something...
So the author breaks Carmine and Haven up because Carmine is trying to save her from the same fate that his mom suffered. I found this admirable and I loved that he was protecting her and at the same time letting Haven figure herself out. I mean she went from being a slave, to a sort of housekeeper then to Carmine's love interest then to Carmine's girlfriend. She did things with Carmine and experienced new things with him but there was no way she would have been able to find herself-her true self- without experiencing life on her own, first. So I did LOVE that BUT at the same time I thought the author dragged it out too long. I was anxious for them to reunite and it didn't happen for a LONG time, which mad me sad and it got to be redundant after a while.
Now, since I am spoiling things I might as well keep going and say the next thing that I love/hated was...
She effing killed Vincent!! Ahhhh What? NOOO!! That was my initial reaction...
Then I thought about it and I think she might have done this for a reason. I could totally be wrong, though. I am not her and don't know what was going through her mind but this is what I think...
Vincent was a broken man, a very broken man. He lost something very important to him and he was never the same after it happened. This murder/suicide was the catalyst that needed to happen in order for everything else to fall in place so the rest of the story could end happily. And honestly I might be the ONLY person who thinks this but I believe Vincent is where he needs to be, he's up there (or down there depending on your beliefs) with his soulmate... they are reunited and he is whole again. Yeah he left his children but I don't think he could be happier than he is right now...
Ok now enough of the spoils.
So there were things I loved and hated in this book. Certain parts dragged and other parts I couldn't get enough of.
I cried... Oh lord did I cry... not in parts that most people would have. I didn't cry when they were all at the boss' house and that crazy shit went down, I was at peace with what I knew was going to happen. The part I bawled like a baby was the note Vincent left Haven... Dear God, I don't know why that part effected me more than any other but I was in tears and eventually had to put my Kindle down to collect myself!
The only thing I wish there was more of, was Dominic. He needed to be in the story more than he was. I missed him =( haha
I was back and forth with what I wanted to rate this book and I think I will say it was a solid 4/5 but for an author to confuse me on what exactly I want to rate a book, says a lot!! Kudos Mrs. Darhower ;)...
About the Author:
JM Darhower is the author of countless stories and poems, most of which only she has ever read. She lives in a tiny town in rural North Carolina, where she churns out more words than will ever see the light of day. She has a deep passion for politics and speaking out against human trafficking, and when she isn't writing (or fangirling about books) she's usually ranting about those things.
Chronic crimper with a vulgar mouth, she admits to having a Twitter addiction. You can usually always find her there.
Carmine sat in his usual chair in the library, casually strumming his guitar. A sliver of light filtered in from the large window, illuminating his somber expression in the darkness. She called his name but he remained still, continuing to pluck at the strings almost as if he hadn’t heard her. She took a step toward him and was about to say his name again when he let out a long, deep sigh. “I had a dream.”
“Another nightmare?” she asked, walking over to him. He glanced up at her as his fingers stilled, the music stopping, but Haven barely noticed. She couldn’t focus on anything but the green eyes boring into her. Once so alive with passion, she saw nothing but deep sadness marring the bright color.
Carmine set the guitar aside and moved his legs to make room, motioning for her to join him. She climbed into his lap and he wrapped his arms around her.
“Not a nightmare this time,” he said. “It was a good dream.”
“What was it about?”
“You,” he said quietly. “You made a painting—some abstract shit, I don’t know—but it was so good they hung it in a museum and raved about how talented you were. It was like you were the next fucking Picasso, tesoro.”
She laughed. “I don’t even know how to paint, Carmine.”
“You could learn,” he said. “Would you want to?”
“Maybe, but I don’t know how good I’d be.”
“Oh, you’d be good,” he said confidently. “You shouldn’t doubt yourself. You can do anything you set your mind to.”
“Except for play the piano,” she said playfully. “Or the guitar.”
He chuckled. “Yeah, for the sake of everyone’s ears, we ought to leave music to me, but the rest is all you. You can probably do all of that, you know. Draw, paint, sculpt shit into weird shapes and tell people it’s something it doesn’t look anything like. That takes talent.”
She smiled. “And you think I have that kind of talent?”
“Of course,” he said. “There’s gonna be no stopping you once you get started.”
“Thank you,” she whispered, a swell of emotion surging through her at his words. “It means a lot that you believe in me.”
“I’d be an idiot not to,” he said, kissing the top of her head.