Review: Sempre by J.M. Darhower

 Sempre (Forever, #1)

(Sempre #1)
Author: J.M. Darhower
Publisher: Gallery Books
Published: February 25, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Dark, Romance Contemporary, Suspense
My Rating:

5 stars new


Synopsis new


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?

my thoughts new


(Buddyreading this book with my lovely sis Eunice)

“When love strikes someone like lightning, so powerful and intense it can’t be denied. It’s beautiful and messy, cracking a chest open and spilling their soul out for the world to see. It turns a person inside out, and there’s no going back from it.”


I believe this is one of the best books written so far.

Sempre is yet another masterpiece where J.M. Darhower uses a dark theme as a plot device for a YA/NA romantic genre.

The story centered around Haven who grew up as a slave under the Antonelli family. She was about to escape and ask for help when she stumbled upon Dr. Vincent DeMarco who brought her to his home and basically gave her shelter. In return, she was also to work as his slave– with restrictions and certain rules to never get out of the house or open any code inside. In her new home she met the notorious bad boy Carmin DeMarco, a Mafia prince who has the entire world under his fingertips. What soon blossomed between them was an unexpected love which eventually became a complication to their situation where danger continues to threaten them and heavy decisions matter.

I loved the concept of this book and the exquisite romance of two young people who fell in love against seemingly impossible odds. I expected it to be something different, something that I’m used to in a Mafia romance, but I was surprised by its uniqueness. The writing of J.M. Darhower and the ardent tone she used gave me a plethora of different emotions.

She was quiet, running her fingers across his abs and tracing his scars with her fingertips. “How about we just be Haven and Carmine? We don’t know the ending, but we can always hope for the best.”

“I like that,” he said. “Besides, there’s a reason we don’t know how a story ends.”


“Because it doesn’t.”

Carmine and Haven’s love story was one of a kind. I absolutely loved their exchange of lines and the way their cheesy yet heart-warming conversations moved me. It also helped a lot that Carmine was such a cocky, sarcastic, yet very passionate and sweet guy. Just a heads up, this guy is extremely jealous and possessive but I admit to myself that I didn’t have any problem with him being that way because well, who am I to complain? His character was defined so perfectly and I just could’t do anything but SWOON.

“You were brought to me for a reason, for us to save each other. Because you weren’t the only one needing to be saved, Haven. I was drowning, and you rescued me.”

At first I did have a little problem with the pacing. The book, I admit, did drag out too long. BUT! I realized when I got to Chapters 40 and beyond that those dragging scenes were a necessity. They were like spices that made the whole book entirely meaningful and dramatic. If the story did not finish with a BOOM, and if the story didn’t have that beautifulclimax, then I’d probably resent its slow-pacing but then I loved how the overall story turned out so it didn’t become a problem with me.

There were many places Carmine would go back to, many things he would have done differently, but one thing he wouldn’t take back was what he had done to save her.

As a whole, this book was a real surprise. The drama, the sentiments, the dilemma, and even the slow-burn flaw that the author managed to convey were so overwhelming and thought-provoking. I cried a lot of times as I went through its pages (How could an author do that to me?) and I experienced a great deal of adrenaline-rush after reading those action scenes in the near-end. It was just so good!!!

To those who love heavy drama and romance with action-packed scenarios, you definitely should read this book. I cannot be alone in this, guys! I have to get you to read and experience the beauty of this book, too!

Their love existed, despite everything else, and it was the love that would go on forever. The moment was etched in time, transcending the constraints put on them by life..


5 stars new

Buy this book at:


xo pearl


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