So I am pretty sure I just read one of my favorite books ever!!! 5 stars is no way near enough stars to give this book…it stole my heart from the first page to the extent that I was scared to continue but compelled to do so!
I’ve never read anything about the heart-wrenching topic of human trafficking so that just completely blew me away, and the fact that a beautiful love story was woven into this amidst the world of the Italian Mafia well it just made this book a completely intense and emotional journey!
I lost 2 nights sleep reading this book and it was worth it and even though it was one of the longest books I’ve read I didn’t want it to end and when it did I wanted more. I loved it so much that at no point did I want to put it down unless I really had to. I laughed, I cried and I was frustratingly stuck on the edge of nervous anticipation and heartbreak. I am hoping there will be a second book because I need to know what happens to the characters I fell in love with!
Haven was born into the world of human trafficking. She doesn’t know anything of the outside world other than the ranch where she lives in a desert in California. She has never had any exposure to the outside world. All she knows is violence and suffering. Haven then finds herself being bought by Dr. Vincent DeMarco and this is what sets in motion some major changes for her, mainly falling in love for the first time. My heart literally broke in half for her so many times in this book I can’t even count them, but at the same time I literally cried tears of happiness too that this violated girl also found acceptance and love.
Dr. Vincent DeMarco is involved in the Italian mafia. Long ago he pledged himself to serve them in return of a favor. He is adamant his sons will not follow in his footsteps and by hiding that part of his life strives to fight these battles on a daily basis. He travels back and forth to and from Chicago to lead these separate lives which means he is absent from his home and sons quite often.
Vincent’s wife was murdered years earlier, and for Vincent this is all tied into the life of a girl he saves from a violent slave existence by bringing her home with him. Being Vincent though, yes he saves her, but the path for the forgiveness he seeks doesn’t come natural or easy.
Carmine DeMarco is the bad boy son of Dr. Vincent DeMarco. He constantly swears (too the point of being hilarious!!)and gets into trouble by beating up anyone that just looks at him wrong! But he is totally adored by all the girls seeing as he is the good looking Italian High School football star and he is a naughty womanizer! Carmine doesn’t believe in love though, he doesn’t kiss and thinks girls are only good for one thing. That is until Haven!!! Carmine wakes up one morning to find a servant in his family’s home – “the Ninja” (lol). As he gets to know Haven and sees the world through Haven’s eyes, he finds himself seeing his life differently and opens himself up to show his own emotional issues (and he has many but for good reasons!!) and his vulnerability. Carmine falls in love for the first time and finds purpose to his life, and a new direction. I cannot describe how deeply I fell in love with Carmine. He was funny, bad, yummy yet vulnerable…sigh!!!!!
I loved all of the characters in this book: Corrado, Celia, Dominic and Nicholas – the man of the cheesy jokes!
I don’t think I have ever highlighted as many lines as I did in this book..there are too many, both funny as well as romantic, to mention!
The romantic (When he first said this my heart melted!):
“Sogni d’oro, mia bella ragazza” – “Sweet dreams my beautiful girl”
“Do you have any idea how important you are to me?” “I’m finding myself again because of you. I never thought it would happen.”….”You were brought to me for a reason, for us to save each other. Because you weren’t the only one needing saved, Haven. I was drowning and you rescued me.”
Carmine the bad boy (this line had my in hysterics):
” Who jizzed in your coffee?” … “You were fine and then suddenly it was like you swallowed someone’s bitter junk.”