ARC Review: By Any Other Name by JM Darhower

24 Feb 2015

RELEASE DATE: 23 February 2015


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. Show less


 "The only good Barsanti is a dead Barsanti."

 When it comes to mafia reads, there is no doubt that JM Darhower is one of the queen of mafia writings especially with her Sempre series that managed to deliver a storyline so riveting and thrilling that had me glued to my Kindle all day long. By Any Other Name is no exception to her ability to once again transports her readers back into the dark world of the mafia, leaving us to deal with the violent acts that plagued the streets of whilst allowing us to witness the tragic fate of the young star-crossed lovers who were born into this mess. 

 The story revolves around the Galante's and the Barsanti's; two of the most powerful mafia families in the streets of NYC. What used to be a strong friendship between these two had turned into a deadly rivalry after a tragic event in the early years. Now the remnants of that has left both families vowing to take revenge and neither will stop until one has been completely obliterated.
"Their families didn't just carry animosity- they were mortal enemies, hell-bent on destroying each other. The two of them were a disaster waiting to happen."
A chance encounter of being stuck in an elevator brought Genna, the sole daughter of the Galante and Matty, the firstborn son of the Barsanti together where they shared an undeniable connection. They hit it off later during a couple of drinks but unbeknownst to each other, they're each their own mortal enemy. When the truth is out, it proves to be a battle of the heart wants what it can't have and with family loyalty that stands in their way, ultimately which would triumph?

"I risk coming here, because one of us has to take that risk. One of us has to be willing to take the chance."
I'm a complete sucker for these modern Romeo & Juliet storylines and coupled with the fact that it's done in a mafia-based setting, I found myself knee in deep with this story at every turn. There was a good balance of romance and suspense that didn't leave a dull moment at all. I could feel the trepidation radiating off me while watching these two risking and fighting for their chance at love despite the circumstances that were attached to their family names.  

There was definitely some insta-feelings going on in this read but I didn't find it to be completely off-putting as things did move at a gradual pace between these two. What kinda sets this apart with the Sempre series is that this one focuses more on the forbidden romance aspect over the mafia plotline. There was no escaping from the brutal scenes that came along with the ride as we delved into this gritty world, but I was hoping to have a more detailed backstory of the war waged between these two families. I wanted to understand what really drove these two into a blood-shedding vengeance. 

Overall as the title puts it, By Any Other Name definitely captured the star-crossed lovers aspect well and be ready to put your heart on the line for Genna & Matty. The first instalment definitely leaves a lot to be answered but it was nothing short of heart-pounding and filled with passionate scenes. 

It does end with a mini cliffy which I'd say, is similar to Sempre's ending where it ends off with enough closure but still leaves you dying for the next one. I can't wait to see what's next for the Galante and Barsanti! 

  By Any Other Name is the first instalment in the Forbidden series.

  ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

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