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Married to the enemy
When Keira O'Malley was a child, she used to picture her perfect wedding. The flowers. The dress. Her husband. But nothing could have prepared her for saying "I do" to Dmitri Romanov-cold, domineering, and always one step ahead of everyone else in the ever-shifting power plays of New York City. She agreed to his bargain to secure peace for her family, and she may want the bastard more than she'd ever admit, but she'll be damned if she'll make this marriage easy for him.
Dmitri knows better than to underestimate Keira for one second. Molten desire smolders between them, a dangerous addiction neither can resist. But his enemies are already on the move, and he needs every ounce of his legendary focus and control to keep them alive. Keira could just be his secret weapon-if she doesn't bring him to his knees first.
"A tension-filled plot full of deceit, betrayal, and sizzling love scenes will make it impossible for readers to set the book down."--Publishers Weekly on Forbidden Promises
ARC received for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
To say that I was excited for this book would be a complete understatement. I have loved each and every book in this series, and I count it as one of my favorite romantic series of all time. I went into this book with towering expectations, but I was also incredibly sad thinking about the fact that once I was done with The Bastard’s Bargain, this would be it for me and these characters. But what a book this was! I loved every book in this series, sure, but I firmly believe that Katee Robert has left the best for the last. It’s emotional, tender, sexy and just absolutely a book that I could not stop reading.
When we first met Dmitri several books ago, I despised him. He was manipulative, cocky and absolutely a villain, but even going into this book, he was exactly that same person, and entirely unapologetic at that. So the author had an incredibly daunting task ahead of her when she turned him into a romantic love interest for the youngest O’Malley, Kiera. Let me tell you folks, his redemption arc was bloody brilliant. I just loved everything about Dmitri here. Yes, he is absolutely still ruthless, but we get to see the layers to his character in The Bastard’s Bargain. It was all glorious. He was the perfect man for Kiera. After the events in the first book, Kiera was shattered and struggling with the guilt of the event. We saw her turn into a hostile, rebellious girl who drowned all her issues with alcohol. It was heartbreaking watching her spiral, but throughout the series, Katee Robert shows us glimpses of the fierce woman that Kiera was. She only needed someone to give her a reality check.
That person happens to be Dmitri. Their marriage may seem unconventional at first – she only agrees to it to bring peace to her family – but it becomes the catalyst for Kiera’s path to healing. Dmitri pushes her to fight off her addiction, in ways that may seem cruel at first glance, but they are the only way to get through to Kiera. It’s not always easy watching her battle the addiction – she suffers and falls down a lot, but she is also an incredibly strong young woman, and Dmitri helps bring out that woman. He shows her that she is a queen and empowers her over and over again throughout The Bastard’s Bargain, and dammit if I didn’t find that to be incredibly swoony. In the same way, Kiera also helps to bring out the more tender side to his character. I don’t know you guys, there is something very attractive watching a powerful man like Dmitri fall to his knees around his heroine. The romance is slow (ALL THE TENSION!!), subtle, but oh my goodness, is it worth it! Not only do the two of them have incredible sexual chemistry – seriously, this book was a SCORCHER – but the emotional bond they form took their relationship to the next level. I was just a complete mess by the end of this book because it made me feel so much. Besides the amazing romance, The Bastard’s Bargain also had its hefty dose of suspense and family drama, and as always Katee Robert does a fantastic job at balancing everything with the romance.
The Bastard’s Bargain was a sexy, intense and worthy finale to the phenomenal O’Malleys series. Fans of this series will not be disappointed. For those of you who haven’t read any of the O’Malleys yet, head over to Amazon, your library or your local bookstore ASAP.
Interview with Katee
Thanks to Forever Romance, I had the opportunity to interview Katee. I hope you guys enjoy my questions and her answers as much as I did! 🙂
N: For readers new to your series, can you describe/promo it in a tweet?
KR: The series centers around the O’Malley crime family as they fight for power and find love in the process.
N: 6 books is an exciting feat. Now that all 6 are published, which was your favorite book to write and which was your least favorite (or maybe least memorable)?
KR: I can’t believe the end of the series is here! I love all the books, but if we’re talking writing the first draft, The Marriage Contract was my favorite. It was one of the most effortless books I’ve ever written, and it was just FUN from beginning to end. I don’t know that I have a least favorite, but Undercover Attraction was the most challenging to draft. Aiden was a tough nut to crack, so it took a few tries and the excellent insight from my editor to get it just right.
N: Are there any real mob families that the O’Malleys closely resemble? Did you have to research mob families while writing this series? Anything fun you discovered in the process of researching that you would be willing to share with our readers?
KR: The O’Malleys are 100% fictional. I’ve always been enamored with the fictionalized version of the mob (the real thing scares the bejeebus out of me for obvious reasons), and the strange combination of old world family values and ruthless criminals. When I was first considering what options I wanted to go with, I did a lot of research into Russian mob/criminal tattoos and it’s really fascinating stuff. You can essentially look at the tattoos and see the entire criminal history of a person just from that!
N: Let’s talk about Dmitri Romanov. For most of the series, he’s been a bit of villain to the O’Malleys. Having read The Bastard’s Bargain, I can say with confidence that you’ve done a fantastic job at redeeming his character. What made you want to write him into a romance hero in the first place and what made you choose him as Kiera’s love interest?
KR: Dmitri was actually never part of the plan. When I plotted the series, he didn’t exist. He was just a walk-on character when I first drafted The Wedding Pact, and he stole every scene he was in from day one. I promptly fell in love with him, and I knew as early as the third book that I’d love to see him with his own book. But that first scene with him and Keira in book four was totally and completely a surprise. It wasn’t something I planned on, and I about fell out of my chair at their instant chemistry.
From there, the potential for romance between them kind of took on a life of its own. Keira needed someone who wasn’t going to coddle her or let her keep spiraling. Dmitri needed someone to bring him to his knees. It was a really fun way to finish out the series!
N: I’m going to be tough on you now, but if you had to choose one of the heroes/heroines in the O’Malleys to be your real life love-interest/best friend, who would you choose?
KR: This is probably horrible, but it wasn’t even a hard choice. James would totally be my choice in love interest. And I would be best friends with Carrigan in a heartbeat.
N: You have a new series coming out this year, The Kings. What can readers expect from this one?
I do! This series is filled to the brim with complicated family dynamics, smoking hot sexy good times, and more than a little danger. In The Last King, Beckett King inherits the CEO position after his father dies–and inherits his father’s enemies as well. The only person he can turn to is the woman who he’s been at odds with professionally since day one. It’s a fun enemies to lovers romance, and the King family has been so enjoyable to dig into because they’re very different from the O’Malleys in how they’re set up and how they interact with each other.
The following giveaway is courtesy of Forever Romance.
– The O’Malleys Series Books #1-#5
– An ARC of The Last King
– Enter the rafflecopter below
– Must be 18+ of age to enter giveaway
– US Only
– Winner will be chosen at random on 02/21/18
– Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email before another winner is selected
– Duplicate entries, giveaway accounts and cheating entries will be deleted
– I am not responsible for lost, damaged and stolen prizes.
– $50 Gift Card
– Dmitri Romanov Candle