New York Times and USA Today best-selling 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 one. Hallorans versus 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.
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Jeeeez this was a gripping listen - it's like a cross between the Sopranos and Romeo and Juliet but thankfully with a happier ending.... despite it being touch and go for a while. Boston is split up and run by three feuding Crime families - the O'Malleys, the Haloran's and the Sheridans and the previous book's forced marriage/love match successfully united the Sheridans and the O'Malleys. But a murder and kidnapping by the Halorans left them despised and hated by the other two families... which is unfortunate because James Haloran has become obsessed with Carrigan O'Malley. She's the woman/pawn he'd kidnapped, the woman he'd had earth shattering sex with and the woman his evil Father had planned on torturing before killing. And, despite it all, Carrigan can't stay away from the dirty talking handsome blonde James either.
But Carrigan is now being forced by her manipulative Father to marry for his own thirst, greed and ambition for more power. Carrigan knows there's absolutely no way out for her - she's been given a shortlist of potential husbands and a deadline so all she can do is to steal some precious time for herself before her freedom runs out. At first she avoids, then denies, the sexual pull attraction and chemistry sizzling between herself and James but he is too big a temptation for her hungry labido. So she thinks she'll enjoy a few secret hot rendezvous before duty calls.... and yes, the passion runs hot between them and the sex is great..... however things aren't going to be quite that simple.
James is head of the family business which he's trying to clean up after his Father's shady, dangerous and illegal ventures but James' mind keeps wandering to Carrigan the woman he'd kidnapped months ago. His brother is a loose canon wanting more and wanting to follow in their Father's skin trade footsteps by illegally bringing in captive women and James has to 'deal' with him - but even that can't keep James' mind off his obsession with Carrigan. And, when their relationship heats up, he takes one too many chances that will start to stir up a whirlwind of trouble - but the worst is yet to come.... when Carrigan chooses a mysterious powerful Russian for her husband.
What an entertaining listen this was.... a storyline with lots of angst thanks to their families, drama from various sources, a nicely paced romance with passion emotion and heat, a cast full of differing secondary characters, a loveable hero and heroine and a doomed 'end date' love story with absolutely no way out.... but never say never. Multiple POV's, well written, great narration and Teague and Calli (from book 1) make appearances too.
Worth a credit? It's about crime families - so there's chills, thrills, danger, bullets, bloodshed, twists and deaths in a world where deals trades and alliances are made under the guise of loveless arranged marriages. Yes creditworthy, I was totally hooked from the start,100% captivated by the lover's hopeless dilemma and blissfully happy with the way things all worked out for them. But the story's ongoing, there's lots of single siblings left and next it's the turn of Carrigan's brother Cillian to overcome all obstacles for love.... as the taster at the end of this listen hints at.