The Killough Company: The Assassin – M.D. Gregory
Gabriel Mancini represents everything Ardan Murphy hates.
‘Honor’ isn’t a word he knows.
He is also too damn handsome for his own good.
When mob boss Sloan Killough finally gives Ardan permission to find and kill Mancini, the job isn’t as straightforward as he expects. Ardan’s never had a target quite like Mancini, and the ex-CIA agent always seems to be one step ahead of him.
When their game of cat and mouse turns into something more, their heated connection changes in ways neither expects, and their history becomes irrelevant. When enemies close in from both sides, Ardan and Gabriel must choose between their budding romance and the promises made to very dangerous men…
The Assassin is part of The Killough Company series. It’s best to read this book as part of this series to understand this story fully. Please read the trigger warnings before beginning The Assassin as this book is a dark romance.
This is the kind of obsessive hate that turns raging hard ons from figurative to full on.
Ardan Muphy, assassin, is obsessed with hunting down Gabriel Mancini, hitman. You’d think they’re basically doing the same job but apparently there’s a difference as stressed by Ardan.
The two hired killers had a history together. They had crossed paths now and then. They would have been friends but then Gabriel betrayed his boss. Such disloyality was something Ardan could not abide. And he made it his mission to put a bullet in Gabriel’s head.
Gabriel Mancini is very much enjoying his cat and mouse game with his favorite Irishman. The Italian always stayed one step ahead. He will be found only when he wants to be. Which happened when he was in a ‘safe no killing zone’ where he met Arden. Who had no choice but to postpone the kill or risk a war between The Killough Company and The Norse Lords, the MC who owns the territory.
This is where the real fun starts.
I love enemies to lovers stories, especially ones where intense feelings were involved. This has been an ongoing hunt that started in the previous books so the emotions had been simmering for a long time. I especially liked the timespan because there’s nothing less convincing than an enemies to lovers story where supposed enemies fall in love after 5 minutes.
The book was very effective in making you feel those complicated, burning I-really-really-hate-you-but-I-want-you-so-bad feels that culminated in a messy fist fight and a messier hatefuck. Whether they liked it or not or even admit it to themselves, their chemistry was explosive.
It’s not just the way these two throw off fireworks that made the book so enjoyable. The mob part of the story was equally compelling. There were bigger things afoot. Crime families made their moves. Innocent lives were in danger. A birthday surprise is in the works.
Ardan’s boss, Sloan Killough and his pet Conall, had major page time. I just love these two! They still couldn’t get enough of each other. It was Conall who suspected Ardan and Gabriel will eventually find their way into each other’s pants given the way Ardan was so determined to get the guy. Conall is rarely wrong about these things.
The Assassin felt more like a transition story bridging the series to a wider world of underworld crime and motorcycle clubs. I liked how this sets up the plot for future stories and introduced the lead characters for upcoming books. I’m especially excited for Elio and Mateo’s book. These two are from the Follieri, an Italian family that had strong connections to The Killough Company.
The ending unfortunately left me hanging. It felt rush and headed towards a cliffy I wasn’t prepared for. On the upside, we will see more of Ardan and Gabriel. They will be doing their best to outsmart the CIA and (hopefully) get their HEA. Can’t wait!!!
As advised, it’s best to start at the beginning. The Killough Company series opened with a bang so I’m sure you’ll be delighted to find out how badass mob boss, Sloan, won over his beloved pet, Conall. Read reviews of books 1-2 here.
M.D. Gregory books here.
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
The Killough Company is an Irish mob headed by Sloan Killough, an enigmatic and charismatic man who has no problems getting his hand dirty. He has a nephew, Fionn who is his heir to a company compose of mostly good looking mobsters who may or may not be sleeping with each other.
Sloan likes having pets. He dotes on them and treats them as his beloved possession. He had 4 so far and most of them had tragic endings. That is until he met Conall Morrissey, co-provocateur of a brothel called Exotic Virtue.
This series starts with the story of how the boss found his forever pet. The other books feature how other members of his company found their HEA.
- The Boss – M.D. Gregory
Conall Morrissey’s life is pretty bloody easy. He helps his brother take care of the whores at The Exotic Virtue, an exclusive high-end brothel owned by The Killough Company. They might not be earning as much as the other brothels, but if they make ends meet, the Morrisey brothers can get by fine. Until they get a visit from the boss of the mob who owns it, Sloan Killough.
