Series: The O'Malleys #3
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Also by this author: The Marriage Contract, The Wedding Pact, Fool Me Once, A Fool For You, The Devil's Daughter, The Hunting Grounds
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.
Greed. Ambition. Violence. Those are the "values" Olivia Rashidi learned from her Russian mob family-and the values she must leave behind for the sake of her daughter. When she meets Cillian O'Malley, she recognizes the red flag of his family name . . . yet she still can't stop herself from seeing the smoldering, tortured man. To save her family, Olivia sets out to discover Cillian's own secrets, but the real revelation is how fast-and how hard-she's falling for him.
Plagued by a violent past, Cillian is more vulnerable than anyone realizes. Anyone except Olivia, whose beauty, compassion, and pride have him at "hello," even if she's more inclined to say good-bye to an O'Malley. While his proposal of sex with no strings seems simple, what he feels for her isn't, especially after he learns that she belongs to a rival crime family. Cillian knows that there is no escape from the life, but Olivia may be worth trying-and dying-for . . .
An Indecent Proposal
Oh Cillian… He has always been the sad brother, tortured by loss. An Indecent Proposal gives us his story and his Romeo and Juliet love!
Olivia is the daughter of a violent man who takes her own daughter away to avoid the life Olivia herself grew up in. She meets Cillian and is all too familiar with his last name and therefore wants nothing to do with him. Cillian isn’t used to women not wanting him, so he is intrigued. However, over time, they begin to having deep feelings for each other despite all the reasons they shouldn’t. Olivia’s half brother brings a bit of drama to the mix and there is, ever present in the series, the danger inherent with the power struggle in Boston.
I adored Cillian when he cleaned up his act. He picked himself up by the bootstraps! He was so devastated by the death of his brother that he kind of gave up and turned to booze and women and trouble. It was good to see him make the change back into a man with purpose. I liked Olivia. Normally, the single mom thing is hit or miss for me, but it worked in An Indecent Proposal. The will they won’t they aspect was believable and you could see them slowly building this love. The families in this story (and the series) are always so dynamic. They aren’t always clear cut good or bad. Its a blend of both but in the end, they are family. I enjoyed the continuation of family drama and dynamics.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to more! Robert writes a compelling tale that takes a common trope and makes it better. The pace is good, the characters are well written and developed, and the love is believable.
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: no
- Trope: star crossed lovers, single mom, mafia
- Triggers: none
- Series/Standalone: series (could you read it as a standalone? Sure, but I don’t recommend it!)
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »No, not for the couple but the larger series arc of the power struggle between the families is still in flux. « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »Yes « Hide Spoiler
From An Indecent Proposal:
Which only served to make her feel more awkward. Olivia threw up her hands. “I don’t know how to do this.”
“This.” She motioned between the two of them. “This isn’t normal.”
He laughed again, quieter this time. “What does normal look like?” When she would have balked, he held out his hand. “Sit down. You’re making me twitchy with all the pacing. I’m not laughing at you. I’m laughing at the absurdity of this entire situation. So humor me and tell me what normal looks like.”
She didn’t know. That was the problem. Olivia wasn’t sure she’d recognize normal if it hit her in the face. But she wasn’t quite willing to share with Cillian exactly how messed up her childhood had been, outstanding chemistry or not. She inched closer to the bed and perched on the edge, but even with three feet between them, she felt like a lightning rod to his storm, full of vibrating energy and impending boom. She pulled at the edge of her T-shirt. “You know—we’d meet somewhere normal.”
“We met at a bar.”
“Most relationships don’t start in a bar.” She realized what she said and shoved to her feet. “Strike that. I didn’t mean relationship. I just…” Not sure what she was trying to say, she charged on. “Maybe a coffee shop. You’d be behind me in line and say something witty, and I’d laugh and you’d spend the next ten minutes charming me until I gave you my number.”
She was almost afraid to look at him and see his expression. His silence said it all. “That’s stupid, isn’t it?”
“No, not at all. It sounds nice.”
Olivia faced him. “You’re humoring me.”
“Sit down.” He waited for her to obey before he spoke again. “I’m not. It does sound nice.” He carefully leaned back against the headboard. “So I charm your number out of you, huh? I must be pretty charming.”
She shot him a look. “In this scenario, yes.”
Cillian laughed. “Then I’d call you.”
She edged over to sit on the other side of the mattress against the headboard. It was such a silly thing they were doing, but after how intense the rest of the night had been, maybe silly was exactly what they both needed. “A call instead of a text? I must have made an impression.”
“More like I was determined to make the right impression. Texts are lazy, and you can’t get a good read on someone that way. So I’d call.”
She hadn’t spent much time dating…well, ever, really…but even she knew that was different from the norm. “I’d think you were a freak for calling, but I’d answer because I was intrigued.”
“We’d talk for a while, feeling each other out.”
“More like me trying to figure out if you’re a psycho.”
He grinned. “Or that. I’d say all the things a normal guy would say. You’d be reassured that I wasn’t likely to chloroform you and chain you up in my torture-slash-sex dungeon.”
“It would be, yes.”
She laughed softly. “We’d set up a date at the end of the call.”
“Somewhere nice and public and nonthreatening.”
“Now you’re getting the idea.” She stared at the ceiling, part of her kind of weirded out at how well the conversation was flowing with him playing along. “Dinner, no movie. Movies are for people who are too intimidated by the thought of first-date conversation that they chicken out.”
“The conversation would be titillating.”
“You think so?” She rolled onto her side to face him, finding that he’d done the same. His bandage was a vivid reminder of why they were there in the first place. Olivia frowned. “How’re you feeling?”
“That’s not part of the game.” He yawned. “So we’d drink pretentious wine that neither one of us liked and order things that we could barely pronounce and, at the end of it, we’d sheepishly admit that we didn’t like either the drinks or the food, and we’d go find a food truck and laugh at ourselves.”
It was an attractive picture he painted. Normal and kind of sweet and something she’d never have the option of doing. She made a face. “Instead, you wander into my bar because your family’s territory encompasses it and we have a quick fuck in the alley.” She should regret it. She knew she should. There were thousands of dating books and columns out there advising women to withhold sex until they had some sort of commitment.
Except she didn’t regret a damn thing.