Series: Forbidden #1
Published by Self-Published on February 23rd 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Crime, Romance
Buy on Amazon US • Buy on Amazon UK
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.
Reviewed by Joanne
*I received an E-ARC from the Author in exchange for an honest review*
I love JM Darhowers books, and this one was no exception. This story was a modern day spin on Romeo and Juliet, only instead of the Capulets and Montagues we have the Galante and Barsanti families, and the setting is the streets of New York.
Genna is the 18 year old daughter of Primo Galante, head of one of five families controlling the neighborhoods of New York. Matteo is the eldest son of Roberto, who is head of the Barsanti family and also the Galante’s deadliest rivals. And when I say deadly, I mean deadly. Blood has been spilled, and it devastated the Galante family so much that there will never be peace between the two. They hate each other with a vengeance and Genna has been brought up knowing that Barsanti = evil.
“The only good Barsanti is a dead Barsanti,” he’d said. “You see one, you run the other way.”
Genna would never look at a Barsanti let alone talk to one. Until a chance encounter in a lift leaves her unwittingly striking up conversation with her mortal enemy and their fate is sealed. The banter between them is quick and witty, the chemistry between them is electric, and Matt is full of innuendo!
A sly smile curved his lips. “I like to keep them coming.” “Is that right?” “Absolutely.” He stood, leaning across the table, his lips near her ear. “Maybe you’ll let me show you later.”
It’s not long before he gets that chance to show Genna exactly what he means! WOW that man is H.O.T.! He falls quick, and he falls hard. He’s not cut out for the life his father and brother live, and meeting Genna brings him some sunshine in his otherwise dark world.
“I didn’t think you could be any more beautiful… then you screamed my name”
With neither realizing who they’re really talking to, they fall for each other, and by the time they finally realize the true identity of the other it’s too late. They’re in too deep and past the point of no return. You could feel the horror in Genna when she spots Matty across the street while out with her brother Dante and he points out Matteo Barsanti – the prodigal son returned. He has been away for years so no wonder they didn’t know who the other was. She had finally found someone who made her heart skip a beat and now it turns out he’s the enemy. Poor Matty was in the same predicament. He hates the life his father and younger brother lead, if it hadn’t been for the fact his mother is ill he wouldn’t have come back home. He found a girl who had intrigued him and made him want more, but now he can’t have her.
“I get it. You didn’t expect this, you didn’t expect me to be who I am, but I didn’t either, Genna. I didn’t expect you to be one of them. But you are, and I am. It is what it is. I’ve done everything I can think of to get you to put some trust in me, so tell me… what else can I possibly do? What do you need me to do? Because I’ll do it, whatever it is.”
What follows is a story of cat and mouse, with the lovers trying to conduct a relationship without getting caught, because the hatred between the families is so fierce that one or both of them could end up dead. As they get deeper into their relationship, they take bigger risks and it’s only a matter of time before someone catches them. The tension in the book was unbearable at times, and there were some moments where my heart was pounding wondering what was going to happen next!
I love Ms. Darhowers writing I feel as though I am there watching it unfold in front of me, and I particularly like the third person narrative so that we get to see what not only the main characters are thinking but also the secondary characters too. I loved Matty B and Genna (if you haven’t guessed already!), but I also loved Dante, he would do anything for Genna. Anything. Even disobey their father. I definitely want to see more of him!
The end of this book had me on the edge of my seat and I was literally gripping my kindle in fear for the characters. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough and was left open-mouthed at the climax of the events unfolding. I have so many questions, but I can’t voice them because it could spoil the story, needless to say, I’m eagerly waiting the next book!