Made by J M Darhower
Corrado Moretti is a killer and he’s very good at what he does.
He’s a very complex human being and the reasons that made him the way he is are all in is past.
Corrado’s lonely childhood is marked by his alcoholic mother’s abuse and his father’s absence.
The father he yearned to please worked for La Cosa Nostra and that’s why Corrado’s life of crime begins.
He wants to make his father proud and earn that same kind of power and respect.
From delivery boy to killer, he earns them both but he also realizes what he has become: Heartless
Only a woman makes him feel like he’s still a human and not a monster: Celia DeMarco.
Celia becomes Corrado’s family.
She also becomes is only weakness.
A dark story.
A story of passion, love and death.
I’m rating this book 5 stars because overall J.M. Darhower did an AMAZING job but I have to say…the ending left me sad and heartbroken.
I haven’t read “Sempre” and “Sempre: Redemption” so I had no idea how it was going to end.
I know a HEA for Corrado wouldn’t have felt true to his character.
He’s not a good man but I ended up loving him from the beginning to the end.
It gutted me but it was all REAL.
This is not a “feel good” story.
If you’re looking for a light and fluffy read…this is not the right book for you!
I didn’t think the day would come when a book with a mafia plot would work for me.
This kind of books are a big risk for me mainly because:
1) Where I live Mafia is a horrible reality so… not my ideal setting for a romance.
2) They are always full of badly portrait stereotypes about mafia and about italians.
Among the books I’ve read so far, almost all of those with this kind of plot are made of bad stereotypes and unrealistic crap all over.
3) Italian nonsensical and nonexistent words, phrases and even names are dropped here and there all over the story.
I firmly believe that published authors should refrain from using Google translate to write their books in a language they don’t know.
For those who don’t understand what they’re reading, those phrases and words might sound somehow “esotic” but for those who do understand it might ruin the reading experience.
In this book the author doesn’t use a lot of it and I really REALLY appreciated it😋
Just a very little side note that didn’t really bothered me:
The Boss’s bodyguard/driver is named “Amando Donati” (Manny) but I think the author forgot the “R” because “Armando” is an italian popular name while “Amando” in italian is a conjugated verb that means “loving”.
But I digressed…sorry ;P
Back to me being completed swept away by this book!!😍
I LOVED the writing and the characters.
The characters development was masterly done!
I was completely enthralled all the way through and I’ll definitely read more books by J M Darhower.
Check out a few of my favorite quotes in the section below😉
⭐ 5 Stars ⭐
*Made by J M Darhower is part of the “Sempre series”, can be read as a STANDALONE.
~ My Ratings ~
Writing: 5 /5
Plot: 4.5 /5
Hero: 4.5 /5
Heroine: 4.5 /5
Secondary Characters: 4.5 /5
MC’s chemistry: 4.5 /5
Triggers: Abuse, Violence, Death of MC. This is not a light read.
Recommended to: Adult Romance Readers looking for a meaningful story and mafia-related plot.
~ Quotes ~
“Your father?” the teacher asked. “Where does he work?”
“Chicago,” he replied.
“And what does he do there?”
Corrado stared blankly at the teacher.
He had no answer for that.
When he got home from school that day, he’d asked his mother. Her amused laughter filled the house, so intense that it brought tears to her eyes. “You want to know how your father makes his money?”
“He does it very carefully.”
“He’s careful for a living,” he’d later told his teacher. “That’s what my mom says, anyway.”
She’d looked at him with pity, like she thought he didn’t understand. And he didn’t. Not really.
“Do you run this place?”
“I run this town, kid.”
“Is that all it is?”
“Of course. What else would it be?”
Vito opened his mouth to respond but shut it, instead shaking his head, thinking better of answering that. “Just be careful, kid.”
“Careful,” Corrado echoed. “Isn’t that what I do for a living now?”
When Corrado discovers his father has been cheating on his mother their entire life together:
Respect was a funny thing. It took a lifetime to build, a lifetime to secure, but a mere moment wiped it all away. And once gone, things looked different, the rose-colored glasses that once beautified the world now a set of grimy bifocals, tainting the view. An infallible man was no longer faultless. A flawed woman had been wronged the entire time.
Maybe the perpetrator was just as much the victim.
Maybe things weren’t as clear-cut as he’d thought them to be.
Corrado and Celia:
“You’re worth more than that,” Corrado said. “You deserve to be somebody’s everything, not somebody’s secret.”
“My parents fight,” he continued. “We just had a disagreement.”
Celia sniffled, gazing at him. “What’s the difference?”
“We’re not always going to agree, Celia. It’s impossible. You’re a spitfire. You’re going to have your opinions, and I can guarantee I’m not always going to approve of them.”
“You should,” she said, her voice cracking. “I’m always right.”
“Like I said—we won’t always agree.” He cracked a smile. “But never, never will I fight with you. I’ll never scream at you, I’ll never throw things at you, and I’ll never hit you. And if someone else ever does? I’ll—”
“I get it,” she said before he could elaborate. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t apologize to me,” he said, brushing her tears from her face. “Hearing you groveling will be worse than seeing you crying.”
He tapped the newspaper on top of her head. “When did you get to be so smart?”
“I was born this way.”
“Where were those smarts when I asked you to marry me? You should’ve run the other way.”
“I was blinded by your ruggedly handsome good looks.”
“I’m a lot of things, Celia DeMarco, but I’m not this.
I’ll cheat the law, I’ll cheat on my taxes, I’ll try my damnedest to cheat death, but never…never…will I cheat on you”
“It’s the way you’re looking at me… it’s like you’ve never seen something so beautiful before.”
“That’s the way you’re looking at me.”
“And it bothers you?”
“I cant’ live up to it. You put me on a pedestal. I’ll only fall.”
“You’ll never fall. Not if I’m there to catch you.”
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