Sunday, December 22, 2013

Blog Tour Review & Excerpt: SEMPRE REDEMPTION by J.M. Darhower

Sempre Redemption (Forever Series, Book #2)
By: J.M. Darhower
In this thrilling and sexy follow-up to Sempre, two young lovers struggle to keep their relationship intact after they become deeply enmeshed in the dangerous mafia-run crime ring they once tried to overthrow.

Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco have been through a lot. Haven was taken in by Carmine’s father, and with his family’s help, she escaped a gruesome fate. However, saving Haven from the dark intentions of a mafia family cost Carmine a steep price: he was forced to swear loyalty to them.

Now, still passionately in love, Carmine and Haven must face the fall-out of Carmine’s forced service, as Haven discovers terrifying secrets about the family that enslaved both her and her mother—and why she matters so much in this intricate web of lies.
*ARC provided by author for an honest review*

SEMPRE: REDEMPTION Dual Review for Reality Bites! Let’s Get Lost!

’The button had been pushed. The nuclear bomb had been ignited. Their fragile bubble of contentment was about to fucking explode.’

Becky - Sempre Redemption centers around Carmine's struggles to adjust to his new life in the Mafia. Needless to say, it is not an easy transition for him. He turns to alcohol and drugs to deal with the things he has seen and done. But the highs only last so long and they are only hurting him more than helping him forget. Honestly, that is what a bulk of the book is about. Going through the motions with Carmine and his new life.

At times, I found myself skimming the pages because the storyline kind of died out in the middle for me. But it does pick back up and I am glad I stuck with it! There are some other things (MAJOR things) that do happen but I can not go into them without giving away some huge parts of the book.

Alexis - The path Carmine’s character took surprised me most. But then again I wonder to myself if it should have. We knew he dabbled in coke and was a heavy drinker but the way he chose to wallow in his misery. I think maybe THAT is what really threw me off and quite frankly turned me off at the same time.

I agree that the story died out at one point. I felt like Carmine was weak and miserable for a BIG CHUNK of the book and I was NOT feeling that, not one bit. For me, the repeat of F’ ups Carmine had was enough to make me lose interest but then as if almost perfectly timed Carrado’s pov would start or something with Haven would occur and I felt like the ball would start rolling again.

I’m just like my goddamn father.” - Carmine

Becky - I never expected Carmine to step into his role with the family and take to it right away. But I also never expected it to turn his character a little b***h either!! I would've liked to have seen more growth with Haven. I felt like she was just surviving and not really living.

Alexis – I think Haven just played the cards she was dealt like you said she was not putting her whole heart in to it. I also think Carrado was Darhower’s secret weapon I mean let’s be honest his part was vital. And I think it is safe to say that this book was his just as much as it was Carmine and Haven’s.

What happens in the first 25% of this book seemed to set the tone and it really does not deviate much with the exception of a few twists here and there. I was constantly waiting for Carmine to snap at Sal(The Chicago Mob boss) for being such an a**hole and then for Carrado to choke the crap out of Carmine for being so reckless at times.

Final thoughts
Alexis - I have gone back and forth with this rating over and over in my mind and have settled on 4 Stars because 1. The writing was GOOD! And 2. Carrado MADE this book for me. On the flip side Carmine...and the direction Darhower took with his character...Mmmmm let's just say a HUGE chunk of his story was not to my liking.

Becky - I went with my initial gut feeling and rated the book 4 stars as well. There were some things I loved and some things that I didn't. I would say my major problem was an event that happened about 12% in that I just didn't agree with AT. ALL! And like Alexis, I didn't care for the direction the author took Carmine's character.

