ARC Review: ★By Any Other Name (Forbidden, 1)★ by @JMDarhower

By Any Other Name
Series: Forbidden #1
Author:  J.M. Darhower
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: February 23, 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.

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Review
4 stars

Shall I compare thee to a…uh…whatever the hell Shakespeare compares thee to.”
“A summer’s day, but I’m more like a winter storm.”
“Ice princess,” he joked, softly kissing her as he gripped her hips. “You feel warm to me.”

Are you sitting down for this? Because what I’m about to tell you here is so shocking, it’s crazy! *whispers* (this is the first J.M. Darhower book I’ve read) *pause for dramatic gasps* I know! I’m not sure what rock I’ve clearly been living on there, but I have found my way out and seen the light because I am definitely a huge fan after finishing this book

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, and they had just been fooling themselves if they thought anything good could come out of this thing.”

Star crossed lovers on opposite ends of rivaling mafia families? Sign me right up!

Genevieve “Genna” Galante is the youngest child and only daughter of Primo Galante; the notorious and ruthless head of the Galante crime family. She may be daddy’s little girl, but she’s no innocent. If there’s trouble to cause, she’s in the thick of it. Her life is kept under tight control by her father and older brother who is set to take over the family business. Gemma may be a trouble maker that loves to break rules, but there’s one thing she knows

The only good Barsanti is a dead Barsanti.”

While her family has plenty of enemies, the most dangerous is the rivaling mafia family, the Brasanti’s. A deadly rivalry that began years ago. A rivalry where no one is spared, and Gemma knows the price her family paid that began the ruthless war between the two families.

Gemma longs to escape the rules, the life, the restrictions, the death of it all. Then one night she looks into a pair of the most striking blue eyes she’s ever seen, and is completely captivated by the man that owns them. Matty. But what she doesn’t realize is that the man that captures her heart in just a few short hours happens to be the first born son of her family’s rival.


This is what I want,” he said quietly. “What I get for winning.”
“What?”
“You.”
“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.”

Sure this had a little insta-something feel to it, but hey, you are reading a Romeo and Juliet-esk romance after all. I loved how the author managed to have that but also stretch it out and truly build up the chemistry between these two characters.


Can I ask you something?”
Matty’s brow furrowed. “Sure.”
“How do you fix your hair so your horns don’t show?”

I was afraid that with Gemma being only 18 years old, she may come off as too naive and annoying for my tastes, but that was never the case. While she may have been young, she had a sensibility to her that was beyond her years and circumstances.

I absolutely adored her and Matty together. It definitely helped that the story is told in alternating POVs (though I did find myself wishing it was in first person, as I felt it may have helped me to connect even more to the characters).


Feels different, doesn’t it?” he asked.
“It does,” she agreed, suddenly queasy as she admitted it out loud. “I feel kind of like Julia Roberts.”
“Pretty Woman?”
“Sleeping with the Enemy.”

The focus of the book was more so on the romance, though you do get bits and pieces of the history of these two families. You get a lot more from Gemma’s family than you do of Matty’s, however. There’s a few hints that are dropped here and there about what began the rivalry and there’s clearly a huge piece of the puzzle that is still missing from Matty’s side, but you won’t be getting much here. This book truly set up the romance aspect, while leaving the reader with plenty of questions to have you burning for the next book.

I loved all the secondary characters, and the plot had me glued to the pages from beginning to end. I think I spent the last 30% of the book with my heart in my throat, just waiting for that other shoe to drop. With stories of this nature, you just know that all shit is about to hit the fan sooner rather than later, but you just never know when or how. I was on the edge of my seat until the last page, and after that ending? I’m dying to know how everything concludes.

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