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.
My Rating: 4/5 stars
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t normally gravitate toward mafia-type books but when I saw Katee Robert as the author well, I just had to give it a go.
Mob life isn’t easy especially for the children of the men and women who are in charge. Those men and women need heirs as much to take over the operation once they are dead and gone as to marry off in strategic alliances. Since the death of her brother, Ronan, Callie Sheridan is now in the unfortunate position of being both the heir and the marriageable pawn.
Thanks to her father and in order to consolidate their power, Callie has been sold off to the Halloran heir and within just a few days’ time, she is set to be married to a man she has never met and never heard anything good about. As luck would have it, her betrothed is whacked in a strip club and Callie is certain her luck has changed. That is, until a few short days later when her father announces she is now to marry Teague O’Malley, second son of the powerful O’Malley mob family.
Teague O’Malley would give his left nut for a normal life but as an O’Malley, there is no such thing as a normal life. Teague has known, practically from birth that his father is just short of evil, his mother is cold and only just shorter of evil. His older brother is the heir and from Teague on down, there are a lot of O’Malley’s that can be married off as a means of solidifying power and making new, beneficial alliances. When Teague’s father announces his son’s engagement to Callie Sheridan, Teague balks at the pronouncement but knows there is nothing he can do to change his fate. The night Teague meets Callie, he is taken with her beauty but knows she is hiding something. She is jumpy as a March hare and wearing a scarf that does nothing to accentuate her beauty. When Teague inquires, Callie shuts him down and pushes him away.
Though Callie doesn’t want to like Teague and she certainly doesn’t want to share all her secrets with him, she finds him intriguing and most certainly sexy. If she’s going to have to marry someone, Teague isn’t an awful choice but he has a nasty habit of wanting to know more about her. Turns out, one of the secrets Callie is harboring may be the key to stopping an all-out war between the three prominent mob families but divulging her secret could cost her her life. While Callie is working hard to figure out how to stop a war and keep her secret, Teague is bound and determined to stop the war in his way which means uncovering and delivering the person who killed Callie’s former fiancé. When Teague finally uncovers the truth, he isn’t just blown away, he is absolutely bowled over, pissed off beyond reason, and worried beyond reason for his siblings and his fiancé.
The Bottom Line: Yeah, once again, Katee Robert has lured me to the dark side and she did it without even offering me cookies. In this instance, Robert offered me a dead sexy hero, a brave and mostly intelligent heroine, and a mess of family drama that often involves torture and murder. Yeah, now you see why I went willingly to the dark side. J Callie is a mostly sympathetic character who is trying to make the best of an unfortunate situation. Like her fiancé (the one who sticks not the dead one) Callie wants to go legitimate but she is fighting an uphill battle against her aging yet still in control father. Teague is sex on two legs but he is also fiercely protective and determined. Though he would never let his evil as Satin himself father know it, Callie is a perfect match for him and with her, they may just be able to do some good. This read is cover to cover tension, family drama, violence, naughty bits, and total uncertainty. I found The Marriage Contract to be a very typical Katee Robert read which means I thoroughly enjoyed it and quickly moved on to the next read in the series, The Marriage Pact.
About the author and where to find her:
New York Times & USA TODAY Bestselling Author Katee Robert learned to tell stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her favorites then were the rather epic adventures of The Three Bears, but at age twelve she discovered romance novels and never looked back. Though she dabbled in writing, life got in the way—as it often does—and she spent a few years traveling, living in both Philadelphia and Germany. In between traveling and raising her two wee ones, she had the crazy idea that she’d like to write a book and try to get published. Her first novel was an epic fantasy that, God willing, will never see the light of day. From there, she dabbled in YA and horror, before finally finding speculative romance. Because, really, who wouldn’t want to write entire books about the smoking-hot relationships between two people? She now spends her time—when not lost in Far Reach worlds—playing imaginary games with her wee ones, writing, ogling men, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.