Heated Rivals by Katee Robert Book Review

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Heated Rivals by Katee Robert


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert continues her smoking-hot series about two feuding families—and their wealthy, powerful, and scandalous secrets.

Carrigan O’Malley has always known her arranged marriage would be more about power and prestige than passion. But after one taste of the hard-bodied, whiskey-voiced James Halloran, she’s ruined for anyone else. Too bad James and his family are enemy number 1.

Hallorans vs. O’Malleys-that’s how it’s always been. James should be thinking more about how to expand his family’s empire instead of how silky Carrigan’s skin is against his and how he can next get her into his bed. Those are dangerous thoughts. But not nearly as dangerous as he’ll be if he can’t get what he wants: Carrigan by his side for the rest of their lives.

Sensitive Content

Here is the potentially sensitive content I observed while reading this book:

  • Alcohol
  • Child abuse
  • Confinement
  • Death of a parent
  • Gun violence
  • Injury
  • Kidnapping
  • Misogyny
  • Murder
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexually Explicit Scenes
  • Torture
  • Trafficking
  • Violence


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There are possible **SPOILERS** beyond this point!

Overall Rating

5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Heated Rivals is spicy enemies-to-lovers romance that takes place in Boston. On the precipice of war, James Halloran is trying to find a way to establish peace between his family and the other two major mafia families. His father, now incarcerated, left him with a huge mess that doesn’t have any resolution in sight. How can he think about business when dark-haired beauty with piercing green eyes haunts his every thought? Carrigan is the oldest daughter of the O’Malley family and therefore next in line to be married to a suitable partner. Her father demands that she marry before her birthday but all the options SUCK! How can she focus on some stuffy “life partner” when she can’t stop thinking about her amazing night with James? …and the catastrophe that followed shortly after. Her father would never approve after all the Hallorans took from them. Told from a third-person POV, we follow Carrigan and James as they navigate the cutthroat mafia world of Boston to find a way to be together.

James, the reluctant leader of the clan now that his oldest brother has passed and his father is gone. Just know that James is my favorite right. I loved how he talked to Carrigan both when he was being sweet and when he was being spicy 😉 He was lethal and loyal for his people but he doesn’t love the job. He’s rough around the edges where Carrigan is composed. He loves to get under her skin and banter back and forth with her. But James is the only person in Carrigan’s life who actually sees the real her. Carrigan is sharp like knife! I loved her sassy personality but she was cunning! Never underestimate her! I really loved her growth in this story and how she really came into her own. Her struggle for freedom and independence while staying involved with her family broke my heart. They have their sexy hookups, which are HOT, but it’s the vulnerability from both of them when they are together that made me fall for this couple’s story.

One thing I really loved in this book were their conversations. Those late night secret calls had me in knots, just swooning my little heart away. I laughed at their banter and at the truths they would share. But also in their secret little meet ups too. Looking back at the quotes now, I am still giggling at them.

I loved the romance arc for this couple. I am obsessed with both of these characters but I also am looking forward to Cillian and Olivia’s story next! I love the ongoing story of the O’Malley Clan. I am such a big fan of this mafia series and highly recommend this if you love enemies to lovers and dark romance. Thank you to the author and Forever Publishing for a copy of this book!

Spice Rating

3.5 🌶🌶🌶

There are several open door scenes. There is minimal innuendo throughout.

Genre & Tropes


Mafia Romance


  • Enemies To Lovers
  • One Night Stand
  • Opposites Attract
  • Forbidden romance
  • Starcrossed Lovers
  • Emotional Scars

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Favorite Quotes

“So she’d gone looking for salvation in other places. In all the years since, the closest she’d come to salvation was what she felt that night in James’s arms.”

“Crying wasn’t going to do a damn thing for her. It was what weak women did in the hopes of manipulating the men around them. Tears didn’t work on her father. They never had.”

“he wanted her. And she wasn’t above using that against him.”

“If you’re hoping for a repeat of that night, you’re in for the disappointment of a lifetime. I’m never letting you touch me again.”
“You’re an insufferable jackass.”

“You want me, lovely. You want me so bad you burn with it.”

“Are you planning on hurting me, James? Maybe finishing what your father started?”
“Fuck, no. The world would be a darker place without you in it.”

“I thought I was in charge.”
“You let me know if I get something wrong.”

“If I’ve learned anything from our time together, it’s that you’d have no problem slaying dragons on your own.”

“With this woman by my side, I’d be content to let the rest of the world burn.”

“To have this woman, who was all fiery passion and strength, yield to him, was enough to make his head spin. It made him want to be a better man, a man who might deserve such a woman.”

“This thing with Carrigan was different. He wanted to crawl inside her mind the same way he wanted her body. It was complicated and uncomfortable…”

“She’d spent the last four months pretending that she wasn’t jonesing for another shot at James Halloran. Lying to herself. She’d be damned before she let this opportunity pass… She had no intention of giving him the opportunity to run with this unexpected honorable streak.”

“Where we going?”
“Wild, lovely. We’re going wild.”

“Brat… You see what kind of sacrifices I’m willing to make for you?”
“I don’t want your sacrifices. I just want you.”

***I had to stop somewhere but there are so many things I highlighted and loved while reading. It would basically be the whole book. Just read it!


Check out Heated Rivals on Amazon here.

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