Thursday, February 27, 2014

Review: Sempre by J.M. Darhower


Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco had vastly different childhoods. Haven, a second-generation slave, grew up 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, never having to answer for anything he did.
Both now seventeen, a twist of fate causes their worlds to collide, making them question everything they ever believed. 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

Publication Date: January 29, 2012

Sempre was a pleasant surprise. I’ve read a few romances with a mob setting and sometimes they don’t work for me. Sempre was sweet and sexy and I really liked the main characters and thought they had great chemistry.

Haven was such a strong character. My heart hurt when I read all that she had endured during the years she spent abused and kept as a slave by the Antonellis. Dr. DeMarco takes her in, but she is still a prisoner and lives in fear over whether or not he will eventually kill her.

Carmine was the quintessential bad boy, but I liked that his flaws didn’t magically disappear as soon as he met Haven. Haven does help change him for the better, but their romance felt very realistic. Their relationship has its ups and downs and a lot of it comes from Carmine’s broodiness and Haven’s naïveté.

The side characters were well done and I especially liked Carmine’s brother and his best friend Dia. They weren’t afraid to call Carmine on his BS and also become good friends to Haven. The bad guys in the books were seriously scary and the world building was done well.

My only complaint was the book was slow at times. The beginning and the end were very exciting, but the middle felt like it dragged. The novel is long and I felt a few of the scenes where Carmine is trying to teach Haven basic things like playing video games, driving a car and going grocery shopping, could have been cut.

Overall, I really enjoyed Sempre and after that ending I can’t wait to read the sequel. Although the main characters are teens, the book is for mature readers.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of Sempre for review!


  1. So happy to see you liked this! I just love the book so much and all of the characters. Great review!

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this and it sounds really really good. Slow pacing can be bad, but if it's not the entire book, I can handle it. And that cover caught my attention! Great review :) I'll definitely have to look into this one.

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading