By Any Other Name by my FAV JM Darhower

A deadly rivalry.
Two families at war.
Nobody is safe, not even the innocent.
Especially the innocent.
Blood will be spilled.

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By Any Other Name (Forbidden #1)

*****5 thousand, million, billion, trillion stars*****

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If you haven’t heard it before, I’ll say it again. Romeo & Juliet was probably the first story I ever fell in love with. So when my FAVORITE author wrote a story based on Romeo & Juliet about star-crossed lovers caught in the middle of a Mafia rivalry in New York, I knew my mind was about to be blown.

And blown, it was.

Matty and Genna belong to two rivaling mafia families, and after a chance encounter – just like Romeo and his beloved Juliet, they instantly have this connection and feel this pull toward one another. And in true JM fashion, CRAZY drama ensues with an ending that makes you want MORE.

I don’t know how she does it. I don’t know how JM Darhower creates these stories, these characters, that make you instantly fall in love and wish it were real life, and you were somehow apart of them. Maybe it’s Matty and Genna’s banter.

“Another?” she asked, picking up the water to take another sip, this one to soothe the sting in her chest. “You said one drink.”
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.”

Maybe it’s the way Matty isn’t this overly abrupt sexual person, but rather a quiet, thoughtful, confident, sexy MAN. Maybe it’s the side characters she creates, like Enzo and Dante and Primo who just steal the show with their amazing one-liners and sometimes intense conversations. But whatever it is, I freaking ate this story up.

His thumb grazed her lips, slightly swollen from his hard kisses, as a smile softened his expression. “I didnt think you could be more beautiful,” he said, “but then you went and screamed my name.”

I ADORED THIS BOOK LIKE NO OTHER. No one will ever top this woman’s writing and the characters she’s made. They can try, but for me, there isn’t anything like her books. I really truly didn’t think she could top Sempre, but damn it, she did. And Matty is now MY #1. My book husband. My everything.

This story made me squeal and smile and cry and swoon and scream and made me want to rip my hair out and then had my heart pounding and then made me fall in love. (This cycle was repeated about 32 times).

READ IT. Read it read it read it. Because I promise you if you don’t, you are missing out on the best story there ever was.

Also- a little something extra to help keep up with all those amazing characters while reading:

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Book 2 Sweetest Sorrow is out this MONDAY!!! EEK! So now is the perfect time to meet my favs, Matty & Genna ❤

Favorite ‘Ships’ Book Tag!

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SHIP

N: Short for romantic relationship, popularized in fan-fiction circles.
V: To endorse a romantic relationship.

Doing this book tag (also seen on It Starts At Midnight) and I tag anyone who wants to participate! (Feel free to use my graphic and tag me!)

Below are some of my favorite ships in no particular order (except #1. They really are my #1 favs 😉 ) -no way I could fit them all in one post!


1. Carmine & Haven from Sempre by JM Darhower

“Grabbing her hand, he pressed it gently to his chest. His skin was warm to the touch, and she could slightly feel his pulse pounding against her palm.
“Do you feel that? I’m not going anywhere, Haven. This is yours.”


2. Matty & Genna from By Any Other Name by JM Darhower

“This is what I want,” he said quietly. “What I get for winning.”
“What?”
“You.”
“You had me,” she whispered, cheeks flushing at the reminder.
“I did,” he agreed. “But the past isn’t what matters. I live in the present, Genna. I live in the NOW. I had you, yeah, but what I want is to HAVE you.”


3. Naz & Karissa from Monster In His Eyes by JM Darhower

“You may growl, and hiss, and meow, and maybe sometimes you bring out those claws, but I know how to make you purr. I’m the king of the jungle. I’m the predator.” “Does that make me your prey?” He shakes his head. “That makes you my queen.”


..are we noticing a theme here? If not, I’ll spell it out. JM DARHOWER IS MY FAVORITE! Basically any couple she has created is considered a favorite. Ok..moving on.


4. Vanessa & Aiden from The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

“I don’t know,” I stuttered, “Do you love me?”
His gaze was so intent the entire world seemed to stop. “You tell me. I never stop thinking about you. I worry about you all the time. Every beautiful thing I see reminds me of you. I can’t finish my practices in Colorado with out wishing you were around,” he said in a steady tone. “You tell me what I feel.”


5. Josh & Nastya from The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay 

“When I look at her now, I think, for just one second, that God doesn’t hate me so much after all.”


6. Mara & Noah from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

“You want me as much as I want you. And all I want is you.”
My tongue warred with my mind. “Today,” I whispered.
Noah stood slowly, his body skimming mine as he rose. “Today. Tonight. Tomorrow. Forever.”


7. Carter & Arizona from Sincerely, Carter by Whitney G.

“You belong to me, Ari, and you always will…
You’re more than ‘just’ my best friend, and I never want to be ‘just friends’ again.”


8.  Owen & Auburn from Confess by Colleen Hoover

“He catches my gasp with his mouth, and he picks me up, carrying me out of the shower and straight to the bed. And this time, I don’t get lost in his touch. I don’t get lost in his kiss. I don’t get lost in how it feels when he pushes himself inside me. I don’t feel lost in him at all, because it’s the first time I’ve ever felt like someone truly found me.”


9. Will & Hanna from Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren

“I was so lost in love with this girl.”


10. Drew & Kate from Tangled by Emma Chase 

“Edward Cullen can take his stupid heroine and OD on it. Kate is my own personal brand of Viagra.”


What are some of your favorite ships?

THANKS FOR READING! xoxo

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OLYMPIC BOOK TAG!

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Saw this fun book tag on Reading Is My Breathing’s Blog and decided to participate! Shout out to It Starts At Midnight’s blog for creating this tag and the awesome category graphics ❤

*I tag anyone who wants to participate! 

*Click on links to go to the mentioned book’s Goodread’s page.


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That’s easy. By Any Other Name by JM Darhower.

Star-crossed lovers? Loosely based on Romeo & Juliet? I’m all over that! And I loved every single word.

Monster In His Eyes by JM Darhower HAS to be included, too. The freaking prologue? WOW.


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 The Black Wolf (In The Company Of Killers #5) By JA Redmerski.

That trip to Italy is one I will NEVER FORGET. INSANE! My jaw never left the floor.


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That’s another easy one. Because it doesn’t exist. I have disliked every single love triangle book I have read =/ sorry folks.


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HAHA.. I could be here all day. But I’ll only list a few: Please don’t hate me if you loved any one of these books =)


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I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios.

Not enough book friends I know have read this book!


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Blood & Roses Series by Callie Hart. Brutal, sexy, emotional. AMAZING!

And of course In The Company Of Killers Series by JA Redermski. No words for how incredible this entire series is. Each book gets better and better.


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I know, I know. I have mentioned this series multiple times, but In The Company of Killers has so many twists, you’ll need a notebook to keep track of them all! The Swan & The Jackal (ITCOK #3) was SO ITENSE and CRAZY and had an ending I did NOT see coming!

Also- The Raven Cycle (obsessed with this series) shocked the HELL OUT OF ME so many times.


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The Sea Of Tranquility by Katja Millay.

Tears. Tears everywhere. I’ve read this multiple times and cried harder with each re-read.

*Honorable mention: Dusty Innocents & Dusty Delinquents by Mary Elizabeth & Sarah Elizabeth. Talk about SOBBING! I still can’t think about these books without tearing up.


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Sempre by JM Darhower. My most favorite book in the history of books.

The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur. Recently finished this book and LOVED IT!

(Note: I personally don’t consider these “slow paced”. I consider them perfectly paced. But I know others have called them “slow paced.” Regardless, both are fantastic!)


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Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin.

More like a “teen” favorite. 😉


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The Bird and The Sword by Amy Harmon.

“You are a dangerous little bird. But I think I will keep you.”  UGH this story! So beautiful!


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F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher.

It pains me to say this, especially since I LOVED her Love Me With Lies Series. But I wasn’t a fan of this book and skimmed the last half.


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The Addicted Series by Krista & Becca Ritchie.

Hands down THE BEST ensemble cast I’ve ever read. I am absolutely, irrevocably, and insanely in love with the entire cast and with the whole series.


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The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan.

Does football count? No? LOL. I haven’t read much sports books, but let’s make an exception for this category. I love this story. I love Kristen’s writing. I LOVE DREW BAYLOR. He is absolute PERFECTION.


If you’ve made it to the end of this..*HUGS*.  Thanks for reading!

