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4.1 out of 5
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  • 2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

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    Gritty, sexy start to a new series

    This explosive start to a new series pits three crime families in Boston against each other - the O'Malley's, The Sheridans and the Hallorans. While this story focuses on the romance between Teague O'Malley and Callista Sheridan, there is a generous helping of action and intrigue from all three sides as we get introduced to key characters who make up the family hierarchies and get a good sense of what's happening behind the scenes, the fallout of which will be dealt with in a continuing story arc. Though this story ends without a cliffhanger, there's a clear sense of where the story will be headed next. Callista is a Mafia princess, ready to take on her family responsibilities after the accidental death of her only brother Ronan. Aligning themselves with the O'Malley's to create a strong force against the Halloran family can only be done in one way - by marriage. Teague is no more thrilled with the union than Callie, but he'll do what's expected of him. To their surprise, Teague and Callie find that the sexual attraction simmering between them when they meet might just make marriage between them bearable, if not downright pleasurable. But they both have secrets to keep, secrets that if they get out will start a war. Will their loyalty lie with family or each other? Honestly, I was enthralled with this story right from the start. It's got a darker edge to it, gritty and violent, the realities of life in a crime family up front and personal. Decisions that are made are going to affect people's lives and knowing who to trust and who might betray you may make the difference between life and death. I really liked Callie's character in this story. She's trying to keep a level head on her shoulders, being the dutiful daughter by keeping in mind all that lies on her shoulders should the Sheridan family suffer disgrace or defeat in the eyes of the other two families. She's always going to do what's right for them, even if it isn't what she would choose for herself if given the chance to direct her own future. She's strong, feisty, and determined. If marriage to an O'Malley is what she has to do, she'll do it. Teague was equally interesting as a very conflicted man, desperately trying to figure out a way to keep his siblings safe from the mess that is the Mafia world he lives in. He'll do what he has to in order to avoid a turf war to protect them. He has a harsh relationship with his father but he won't go against him if marriage to Callie is what will give him the time to figure out a plan to escape this world he never asked for. He comes across as a more stoic figure - strong, smart, and protective. When the two of them officially meet at their family planned engagement party, there are sparks flying right away - Teague can see that Callie will be a handful, but it's a handful he's willing to hold. The chemistry between them is full on, and leads to several steamy scenes that cement the bond between them. While Teague and Callie draw closer together, events are happening around them (and to them) that make being together a risky proposition. The action scenes in the story are well written, and there are several other characters, including Teague's sister Carrigan and his one time friend and now reluctant enemy James Halloran, who play key roles in the plot. The story is told mainly from Callie and Teague's points of view but these secondary characters also get the occasional chapter to give us more depth and background into what makes these families tick. It was a fascinating view into a crime world full of people doing their best to live full lives amidst their violent reality. The romance was steamy and satisfying and combined with the in depth look into their families, the whole effect was an entertaining and fast paced story. I can't wait for book 2! 5 stars.
  • 3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

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    Review: The O'Malley's 1: The Marriage Contract

    The Marriage Contract by Katee Robert is the first book in her new Series The O'Malley's. It is about mob families in Boston and it was a fantastic read. Gritty, steamy, fraught with danger, immersed in passion, and just an all-around great read. Teague O'Malley is being married off to Callista Sheridan in an effort to create an alliance between their two families. Never mind that she was just supposed to marry the now dead heir to the Halloran family and that this new alliance that cuts the Hallorans out will incite a war. Callie and Teague agree before they have even met - it is their place to help the family and this is their way. When they do meet, sparks fly. Neither one expects it and both are surprised. Callie is still dealing with her dark secret and is resistant to Teague despite her inner most desires but Teague is thoroughly smitten from the first moment he lays his lips on her. I cannot wait for book 2, The Wedding Pact to see what happens with Carrigan and James.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Turn your brain off and enjoy.

    So many grammatical errors but all-in-all a fun read. Sex scenes are so descriptive they're un-sexy, but characters are likeable and it passes the Bechdel test.
  • 2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

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    No pain no gain

    Teague and Callista meet after their parents decide they should marry to solidify their families standing. The attraction is instant. The heat is sparking and danger is calling. Will the secrets they keep help or hinder them as they try to move on? Callista AKA Callie was orginally going to be married off to the son of another Boston family, but he turned up dead. Now the danger is his family wants to know who killed him. With Teague and Callista's marriage looming, the danger is increasing as all three families seek justice. Such an incredibly twisted book! There are surprises and turns that you never see coming. Makes for an interesting read. Now that I am hooked, I cannot wait to see what the author has in store for us with the next installment to The O'Malley's series. ***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley.com and its publisher in exchange for an honest review.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Modern day arranged mob marriage - hmm

    Favorite Quotes: “You consume me, angel. It’s the most welcome kind of distraction, but I can’t get through an hour without thinking about you.” “Mine. She kissed him, the riot of emotions in her chest only getting worse. She loved him so much it hurt to breathe.” “…being with you was like being in a dream I never wanted to wake up from. Even though the world’s been falling apart around us, I’ve been happier in the last two weeks than I have in a very long time. Because of you.” My Review: Modern day arranged marriages among rich American citizens, say what? At first I thought this a wild and flailing premise and scoffed aloud at the idea. However, the deeper I got into the story, the more believable the mess was for the characters. Present day Boston is ruled by three rather brutal Irish mafia families, each trying to rid the world of other two, but decide to consolidate power by marrying their adult children to each other. So it is the exact opposite of Romeo and Juliet. So I went from scoffing to deeming it an interesting twist. It was a rather long and complicated tale with many players and their intricate and troubled relationships, as well as a few steamy interludes and some cringe-worthy violence, yet it held my interest from beginning to end.
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