Carefully, so not to wake Haven, he slipped from underneath her and climbed out of bed. He tiptoed across the room to the window and pulled some slats of the blinds apart to look out into the night. It was nearing three in the morning, the sky pitch black and the city quiet. Carmine surveyed the street, looking for any sign of trouble, and tensed when his eyes fell upon a car out front.
A vaguely familiar looking dark Chevy Camaro.
He stepped back from the window and gave Haven a quick glance before heading out of the room. Instinct took over, every move calm and calculating. He found his pants and pulled them on before grabbing his gun downstairs. He made sure it was loaded as he quietly slipped out the back door. He headed around the house and came up behind the Camaro, eyeing the license plate.
The moment he saw the letters JK, his adrenaline kicked into overdrive.
Staying in the shadows, he watched the car for a bit. The man was alone with the driver’s side window down, his attention focused away from Carmine’s house. Every time headlights flashed nearby he would watch them like a hawk until they passed. He was waiting for something, but Carmine wasn’t sure what until a set of headlights shined their way. The man ducked as a black Mercedes sped by them before swinging into a driveway about a block away.
Carmine wasn’t sure what to do, torn between reacting and alerting Corrado, but he didn’t get much time to consider his options. The driver’s side door swung open and the guy climbed out, keeping his head down as he started down the block. Without even thinking Carmine followed him, dodging streetlights while trying to keep up with his pace. The man slowed when he neared Corrado’s house, staring at it peculiarly like he was trying to assess how to get inside. The living room light was on and Carmine could see shadows, Celia’s laughter faintly filtering out of a cracked window.
The man ducked beside Corrado’s house and Carmine hesitated, taking a deep breath and clutching his gun before darting behind him. The invader had almost made it to their backyard when he heard Carmine’s footsteps. He swung around, alarmed by the presence, but it was already too late.
Carmine slammed him into the side of the house, shoving his gun against his temple. “If you move, I’ll blow your fucking head off.”
He cursed and shook as Carmine patted him down, frantically pulling everything out of the guy’s pockets. He found a gun in his coat and made sure the safety was on before sticking it in his waistband.
Grabbing the man’s wallet, Carmine flipped it open and yanked out his driver’s license. “Oisin Quinn. What kinda name is that?”
“Don’t hurt me,” he begged. “I’m not looking for trouble!”
“Bullshit,” Carmine spat. “You don’t lurk around this neighborhood with a gun if you aren’t looking for trouble.”
“I swear it’s a mistake!”
“What is?”
“What the fuck is this?” Carmine asked, pulling him away from the house and shoving him into the backyard. He stumbled but caught himself before he fell, and hesitated for a second before he took off sprinting through the yard.
For a brief moment, Carmine remained frozen in utter disbelief. He had just let go of the guy. How fucking stupid could he be?
Adrenaline kicked in again. Carmine aimed with his finger on the trigger, a hair away from pulling it, but lowered the gun and took off after him instead. Carmine managed to catch him, tackling him in the grass at the edge of the yard. Panicked, the man swung, trying to fight Carmine off, and his fist connected with the right side of his jaw. Pain ripped through his cheek, sending him over the edge.
If he wanted a fight, Carmine was going to give him one.
He pulled his arm back that clutched the gun, slamming him straight in the face with it. A lifetime worth of aggression came pounding from his fists, disappointment and anger, shame and heartbreak. Carmine didn’t know the man, but that mattered not—he took his pain out on him, battering him with pent up hostility he needed to let go of.
After he was beat down, Carmine pulled him across the yard and forced him on his knees right outside Corrado’s back door.
“Stay there, motherfucker,” he spat, giving him a swift kick in the side out of frustration. His jaw ached and he was out of breath, blood splattered on his hands.
“I’m certainly glad you decided not to shoot him.”
The voice caught Carmine off guard. He looked up, seeing Corrado standing motionless at the back door, watching them. “Fuck, how long have you been there?”
“Long enough.”
“And you couldn’t help me?” he spat, annoyed he had just watched.
“You seemed to have it handled,” he said. “Besides, it was quite entertaining.”
Carmine glared at him. “Entertaining? There’s nothing entertaining about this!”
“I disagree.”
“Well, you’re wrong,” Carmine said, reaching into his waistband for the guy’s gun. He cursed yet again when he came up empty-handed and glanced around, realizing it had fallen out during their scuffle. He found it a few feet away and picked it up, handing it to Corrado when he stepped outside. “He could’ve killed me.”
Corrado laughed dryly. “You’re exaggerating. You had him, no problem.”
“You couldn’t have fucking known that.”
“Yes, I could. He didn’t do his homework if he parked in front of your house.”
“How do you . . . ?” Carmine stopped, narrowing his eyes when it struck him. “Wait, you knew he was there?”
“Of course I did,” he replied. “He wasn’t sly, Carmine. Even you noticed him.”
“Son of a bitch,” he grumbled, aggravated. “I did all of that for nothing?”
“I wouldn’t say it was for nothing,” Corrado replied, smiling with amusement. “Like I said, it was entertaining.”

JM Darhower is the author of countless stories and poems, most of which only she has ever read. She lives in a tiny town in rural North Carolina, where she churns out more words than will ever see the light of day. She has a deep passion for politics and speaking out against human trafficking, and when she isn't writing (or fangirling about books) she's usually ranting about those things.
Chronic crimper with a vulgar mouth, she admits to having a Twitter addiction. You can usually always find her there.





No comments:

Post a Comment