Maybe it’s all the movies I watched when I was young, but I cannot resist a mafia story. Especially a modern-day mafia story with the princess set to take over the family business. I think this will appeal to a wider audience because the violence mostly happens off page and is not detailed. Mainly it’s a story about two people finding a sliver of good within the confines of their lives.
Callista “Callie” Sheridan is the heir to one of the most powerful mafia families in Boston. In order to solidify ties, her father is set to marry her off to the Halloran family heir. Callie accidentally manages to get out of marrying the Halloran brute only to turn around and be pawned to one of the O’Malley boys. Clearly, she isn’t happy about the turn of events, but she also knows better than to question her father’s order.
All Teague O’Malley does is question his iron fisted father. He hates the mafia – the violence, the way it takes away his and his siblings’ free will and the danger it poses to all those he loves. Teague gets a little slack as the second son but his father’s command to marry Callista Sheridan (their hated rivals) has Teague ready to finally tell his father where to go.
While gathering her strength before the surprise engagement party, Callie runs into Teague. A heated exchange and a white hot kiss leaves them intrigued with each other enough to go along with their families’ plan. Teague wants to crush whoever put bruises on Callie’s neck. Callie needs to keep a stiff upper lip and her secrets hidden. The stress of everything ratchets up when they find themselves on the brink of a mob war. Callie and Teague find themselves turning to each other to find a way out of the violence. At the same time, they give in to the heat between them if only as a respite from the heavy weight of their lives.
Callie and Teague fall into each other pretty quickly but the author does a good job of making this insta-love work. The constant pressure, coming from both inside and out, makes the speed of their relationship make sense. Kind hearted Teague is a wonderful match for the lonely guilt-ridden Callie. They are both clear eyed about their circumstances and work as a pair almost from the start, despite an inborn mistrust of anyone not in their family. I liked that, despite their secrets, they kept talking to each other about where they were at physically and emotionally. It made it super easy to root for them as a couple.
Although Teague wants out of the mob business, clearly Callie is ready to take on her families. She’s moved most of their holdings into the legitimate realm but it seems like there will be some toes dipped in murkier waters. I’m curious to see how that will pan out down the line. The author does a good job of setting up the rest of the O’Malleys for future books. All the characters and power structures were well drawn. I can’t wait to see where the author takes the story!
I recommend this book for those who like their romance spiced up with family drama and politics with a seedy underbelly and a fast paced plot that will not let you stop turning the page.
*ARC provided by Forever
Click to purchase: Amazon
The Marriage Contract
by Katee Robert
Release Date: June 2, 2015