Dark Romance. Irish Mob. A Look at The O'Malleys by Katee Robert
by Kiersten Hallie Krum
I won’t lie, I hear “Irish Boston Mob series” and I’m in, no questions asked, despite my love/hate relationship with Boston. So soon as I heard Katee Robert’s new series, “The O’Malleys,” was about three Boston Irish mob families, I requested that sucker so fast, NetGalley spun on its axis for about an hour.
The O’Malleys, the Sheridans, and the Hallorans of The Marriage Contract and The Wedding Pact are the unholy trifecta of the Irish mob in Boston. An alliance between two of these families is about to be formed when one of the younger generation kills another. Suddenly, allegiances must shift before more blood is spilled…and the war that has been brimming between these three factions for so long boils over.
Look, a blurb!
Teague O’Malley hates pretty much everything associated with his family’s name. And when his father orders him to marry Callista Sheridan to create a “business” alliance, Teague’s ready to tell his dad exactly where he can stuff his millions. But then Teague actually meets his new fiancée, sees the bruises on her neck and the fight still left in her big blue eyes, and vows he will do everything in his power to protect her.
Everyone knows the O’Malleys have a dangerous reputation. But Callie wasn’t aware just what that meant until she saw Teague, the embodiment of lethal grace and coiled power. His slightest touch sizzles through her. But the closer they get, the more trouble they’re in. Because Callie’s keeping a dark secret-and what Teague doesn’t know could get him killed.
Look, another blurb!
Carrigan O’Malley has always known her arranged marriage would be more about power and prestige than passion. But after one taste of the hard-bodied, whiskey-voiced James Halloran, she’s ruined for anyone else. Too bad James and his family are enemy number 1.
Hallorans vs. O’Malleys-that’s how it’s always been. James should be thinking more about how to expand his family’s empire instead of how silky Carrigan’s skin is against his and how he can next get her into his bed. Those are dangerous thoughts. But not nearly as dangerous as he’ll be if he can’t get what he wants: Carrigan by his side for the rest of their lives.
When I first read The Marriage Contract, I immediately tweeted Katee Roberts and demanded to know when The Wedding Pact would be available and then raged that I had to wait nine months to get it. Yes, this series is that good. I re-read them both for this review only to be reminded of the intriguing and edgy concept they embody. And just look at those covers. Boy. Howdy.
The O’Malleys, the Sheridans, and the Hallorans are not good people by the standard terms. These are people trying to make good decisions in bad situations–seriously bad situations. These are people constrained by the rigid natures of their families’ demands and expectations and torn by a familial loyalty that often has little to do with love and too much to do with duty. These are people who sometimes are forced to do unthinkable things, things that make them wonder about the states of their own souls, and yet who love fiercely, be it their parents, siblings, or lovers, and, often, blindly. These are people for whom doing what makes them happy and doing what is in their family’s best interests may be diametrically opposed–and fraught with danger. The stakes are high in The O’Malleys series, as high as can be imagined.
These are not safe people–not to themselves, not to others, and not in the general sense of “being safe”. Their lives are in jeopardy so that every decision they make could be ones that bear serious life and death consequences either for them or those they love–or for those with whom they are falling in love. And Things Happen. But they want to do better, they long to deserve better, and they find that better in the ones who come to love them.
They are loyal. They are fierce. They are determined. They feel conflicted about many things and navigate a treacherous world most people don’t even know exists. They feel deep and they risk much. They are striving, each of them, to carve a life they can live with out of the ones they’ve been born into and they are falling in love along the way–with the most inconvenient and inappropriate of people.
The Marriage Contract and The Wedding Pact are available to buy now, while the third and final title in the series, An Indecent Proposal, will be available on August 30th (and is currently up for preorder). It brings the Russian mob in to treacherously tangle with the Irish families–and has what I think is the best cover of them all. The scruff. That nose. The furrowed brow. The opened collar under the vest.The wide leather bracelet. The tattoo peeking out from under the rolled-up sleeve. The striped pants. The arm porn. Irish bad boy trouble in a suit. Liiiiiiick.
What, did you think I’d leave you without a blurb? Perish the thought!
Greed. Ambition. Violence. Those are the “values” Olivia Rashidi learned from her Russian mob family-and the values she must leave behind for the sake of her daughter. When she meets Cillian O’Malley, she recognizes the red flag of his family name . . . yet she still can’t stop herself from seeing the smoldering, tortured man. To save her family, Olivia sets out to discover Cillian’s own secrets, but the real revelation is how fast-and how hard-she’s falling for him.
Plagued by a violent past, Cillian is more vulnerable than anyone realizes. Anyone except Olivia, whose beauty, compassion, and pride have him at “hello,” even if she’s more inclined to say good-bye to an O’Malley. While his proposal of sex with no strings seems simple, what he feels for her isn’t, especially after he learns that she belongs to a rival crime family. Cillian knows that there is no escape from the life, but Olivia may be worth trying–and dying–for . . .
The O’Malleys series are as if The Godfather was populated by the Fitzpatricks (that’s a Veronica Mars reference for all of you playing along at home) with a dollop of The Town and a soupçon of Mystic River–and a whole lotta sexy romance. They’re dark, sexy stories about dodgy folks who embark on daring and sensuous journeys that pack an emotional wallop. Clear your calendar to dive down the rabbit hole and don’t be surprised if you come out more than a little green.
Follow Lady Smut. We’ll make all your Irish eyes shine bright.
Edited to add: An Indecent Proposal actually will not be the final book in the series. There’s two more scheduled to come after that for more O’Malley siblings. PHEW!
Writer, singer editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel Wild on the Rocks is now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.