Review: Sempre Redemption by J.M. Darhower

Sempre: Redemption (Sempre, #2)

Sempre Redemption
(Forever #2)
Author: J.M. Darhower
Publisher: Gallery Books
Published: April 1, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Dark, Romance, Contemporary, Suspense
My Rating:

5 stars new

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Synopsis new

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.

The electrifying sequel to Sempre! This is a story about loyalty and love. It is a story about finding redemption— even when all seems lost.

Swearing allegiance to the Mafia in order to save Haven Antonelli—the girl he loves—forces Carmine DeMarco to make the ultimate sacrifice. Sent to Chicago to work for La Cosa Nostra, he refuses to place Haven in harm’s way by taking her with him. She deserves a shot at a normal life. But as he becomes more and more immersed in a world of terrible crimes, he realizes that surviving without her may be more than he is able to bear. . . .

Stunned and hurt that Carmine has left her, Haven must now learn to make her way in the world without him. Her heart aches with the loss, but for the first time, she’s making her own choices and accomplishing dreams she never thought were within her reach. The past, however, is not done with either her or Carmine. As Haven discovers dark secrets about the family who enslaved her and her mother, and why she matters so much in this web of lies, she realizes what terrible pain may still lie in wait for her and the boy she loves. And what they must suffer to find redemption. . . .

my thoughts new

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“What do you do when the thing you want most suddenly feels like it’s beyond your fingertips?”

5 stars will never be enough for this book.

I still can’t believe how this series ended in such a beautiful, satisfying, and all-consuming fashion. This is absolutely one of the riveting series-enders I’ve read so far– one that will stay glued in my mind forever.

In this second and final book of Sempre duology, Carmine and Haven’s life totally changed. Both of them were forced to separate and go in opposite directions because of the deal Carmine made with Salvatore in the previous book. Carmine is now a full-pledged member of the Mafia while Haven is basically free and is pursuing a normal college life in New York. With the absence of each other, their hearts didn’t seem to grow fonder and despite the things that happened, both of them weren’t able to forget their love.

I cannot think of better words that will do the book justice. Everything messed up my emotions. First off, I loved J.M. Darhower’s writing. As always. It just didn’t get old. This author manages to leave such an overwhelming impact to her readers because of her raw and brilliant way of writing. The dialogues shared by the characters were so intimately sensitive that I found myself falling in love and feeling their sadness and pain.

“He was surrounded by violence and death, the ugliness eating away at him, but then on the other side, there was her. She was peace and hope, and pure beauty. She was the good that he hoped would overpower the bad.”

Sempre: Redemption didn’t particularly prepare me with its much darker approach. I thought Sempre has a mild touch of darkness and graphic violence scenes but in this book, I can say that J.M. Darhower gave it all when it comes to the intensity of its dark theme. Some daring actions were thrown in and even the major character Corrado Moretti(who was so much badass-er) was given an opportunity to stand out.

Haven and Carmine’s character was also nicely developed here. I loved their strength and their faith. What basically made them admirable was how they didn’t give in to possible new relationships when they were no longer together. It took a lot of chapters for me to endure their sacrifice but in the end, I was glad because what happened to them was exactly what I wished to transpire in the book.

Yes, this book was hard to read at times because of its emotionally-draining scenes which were dragged on an interlude of heartaches and even tragedies, but it was so worth it. This book was so heartfelt and it wasn’t just about two characters in a forbidden love but it was also more about how these Mafia people value their devotion to their family. Given the length of the book which is about 500+ pages, I wasn’t intimated. It’s because no matter how tough this book was and even if there were sad and terrifying moments that occurred, the ending turned out to be a perfection it made me wept both sad and happy tears. I will never forget this series. It will remain in my heart, SEMPRE.

“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.”