Sloan Killough means business. He’s brash, violent, and tough. He’s the boss for a reason and he doesn’t deal in excuses or exceptions. He visits The Exotic Virtue for a taste of his product, and when he sees Conall, he knows he must have him as his pet. When Sloan demands Conall on his knees, Conall’s horrified. He may be bisexual, but he’s not the guy who takes it. When his brother sells him like one of their whores, Conall has no choice but to submit to their boss if he and his brother wants to live.
Being a whore to a mob boss isn’t what Conall expects. He fights Sloan’s orders at every chance he gets, but the boss seems to enjoy the fights, and has no problem in teaching Conall his place. Conall promises himself he won’t give in, but with each touch and taste, he finds himself addicted to the dark, dangerous man who could rip out his throat the very moment he gets bored of him.
Trigger Warnings: This book is a dark romance. It contains triggering scenes which includes public humiliation, ownership, and violence. If you’re unsure whether you wish to read this book, feel free to contact the author for more detailed warnings.
I first met Sloan and Conall in M.D. Gregory‘s Criminal Delights story, Sinner’s Ransom, where they nearly stole the show. My interest was pique by their unique relationship. Why would a man be proud to be somebody’s pet?
I was super amused by the fact that Conall was comparing notes with a fellow Stockholm Syndrome victim, Monty, the protagonist of Sinner’s Ransom.
I knew I had to dig into this further.
I wasn’t disappointed.
Sloan knew there was something about Conall the first time he saw him. He saw the fire in him and it was lust at first sight. Conall obviously did not want to be somebody’s pet. He’s a provocateur, not a whore for fuck’s sake!
He did not want to admit, even to himself, that he found Sloan attractive. He tried to be as bratty and rebellious as he could be. But Sloan has his ways of disciplining a.k.a winning over his pet. You got to hand it to the boss, he can be quite irresistible in his own way as Conall was fast learning.
The pet aspect is iffy if you think about it too much. And please do heed the warnings. In terms of ‘dark’, there were dub-con scenes that were uncomfortable, i.e. forcing Conall to have sex in front of an audience. Language is very non-PC, a lot of pussy and whores. However, the violence was not graphic, the torture scenes short and to the point.
What makes this a winner for me was how progression of Sloan and Conall’s relationship was depicted. The development of feelings were authentic and left no doubts that the two men were a perfect match.
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
1.5. The Boss’s Christmas – M.D. Gregory
It’s been months since Conall Morrissey was taken and tortured by his boss’s enemies. But even though everyone is living in peace, at least for the time being, Connall isn’t content. Sloan has been keeping him away from business meetings, and Conall begins to wonder if Sloan is growing bored of him already.
As a peace offering, Sloan decides to take Conall to Miami for Christmas. Getting away from the cold winter weather is the perfect way to relax and help Connall forget everything that’s happened. He wants to treat his pet, but Conall seems to be slipping further away, and Sloan fears his pet blames him for his kidnapping.
Can they find a way to communicate? Or will their first Christmas be their last?
This one’s cute and fluffy. As fluffy as dark romance can be.
Sloan takes Conall to Miami for Christmas. The feelings were becoming strongly felt and obvious to anyone who has eyes. Still, Conall claims it’s just sex. He’s also being extra bratty and Sloan knew something’s wrong with his beloved pet.
A Talk is in order.
This is a fantastic epilogue to book 1. Nobody could mistake Sloan as weak but he could be a big romantic softie when it comes to Conall. The man would literally die for his pet. The Talk was squeetastic ～ ♡! They were adorbs!
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
2. The Professional – M.D. Gregory
Rourke Tormey lived and breathed for the Killough Mob. After his father doomed their family by betrayal, the only thing that kept them alive was Sloan’s leniency and trust, and Rourke made it his mission to prove to the boss that he’d done the right thing. So when Sloan asked him to run the Exotic Virtue, he worked his ass off to raise its standards and bring in more influential clientele. Falling in love with his highest earning professional isn’t part of his plan.
Forrest Brassard grew up in a foster home. He knew what it felt like to not belong and joining the Virtue as a professional gave him what he always searched for—love, even if it was only from a different man every hour. When Rourke took over, it was lust at first sight. He wanted the Irish soldier.
Their romance is forbidden. Between Rourke’s resistance and Forrest’s determination, the struggle of falling in love is one that both may lose. When a certain detective is out to bring the Killough Company crashing to the ground, they must work together with Sloan and Conall to make sure it’s her career that goes up in flames instead of the Virtue.
Rourke was the guy who took over Exotic Virtue after Conall became Sloan’s pet. He is a no-nonesense man who loves rules. Sloan trusts him completely despite aspersions being cast on his loyalty because of what his father did before.
Forrest was Conall’s ex and later bestfriend. He’s the highest earning professional in Exotic Virtue. He’s sassy, friendly and a caring big brother to the other professionals in the house.
