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Sempre

Forever Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Carla Mercer-Meyer
Series: Forever Series, Book 1
Length: 19 hrs and 7 mins
Categories: Romance, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (304 ratings)
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This Story Is Seductive

Publisher's Summary

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 has caused 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?

©2013 Jessica Mae Darhower (P)2013 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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One of the best narrations of a book

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 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.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant Audiobook ~ Dark and Different Romance

I'd really give it more like 4½♥'s... It's like a New Adult Romance (but a little more 'vanilla' on the 'hot factor') meets the 'Family' (like Godfather type family) meets slave (like slave trafficking) meets... high school angst? It's VERY hard to describe, but I must admit I was captivated. *Whispers* Don't tell anyone- but I'm not really a big 'fan' of mafia-type stuff, but even I fell for this book.

I had SO many recommend this to me... and I kept dragging my feet. Over and over, no clue why. Maybe it's because organized crime doesn't usually make it's way into my romance books. For that matter, human trafficking doesn't much, either.

I most definitely will continue this series- and can I just say, Any Film Producers Out There? Take. A. Look. This would translate SO well to film, in my opinion. (And I do actually have theater and college film experience, so I'm not just whistling Dixie.)

In full disclosure, I did receive an eBook via NetGalley, but I also purchased the eBook and audio, so it should be MORE than obvious that I am willing to spend money on this book and these are my honest opinions.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Amazing.

I read the the book three years ago and till today it is one of my favorite book. But Ms. Mercer-Meyer took the story to a whole new dimension; I was able to absorb Carmine raw emotions, and feel his pain along with him.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Surprising!

This book is so freaking long and I have ADHD so I’m amazed it was able to keep my attention as well as it did. The pacing of this story is excellent and the writing and characters mature despite the main characters being so young. It wasn’t an amazing story and by the end, I really didn’t feel any connection or strong feelings for any of the characters (except Nicholas, but...). However, I think this book is well worth the listen or a credit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent book!

Outstanding character development and a tightly woven tale of the lives of two damaged young people who try to break from their past. Narrator is fantastic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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FANTASTIC

A fantastic read/listen. All 19+ hours kept me waiting to see what happens next. Kudos to J.M. Darhower!!!!! Well done!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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OUTSTANDING UNBELIEVABLE AWESOME

I was shocked at just how much I loved this story and I definitely suggest that it is listened to by all!!
There is also I found a countiunation of this story and recorded on another audiobook called Sempre redemption am immediately going to be buying it and downloading it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Movie Movie Movie!!!!

This is one of those stories that will stick with you long after you're done listening to it. The narrartion is so fantasic, and it reads like a movie. I would love to see this on screen! It could be so great with the right people and bring more focus to human trafficking and slavery.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic!!

Fantastic!!! absolutely loved and adored this book it made me laugh it made me cry it made me wanting more! Can't believe it took me so long to read this book I went into it without knowing anything about it. Is definitely a must read in a page turner.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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OMG

What did you love best about Sempre?

This book was amazing, I would love to read more from J. M. Darhower, and what really brought it to life was the narrator, Carla Mercer-Meyer she was incredible. I read it twice and look forward to reading it a third time. I have never, ever read a book more than once. This book has ruin me for other books. I am comparing all other books to this one and so far nothing have come close.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved Carmine Demarco because he was sooo funny and did not apologize for being himself. But he was also passionate and loving.

Which character – as performed by Carla Mercer-Meyer – was your favorite?

I think Carla nailed it when she performed Haven Antonelli. She really made you believe Haven was quiet, shy, innocent and afraid.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Oh boy I was all over the place and could not keep silent, when it came to portions of the book that was sad, my eyes would water and tears fell, and I would bust out laughing when I read the funny parts. People in public would stop and look at me weird wondering what was wrong.

Any additional comments?

I have not been able to read anything else on Audible because nothing can compare and now I'm spoiled. Please help me find a cure for this illness.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful