For a long time, this story was called ‘Emancipation Proclamation’ and it was one of my favorite fanfiction stories ever. Now, J.M Darhower has published this amazing story, and called it ‘Sempre’ . I will admit that it took me a long time to finally read it, because I was scared the story would be changed too much, but now I’ve finally pushed myself to read the book.
What is this story about?
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 rating: 5/5
What I thought of it?
I’m beyond happy. The story is still intact. As beautiful as it once was, it still is. The whole plot of this book is one of the best I’ve ever read and I’m over the moon that it hasn’t changed. There have been some additions, all of which I really liked and only improved the story in my opinion.
First of all, I really want to mention that I’ve never been a fan of mafia stories because they’re either too brutal or just too romanticized. But this book just brings a perfect mix of it. You get a feeling of the mafia life, but it’s not solely brutal murder etc. So if you’d put of reading it because of the fact that it involves the mafia, I can only encourage you to put that aside and give it a try. It’s worth it.
From the first page, you’re immediately pulled into the story. It grips you and doesn’t let you go. You fight along with Haven for her freedom and along with Haven and Carmine for their relationship. You can’t help but fall in love with these characters and their strenght. You’re also constantly pushed between good and bad. The line becomes so blurry sometimes because you’re roothing for these characters you fell in love with.
But to give one point of criticism; I could see a bit too much of fanfiction ‘Emmett’ in Dominic. Not that I don’t absolutely adore him as a character, but I just wish it would have been a little less obvious. But other than that, I absolutely adored every bit of it.
Another thing I’d like to mention (non plot-wize), is the great author’s note about human trafficicking in the beginning. It really just struck me and it stayed with me the entire book. There really are people – children even – out there who are abused and enslaved. Their lives and freedom taken away from them without second thoughts. I really hope that this book – as small as it may seem – can actually help raise awareness to this horrible problem. Because ‘if we don’t fight for them, who will?’
That being said, all I still want to say is; read this book. It’s worth your time and I hope you’ll love it just as much as I did.
Until next time,
With love, Ellen