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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 listeners say about Sempre

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

12 people found this 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 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

One of the best narrators I have ever heard

I truly enjoyed this book, I couldn't get a handle on Vincent for a long time but he was so interesting. I admired and wanted to throttle him with his parenting skills. Haven was very sweet with inner strength. Carmine, well I know he was the yin to Haven's yang but I can't say I liked him very much. His mouth was such a problem, I understand his anger with his dad and getting in trouble at school. though why his father didn't get him therapy when it all happened I don't know. The one thing I didn't get was why would a certain person want to kill Haven if she's family. Dominic is a perfect medium for that family, love Dia as well. Tess is a bit of a pain. I could go on but I'd give spoilers. Great book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Narrator

The narrator absolutely killed it. She did every voice and character justice and then some.

1 person found this helpful

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5 Star + !!!

I loved this book so much and bawled my eyes out listening to this. This book was written so well that even with the happiness the two shared, I could still feel the darkness looming on that edge around them. I seriously could picture everything that was described as if it was a movie, like it would have this glow of sadness and depression but yet a ray of hope bc of the love Haven and Carmine had for each other. I definitely recommend this book to others, you get the real truth of how a teenager would actually act, instead of how others portray teenagers in other books, "making" mature decisions like a 30 year old would. In this book you see the growth of the two and just like teenagers trying to become adults they don't know what to do in life except love each other, and make wrong decisions. I really loved the growth in this book with the two and even more so in the next book too. My heart went out to the two and was wishing so much for them to just get a happy ever after with all the suffering they both endured. Loved it, cried for them and the other characters, and definitely recommend this book and the second!

1 person found this helpful

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Addictive couldn't stop listening

What a great story, Not one I would normally choose but I am so glad I did. The story is so well written and the reader so engrossing I had a hard time pausing the book. The characters are ones you will love and some you will hate. This emotional story has just enough positive happy events that you don't get lost in the bad things that happen

1 person found this helpful

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I loved it, but it was a LOT.

Ugh, be still my beating heart. Even a week after finishing it, it's still stuck in my head. The love between the two characters may seemingly seem too strong too fast, but both characters have never experienced everything of the sort, so they go all in.

First let me just throw in that I found the narraration perfect throughout the book, I loved the reading style. I also really appreciated the author speaking up on human trafficking, as it is a very real, tangible problem that often gets put aside.

Now onto the book.

Carmine had a great character arc, his rough exterior only covering his softer (not soft, softER) insides as he tried to navigate bringing the love of his life into a world she's never known.

Haven broke my heart and rebuilt it all at the same time. The girl could not catch a break, it seemed, and it's making me struggle to pick up the sequel because I don't want to ache for her again. No one in this book could really catch a break, but Haven especially struggle.

And even though he's not mentioned as a main character, Vincent DeMarco made up a large part of the story for me and my memory. His love for his sons and his wife made me ache for him constantly as I tried to make sense of his actions.

When Haven's secret is finally revealed, I was truly terrified for her and for the DeMarco family. Everything in me wanted everything to just go on as normal, but as Vincent tried to explain throughout the novel--that just was not possible.

Overall, if you want to hear a tragic but beautiful love story, and get your heart stomped on over and over, this book is for you. I don't regret listening, but I don't think I could listen to it again.

1 person found this helpful

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Addictive

I couldn’t get enough I’m so glad they made a part two. I finished this entire book in two days. Yes that’s how good it is. I’m glad the narrator given each character their own voices. Listen to this book you will not regret it.

1 person found this 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 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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 person found this helpful