Sempre: Redemption

( 10 )

Overview

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 ...

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Sempre: Redemption

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Overview

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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452618357
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/3/2014
  • Series: Forever Series , #2
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged CD
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 5.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


J. M. 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.

Carla Mercer-Meyer, an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator, has a strong musical theater background, and her performances include Into the Woods, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and many other theatrical productions.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 24, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I have to start by saying this is the best follow-up book I reme

    I have to start by saying this is the best follow-up book I remember reading.  I also have to add that this is the best mob series ever.  I loved book 1, but the author really outshines with book 2.  I can't sing it's praises enough.  It belongs on your Best of 2013 and Favorites shelves.












    The first thing you have to understand when you start to read it is don't even try to predict what is going to happen or what is going on behind the scenes, just strap in and ride the roller coaster.  Be prepared for some very intense feelings.
























    If someone years before had asked Carmine, what life in Chicago would be like, he would have given them some cliché answer about money, power, and respect, but he knew better now.  La Cosa Nostra wasn't about any of that.












    There was so much sacrifice throughout the book.  It was deeply touching.  About 12% I was just overwhelmed by it.  Yes, I had a breakdown.  It was just one of many.
























     
























    Things change.








    Sometimes it's abrupt, knocking you off your feet as life throws a curveball nobody expected, turning worlds upside down and leaving those left behind to pick up the pieces.  But other times, it happens slowly, an hour, or a minute, or a second at a time, so immeasurable no one can pinpoint exactly when it happened.  You find yourself somewhere you've never been, doing things you've never done, being a person you never imagined you would ever be.












    My range covered it all-tears, nervousness, sadness, understanding, awe.  The storyline has it all-murder, mystery, love, inspiration, loss and redemption. 
































    "Most people are ruled by petty laws-wear your seat belt, don't take what's not yours.  Catholics follow the Commandments-don't covet they neighbor's wife or take the Lord's name in vain.  Nuns commit themselves to celibacy, lawyers and priests rely on confidentiality, and we, Haven, take a vow of silence and loyalty.  We all live through the same Hell, just with different devils."
















    One of the biggest stand out points to me is the deep and true love between the three main couples:  Corrado and Celia, Vincent and Maura, Carmine and Haven.  Love like that is so rare and timeless.  Especially in this day and age, it's all about the quick sex.  Devotion isn't even an afterthought much less at the forefront.  It's so refreshing to see the real thing.
























     
























    Sometimes I lose perspective, but it helps to stop and look around.  I may not have it all, but I have more than enough.  And enough, it seems, is more than most have.












    Another aspect that jumped out is that the three men had to face their inner self.  If satisfied, he continued the path he was already on.  If he found he was lacking and capable, he made the corrections necessary to live with himself and welcome a peaceful afterlife.  If he hated his position but was stuck in it, he tried to accept and change what he could and buried what he couldn't.
























     
































    "Because to men like us, it comes first-before our families, before our friends, before everything, it's La Cosa Nostra."
































    "Everyone falls sometimes, son, even me, but the trick is to get right back up.  They'll always target the ones who appear vulnerable, so you need to be strong.  Fake it until you make it."
































    He was fractured, one half of him the still slightly naïve boy who drank himself unconscious to try to forget, the other half the man, numb to everything, who just went through the motions day after day.




















    Everyone has to love a story that pulls you in, blows you up and then puts you back together differently.  I was so into this story that I couldn't even read another for a couple of days, which is very rare for me.  I'm always right on to the next book immediately.  There are ever-so-many discussion points I would love to make about this series, but it would be impossible to bring them up without giving away spoilers.  I loved the characters, the good and the bad in them, especially Corrado and Vincent.  I loved finding out their backgrounds, what honorable men they were and how they stayed true to themselves.  I loved how Carmine was just incapable of actually living without Haven.  These men have left permanent scars on my heart.  Do yourself a favor and read this as soon as possible.
























    It's strange how those things work.  One minute you're the servant, then next you're Cinderella, and then...then the story is over and you're forced to close the book.

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  • Posted March 9, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Sempre Redemption is the second book in the Forever series by J.

    Sempre Redemption is the second book in the Forever series by J.M. Darhower. Young lovers Carmine and Haven are trying to keep their relationship in tact while tangled in the mafia ring. In order to save Haven, Carmine had to swear his loyalty to the mafia. Uh oh! Meanwhile, Haven discovers her worth.




    Another 500+ page novel! I like big books and I cannot lie (¿ cue Sir Mix-a-Marie ¿). I so appreciate the author wrapping up the story in two books and not dragging it out in a trilogy, which is the latest literary trend. Sempre Redemption is the book that never ends and I'm not sure I wanted it to. Although it was not as good or intense as the first book in the series.