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Review of Savage Things by Callie Hart -There will never be an alpha greater than Zeth Mayfair ❤

Savage Things (Chaos & Ruin #2) by Callie Hart – 4.5 Stars

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“I love that she obeys me.
I love that she gives herself over to me with perfect, unquestioning abandon.
I love that she trusts me.
I love that she loves me.”

Is there an alpha out there better than Zeth Mayfair?
No, no there is not.

I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll say it again. I will NEVER tire of reading about the world’s best alpha Zeth and his angry girl Sloane. Callie can write about this couple until the end of time and I will continue to obsessively consume whatever she writes.

In the second installment of Chaos & Ruin, Callie takes us on another sexy, emotional, and crazy ride. And what I love most? How Callie can write supporting characters that I love just as much as the MCs along with her flawless ability to plan such an intricate web and weave all of their worlds. She writes emotion and brutality So. Freaking. Well.

I loved the direction she took in this book. While the other books revolving around Zeth and Sloane have been ACTION PACKED and just downright crazy, this one took on more of an emotional and vulnerable tone. Zeth is still a force to be reckoned with, but you’ll see a side of Zeth you probably thought you’d NEVER see, and some scenes that will just make you full on sob.

“Vulnerable. It feels dangerous most of the time, but there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m fucking addicted to her, and I wouldn’t change that for the world.”

I don’t want to say much on the plot because it would spoil so much, but I can say the ending opens up SO MANY QUESTIONS I am dying to get answers to. As I said, I think you’ll be shocked by the direction this has been taken and I can only pray Callie decides to continue this with multiple installments and possibly even more series set in this universe (because I am gonna need me some more MASON! God I LOVE THAT BOY!).

Callie left me breathless. Surprised in the best possible way. And as always WANTING MORE!

Note: Savage Things is the second installment in Callie Hart’s Chaos & Ruin series (find my review for Book 1- Violent Things here), which is a sequel to her Blood & Roses series. While Chaos & Ruin can be read without reading Blood & Roses first, believe me when I say you want to read about these characters from the very beginning! Blood & Roses stands as one of my all-time favorite series and is Callie at her best. I say this with full conviction – there will never be an alpha greater than Zeth Mayfair.

Savage Things is live on Amazon!

*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.*

Everyone needs to read The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur

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The Man I Love (The Fish Tales #1) by Suanne Laqueur – 5 Stars

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Wow.

I am a little speechless after experiencing this story. And I say ‘experience‘ instead of ‘read’ purposely. Because this isn’t a story you sit down and just read. No, no. This is a book that consumes you, that works its way into your mind and makes you feel every single thing the characters feel.

This is not just a story. This is a tale. A saga. A lifelong journey. This is fucking incredible.

This is not fiction. It can’t be. The story and characters felt SO damn real, so complex, that I felt like I was living everything right alongside them. Never have I read something that I enjoyed so much, but at the same time didn’t want to read. I know that may not make much sense. But this story hit me so hard that at times I was too emotional and quite honestly scared to pick it back up and see what would happen next.

“I was born to be near you. I want to know you in the dark. I want you to look at me with your hands. I want to kiss you until I die.”

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Is it long? Yes. But it spans 15 years.
Is it slow? No. To me it was not. Everything the author wrote served a purpose and her writing is incredibly smart, poetic, and multilayered. It may seem ‘slow’ at first, but once that bomb drops – brace yourselves.
Is it heartbreaking? Yes. YES YES YES. I am stressing this now. This is not your average, mushy, lovey-dovey romance. This is REAL. This is about the sometimes romantic, sometimes gritty and devastating journey of two people who meet, fall in love, and after tragedy strikes fuck up, and all the moments in between.
Do I recommend it? YES YES YES.

“Leaving isn’t always the end of loving. Love doesn’t give a shit about geography. It’s not a thing you can abandon at will.”

I sat on writing this review for a little bit because really I didn’t know what to say. And in that time I think I came to appreciate the author and her writing even more. As an avid reader, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate and LOVE stories like this. Stories that are outside of the box. Stories that aren’t afraid to break the rules and rip your freaking heart out.

Suanne- if you are reading this. BRAVO. Your storytelling ability is incredible. Your unique writing is addictive. And this book needs to be experienced by EVERYONE.

The Man I Love is out now!