Sweetest Sorrow by J.M. Darhower
Series: Forbidden #2
Also in this series: By Any Other Name
Published by Self-published on August 29, 2016
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Available on KU at posting: Yes
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.
Sometimes a book leaves me with such a buzz that I don’t stop and write a review. Unbelievable but true. Why? I get greedy and reach for another book to maintain the euphoria. This is fraught with danger when you do the same at the end of the next book. That’s what happened when I first read Sweetest Sorrow. My penance was to read Dante’s book again— a travesty I know, but this time made sure to review.
Sufficient time had passed for me to have a sense of familiarity but not recall all the details of the plot. I was excited to discover I loved it even more the second time around. So much so I was compelled to bump up my rating from 4 to 4.5 Stars.
The storyline is divided between two siblings quest of survival. It’s a modern day Romeo and Juliet scenario with larger than life personalities and fabulous secondary characters who each had distinctive personalities and voices that were vividly portrayed. Alternating chapters focus on the estranged siblings giving the reader a panorama view of what each are up to. The swap between the different siblings was timed perfectly and I relished switching between the two.
I was left with a question or two regarding what Primo knew about the big picture. The information that was filtered through the story was from the perspective of the second generation, not the bosses. Thankfully, I was so caught up in the drama at hand and Primo’s knowledge was totally overshadowed.
Each of the four main characters was uniquely witty, determined and headstrong people. They complimented each other balancing out the extremes with calm patience. Humour cut through the tough times and bled into the romance. Love surfaced numerous times. Always intense or heartwarming – at times it was both.
This is a Mafia romance that has it all. Fast cars, forbidden steamy relationships, family rivalry, weddings and funerals. It’s an action packed story that I would love to see made into a movie. The epilogue left me sated yet hopeful for more. I enjoyed Sweetest Sorrow so much that I am determined to check J.M Darhower’s books I haven’t read yet.
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