Title: Sweetest Sorrow
Series: Forbidden #2
Author: J.M. Darhower
Release Date: 28th August, 2016
:::: SYNOPSIS ::::
Dante Galante has evaded death a few times in his life, but held captive in a sweltering basement, he’s certain that death has finally caught up to him. Bloody and barely breathing, he tries to stay strong, but there’s only so much a man can endure before darkness takes over.
As a critical care nurse, Gabriella Russo witnesses suffering often. Thick-skinned, forever cautious, she doesn’t take her work home with her… until Dante Galante lands himself in her hospital. Recklessly grieving the sister he believes he’ll never see again, Dante needs a friend. Just a friend. That’s all it’s supposed to be.
But life has other plans for them, just as it had for Matteo Barsanti and Genevieve Galante. Away from the chaos, building a life of their own, there’s only one thing that could ever bring them back to New York: Dante.
Rules get broken and boundaries are crossed as the fight between rival families continues on, drawing them all deeper into a war they want far away from… for good reason.
Kindle Friends Forever 5 ★ Review by Rachel and Sharon Thérèse
Was it worth the wait? No doubt about it! True to her style, Ms Darhower has once again captured the essence of the Mob’s way of thinking and their modus operandi. Savouring every word in this long read was a doddle, a pleasure and mustn’t be rushed. The culmination of this epic series sucked us in from the first page and as always, left us in awe of her penmanship. Not forgetting, this woman’s an expert in weaving whatever tale takes her fancy. What she’s actually done here is tell two stories in one. Ooh boy, did she surprise the hell out of for us! Let’s be honest . . . even though we’d reviewed By Any Other Name, the mere fact that we hadn’t read the synopsis of Sweet Sorrow meant we had little idea what to expect. Why, you may ask! Well, the release of the second book in this series was literally sprung on us and we hardly had any time to react.
Two heads of Mob families have been on a collision course for an eternity. A blood feud so strong and so ingrained turns into outright war and ooh boy, did we feel their seething hate simmer off the pages. Well before time, a vengeful inheritance for those close to them dictates a no questions asked policy. Established rules are unbreakable; victims become perpetrators and counterattack each other. The price has to be paid regardless of whom happens to be in the way. And this folks, is exactly what this story is about.
“Every single one of you will pay. I’ll see to it. I’ll have your jobs. I’ll have your lives!”
Galanti or Barsanti! Which team did we choose to be on then? Neither! Both capos are much to be desired. You’ll see why Primo Galanti made our skin crawl and why his archenemy, Roberto Barsanti had the same effect on us. However, not all their children felt the same about carrying on a personal vendetta which could cause a feared backlash for injustices committed.
“So do I grieve her? Absolutely. I grieve the loss of her every day. But not for the reason you’re thinking.”
Genevieve Galanti or Genna with a G and Matteo Barsanti, Matty-B, both endearingly named by someone close, have a secret. Left hanging on a huge cliffy in book one, we couldn’t wait to see how something as prohibited as theirs would play out. Genna’s been mollycoddled most of her life. Reasons there are, but she’ll go to great lengths to outwit those who have protected her. Young, sassy, headstrong and a tad irresponsible, it was a joy to see her put her big girl panties on and make the best of a bad situation. We have to confess that we didn’t connect to her straightaway but the change in her swayed our opinion no-end.
“You might prefer to live in the moment, but I like having a plan. The easiest way to keep out of trouble is to always stay a few steps ahead.”
Ooh. . . Matty! Delectably chivalrous and hard-working, could we possibly have asked more of this man who manned up to the occasion without a blink of an eye! He’s been able to shun wishes from higher powers for many reasons. Why he chose to ignore goings on was not only self-preservation, but also to keep someone he loathed at arm’s length. But now he’s experiencing the fallout. Despite new revelations and a grey cloud hanging over him, he shone brighter than bright since his optimism for a better future never swayed.
“What kind of job? You’re gonna need to elaborate, Matty.”
“The kind that earns money.”
Dante and Genna Galanti. Siblings whose very special relationship is perfectly conveyed throughout both reads, tested our emotions fervidly. By now, we’re in a total and utter mess and all we wanted was for them to find out the truth. Only the reader and assumingly, two other people discover who is behind a guarded secret and it’s quite frankly SHOCKING! Freakin’ awesome, actually! Forgivable? You’ll have to make your own minds up.
“. . . I did nothing, when I could’ve. But instead, I waited until her fate was sealed, and even then. . .”
Loyal to his father, dangerous and true to his word, Dante is like a cat with nine lives counting down. Trapped in a series of uncontrollable events had us sitting on the edge of our seats. Someone made sure he was around to suffer the consequences of his mistakes though. So much so that we cried, no lies. . . we sobbed out hearts out for him. To say we crossed our fingers and backed him up wouldn’t be an exaggeration, either. Unbelievable as it may seem, this formidably pig-headed guy has a guardian angel and a friend he could lean on. Against all odds, his story unravels and pity him, we did!
“You know how it feels to have hope. It feels like maybe you won’t die in the dark alone.”
We never questioned Gabriella Russo’s stance. Even though she was in the right place at the wrong time and aware of what she was letting herself in for, her rule-bending seemed totally appropriate to us. Fearless and astute, she puts two and two together. She knows what she’s doing, she guards her thoughts to herself. She also becomes a decisive cog in the wheel in ‘this thing’ she had always swept aside. Where her trust lies and who she never doubted cannot be disputed.
“I trust you to give me CPR if I stop breathing.”
Gavin Amaro’s part in this story is of such importance that we can’t help but mention him. He was a breath of fresh air and his light-hearted sense of humour so welcoming. Loyalty can be a double-edged sword. Nonetheless, how he went about calming troubled waters gained our respect at the drop of hat. Are we asking too much of the author for more of him? Ms Darhower, he truly deserves to be heard!
“You don’t know what you’re talking about. Vito Corleone had a cat.”
For the very first time ever, neither of us agreed about the author’s narrative structure. Told in third person; I, Sharon, thought it could have been a tad shorter. Me, Rachel, said to her that Ms Darhower had put her heart and soul into every minute detail. Sharon recapped taking into consideration the flowing banter and had to agree. Conclusion. Fan-effing-tastic! Thank you for keeping us in the loop with your marvellous characters and their struggles for a better life. BRAVO!
:::: Purchase Links ::::
KFF’s 5 ★ Review of By Any Other Name and Buy Links HERE
:::: About the Author ::::
J.M. Darhower is a USA Today bestselling author, best known for her Mafia romantic suspense novels. She lives in a tiny town in rural North Carolina, where she churns out more words than will ever see the light of day. She has a deep passion for politics and speaking out against human trafficking, and when she isn’t busy writing (or being a fangirl) she’s usually ranting about those things.
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