Forever Publishing is rebranding Katee Robert’s The O’Malleys series. The O’Malleys are a Boston mafia family. In addition to new covers and new titles, Robert has reworked some things that she felt didn’t hold up. I always appreciate her, “when you know better, you do better” attitude. I am not sure what has changed in the text, because I hadn’t gotten around to reading the series before now. Twisted Secrets is the third in a six book series. I appreciate it more as a part of a series than I do as an individual book. The first two books of the series, now titled Dark Succession and Heated Rivals, felt like they had a more complete story arc, while Twisted Secrets is both dependent on previous events and laying the foundation for future stories. It’s always a tough spot for middle of the series books.
Cillian O’Malley blames himself for the death of his brother, Devlin. Since Devlin’s death, he’s trying to be a better person, less impetuous, and he’s stopped drinking alcohol. He still goes to the bar with the hot bartender who ignores him though, even if he’s just drinking apple juice and failing to impress her. Olivia, the hot bartender, has good reasons to ignore Cillian, but her good reasons go out the window when an argument turns into a quick bang in the alleyway behind the bar in chapter one. Olivia is Dmitri Romanov’s (antagonist in book 2) long ignored half sister, a single mother of a toddler, and trying to escape the mafia family life.
While I thought the plot and emotional development was on the weak side, it’s still a Katee Robert romance. Consent and respect go hand in hand with dirty talk and spicy action. I continue to appreciate that even when Robert’s characters express possessiveness, they want their love interest to be safe and happy more than they want ownership.
CW: panic attacks, threats of violence, on page violence, elderly woman hospitalized after violent attack, death, gun violence, child endangerment, kidnapping, grief, toxic parents.
I received this as an advance reader copy from Forever Publishing and NetGalley. My opinions are my own, freely and honestly given.