Katee Robert is back with another book of forbidden romance between crime families, and fans of the first two books will be happy to know that this is another strong instalment. An Indecent Proposal may be my least favorite of the three books in the series, but it’s still a great read that lived up to my expectations.
Cillian O’Malley may not be able to escape his life as the son of one of Boston’s crime bosses, but the death of his brother Devlin has made him re-evaluate his life. He’s done with drinking, womanizing, and living recklessly. That’s why he spends his evenings at the bar drinking only apple juice… even though he does flirt with the bartender.
Olivia Rashidi has had enough of bad boys to last her a lifetime. She is the illegitimate daughter of a Russian mobster and his mistress, and after her father’s death she fled his territory of New York to start a new life in Boston. She can tell that Cillian is trouble from the start, but one heated tryst in the alleyway behind the bar may not be enough for either of them.
All of Robert’s O’Malley’s series books deal with star-crossed lovers, and Cillian and Olivia are no different. The O’Malley family had a potential marriage arrangement with the Romanovs go wrong, and now the families are at odds. Cillian is drawn to Olivia from the time he meets her at the bar, but finding out she is his enemy’s half-sister means that their relationship won’t be easy. Not to mention, she has a daughter by one of the Russian henchmen.
I liked the overall setup for Cillian and Olivia’s relationship, and her reasons for avoiding any kind of commitment are believable, although I can’t say I liked the pairing as much as those in the previous two books. Although the couple has sex in an alley long before they ever go on a date, the romance feels like a slower burn than Teague and Callista or James and Carrigan’s stories. Olivia and Cillian are both reserved and their romance reflects that. Much of their interaction is based around their trying to be normal and go on a real date, or trying to keep Olivia’s daughter safe. The previous couples seemed to have a bit more spark between them.
That said, I liked that An Indecent Proposal kept with the darker tone of The Wedding Pact (the second in the series). In my review of the first book, The Marriage Contract, I mentioned that it was surprisingly squeaky clean for a story that dealt with crime families as there was little mention of what type of crime these Bostonians were getting up to. In The Wedding Pact, we got to see more about the seedy side of organized crime through James’ attempts to legitimize some of the family business. In An Indecent Proposal there is a darker side, but mainly in reference to the Romanov family. They are essentially the villains out to get Olivia and her daughter, and we get more action as the O’Malley’s go up against them. I found myself wanting to zip through the story to find out what happens, and I haven’t felt that way about a book in a while.
I am not really a fan of Romantic Suspense, but I get tired of the super-sweet Contemporary romances also, so reading The O’Malley’s books is a good middle ground. There is some action and grit, but the story is more focused on the romance. I have enjoyed all three books in the series immensely, and I highly recommend any of them. An Indecent Proposal is a strong addition to the series, even if it is not quite as strong as its predecessors. Personally, I am looking forward to seeing more from the troublesome O’Malley’s.