Sempre Review

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Title:  Sempre

Author:  J.M. Darhower

Published:  January 2012 by CreateSpace

Genre:  Young Adult, Romance

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Haven Antonelli is a modern day slave.  Her mother, who is also a slave at the same residence, tells her that she must run away because she fears for Haven’s life.  Haven does run, but she doesn’t end up with her freedom like she hoped, she ends up as a slave for Vincent DeMarco, a powerful man in the mafia.  However, the conditions are much better at the DeMarcos, and she meets Vincent’s two sons, Carmine and Dominic.

Dominic is the older son.  He’s down to earth and relaxed.  Carmine is a seriously troubled teenager.  He lost his mom when he was young, and he has never been the same.  He always gets in trouble, skips school, and isn’t afraid to talk back.  His old best friend is now his enemy.  He doesn’t have an interest in having a girlfriend; he just likes to sleep around.

The sons know that their father is involved in the mafia, but they don’t know who Haven is or why she’s at their house.  They both treat her kindly, and then Carmine finds himself thinking about her more and more.  But will Haven ever be able to open up to him even though Carmine is her master’s son?

I chose to read this book because of all the five star ratings it was getting from some other blogs I follow.   This is the first book about modern day human trafficking that I have read, and frankly the fact that slavery still exists is disgusting.  This was a good story with solid characters.  The POV changed from time to time, but the change was easy and not bothersome.  Usually point of view shifts drive me nuts, but here that was not the case.

In this story you get to see what it might be like to be a slave in today’s society through Haven’s eyes.  I think that anyone who reads this is going to have an eye-opening experience and start being more observant.  Today, the day I finished reading Sempre, I was browsing the Yahoo homepage when this article came up regarding slavery and how about 27 million people are slaves today!

Here’s the link:

Back to the book; there is obviously violence in it, but nothing gruesome.  And although the book is about Haven being a slave, it is more about Carmine and her relationship, so I didn’t really consider it a dark read, which I totally thought it would be when I picked it up.  There are a bunch of light hearted moments that had me laughing out loud.  Here’s a sweet conversation between Haven and Carmine:


“Like in the book, Romeo and Juliet.  They come from different sides but met in the middle.  We have the forbidden love part, right?”

“Yeah, but we’re not killing ourselves, Haven, so that’s about as similar as it gets.  Besides, Romeo’s an idiot.  Pick someone else.”

“How about Shrek?”

His brow furrowed.  “Shrek?  Really?  He’s an ogre.”

“Shrek and Fionna thought they were different when they weren’t.”

He contemplated that for a moment until he realized he was seriously comparing his life to a cartoon.  “Pick another one.”

“Titanic?  Rose and Jack weren’t supposed to be together.”

“Seriously?  He dies.  I’m not gonna jinx myself here.”

She was quiet for a moment, running her fingers across his abs and tracing his scar with her fingertips.  “How about we just be Haven and Carmine?” she suggested.  “We don’t know the ending, be we can always hope for the best.”

~Page  248


I gave this book four, not five stars.  Why?  It was a really good book, but it didn’t blow me out of the water.  A five star book is hard to come by, for me anyway.  However, I am so happy that so many people are reading it, enjoying it, and spreading the word.


My Rating:  4 out of 5 stars


Happy reading!



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