Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pick Me. Love Me. Choose Me.

"I might not have been the on to choose you,
but you're mine, Teague O'Malley,
for better or worse."
--Katee Robert, The Marriage Contract


Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Forever
Pages: 368
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2015
Source: eARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: First in series of companion novels
Goodreads Description

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert begins a smoking hot new series about the O'Malley family-wealthy, powerful, dangerous and seething with scandal.

Teague O'Malley hates pretty much everything associated with his family's name. And when his father orders him to marry Callista Sheridan to create a "business" alliance, Teague's ready to tell his dad exactly where he can stuff his millions. But then Teague actually meets his new fiancée, sees the bruises on her neck and the fight still left in her big blue eyes, and vows he will do everything in his power to protect her.

Everyone knows the O'Malleys have a dangerous reputation. But Callie wasn't aware just what that meant until she saw Teague, the embodiment of lethal grace and coiled power. His slightest touch sizzles through her. But the closer they get, the more trouble they're in. Because Callie's keeping a dark secret-and what Teague doesn't know could get him killed.
The Concept
Call me a crazy mother trucker but I LOVE romances that center around people in the Mafia. Yes, I'm living up to my stereotype right now and I couldn't care less. The Marriage Contract takes us to Boston in the midst of three families. Callista, Callie, is supposed to marry Brendan but...circumstances stop that from happening and she ends up betrothed to Teague from the O'Malley family. They have a surprisingly passionate first encounter and from there, we get our story.

A war has also started for reasons you'll discover when reading and it's what drives our story as well as the relationship between Callie and Teague. Theses two clearly have a connection and are attracted to each other but I loved that they were both hesitant, for good reason, in giving over their trust. I found the completely believable and endearing. I also loved that while their courtship is short and their feelings intense, they both objectively recognized how crazy it was. I have limited problems with insta-connections interaction but I find it refreshing when the characters can recognize it's crazy. Makes me love them more.

The Romance
As I touched on above, I really loved the dynamic and the relationship between Teague and Callie. They are either heirs or members to major crime families in Boston so their guards are up. They have similar values in making things clean but never wanting to disappoint their families. I loved how devoted each of them were to their respective families. Teague with his siblings was off the chain adorable. I loved meeting all of them and seeing their interactions. I loved how the sisters brought Callie into the fold. All these scenes just stole my heart. All of this eventually culminates into trust being earned. Even more so when we get a glimpse and Callie and Teague's nightly phone calls. Totally adorable. They are not without their problems and issues but they really are a great team in working together.

The Drama & Set-Up
I loved the politics of these families and how they work and don't work together. The conflict between the families is what fueled all of the conflict and because of that, the set-up for the next book is already primed and ready to go with drama and excitement. I cannot wait to see what happens for the next couple!

The Development
While I really enjoyed the story and didn't want to stop reading, I thought like the character development could have gone a little deeper. The pacing of the book was great but I still felt like the development of the characters were a bit superficial. I think Teague's rationale for wanting out could have been developed more with instances from his past. I liked the complexity of Callie's character but I also felt like she was also kind of all over the place and I didn't really know how to think of her/describe her. Regardless, I was invested but I would have loved a deeper connection.

Reserved Seating
If you love gritty romance, Boston mafia, and arranged marriages...this book's for you.

2 comments:

  1. The Marriage Contract actually does sound pretty great! I have yet to read a Mafia-related romance (please don't disown me...), but you always make them sound really good. I love that there's an interesting dynamic between the two people involved in the couple, and I also love that there's an additional backstory that will probably last the entire series of novels! ;)

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  2. I haven't even heard of this book until I saw it on your blog! The only Mafia books I've read are Sempre and Sempre: Redemption. Great review!

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