4.5 Amazing Stars
In my opinion, J.M. Darhower is a genius with writing forbidden mafia romances. Sempre is one of my all time favorite books so I was extremely pleased that not only did she deliver another amazing story, but one that was completely different from her original masterpiece.
**Spoiler Free Review**
By Any Other Name is a story of two families and a rivalry that turned deadly almost sixteen years earlier. The Galante and the Barsanti’s are the two strongest mafia families in NYC and once upon a time were friends, but one night changed everything.
We didn’t always go head-to-head. We used to exist peacefully.
The Galante and Barsanti children have grown up with this waging war between the two families and it’s been instilled in them to never trust, never get close and never let your guard down.
Genevieve “Genna” Galante may look sweet and innocent but she’s a pro at causing trouble. From trespassing, vandalism to even stealing a car and she has caused her father and brother to become dictated to protecting her.
Matteo “Matty” Barsanti is the first born of the Barsanti family but his life has been very much removed from the family and it’s been years since he’s been in NYC on a regular basis. Which is why, when Matty and Genna meet each other, they were unaware they were engaging with the enemy.
When Matty and Genna get stuck in an elevator they feel an unexplainable connection between them. One that neither of them is willing to question and one they’re not ready to let go of. A few drinks later, and Genna is screaming Matty’s name in a way he’ll never forget. This one night appears to be the start of something beautiful, something real, until suddenly if they were just By Any Other Name they could be together.
Genna knows she should be disgusted with herself for her night with Matty, but when she thinks about him she’s consumed by something else, something undeniable and suddenly families and names don’t seem as important as they once did.
Blood has already been spilled between these two families and their relationship will only ensure that more will. Being together won’t keep them safe, but going back to the life they had before meeting each other just doesn’t seem like a possibility.
This story was one of those that I tried to read a little slower because as much as I wanted to know how things would turn out, I also didn’t want it to end. By Any Other Name is definitely a modern day Romeo and Juilet story and Matty and Genna did have some insta feelings towards each other, but their relationship grows at a reasonable paste.
I loved Matty. He’s six years older than Genna and quickly becomes her protector. He might be the next in line to take over the Barsanti family, but his blood runs different the other Barsanti men and doesn’t let his DNA define who he is as a person. Matty only had one night with Genna where last names didn’t matter, but he wasn’t ready to walk away from the only person his heart has ever felt a connection with. Being with Genna, loving Genna might be the hardest battle he’s ever going to face and it shows just how strong his character truly is.
By Any Other Name is the first book in the Forbidden Series. Some questions are left unanswered, hearts are broken and what will happen next is still a mystery BUT it ends in almost the perfect spot for the next book to pick up. The ending isn’t much of a cliffhanger and more of a HFN and I can’t wait to read what will happen next.
*ARC kindly provided by J.M. Darhower in exchange for an honest review*