Title: By Any Other Name (Forbidden series #1)
Author: J.M. Darhower
Genres: RomanceNew Adult
Release Day: February 23rd 2015
ARC was kindly provided from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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.

5 stars! 

She’s done it again people! If there’s one person that can write a mean mafia book is Jessica Mae freaking Darhower; she knows how to deliver a good story that will make you laugh and swoon and it will definitely shock you and make you cry in equal measure!

“You said one drink.”
A sly smile curved his lips. “I like to keep them coming.”
“Is that right?”
“Absolutely.” Matty stood, leaning across the table, his lips near her ear. “Maybe you’ll let me show you later.”

As read in the blurb this is the story of star-crossed lovers caught in the middle of the biggest rivalry New York has ever seen but the truth is you get so much more than just a love story with a mafia and a little bit of classic Romeo and Juliet forbidden love in the mix.

A well built background that unravels slowly as the story develops is one of the things I absolutely loved about this story as was the attention to details and the unbelievably raw feel of the mafia world.

“I don’t do things just because they’re easy. Despite what you might think, I don’t have sinister intentions. I risk coming here, because one of us has to take that risk. One of us has to be willing to take the chance.”

Two families are on top of NYC’s organized crime, the Galante and the Barsanti. Once united they are now rivals like no other, and the war between them is deadly, not only to those around them, but also and most importantly to their family member as well, since they are hell bent on destroying one another, not leaving anyone alive.

“The only good Barsanti is a dead Barsanti.”

The story starts with Matty and Genna meeting. I won’t spoil but they were adorable! Simply put, adorable! Their meeting, the start of their undeniably epic romance, everything! Matteo is swoon worthy but not your typical guy one would read in a mafia story, strong character and with a heartbreaking past. Equally strong though is Genevieve and she can definitely hold her own especially since there’s a great character development on her part, loved it!

“This is 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.”

The way they handle their relationship in the middle of a family war is admittedly cute even if a little risky but still cute and it reveals another way of living within the mafia without never really having a way out but not wanting to be an active participant either.

“That’s what they say about you. They have a lot of names for you… the Ice Princess… Medusa… they say you’re the worst kind of monster, the kind that can bring a man to his knees, that can shatter his world with a simple stare.”
“It’s too late for me, though. I already looked the soul-stealer in the eyes.”

Hands down a must read for mafia lovers, for forbidden love stories lovers and for J.M. Darhower lovers!

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