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

January 02, 2017

By Any Other Name by JM Darhower
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Forbidden #1
Release: February 23, 2015
Length: 352 pages

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.

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My Review

This story is likened to a Shakespearean tragedy. Romeo and Juliet to be exact. And its title definitely makes the reader want to draw comparisons. However, the tragedy of this story is far greater than what Shakespeare created.

The love that developed between Genna Galante and Matty Barsanti was both sweet and pure. It was also strictly forbidden. Their families were more than feuding. They were at war and were mortal enemies. The hatred festered and was fed from one generation to the next. Genna was taught that the only good Barsanti was a dead one and Matty's lessons weren't any different. But that didn't and couldn't stop them from falling for one another.

"A smile lit up her face, the kind of smile that could replace sunshine without you even noticing a drop in temperature." Dante, regarding Genna

"That's what I want," he said quietly. "What I get for winning."
"You had me," she whispered, cheeks flushing at the reminder.
"I did," he agreed. "But the past isn't what matters. I live in the present, Genna. I live in the now. I had you, yeah, but what I want is to have you."

There was so much bitterness and hate and anger and violence. Genna and Matty wanted no part of it. Unfortunately, the choice wasn't theirs to make and it seemed that everyone got caught up in the war. The death count rises and Matty just wants to escape it all, with Genna. But their families have other plans.

I'm excited to read book 2. I need more of these characters and I need to know what really happened to Dante. The epilogue was excellent but I'm wondering how long the stalemate will last.


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