Release Day Review: By Any Other Name by J.M. Darhower

By Any Other Name by J.M. Darhower

By Any Other Name by J.M. Darhower
Series: Forbidden #1
Publication Date: February 23rd 2015
Purchase: Ebook • Paperback
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

A deadly rivalry.
Two families at war.
Nobody is safe, not even the innocent.
Especially the innocent.
Blood will be spilled.

Genevieve “Genna” Galante knows a thing or two about causing trouble. After all, it’s engrained in her DNA. As the only daughter of Primo Galante, notorious boss of the Galante crime family, her life is dictated by a certain set of rules… rules Genna was never very good at following.

Matteo “Matty” Barsanti never wanted anything to do with the family business, but as the first-born Barsanti son, certain things are expected of him. It’s his duty, according to his father, to help take down the enemy… even if that enemy means something to him.

A chance encounter on an elevator changes the course of lives, causing the biggest trouble of Genna’s young life. The only good Barsanti is a dead Barsanti. She’s heard it said time and time again. So what happens when she falls in love with one of them?

The story of star-crossed lovers caught in the middle of the biggest rivalry New York has ever seen, determined to make it… if only they can survive their parents’ feud.

It seems that every time I finish a book by J.M. Darhower, all I can feel or say is OH MY GOOOODDD!!! J.M. Darhower is one of the few authors I trust to give me a well-written, fleshed-out, and addictive mafia story, and she has yet to let me down. Her newest one, By Any Other Name, definitely lived up to my expectations. I freaking loved this book! If you haven’t read a mafia story based on Romeo and Juliet, you haven’t lived yet.

A deadly rivalry.
Two families at war.
Nobody is safe, not even the innocent.
Especially the innocent.
Blood will be spilled.

Seriously, I was nearly salivating at the thought of reading a mafia story with a forbidden love like Romeo and Juliet’s. Two rival mafia families whose children fall in love with each other? YES PLEASE!!

“The Prodigal Son and the Ice Princess, huh? Sounds like a terrible fairy tale. You know, the kind where the big bad wolf eats everybody at the end.”

The Barsantis and the Galantes are enemies. What used to be a friendship turned into a bloodthirsty rival, with too many deaths and murders between them for the two families to ever reconcile. Genna Galante’s older brother was killed by the Barsantis, so she grew up fearing and hating the Barsantis. I was very impressed by how the author was able to portray the hatred as a real, powerful thing between the families. It’s a frustrating kind of hatred that the families brought upon themselves, but, like the star-crossed main characters, I held onto the hope that the rivalry could end. But what exactly would it take to end their feud?

When Genna Galante and Matty Barsanti meet, they don’t know who they are to each other, so instead of hating each other on sight, they’re instantly attracted to one another. I didn’t connect with them very well in the beginning – they fell for each other too quickly for my taste, but I was able to forgive that as I kept reading. Their romance felt more genuine later on in the book, and my heart was aching for them once their identities were revealed. They were too deeply into each other at that point, so the only thing they could do was keep their relationship a secret.

He was a Barsanti…
…but maybe the Barsantis weren’t the enemy.

Oh, how I adored Genna and Matty. Once I got over the rough start with them, I was rooting for these star-crossed lovers to get their happy ever after. But every time it seemed like their relationship could work, their families got involved and tried to force them apart. I adored the tender way Matty and Genna were together – they make the sweetest couple ever, and it’s so obvious that these two are meant for each other. But how will they ever make their families see the same?

By Any Other Name was an unputdownable, heart-pounding read that had my on the edge of my seat! The suspense builds and builds, and this was one of the few books where I was terrified for the main characters. Genna and Matty’s love is caught in the middle of a dangerous feud, but theirs is a love that won’t go down without a fight. I grew attached to the main characters, as well as the secondary characters. The writing is impeccable and the story is seriously addicting. This is another thrilling, dangerous, romantic novel from J.M. Darhower! I cannot WAIT for the sequel!

4.5 hearts

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.

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