Sempre (Forever, #1)

Sempre (Forever, #1) - J.M. Darhower It felt like I've been reading this book for-effin'-ever. And that doesn't always bode well.First thing: this is a love story with the characters entangled in the Mafia. It is not a Mafia story with elements of romance. I think I would've enjoyed this better if I had that clear early on, but there were moments in the book when the intent became too confusing for me.I've had such great hopes for this one (It was an Audrey Hepburn book --nearly everyone loves it). I LOVE The Godfather films (even the third one on good days) and I always watch them around the Holy Week (I'm Catholic). But this one felt like a Disney-fied Godfather. It just felt like the Mafia here were a couple of p*ssy-whipped guys who just happened to enjoy shooting people. There were a lot of allusions to shady deals and evil wrong-doings but the meat of the story revolved around two teenagers falling in love and how it affects the La Cosa Nostra and not the other way around. Mafia men should be badasses but a fourth into the story they've all been defanged, save maybe for Corrado Moretti who was the only remotely believable Mafia man in this book. With snowball fights, shooting lessons in a flowery meadow and I think a deer turning up in a cabin somewhere, I was bound to give this a low rating. Add to the fact that the words 'Haven' and 'tears' always turns up in subsequence with each other. The book spans a year, time being marked by certain holidays (Christmas, Halloween, Valentines, New Year etc.) and I swear, that girl have shed/burst into/swallowed/eyes blurred/wiped tears in nearly all of them. I get it, she was a slave, she went through tough shit, can't she not cry every time she's around Carmine (and even when she's not, apparently, I checked) and throw herself into his chest (which almost always follows the crying)? There was a lengthy exposition on how Carmine and Haven fell in love which I got bored with because, seriously, they're living together, how tough could that be on them? I begrudged them this incentive because I've seen tons of heroes and heroines in books who walked through hell to get together or stay together, Carmine and Haven sleep a few steps away from each other and eventually WITH each other and I'm supposed to "feel their pain"? At seventeen/eighteen? I don't get it.I think this is a young adult book of my 'Beautiful Disaster' sub-genre, where the hero is so abrasive and seriously steps into douchebag territory save for the heroine that I can't bring myself to even like him. No amount of sexy tattoos, gratuitous cursing (which I usually love) or piano playing at night (which makes me cringe) can redeem Carmine for me, I fear. Early on, I actually rooted for Vincent and Haven to end up together with some twisted D/s relationship... they had more chemistry! Even in the latter parts, when he was having a conversation with Haven after everything that happened, I found myself thinking that I'm giving them a year before they start discussing alimony. And that's a disaster for a romance novel if after 558 pages the story still fails to convince you that the H and h belong together or will have their happily EVER AFTER. I did like some spots, all of them unrelated to Carmine and Haven together. I'm going to read some smut now as a reward for finishing this book after 4 days which might as well have been.... Sempre.