by Katee Robert
When Teague O’ Malley and Callista Sheridan are ordered to marry they soon realize that there is much more at stake than money. Fans of Jackie Ashenden’s Make You and Kresley Cole’s The Master, Unexpected, will devour the super steamy and fast paced first book, The Marriage Contract in the O’ Malley series by NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Katee Robert.
Series: The O’Malley Series #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: Paperback- December 22, 2015 Digital- June 2, 2015
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing- Forever
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 he decides he will do everything in his power to protect her.
Everyone knows the O’Malleys have a dangerous reputation. But Callie wasn’t aware of just what that meant until she saw Teague, the embodiment of lethal grace and coiled power. His slightest touch sizzles through her. The closer they get, though, the more trouble they’re in. Because Callie’s keeping a dark secret—and what Teague doesn’t know could get him killed.
“Don’t lie to me.”
She shivered under that unrelenting gaze, and licked her lips, all too aware of how he tracked the movement. “It won’t happen again.”
“You’re right. Because I’m going to kill the bastard.” He kept stroking her skin, his touch doing strange things to parts of her body that weren’t anywhere near her neck. “Tell me his name.”
She wouldn’t, even if the man who’d hurt her wasn’t already dead. Even in their messed-up world, murder was a last resort—something to be avoided at all costs—not something you did for a woman you barely knew. “No.”
“Your father hasn’t been keeping what’s his safe.” Another stroke, this one closer to her jawline. “That’s his mistake—one I won’t be making as well. His name, Callista.”
Oh God, oh God, oh God. She had to get a handle on this now. She’d never considered herself one to crack under pressure, but this man put his hands on her and spoke in that quiet, confident way that promised violence to anyone who touched her, and she was dangerously close to losing control. Which kind of control was up for grabs, so she went with the least likely to reveal her secret.
She kissed him, her heels giving her enough height that she barely had to go up on her toes. Her lips brushed his, and for one interminable second she was sure neither of them took a breath.
Then his arms were around her, and he took the last step to bring their chests flush together and her back against the wall. Even knowing she should be panicking at being pinned, she slipped her arms around his neck and traced the seam of his lips with her tongue.
That was all it took.
He let go of her throat to cup the back of her head, and then she was in the middle of the single most devastating kiss of her life. His tongue stroked hers, claiming her mouth—her body—as his own. His hands stayed in place even as he continued the assault on her mouth, his touch headier than the nicotine. She arched against him, tilting her head to allow him better access, and he growled in approval.
Whatever she’d expected from this kiss, it certainly hadn’t been desire. Though desire was too tame a word. She’d felt desire before, and this wasn’t it. This was…need. All-consuming need that devoured everything in its path, leaving only destruction in its wake.
“There’s always good and bad, all mixed together.”
“Exactly.” He finally looked at her, pinning her in place with his gaze. “Though I’ll admit there’s more good to this situation than I would have expected.”
Desire rose up in a tidal wave that had shivers working their way through her body. Good lord, the man knew how to turn a conversation into something else entirely with a single look. She reached for her wine again, only to find the glass empty. Keep it together, Callie. You know how to flirt.
Yes, she did. But this wasn’t harmless flirting. Nothing about Teague was harmless. He saw too much. He was an O’Malley. And, perhaps most importantly, he was going to be her husband in a very short time.
He seemed to realize her mind was going a million miles a second, because he sat back, breaking the moment. “Now I have a question for you.”
“Yes?” She put as much nonchalance into her tone as she possibly could. The candlelight played along his cheekbones and jaw, the shadows dancing over his cheeks, following a path her fingers itched to trace. What was wrong with her? She should be focusing on what their next move was, not on how intimate it was to sit this close to him.
“Would you have actually married Brendan if someone hadn’t done you the favor of offing him?”
She looked into his dark eyes and couldn’t lie. “No.” That man was a monster. She might regret the events that had brought her to that horrible strip club and put a gun into her hands, but once she knew the truth about him, she never could have signed her life away to him. And if it took her all of a week to find out what kind of man he was, Papa should have known a long time ago. She shifted, the realization sitting like a block of concrete in her stomach. Had he known and gone forward with the engagement anyway?
He must have. There was no other explanation.
“Which begs the question—are you planning on marrying me?”
It shouldn’t be different—Teague was just as much a stranger as Brendan had been. But it was different. Even knowing him such a short time, she couldn’t shake the belief that he’d never raise a hand against her. That didn’t mean she could trust him, though, unexpectedly revealing information or not. He was loyal to his family first and foremost, the same way she was.
She wanted Teague, and a part of her that didn’t have a lick of sense thought she could trust him. That, more than anything else, made him a potential threat in a way that Brendan never could have been.
“That’s quite the proposal, Teague O’Malley.”
He grinned, completely unrepentant. “I plan on making up for the lack of originality in other ways.”
It was all too easy to imagine exactly the sort of thing his tone suggested. It took her back to that alley, to that kiss, to her desire for more. Callie reached across the table and snagged his whiskey, lifting it to her lips with a shaking hand. “Yes, Teague. I’ll marry you.”
“Any other untoward habits I should know about in my future wife?” Future wife. Fuck if he didn’t love the sound of that, especially when it meant that four short weeks from now, Callie would be his. It was a savage thought, but he couldn’t shake it. Or deny exactly how much he wanted it.
“I love old movies.” That brought his attention back around to her, a moth to her flame. She twisted a lock of her blond hair around her finger. “If it has Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, or Audrey Hepburn in it, then I own it and have watched it entirely too many times to admit in public.”
He could see that. There was something about Callie that brought to mind the glamour and grace of actresses from that time period. He took a drink of his whiskey, enjoying the ease of their conversation. It didn’t matter that he’d convinced her to come out tonight in order to stop a war he was beginning to get the feeling there was no way to stop. Hell, he liked her. “I’d like us to be clear on something.”
“This”—he motioned between them—“is a date.”
She gave him a look like she wasn’t sure if he was joking or not. “Okay…”
“Which means that we’re going to eat, and after that, I’m going to walk you to your car.” He leaned forward, crowding her a little. “Then I’m going to kiss you.”
Her eyes went wide. “And if I don’t want you to?”
He didn’t so much as twitch, because she looked like she was torn between bolting and actually liking the idea. He wanted to point out that, reasons for initiating it aside, she’d sure as fuck enjoyed their kiss in the alley. Not to mention the fact that they were getting married in a month, but that wasn’t a threat he was willing to utter. Neither of them had chosen this pairing, no matter how well they seemed to get along right now, and he couldn’t go into this expecting a certain outcome. But he could hope—and he could stack the deck in his favor as much as possible. “Do you?”
“I…” Her mouth opened and then closed, as if reconsidering whatever her knee-jerk reaction had been. “Yes.”
His breath left him in a whoosh. He’d thought she was just as interested as he was, but there was always the risk of miscommunication. No longer. Now he knew exactly where Callie stood. She wanted him, whether she was comfortable with the feeling or not. He took her hand and lifted it to his lips, pressing a kiss to the back of her knuckles. “In that case, I hope you’re hungry, because here comes our food.”
As a Brazen girl junkie, I loved reading Katee Roberts books. And so when I finally had a chance to sit down and read The Marriage Contract, I was intrigued with the blurb. Right off the opening pages, my interest was piqued when I discovered this was a mafia romance. The heroine, Callie was arranged to marry into another mafia family but another circumstance came about so Callie was surprised to find out that she was arranged to marry the Teague O'Malleys, son of another prominent mafia family in Boston.
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New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. She found romance novels at age twelve and it changed her life. When not writing sexy contemporary and speculative fiction romance novels, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her wee ones, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
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