I received this book for free from Forever in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Wedding Pact by Katee Robert
Also in this series: The Marriage Contract, An Indecent Proposal, Forbidden Promises, Undercover Attraction, The Bastard's Bargain
Series: The O'Malleys, #2
Published by Forever on April 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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.
Carrigan O’Malley has always known her place in the family, and that her destiny would always be marriage. Growing up with a father like hers, she always knew that he would move them around like pieces on a chessboard. But after she and her sister’s return back home to Boston, her father gives her a list of six candidates and she must date them and choose one to marry. Carrigan hates each one of her options because she knows that each of them are like her father or even worse. But there is one man who takes her breath away…the enemy, James Halloran. Despite their history with him kidnapping her six months ago, and his family wanting her killed. It doesn’t change the chemistry they have with each other. James has had to take his father’s place as head. But with his father in prison, his older brother dead, he is next in line. There is one woman that he is drawn to, that he can’t give up. He doesn’t care the danger; he only knows he can’t get her out of his system. But what starts out as easy flirting turns into a fight for love and destiny.
James Halloran, had one of the worst upbringings a man could endure. His mother was sweet and kind and loved her sons. But when she died, so did anything good in their father. His father was cruel and vicious and turned his sons into his own whipping boys. He trained them to be hard, mean just like he was. But James unlike his brothers, didn’t turn evil. He still had much good left in him. When his father’s business and lifestyle turned to him, James made a decision to slowly turn them around into something profitable and honest. Which isn’t easy, since he has to maintain the image of someone to fear and obey. I always liked James, because even in the first book, you can see how much he is torn in two over Carrigan. From the beginning we find how much he genuinely cares for her. He is a fighter, does what needs to be done even if its not easy….even when it tears him apart inside. But he always does what needs to be done for the right reasons. He has alpha in him, but I feel like James has a bit of beta in him especially when it comes to Carrigan. He slowly woos her in small little ways. He can be playful and teasing, but hard and tough when needed. I liked seeing his determination and strength come shining through in the story.
Carrigan O’Malley is one tough cookie. She is the oldest of the daughters, and has always known how to delay the inevitable by posing a need to enter in the church as a nun. But her father is done, since Carrigan is in her late twenties, and won’t placate her any more. She has an ultimatum…one month of freedom before marriage. Not exactly in her plans, but she wants to squeeze in every moment in that month. Carrigan is playful, sexy and loves to go out dancing and drinking and living the good life. She loves to party and mingle with others. Her one weakness is James. What I liked about Carrigan is how creative she can be most especially when dealing with her family. She is crafty but kind and caring. She loves her siblings, and will do anything for them. But the moment James re-enters her life, she starts to fight for her own life even if its temporary…she wants James and to enjoy the precious time they have together. This is what I admired about Carrigan, is she makes the most of the time she has left.
Plot and Story Line
The Marriage Pact is the second in the O’Malley Clan series, and this is Carrigan’s story. Now we see glimspes of the chemistry between James and Carrigan in the first book. I liked that Marriage Pact sets off pretty soon after the first book ended. Teague and Callista are getting married in just a couple of weeks. But things heat up between James and Carrigan. At first, they circle around each other, playing with each other and teasing each other. You see that despite their history…they like each other way more than they should. And soon a relationship begins. Its a mix between friendship and sex. They have the hots for each other…no doubt about that.
You want me, lovely. You want me so bad you burn with it.
But there is so much more to them that just lust. They care about each other, but don’t admit it for a while. They rely on each other emotionally when the other needs them the most. Both James and Carrigan are going through some emotional ringers, but they back each other up. This aspect to the story is what I loved seeing the most. That despite the fact their families are enemies, they can’t help but lean on each other when they are about to crumble from the pressures on them. We also see more from the O’Malley siblings. I still have no clue what I think about Aiden. I think he is a good man but is torn in two trying to help his siblings when he can. We see the way Cillian is torn in two from the death of his brother and some flirting between him and a mysterious woman whom I am guessing is in the third book which is coming out this summer. We also see the other two sisters and their struggles a bit. My heart is just aching for these siblings, and the life they are forced into. It isn’t easy as they are being torn in different direction and trying to help each other when they possibly can.
The romance between James and Carrigan is so heart breaking at times. Even from the beginning, you see their interest and sparks…and as you read more, as the reader you become more involved with this pair and seeing their struggles and their triumphs.
The only time I really feel safe is when I’m with you.
I wanted to cry with them and laugh with them. These two were a blast to know, and I definitely was hooked with this book. I admired their strength to fight for one another knowing the odds that they faced.
I am a bit picky about blond men on covers….but he is delicious. I love the relaxed pose….those abs and the hair—-LOVE!!
The Marriage Pact is intense, emotionally nerve racking, will send you to the edge and back again and tie you up in knots but will leave you with a smile on your face. INTENSE AND SKILLFULLY WRITTEN!!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again Lovely. You’re Mine and Mine alone