In my opinion, J.M. Darhower writes the best Mafia romance and recreating a classic tale of forbidden love and family vendettas is no easy feat. This is a modern day Romeo & Juliet that will have you glued to your kindle from the heartbreaking prologue.
The streets of New York are controlled by five Italian families, each with their own territories. For years, the Barsanti and the Galante families have been involved in a feud and know never to overstep the invisible boundaries that have been laid down for decades without paying a heavy price.
Genna Galante is 18, she is a mischievous and sassy girl who is overprotected by her father and brother. When she is caught stealing a car, her father arranges things so that she gets sentenced with community service. As she is leaving the courthouse, she becomes trapped in an elevator with a handsome young man who she becomes quite captivated with and after talking about anything and everything, they decide to go out for some drinks and get to know each other more.
“She was head over heels, unabashedly swept off her feet by Matty-B.
Insta-love, how fucking cliche.”
6 years her senior, Matty-B is the son of Roberto Barsanti, and is back home after many years away to spend time with is dying mother. He is sensitive and kind and wants nothing to do with the dealings of his family business that his father and brother are so heavily involved in. He reluctantly agrees to become their bookie and plans only to stay as long as his mother needs him.
Things become complicated when they discover each others true identities, but when Matty’s mother encourages him to go for what he wants, he decides he will pursue Genna no matter what the dangerous consequences may be.
As with all tragedies, the course of true love will never run smoothly, especially when past secrets and a lies come to a head.
“…he was starting to wonder if he could truly ever have her.
Not as long as our families are dead set on killing each other”
This was one of those books that I savoured, I wanted to read it slowly. I fell in love with Matty, you always know that a man who treats his mother with such affection and love will make a fantastic book hero. He was loyal to those who loved him and he was sexy to boot.
I also loved the relationship between the siblings, the protectiveness of Dante towards his sister and the deep-seated respect between Matty and Enzo.
This is the first book in the Forbidden series, and ends on a story cliffhanger with a HFN for Genna & Matty. Told in dual third person POV.
ARC gratefully received from the author in exchange for an honest review