Thursday, May 7, 2015

REVIEW: Sempre by J.M. Darhower

18338465Sempre by J.M. Darhower
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

To sum it up: Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco grew up under vastly different circumstances. Haven, a second-generation slave, was 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 and excess. Now, a twist of fate causes their worlds to collide. 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 began before either of them were born threatens to destroy them instead.

Murder and betrayal are a way of life, and nothing comes without a price-especially not freedom. But how much will they have to sacrifice? Can they escape their pasts? And, most of all, what does it mean to be free?

So I've heard some pretty amazing things about this book, and since I was in the mood for a dark read I figured I couldn't go wrong with this one. Unfortunately though, I must have been in the minority when it comes to this story because I didn't love it like so many others did. It wasn't horrible or anything along those lines... But it just wasn't as wonderful to me as it was for so many other people.

In this story, we're introduced to the heroine Haven... She was raised as a slave and wasn't treated too kindly. However, unexpectedly she was sold to the DeMarco's and was taken to live with Vincent and his two teenage sons- She went from being treated poorly, to being treated almost as if she was a member of the family; Something that Haven had a hard time becoming familiar with. During her time at her new home, she befriends her new Master's sons and becomes extremely close with one of his boys in particular- His name is Carmine, and she eventually develops a relationship with him far beyond anything she could have ever imagined...

I don't want to give any other details away about this story, because I'd hate to ruin anything for you. Instead, I'll just talk about my feelings on the book and why it just didn't work out for me the way I wished it would have. At first, I was really enjoying it- I was definitely into the fact that our hero Carmine was the good looking bad boy with an attitude to match. He was constantly getting into fights and hooking up with other girls, which definitely gained Haven's attention. Seeing them start to develop a friendship was an aspect to the story that really intrigued me and held my attention... Yet once they both starting owning up to their feelings for one another, the story just took a turn for the worse.

For starters, there was definitely an insta-love feel to the story. I just didn't really feel a connection between Carmine and Haven- Sure, we were told that they had such strong feelings for one another, but I never really felt it. For the amount of length this book was, I felt that it had more than enough time to build well developed characters and relationships, but in turn that still lacked. The longer that the book went on, the more I found myself wishing that the author would just wrap things up already. Had there been more flirting... Drama... Arguements... Just something when it came to the relationship and romance that these two had then maybe I would have felt more invested.

I think the storyline really held potential... A Prince of Mafia falling in love with a slave? Yes please! Unfortunately, it just didn't surpass any of my expectations and left me wanting more while feeling like something was missing. I guess I was also expecting some bad-ass action and alpha-ness to be involved since the Mafia played a crucial role in the story, but in all actuality it just seemed like everyone involed was nothing more than a bunch of wannabees who just took pleasure in killing in order to feel more macho or some shit.

Over-all, this book just didn't leave a lasting impression on me. By the time the story ended, I was never really convinved that Haven was as strong a character as the author was trying to portray, and Carmine ended up seeming like a silly boy who didn't have a clue as to how the real world worked- His stupid decisions and loud mouth proved that time and time again. Unfortunately, I just didn't really feel an emotional connection with any of the characters or the story, which in turn delievered a pretty lack-luster love story for me.

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