Hello everyone! Welcome to the post number two of the #AuthorsSpot series. In case you missed what this is all about, I wrote about it here. And in case you missed the first post of the series, you can check it out here. (I fangirled about Rainbow Rowell).
Today we’re going to be talking about J.M. Darhower, one of the authors I discovered thanks to the Twilight fandom and the Twilight fanfic world. Story time: Back in the day, when I was waiting for the New Moon movie to come out, I stumbled upon a fanpage that had something called Fanfic Fridays, where they recommended their picks for Twilight fanfics. One week, it was the turn of J.M. Darhower’s story (who had another name, of course). The story was Emancipation Proclamation, and it consumed me. It later on became her first published work, which I’m going to talk about below in more detail, along with some of her other books.
Forever Duology (Sempre and Sempre: Redemption) [2013/2014]. Like I said before, this story was first a Twilight fanfic, but if you don’t know that firsthand, you probably can’t even tell. She edited so much and worked so hard to make this a book that it shows. That’s one of the things I appreciate the most about this author. Sempre follows the story of Haven Antonelli, a second-generation slave who grew up isolated from the world; and Carmine DeMarco, a privileged guy born into a Mafia family. I don’t know how much I can rave about this book without spoiling anything. What you need to know is that while these two characters with very different upbringings find their common ground, the love story is not the only amazing thing in these books. There’s so much personal growth for all the characters and so many human layers to them. It’s a joy to read. The Mafia elements of the story are thrilling and exciting. The writing is beautiful. And I believe everyone should get to know these characters. (Goodreads reviews here and here.)
Made (From the Forever Duology) . This book is technically a prequel for the Sempre stories, but I love it so much that I had to write it its own special paragraph. Here, we follow the story of one of the characters we get to know in the other books: Mr. Corrado Moretti. When he makes his appearance as Carmine’s uncle (by marriage), he’s already a force to be reckoned with. However, Made shows you who he was before then and how he got to where he is. The best part is that this book tells his story courting Celia DeMarco, his wife and the love of his life. In the Sempre stories, we see him as a married man, who’s willing to do anything for his wife. In Made, we see him as a fumbling love-sick fool, who’s entranced by the boss’s rebel daughter. It’s even better than it sounds. (Goodreads review here.)
Extinguish Duology (Extinguish and Reignite) [2013/2014]. In these books, we have Lucifer (or Luce as he likes to be called) as one of the main characters, and a warrior angel named Serah as the other. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. A love story between the King of Darkness, God’s original favorite angel; and a girl who’s always believed in the innocence and goodness of people? Count me in. During the premise of the story, there’s a war brewing that threatens to end the world as we know it. It’s lovely to read the reasoning behind both sides for what’s going on, and how high the stakes are when Luce and Serah start having feelings for each other. While I liked the first book more than the second one, I believe it all tied up very nice and it’s worth giving it a try. (Goodreads review here.)
The Mad Tatter . Every once in a while, an author you’ve been reading for a while, does something risky or different from what you’re used to seeing from them. For me, this is that time for this particular author. I admit that when I first read this book, I wasn’t in love with it. Having said that, as I’ve taken the time now to go back and examine every work from Darhower, I’m glad she has this book in her arsenal. The Mad Tatter follows the story of Reece Hatfield, a tattoo artist who’s sworn he won’t fall in love; and Avery Moore, a ballet dancer that captivates Hatfield’s attention. It’s a love story of two different people, who start to develop feelings for one another, and then have to work to make it last. It’s softer and sweeter than what I’m used to from her, but it doesn’t mean that’s a bad thing. (Goodreads review here.)
Forbidden Duology (By Any Other Name and Sweetest Sorrow) [2015/2016]. And last but not least, I have to talk about By Any Other Name, one of my favorite books from her. (Yes, Sweetest Sorrow is a part of this duology, but I didn’t love it as much, okay?) The first book in this duology is a modern take on Romeo and Juliet. Genevieve “Genna” Galante and Matteo “Matty” Barsanti are the children of rival Mafia families in New York. A chance encounter in an elevator gets these two kids falling hard for each other before knowing how much trouble that will bring them. I fell in love with the characters in this book, and I loved reading about them together. The second book, Sweetest Sorrow, tells the story of a character we kind of met in the first one, while giving us glimpses of Genna and Matty’s life. Sadly, it wasn’t as good as the first one, but I still found myself enjoying it. (Goodreads reviews here and here.)
Darhower also wrote the trilogy Monster in His Eyes, but since I haven’t read the third book, I didn’t want to write about them.
In the end, I’m a fan of this author because I consider her to be a great storyteller. She has a way of making me care for her characters, while writing interesting premises for them. I’m so thankful I found her, because some of her stories have become long time favorites of mine. It doesn’t hurt that she’s a lovely person who’s always advocating for kindness in her social media. (Follow her on Twitter.)
That’s it for today’s post. I hope you enjoyed it, and that I’ve inspired you to read some of J.M. Darhower’s book. Let me know if I did.
See you next post, xo.