~5 CRAZIES STARS~
“You are who you choose to be.”
Sweetest Sorrow is the long awaited follow-up to By Any Other Name. J.M. Darhower never fails to amaze me with her intricate plots and unforgettable characters. At the conclusion of By Any Other Name, I was dying to find out what was going to happen next. Sweetest Sorrow certainly exceeded all my expectations. With more of Matty and Genna and the delicious addition of Dante and Gabriella, this was a truly spectacular read!
By Any Other Name ended with a bang and the star-crossed lovers are on the run. Their families are left behind, and the rumor on the street is that “Romeo and Juliet” are dead and gone. Genna and Matty find a secluded place to hide out so they can be together and protect themselves from their vengeful mobster families. When the dust settles, Genna and Matt discover peace and solace in each other’s arms.
“I’m not letting go yet.”
Meanwhile, back in NY, Dante, Genna’s brother, is fighting for his life in the hospital. When none of the medical staff volunteers to be his caregiver Gabriella volunteers to be his nurse. Dante is completely broken, both physically and emotionally, after everything he has been forced to endure. After a difficult recovery, Dante begins to experience deep regret over the man he has become. He befriends Gabriella and suddenly the dark life of crime that he has been entrenched in doesn’t seem quite so inviting. Despite his father’s best effort to draw him back in, Dante begins to cling to the goodness he discovers in Gabriella. As Dante begins to walk away from his old life, secrets are revealed, and he is thrown from the flame straight back into the fire.
“You fix what’s broken, not what’s lost.”
While the dual romantic elements of the plot are twisting and turning, the Mob families are still at war. The action is intense as the families fight to maintain control of their turf. Tensions are high for Dante and Gabriella to survive the storm. When Genna discovers the truth about her brother, her faith is shaken, and Matty once must again prove that she can trust him to care for her and give her unconditional love.
Told in dual POV, every single solitary moment of By Any Other Name held me captive. The complex characters and the relationships they shared were unique and riddled with passion and intensity. Ms. Darhower is a master at creating a world in which you want to escape to and stay forever. I am mesmerized by her ability to explore so many characters and plot points simultaneously with such commitment and ease! Not once was I in a hurry to leave a scene to get back to the other characters, I was simply happy to be along for the ride. I enjoyed every single sizzling and tender moment!
Overall, By Any Other Name is another winning read by the amazing Ms. Darhower. I became a fan when I read Sempre and I have never looked back! Her words and characters are simply unforgettable. I cannot wait to see what she creates next! My Kindle and I will be waiting!
*ARC graciously provided via author in exchange for an honest review!