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Monday, June 1, 2015

ARC Review: The Marriage Contract by Katee Robert

I really really like the plot of this book. Callie Sherridan is the princess of the Sherridan Irish Mafia family. In the beginning of the book Callie is “betrothed” to Brenden Halloran, the heir to the mafia throne of one of two other Irish mafia families who run the city of Boston. Brenden meets a totally non-tragic end and Callie is then given to Teague O’Malley, the son of the other Irish mafia family. Callie and Teague wind up having more in common than the mutual desire of their parents to lock down Boston. Throughout the book, the families are feuding, people are trying to kill each other and general mayhem ensues. While all hell is breaking loose, Callie and Teague are falling in love- an excellent way to ignore hell, when it breaks loose.

I liked the Boston crime scene as the set up for this story. The author did a good job of painting a detailed background picture without letting it overshadow the book. I also like forced marriage plots as a general proposition. We don’t get them much outside of the historical romances (which I don’t read) so I like that the author found a way to integrate it in to a contemporary romance.

I liked the depiction of both Callie and Teague but right off the bat there were some things that didn’t make sense. For example Callie is convinced of something throughout the book that is easily figured out by other characters who are not supposed to be Callie’s equal in terms of shrewd intellect. Also, Teague was not the O’Malley’s oldest son so I couldn’t figure out why it made sense for him to be chosen to marry Callie, instead of his older and SINGLE brother. In general the book suffers from some forgivable logical inconsistencies throughout the plot.

Teague is a great character. I felt his agony over not being in control of his life while desiring a better outcome for himself and his siblings. I loved that Teague was protective of not just Callie but his whole family. My only problem with Teague was that he wasn’t the boss and I like my men to be the boss. There was only so much Teague could do for anyone, including himself, because at the end of the day someone else was calling the shots. I just don’t care for that particular weaknesses in my alphas. I prefer the ones who are at the top of the food chain.

Callie was pretty ok too. She was strong and determined and not depicted with all the angst that overshadows so many heroines. I liked Callie’s determination to bring her family on to the right side of the law. I also enjoyed that she is depicting as knowing how to have a good time. I wished that Callie would have gotten over her fear about the issue that she thought would destroy Teague. And I really really hated the ridiculous plan she eventually hatches to save everyone from more blood shed. The “plan” was just so stupid. I kept wondering how Callie was supposed to be this shrewd mafia princess who did dumb things but ok.

I really enjoyed the actual relationship between Callie and Teague. Even though there was instant attraction, and things developed quickly, it made sense because the two had so much in common. There was a continuing theme throughout the book of both Callie and Teague being trapped and wanting to get free.

All in all, this was a well written, fast paced book that was really easy to read. The constant action made it easy to keep turning the pages and the substance of the relationship made it a good romance. The sex was just ok and there were some logical inconsistencies in the plot but overall, I recommend this book and this author in general. I will definitely be on the lookout for Carrigan’s story which is up next in this series.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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  1. I like the idea of the Irish Mafia setting and that is a refreshing element to see a workable arranged marriage in a contemporary. Thanks for sharing!