Saturday, January 3, 2015

Review: Made ( Forever #0.5 ) J. M. Darhower


Corrado Moretti.

The world knows the notorious Kevlar Killer, but few have ever seen what lies beneath his armor. The abused child. The neglected teenager. The broken man. He always did whatever he had to do in order to survive.

It's kill or be killed.

Throughout his life, he has been there in the shadows, a witness to everything from beginning to end. Bound by loyalty and honor, there's only one thing he would sacrifice it all for: family.

Never get close. Never get attached. It's a lesson that has been brutally pounded into him since childhood, but they're words the DeMarcos make it difficult for him to follow. Through them he finds love and grieves loss, realizing the world isn't quite as black and white as it's made out to be.





Wow! It felt like I just finish reading the biography of a mafia Don. I love every thing about this book and immersed myself in every single sentence of it. 

Corrado Moretti is Carmine DeMarco's uncle that we get to know and grow to love in the Sempre series. He walks on the shade of gray, doing horrible things to protect those he love. We finally get to read about his past, starting from his childhood, to how he become the most powerful person in La Cosa Nostra. 

What I love most is Darhower never give us the cliche story that I was so used of reading. I was expecting Corrado to have horrible childhood with abusive parents, then someone forced him or trained him to be stone cold killer through some kind of sick training regime. 

But instead, we got a much of realistic story, which why I said it make me felt like I was reading a biography instead of a fiction. Corrado had a less than stellar childhood, but I felt that his father, Vito was a decent man, who wanted what's best for his only son. He might not get the best father award, but he loves Corrado in his own way and be the catalyst that make Corrado join in the La Cosa Nostra. 

First of all, this doesn't read as a romance. His relationship with Celia is the sweetest part of the book, but is not the main focus. They met each other since they were children and love each other ever since. His awkwardness and lack of romantic notion in dealing with Celia is freaking adorable. The main challenge is Celia's father, the boss of La Cosa Nostra. 

Antonio DeMarco was a damn intimidating man. Imagine Corrado manage to make Carmine pee his pant, Antonio double the intimidation factor. I like how Corrado deal with him. Honesty. Of course, it doesn't hurt that he happen to be the La Cosa Nostra most treasured hitman. Corrado had high respect for Antonio, the man who was so proud to call him his son. I felt that a lot of the old Corrado that we see in Sempre came from him trying to emulate Antonio. 

We see many books where the couple got married, that is their HEA. But for Corrado and Celia' story, not only we get to see their love blossoming and how Corrado finally convince Antonio to accept him. We also get to see how they sustained their marriage, how his work affected his wife and how they deal with all the pressure. The only thing missing is Celia's POV. Initially, she is carefree girl who happen to be the mafia princess, who pursue the shy boy she grown to love, then she become the mafia wife who accept and support her husband wholeheartedly. What she do during her free time, while he is busy killing people, I had no idea. 

Vincent and Maura also played a major role in this book. When I read about Vincent, I felt like I was seeing Carmine all over again. It pretty much like history repeats itself. Both of them are the reluctant party that was forced into the business due to their love of their woman. Most of the time they don't know what they are even doing and Corrado is the one watching out for the DeMarco's ever since. 

I've got to say, Corrado is the most honorable, loyal, protective and passionate mafia character that I've ever read before. Finishing this book left me with a heavy feeling. I felt that Corrado had been surviving and working and more working in his entire life, never having a down time since he was a teenager. He sacrificed so much to get where he is today and all I want is for him to have his peace and just for one night no one call his freaking phone or knock on his bloody door. Is that too much to ask?

The book is 530 pages, and here after I finish, I hope it is even longer.

Despite being a prequel, this works better is you have already read the Sempre series.

Rating 5/5