Sempre: Redemption by J.M. Darhower
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What a great follow-up to Sempre! This book picks up where Sempre leaves off, Carmine having traded his loyalty and service to La Cosa Nostra in exchange for help rescuing Haven. He is being called into service immediately to live a life he doesn't want, but is obligated to continue. Haven struggles with the guilt of having been given her life in exchange for Carmine swearing his life away to the mafia. Their love and passion for one another remains strong, but neither wants the other to have to suffer because of the choices they have had to make.
Carmine and Haven spend a lot of time apart in this book. Carmine doesn't want Haven to give up having a life of freedom because of her love for him. He wants her to go and live in the world and have the life she deserves after the hell she grew up with. The transition into mafia life and the absence of Haven in his life cause Carmine to spiral out of control. Haven goes to art school and attempts to live her life as best she can, even feeling the constant grief in her life without Carmine. Both are miserable, but neither can see a way through their current circumstances.
One of the really great things about this book is we get to know Vincent and Corrado a whole lot better and get much more insight into the people they are and how their own choices have shaped their lives. It is interesting to understand the different, yet compatible, perspectives that both Vincent and Corrado have in terms of their desire to protect Haven. Seeing Vincent struggle as he watched Carmine experience many of the same emotions and challenges as he did brought up a lot of difficult feelings and really helped me connect with both Vincent and Carmine on a different level. Corrado is such a complex and exciting character. It is difficult to tell whether you ever really know what is going on with him, but through it all he is very captivating.
This is a must read for anyone who has read and enjoyed Sempre. Getting to know these characters on a deeper level and seeing them through these extreme challenges is a difficult, but wonderful experience.
*a copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review