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Rating:

5 stars new

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Novella Review: Friends by J.M. Darhower

Friends (Sempre, #0.5)

Friends
(Sempre #0.5)
Author: J.M. Darhower
Publisher: J.M. Darhower
Published: October 27, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Young Adult, Contemporary, Dark
My Rating:

5 stars new

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Synopsis new

Friends:
One moment.
One wrong choice.
That was all it took to destroy a friendship.
*takes place before Sempre*

my thoughts new

Friends is a Sempre novella. It’s about what happened to our boy Carmine DeMarco before he met Haven Antonelli. I loved how we get to see a glimpse of his friendship withNicholas here and the reason why they fell apart. This novella pulled on a few heartstrings. A bit heavy but it sure was worth reading. My heart ached for both boys since obviously these two are f*cked up in more ways than one and they came from families who have complicated issues.

Once again I was awed by J.M. Darhower’s writing style. It made me miss reading Sempre. I have yet to read Sempre Redemption and I’m so excited on what’s about to happen to Carmine and the rest of the gang.

P.S. You can read this novella after reading Sempre. 🙂

Rating:

5 stars new

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Review: Monster in His Eyes by J.M. Darhower

Monster in His Eyes (Monster in His Eyes, #1)

Monster in His Eyes
(Monster in His Eyes #1)
Author: J.M. Darhower
Publisher: J.M. Darhower
Published: April 27, 2014
Genre: Dark, Romance, New Adult, Adult, Contemporary
My Rating:

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Synopsis new

Ignazio Vitale is not a good man.

I suspect it, the first time I see him, sense the air of danger that surrounds the man. He has a way of commanding attention, of taking control, of knowing what I’m thinking before I even do.

It’s alarming and alluring. It’s dark and deadly. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted but the last thing I truly need. Obsession.

It doesn’t take him long to draw me into his web, charming me into his bed and trapping me in his life, a life I know nothing about until it’s too late. He has secrets, secrets I can’t fathom, secrets that make it so I can’t walk away, no matter how much I beg him to let me go. I see it sometimes in his eyes, a darkness that’s both terrifying and thrilling. He’s a monster, wrapped up in a pretty package, and what I find when I unmask him changes everything.

I want to hate him.

Sometimes, I do.

But it doesn’t stop me from loving him, too.

my thoughts new

He’s a monster wrapped up in a pretty package. But I find myself wondering at a times like this, when I feel the distance between us, if maybe in his eyes, the real monster is me.

This book is so not what I’ve expected! Everything was totally mind-blowing and an absolute perfection! This is my first time ever to read a book written by J.M. Darhover and to say I am appalled is an understatement. The author’s writing style defines what a true dark-romantic storyteller should possess. I have to say, J.M. Darhover is an author to watch!

Monster in His Eyes radiates a completely dark, gripping, and mysterious love story about an eighteen year old college girl named Karissa Reed and an older, thirty-six year-old man named Ignazio “Naz” Vitale. The moment they met, Karissa was hooked by Naz. It was the virile, dark side of him added by his air of mystery, wealth, and authority that intrigued her and drew her to him. As their relationship progressed into a more intimate one, Karissa thought that she was already falling for him hard even if she didn’t have any idea of his true identity.

He’s a drug, an addictive one, and I’m not sure it’s a habit I can kick. All it took was one hit. One strong, euphoric hit and I was hooked.

This book is suspenseful and dark, raw and enigmatic. I enjoyed how it started out strong that it instantly caught my full attention and how chapter by chapter I found myself more drawn to the book and the mystery that it held. The main characters are wonderful and very unique, and with lovable flaws. Karissa is a sweet and passionate heroine while Naz is an enigmatic, sexy, strong man.

How can someone surrounded by an air of danger make me feel so downright safe?

The plot progression was a bit slow from the start up to the middle but that’s what made it all the more riveting because the anticipation of what’s about to come and be discovered thrilled me.

“When you love somebody, you want what’s best for them… but when you’re in love with them, you want them for yourself.”

The romance was absolutely good! There were lots of passionate and emotional scenes that can drive you crazy. It was also the main characters’ relationship development that made the book really remarkable.

“We keep the darkest part of us to ourselves until we think others are ready to see them.”

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My Prince Charming turned out to be the villain of my fairy tale…

As a whole, THIS BOOK DID ITS JOB. I look forward to reading its sequel soon! 🙂

“I’m not a good man, Karissa, and I will never be. So don’t think you can fix me, or that I’ll ever change, because I won’t. I can’t.”

 

Rating:

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xo pearl