Forrest is a sweetheart and Rourke has a good heart. Both were likable characters I would like to see have their HEA. Their story was pegged as forbidden romance but sadly, the forbidden part wasn’t as strongly played as I would have liked. I didn’t feel any apprehension that some dire consequence will befall them should they start a relationship.
I enjoyed majority of the book, mostly because there were a lot of Sloan and Conall appearances. We learn more about the inner workings of the whorehouse and the drama between the professionals.
This was actually a longer book so I had assumed there was enough page time for a proper buildup and climax. Sadly, it was not to be. For some reason, the last 20% was so rushed it left me scratching my head. Maybe the author was going for a cliffhanger but I wish the last parts were done properly.
3.5 Stars – that place between like and love
Even with a problematic ending like that I still liked all three books. The writing is easy to go through and for a dark romance, did not feel heavy at all. There was even a humorous undertone to the narrative at some points.
While it’s highly unlikely you will get a mob full of good-looking men in real life, the Killough Company boys were worth knowing. I’m looking forward to the next books and definitely, more Sloan and Conall.
“You have the spirit of someone who belongs at my side”
Criminal Delights: Taken: Sinner’s Ransom – M.D. Gregory
Montgomery Booker has it all—good looks, an inheritance, and an endless list of hookups. He uses his social elite influence to bully, manipulate, and blackmail, and he’s not ashamed of it. Quite the contrary, he enjoys it. But when he’s kidnapped, forced into ropes and gagged, he discovers the consequences of his actions when no one cares enough to send help.
Stone and his crew have one job: kidnap a spoiled, pretty boy and hit up his rich daddy for cash. When dear old dad refuses to pay the ransom, Stone switches to plan B. The torture he delivers doesn’t have the effect he expects on Montgomery though, and Stone savors every cry that leaves his pretty mouth.
If someone finally comes for Montgomery, will he be able to walk away from the man who made him feel this kind of delicious pain? And will Stone let him?
Themes: Kidnapping, stockholm syndrome, breathplay, pain play.
Genre: Very dark gay romance, psychological fiction.
This story is part of the CRIMINAL DELIGHTS series. Each book is a standalone story with the theme of dark, gay romance.
I expected this to be action-packed. I expected some BDSM or maybe blood. What I didn’t expect was this to be funny.
LOLing at Monty who could not shut his mouth even if his life literally depended on it. And he was asking for it, again literally, asking to be punched and choked and hurt and would happily suck anybody for a hot shower. Also him and Conall, Sloane’s boy, bonding and comparing notes on who’s more fucked up, the guy who wears a collar and acts like a pet or the guy who likes fucking his kidnapper. Guess who won.
I’m not even going to bother with the insta-attraction and the lack of build up because we’re talking about a spoiled rich brat who acts on impulse though Stone I would have expected to be tougher and more menacing. The guy was just too nice and lenient even if he says he’s not. His threats felt like they lack teeth and the “training” was too easy. Monty was hardly treated as a prisoner. He was locked in a stifling room. He was occasionally tied up but he was still more or less the bratty demanding brat who needed to be taught to behave. Heck, he even got his hair shampooed by Stone.
“Yeah.” Montgomery frowned at Stone. “Why are you being nice?”
“Aren’t I always nice?” Stone’s lips twisted into an amuse grin.
“No.” Montgomery grinned and laid his arms along the edge of the bath. He leaned closer until their lips were inches apart. “But I like it when you’re not nice too”
SInner’s Ransom was more of a kidnapping how-to than action suspense. A major part of the story is about Stone’s gang creating a ransom demand video for Monty’s father, a man who couldn’t care less about his son. The gang worked with Sloan Killough, a New York mob boss, and together they tried to make Monty a believable kidnap victim.
“The first scene will be Montgomery, struggling, crying. Everything a kidnapped man does, everything that your boy is currently not doing. He’s very comfortable for somebody who’s been kidnapped.”
He’s so comfortable he’s making suggestions! And making sure the gang gets the money!
Sloane and Conall nearly stole the show and Ardan, the assassin who appears on another Criminal Delights installment, I’m super excited to read his book.
I enjoyed this grey romance story. I liked the humor and met interesting characters. There are some elements that might not be that convincing but I still find the Stockholm Syndrome aspect believable even if it happened in a span of only a few days. And though Richard Booker would rather keep his money than save his son, Stone and his crew made sure the asshole got what he deserved. Monty got all the punishment he wanted and he finally learned how to say “please“.
Other Criminal Delights books here
3.5 Stars – that place between like and love