    As a reminder, Darhower encourages us to become abolitionists against human trafficking. You have to love fiction with a cause! As a message to the author: keep slinging words and prove your writing is worth reading.




    Literary Marie of Precision Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

    Anonymous

    Loved this book as much as the first one. Pages flew.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    Mob with heart

    Loved this book! And the first one too!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    Best sequil ever!

    I lived this book just as much as the first! You won' t want to put it down! A great read! Lived it!

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  • Posted December 18, 2013

    Back in 2012, I discovered a really fantastic book called Sempre

    Back in 2012, I discovered a really fantastic book called Sempre. It was filled with such angst, suspense, and heart breaking circumstances that I could not put it down. My heart broke and was put back together as I read J.M.’s beautifully tragic story. I also suffered the hangover of all book hangovers when I was finished. I waited a very long year to get my hands on Sempre: Redemption! I wasn’t disappointed. J.M. continues the tragic yet beautiful story of Haven and Carmine who are now immersed into a life not of their choosing, making this sacrifice because of love.

    Sempre Redemption begins with a flashback–a brutal reminder of why you don’t want to be born into the Mafiosi family. Death without remorse is commonplace. Carmine DeMarco has given himself to the family to save the person he loves the most, Haven Antonelli. It doesn’t matter that Carmine is not cut out for this lifestyle. He may have been born into this family, but this is not the life he wants for himself or for Haven. Carmine gives up everything for Haven and it made me fall for him hard! Haven is taking baby steps into her new world of freedom. Carmine and his immediately family surround her with comfort and a kind of solace, but she is torn over what Carmine has done for her.

    “It viciously gnawed at her, poisoning her insides and conjuring up intense feeling of shame when she was reminded of what he had done.”

    Knowing there is nothing she can do to change this fact, Haven feels so much guilt. She feels completely responsible for Carmine’s fate. I feel terrible for her. She know so little about a normal life and then throw in some remorse over Carmine’s fate…I just want to hug her and make her feel better.

    I like that J.M. writes about all the merciless actions of the mob. From the brazen thefts, backstabbing, and murders–you get all the realities of this life. J.M. tosses her characters into the shuffle, letting them fend for themselves. Carmine struggles with this life and seeks to numb himself from it all. Despite his rough exterior, he does not like the things he has to do in this new life. Haven is placed into a life that others believe she should have. She tries to become the person everyone wants her to be. Both Carmine and Haven are not happy. What I get from this realization is that both characters are not really free. Their fates have been determined by others, completely opposite of the original intent. I think J.M. makes clear that the mob life isn’t a life of freedom.

    J.M.’s pays extra attention to her secondary characters. Vincent DeMarco, Carmine’s father, is a very complicated person. He’s lost so much and he tries to redeem himself by correcting all his prior sins. You can’t help but sympathize with him. Corrado Moretti’s character confounded me. Just when I wanted to believe he was a decent human being, the tables are turned. But the switch is flipped so many times, you don’t know what to believe about him. I found Celia Moretti very fascinating. She is a long time mob wife and is completely dedicated to her husband, Corrado. Her demeanor is quite, but strong. She knows what she’s up against with her husband’s obligations to the mob but finds a way to make things right for those she loves.

    J.M.’s writing is addictive. She writing in the third person, my preferred writing style. It give the reader a good look into what is going on with each character. From the rush of Carmine’s first crime to Haven’s anxiety of starting a new life in a city she’s never been to, the read feels all the emotions the characters go through. J.M. slowly builds the tension, engaging the reader in the story. By the time the action comes to a peak, your heart is racing to know what will happen next. And you will be shocked and relieved to see what J.M. puts this family through!

    The sex in Sempre Redemption isn’t a prevailing factor in this book. Carmine and Haven spend a good time away from each other in this book. They must struggle through not having each other and navigating the temptations around them. Personally, I was surprised J.M. didn’t have Carmine lose himself with women while away from Haven. I think it would have given more authenticity to the story and this lifestyle. But I can understand why she didn’t. I might have tried to track her down and demand why she would do this! hahaha

    Overall, I enjoyed Sempre Redemption. I think J.M. did a great job of concluding Carmine and Haven’s unconventional journey through a rough and tumble life. The ending is very satisfying and I don’t think she left any story untold. I loved the twist and turns in the plot and was very happy to see certain characters get their comeuppance. I give Sempre: Redemption 4 out of 5 stars!

    Written by Dee McGee - Booze, Bookz, and Bad Boyz

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2013

    Speechless!

    I loved this book. I loved following Carmine and Haven's journey. Her spirit never diminished and his love for her kept him grounded when all was said and done. This book was full of truth and life. It made me want to bottle up their love and keep it forever.

    P.S even though Gia was a mean old Bit..... she always made me laugh with her outburst.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2013

    Loved it!

    Couldn't put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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