Sempre: Redemption

Sempre: Redemption

by J.M. Darhower

NOOK Book(eBook)

View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now


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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476734200
Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication date: 12/16/2013
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 418,843
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

J.M. Darhower lives in a tiny town in the Carolinas with her family.

Read an Excerpt

Sempre: Redemption


On October 12, at 11:56 in the evening, Corrado Alphonse Moretti died.

There had been a strong lurching in his stomach and a sudden wooziness as blood gushed from the bullet wounds in his chest. Pain swept from his body like a rolling wave, numbness swallowing him whole. Everything blurred, sights and sounds distorted, as reality twisted and the world around him faded away.

And then there was nothing.

No bright lights. No gentle voices. No angelic presence. Only blackness. He heard nothing, he saw nothing, and he felt nothing. After everything Corrado had done in his life, he had expected hellfire and brimstone.

He was a bit disappointed, to say the least.

A few minutes later, at exactly midnight, Corrado was violently shocked back to life. His heart beat once again as oxygen saturated his body, but his newfound peace was instantly destroyed: The moment they brought him back into the world, ripping him from the darkness of afterlife, he was transported to a time he had long ago wished to forget.

It was a decade earlier but only a few feet away from the small, dingy hospital room he now lay in, soiled with blood, sweat, and bitter tears. The room from ten years before had been filled with the same feeling—heartbreak and misery, the harsh stench of imminent death thick in the air.

Corrado stood quietly in the doorway that warm October day, his eyes fixed inside the sterile room. Carmine DeMarco had always been slightly small for his age, but he seemed so minuscule in the large hospital bed. Tubes and wires ran from his frail body to various machines surrounding him, their humming and beeping not enough to drown out the strangled voice in the corner.

Vincent DeMarco sat near his son, rocking and frantically muttering to himself. Corrado had never seen him so out of control before, agitated and deranged almost like a feral animal. His sanity was slipping, his hair a dirty mess and his shirt soiled with blood. Vincent’s wife’s blood, to be precise . . . blood that had been spilled less than twenty-four hours before.

The sight of it sickened Corrado. It wasn’t the first time he’d seen Maura’s blood, but it would certainly be the last. She was dead and never coming back, but Vincent was clearly struggling to accept the truth.

“She’s can’t be gone.” The words caught in his throat. “This is my fault.”

Corrado wanted to tell him to stop being absurd, but it would be a waste of breath. He couldn’t comfort him. No words would take his pain away. And, truthfully, Corrado couldn’t imagine the anguish his brother-in-law felt. He didn’t fear death, didn’t fear jail or eternal damnation, but one thing he couldn’t fathom was losing Celia. He’d vowed to honor her, to cherish her, to protect her . . .

It was no wonder Vincent was so quick to take the blame. He had failed at that—he had failed to protect Maura.

“It’s my fault,” Vincent repeated. “She’s gone, and it’s my fault.”

Sighing, Corrado glanced back at his nephew. Carmine had been found near death behind Tarullo’s Pizzeria. They didn’t know what had happened yet, but one thing was clear: whoever ambushed them intended for the boy to die, too.

That fact made Corrado feel even sicker. He had never been particularly fond of children, with their needy ways and grubby little hands, but one thing he treasured was innocence. He envied it. He had murdered many men during his years with La Cosa Nostra, but he prided himself on never killing anyone he felt didn’t deserve his wrath.

And staring at his nephew, so helpless and vulnerable, Corrado couldn’t imagine what would possess someone to harm him. It was unheard of. Some things even the wickedest of men didn’t tolerate, and killing a kid in cold blood was one of those things.

Things were different now, though. As much as it infuriated him, times were changing, and he wondered what that meant for Carmine. At only eight years old, he had been thrown headfirst into the lifestyle. When he woke up—if he did—his world wouldn’t be the same. Whether Carmine liked it or not, he couldn’t escape the life. Not after this. He was now a part of it, and Corrado knew he would spend the rest of his life trying to make sense of the chaos.

Hatred brewed in Corrado’s gut, hot like molten lava. The longer he stood there, listening to the babble of a devastated man, the angrier he grew. All he could think about was getting revenge on the people who had hurt them. Not only did his vow to the organization demand it—an eye for an eye—but so did his weary heart.

Corrado’s heart, a decade later miraculously holding steady on the cardiac monitor, grew stronger every passing day. He would survive the shoot-out in the Chicago warehouse. The Kevlar Killer would live to see another day.

On December 1, after being comatose for six weeks, Corrado Alphonse Moretti opened his eyes.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Sempre: Redemption 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was better than the first one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best stories I have read thus far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Literary_Marie More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book as much as the first one. Pages flew.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! And the first one too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I lived this book just as much as the first! You won' t want to put it down! A great read! Lived it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DeeMcGee1 More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down.
toniFMAMTC More than 1 year ago
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.