Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco had vastly different childhoods. Haven, a second-generation slave, grew up 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, never having to answer for anything he did.
Both now seventeen, a twist of fate causes their worlds to collide, making them question everything they ever believed. 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.
Imagine not having any control over your own life. Everything you do is dictated by someone else, you are treated as garbage, your life is not your own. This is the life that Haven Antonelli grew up with, she knew no different. When she is rescued she is introduced into a new life with the DiMarco family.
Haven is a beautiful young girl who lives (against her will) to serve those around her, all while living in fear. This poor girls is so confused with what her place is in this world. She lives in constant fear, even with her rescuers, that she will do something wrong.
“Never say never. Sometimes we don’t realized when we’re being disrespectful.” ~Dr. DiMarco to Haven
As Haven begins to adjust to living with the DiMarcos she finds herself getting along well with Dominic (one of Vincent’s sons) however she is nervous around Carmine. Carmine is something else, he is a trouble maker – he drinks and does drugs and is…well, he’s quite the man-whore.
“Why drown in love when you can have so much fun swimming in lust?”
Yup…that’s his attitude and there is plenty of it to go around. He is a misunderstood son of a bitch who doesn’t listen to anyone in his life. It’s like he is determined to go against the grain in every way possible. Carmine is always on the verge of hulking out over something….I was kept on the edge of my seat just waiting for him to flip out over something.
Haven was trying to keep to herself to stay out of trouble. She and Carmine finally start to speak to one another…I really enjoyed the development of this relationship. From the moment they get to know each other I was rooting for them. Carmine had this strange pull to Haven and he didn’t know why, and he is actually upset when she says to him
“I don’t hate you. I just….don’t understand you.”
While all of this is going on we are given bits and pieces of who this family really is. Vincent is a doctor however he is always traveling away from his family. There are secrets galore and J.M. Darhower keeps you guessing as to what is going on. Vincent seems to want to keep Carmine and Haven apart, telling Carmine to be careful and to not ask questions, it’s for his own good….blah blah blah, typical dad stuff (or is it?).
Carmine was really helping Haven, she was so sheltered and scared of everything. He takes things slow with her to get her to come out of her shell and relax. Something as simple as going outside of the house to catch fireflies was one of my favorite scenes in the book, it meant so much to both of them.
“Excitement sparked in her eyes. The sight of it made Carmine’s heart skip a beat. It had been years since he felt anything close to that, and for a moment, he wished he could steal it for himself.”
“Bellisima,” he whispered. “You’re so fucking beautiful.”
“You were brought to me for a reason, for us to save each other. Because you weren’t the only one needing to be saved, Haven. I was drowning, and you rescued me.”
Little by little the pieces of the DiMarco and Antonelli family puzzles are put together. I was never sure what to believe, I never knew where anything was going. This young couple is put through hell and back yet their love is strong. My heart broke for them…
“Just a boy and a girl, both of them a bit fucked up, but they were just themselves.”
Love is the strongest bond two people can have…where will love bring them, can it make it to the other side of the fucked up hand these two are dealt? This story will make you want to jump right into book #2 Sempre Redemption to find out more about the path that they follow.