Review: The Bastard’s Bargain by Katee Robert

Reviewed by Sara

I have been waiting forever for the sixth and final book in Katee Robert’s O’Malley series, The Bastard’s Bargain. While I really enjoy this series, I’ve been waiting since book two for the goods on Russian crime lord Dimitri Romanov and Katee Robert did not disappoint.

Dimitri Romanov had previously been promised not one, but two O’Malley sisters in marriage only to have both fall through. Using the threat of war between their crime families, promises of peace and his own charisma, Dimitri manipulates Keira into becoming his wife, but this is more than just machinations and saving face. Since the moment she picked his pocket Dimitri has been enthralled by the courage, power and beauty of Keira O’Malley. Now, with outside forces plotting against him, can he help Keira to see that she’s more than a pawn, more than his wife, she’s his queen.

Kiera hasn’t been the same since her brother died and has been numbing her pain with alcohol and drugs for the last 2 years. She sees her marriage to Dimitri as a move from one guilded cage to another, with the added bonus that she’s preventing a war that would harm her family, but things aren’t what she expects. Dimitri isn’t interested in a piece of arm candy, he sees potential in Keira and has chosen her to help him rule his empire. With his help, Keira rises from marriage martyr to partner and when things get dangerous shows she can be just as ruthless as any of her brothers and sisters.

While I was looking forward to The Bastard’s Bargain, I was a little worried that it was going to be a novel about a kidnapped woman falling in love with her Russian crime Lord captor. Luckily, aside from Dimitri’s initial proposal of marriage which definitely includes a bit of manipulation, author Katee Robert very clearly puts Keira in charge of her own sexuality and agency. Dimitri is a bad guy, and makes no bones about it, but he is also, sometimes painfully, committed to only sleeping with Keira when and if she’s ready. Who says consent isn’t sexy?

“But you have not given permission, and so we will not.” He would keep control enough to hold back from that. He wouldn’t risk breaching that trust. If he did, there would be no going back, and any chance they had of a future would die a terrible death.

Keira, on the other hand, owns her choice to marry Dimitri, despite opposition from her family and has no problem demanding what she wants out of her new marriage both in and out of the bedroom.

She shot out of the bed, dodging his hand when he reached for her. “Don’t touch me.”
“Keira, stop.”
She snatched a robe off a nearby chair and spun to point at him. “I’m naked, Romanov. I’m not going to go sprinting into the darkness of the night. I just need some fucking space.”
“Nyet. You will not run from me again.”
That was exactly what she’d do. “Space. Respect it.”

Another thing that I was worried about, was that The Bastard’s Bargain was going to have Keira change Dimitri, turning him into some kind of good and upright guy. The very reason I like Dimitri is because he’s unabashedly sneaky, manipulative and underhanded. Yes, he’s done bad things, but he’s not without his own code of honor and this is a series about crime families, everybody has done bad things. Dimitri is also smart, loyal and has no problem using his skills to help himself and his criminal empire expand. The romance between Keira and Dimitri, definitely adds an additional facet to his character, but it doesn’t change who he is. Dimitri and Keira, don’t give up crime to ride into the sunset together to make babies and give money to orphans, they come together and realize that their “evil empire” will be better with the two of them together at the helm.

If you’re looking for a book in which the handsome prince gets the girl, you’ll need to look elsewhere. The Bastard’s Bargain is a sexy, fun ride in which the villain (finally!) gets a partner in crime.

Rating: A-/B+

*ARC provided for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Bastard’s Bargain
by Katee Robert
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Forever

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