The Wedding Pact
Series: The O’Malleys #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Katee Robert
Release Date: April 26, 2016
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert continues her smoking-hot series about the O’Malleys—wealthy, powerful, and full of scandalous family secrets.
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.
His options were sink or swim- and if he sunk, he’d take a hell of a lot of people with him. So he got up every day, and he swam, even though some of the shit he was required to do turn his stomach and made him lose sleep.
The Wedding Pact picks up right where The Marriage Contract left off. For those that are thinking of reading these books as standalones, while you technically could, I’d recommend reading the series in order as the story arc continues through the books and the O’Malley siblings get introduced early. Carrigan and James’s story began in book 1 with the hot little interlude they shared in the supply closet of a club four months ago before each knew who the other was. Things didn’t end well when James thew her in the trunk of his car and kidnapped her in order to use her against her family since the O’Malleys and Hallorans are mortal enemies.
Now both sides are left to deal with he aftermath. The eldest Holloran heir is dead, the father is in jail, and James is left to run his father’s empire and deal with his wayward younger brother who seems to constantly get himself into trouble. But there’s one thing that James never forgot; the taste and feel of Carrigan, the woman that he can’t stop thinking about and can never have.
Carrigan O’Malley. The daughter of the enemy. The one woman he sure as hell needed to keep his hands off.
With the death of her brother Devlin during the Holloran vs O’Malley power struggle, things have been a lot more on edge than usual in her family. Try as she might to avoid the subject, with her pushing thirty, her father is pushing her to fulfill her responsibility as an O’Malley and pick a suitor in order to form a power alliance. But as much as Carrigan wants to deny it, she can’t stop thinking about James. When she fled from his house (and he let her escape), she took a prized possesion of his with her and now James is using that as an excuse to track her down. Can she resist the temptation or will giving in to him have everything crashing and burning?
I enjoyed this book much more than the first one. While I loved the premise and set up in The Marriage Contract, the insta-love element didn’t quite work for me. There’s an edge of angst with a dose of forbidden in this book that really worked for me. James is rough around the edges and deliciously sexy. Carrigan is one tough cookie herself. She doesn’t need anyone to save her and takes care of herself just fine; which I really appreciated.
There’s also a bit more grit to this story than the previous one. I was hoping with the series focusing around a mob family that we’d finally get to the nitty gritty and it begins to dig into the dark underbelly a bit here. But at it’s heart, it’s still mostly a contemporary romance, so if you’re worried that it’s dark, don’t be.
I enjoyed the forbidden romance and progressing story line here. We get Cillian’s POV as well which is building up to be a doozy that I can’t wait to read. And while I enjoyed the story for the most part, there were also some things that grated on me a bit. For one, it was James’s overuse of the endearment ‘lovely’. It got so repetitive at times, he’d be using it numerous times in a conversation. I’m a bit surprised it wasn’t cut down, to be honest, because it was simply too much. Or at least it was for me. I also found the resolution for James and Carrigan to be a little flat. There was all this build up, and it all wrapped up almost too perfectly at the end, particularly for James and his family.
Also (and this is the picky Russian in me poking her head out), I have to say that I was pretty disappointed that the one and only Russian word that was used by a secondary character here was used wrong. Google translate strikes again. But I tend to be super picky about translations in books, so this is definitely an “it’s only me” thing. Most won’t even notice, let alone bat an eye lash at this.
But those minor quibbles aside, it was still a great, sexy and action-packed read. If you’re looking to dip your toes into a mafia story but don’t like them too gritty or dark, you really can’t go wrong with this one.
With this woman by my side, I’d be content to let the rest of the world burn.