I listened to this book and the narrator was fantastic. This book read like a movie. It was descriptive, concise, and paced evenly. I was apprehensive..Show More » about the book when I saw the page count as well as the audiobook hours, but it flowed so well that I didn’t even notice the length. It wasn’t just a story about two damaged kids falling in love, but about choices and responsibilities. It was about freedom and redemption too. This wasn’t just Carmine and Haven’s story, this was Vincent & Mara’s story as well as a cautionary tale about “The Life”.
This book was much more than a tale about child slavery. It was a story of people trying to grow and move out of the shadows of their parents. Haven and her mother grew up as slaves in the house of Michael Antonelli until the day her mother convinced her to run away. Her mother Miranda overheard the lady of the house asking master Michael to get rid of Haven, so Miranda asked Haven to run for help. Her attempt to escape her slavers led her to Dr. Vincent DeMarco. Dr. Vincent DeMarco was an angry man. He was a physician who had been forced into serving La Costra Nostra, the Chicago Italian Mafia. His wife was murdered and his youngest son Carmine was acting up from grief. He was now a Consigliere, but now the mafia wants son Carmine. Dr. DeMarco is trying everything he can to protect his son Carmine, but had to follow orders as they were all dispensable. The addition of Haven to their lives complicated everything.
From the moment Haven moved into the DeMarco’s household, Carmine was mesmerized by her. Haven, on the hand, did all she could to avoid everyone in the household. She was used to living in the stables or basement, and she did not trust that the DeMarco household would be different from her prior home. Hope was a dangerous thing for slaves like her. As the story began to unfurl, it became clear that Dr. DeMarco’s taking of Haven was not a coincidence and there was more to Haven’s identity than even she knew. Haven was a pawn in a dangerous mob agenda, but then so was Carmine, the mafia Principe. Now the Slowly, the DeMarco family thought Haven how to live, and a year later Haven and Carmine were in love. That’s when the past came to catch up with Haven, and the DeMarcos.
The author did a great job with laying the foundation, and keeping the story interesting. I really appreciate the fact that there weren’t these huge emotional swings. Yes, there was sad events, but there was happy events and even funny scenes. The author mixed things up by interjecting characters like Dominic and Nicholas, Dia and even Aunt Celia, so there was a continual break in the serious tone of the novel.
I had a love-hate relationship with Vincent DeMarco, but I came to understand him as the novel went on, and I also came to find compassion for his actions. Carmine’s father was forced into “the life” by love and by his father, but he really loved his wife and sons. I was blown away by how well adjusted Dominic was and it was nice to see him be understanding of Carmine’s plight. Carmine was an impulsive kid that you wanted to smack on the back of his head and give a high-five at the same time. Carmine’s smart mouth was source of many chuckles from me. The narrator did a great job in giving each character very distinct voices, and I loved that about the audiobook.
If you want a New Adult book that isn’t wrought with cliché drama and dialogue, then this book is for you. I want to read the sequel but it isn’t out on audible. I don’t think I can just read it after enjoying this ride on audio, so it is likely that I will wait until the audiobook is offered at audible. But I really enjoyed this book and look forward to sequel.
I loved it as much as book 1. I felt like I was watching a movie in my head as the narrator took me on this ride. A lot of drama but I loved every min..Show More »ute. As in book 1, the narrator gave Carmine a sarcastic quip and Haven a vulnerable sound. Great job. Corrado's voice was edgy and just right. You know what, Corrado stole this show. He stayed consistent and was true gangsta to the end.
This book picks up after Carmine DeMarco pledges loyalty to Salvatore (salamander to those who don't respect him) and La Costa Nostra in exchange for Haven's protection. When it's time for him to report to work (from Durant, NC to Chicago, IL), Carmine decides it's best for Haven if he lets her go. That way she won't be tainted by what he knows he will have to do for La Costa Nostra, and he will be giving her freedom to live her own life on her own terms. This book details their individual journey to make peace with the choices others made for them, and the ones they made for themselves. Of course, in the background the puppet masters continue to maneuver the pieces making individuals think they have control of their own lives and choices, when it is clear higher forces are at work. The truth about Mara DeMarco's death has a profound effect of both Vincent and Corrado, as we see those men attempt to get justice for what what stolen from them. Dominic and Tess and Dia stay the same, but in this book we see the wear of the crown isn't necessary the most powerful player. No, it's behind he scenes man who is truly the Don of La Costa Nostra.
I hate to say it but Carmine doesn't grow up that much, but Haven truly comes into her own. She restores him like he restored her in book 1. There was never a doubt in my mind as to their future, it was only a matter of how they got there. I loved the names Carmine called her "la bella ragazza" or "Tesoro". I also love Corrado calling Celia "Bellisima". It had a sweet sound and one thing I found out about the DeMarco-Moretti men, when they love, they go all in! It's Sempre for them.
Great story, great audio. I felt satisfied with the conclusion of this one. Carmine and Haven were just meant for each other.