When a no strings attached arrangement turns into something more, Cillian O’Malley and Olivia Rashidi must overcome the family ties that bind them. Fans of Jackie Ashenden’s Make You Mine and Kresley Cole’s The Master, will devour the super steamy and fast paced third book, An Indecent Proposal in the wildly popular O’ Malley series by NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Katee Robert.
Title: An Indecent Proposal
Author: Katee Robert
Series: The O’Malley Series #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing- Forever
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 . . .
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.
Cillian O’Malley is the third brother in his family, and would be the first to tell you that that means in many ways that much of the pressure is off of him. He’s not the heir, or next in line to be the heir. Up until their youngest brother Devlin’s death, Cillian was a party boy and ne’er do well. Since then, though, he’s taken over managing the family’s finances, frequenting the bar where the four brothers spent their last night together, drinking nothing stronger than apple juice and suffering from panic attacks.
In his family’s eyes, though, he’s still the family screw-up. Sure, he’s taking on responsibility now with the books, but they’re all still quick to get on his case for being an irresponsible slacker with everything else. And Cillian doesn’t bother to correct their assumptions.
Spending so much time drinking alone in Jameson’s has put him right in the path of bartender Olivia, though, and despite the prickly exterior she shows to the world, Cillian is drawn to her. Olivia’s got her own secrets, however, and knowing Cillian’s family situation, wants nothing to do with him.
Okay–maybe one thing. One thing they take care of up against a wall in the alley behind the bar. But that’ll be it.
(Of course not really–you knew that was coming, right?)
I loved Cillian and Olvia’s story! They’re both fantastic characters with difficult backstories and all kinds of conflict–plus, undeniable chemistry. Olivia’s relationship with her daughter Hadley was one of my favorite parts of the book–and when Cillian was getting to know her too? Total single mother catnip. So. Good. I can’t wait to see more of these two (three!) in future series books 🙂
Though in general I’m not a huge fan of “mob books”, Ms. Robert does a fantastic job of drawing us into the dangerous underground they inhabit without either going overboard with the melodrama or overly romanticizing the lifestyle. The O’Malley siblings feel trapped by their situation, and we both feel their pain and the love they have for their family. There’s been a point (or several!) in each series book so far where I was sure that she wouldn’t be able to believably bring the hero and heroine together, but somehow she manages to pull it off in the end–although more often than not there’s some degree of bloodshed involved.
An Indecent Proposal could be read as a standalone, though having read the first two books ( The Marriage Contract and The Wedding Pact ) will definitely give you a better understanding of the family as a whole and the ways in which the O’Malleys are connected to and in conflict with the other families in the Boston area. Cillian explains much of the background to Olivia, though, since she’s essentially and outsider, so if you haven’t read them (or it’s been a while) you won’t be lost.
Sloan’s book is next–can’t wait!
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author:
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.