By Kele Moon
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Marcos Rivera is a fighter. A gang member. Someone who has seen the dark side of humankind and survived. He has lost family and gained enemies. He has stolen cars and destroyed hearts, stripping one for money and the other for pleasure. His past is haunted and his future is bleak.
Katie Foster is a high school history teacher. Smart, strong, and sexy. She is a woman Marcos shouldn’t want. Shouldn’t touch. Shouldn’t love. He met her in Garnet, a backwards, hick town that’s the last place in the world he wants to be, but he finds himself going back, all for a taste of the forbidden.
Katie represents all that is good in the world, and Marcos knows he’s nothing but trouble for her perfect life. He fights and he screws. He commits crimes and he breaks the rules. He will never change and he will never escape his gang lifestyle.
Or can he?
What happens when two different people from two very different walks of life risk it all by giving into the passion that threatens to consume both of them? Can a woman who only knows how to play it safe give her heart to a man who lives hard and loves harder?
Can she survive The Viper?
Kele Moon knocked this one out of the park! I loved this book – it dishes up a little bit of everything and is very well written. It offers a strong heroine, a hot alpha male, steamy sex scenes, emotions from one end of the spectrum to the other, danger, strong secondary characters and an easy to follow and believe plot. Marcos is truly a bad boy gangster that makes no excuses for his past or present, and his back story with his cousin Chuito is heartbreaking but portrays a clear vision of why both guys are the way they are today and why nothing comes before family. He doesn’t believe he deserves a good woman like Katie because of all the bad things he’s done. Katie is both believable and likeable. She goes to great lengths to locate him once she’s healed from the accident. His cousin Chuito isn’t in favor of helping her find him, but does eventually tell Marcos about the Craigslist messages. This leads Marcos to return to Garnet to see Katie. She doesn’t make excuses for who he is, but does see the good in him and brings Marcos to realize that she’s worth him trying to become a better person. Moon paints Marcos with the right combination of lust, tenderness, roughness and pure hotness – and Katie’s sweetness and goodness was fused with a strong backbone and it melted his find-a-different-bed-every-night approach to women, which was little more than a coping mechanism associated with the heartbreak he endured because of gang life. Marcos, on the other hand, helped Katie identify with and release her inner bad girl after staying with her and offering his “face it head-on” advice following their random encounter after a car crash on New Year’s Eve. Together these two have combustible chemistry. I have to admit, it was also refreshing that Marcos wasn’t automatically converted by the heroine into a good guy overnight – he was still who he was, but together “two negatives made a positive”. Marcos and Katie were also so natural together, as if they had always been together, comfortable with one another – actually all of the writing throughout the book felt authentic, real and easy to read.
This book is a five-star because of its great writing, superbly crafted storyline – and depth of backstory, realistic and well-developed characters, raw emotions, and an exquisite romantic couple that burned up the pages.
These two were simply so natural together, as if they always had been together. Marcos was the first of the two to say “I love you” and, even though he left Garnet to go back to Miami, he didn’t turn her away when she ended up in Miami several months later. I also loved how Chuito had a change of heart and ended up realizing – and admitting to Katie – that she was really all right and made it possible for her to eventually end up in Miami. I loved the sex scenes – for some reason, these were some of the most well done ones I’ve read in any book; they seemed authentic and believable, as well as steamy hot. Marcos also wasn’t automatically converted by the heroine into a good guy; he was who he was. And Marcos reading and re-reading the Craigslist messages from Katie? It was just sweet.
Yes. This is a great read and hard to put down. It’s an intense story that offers a different plot build-up and build-out than a lot of books, and it’s simply an enjoyable and well-written read.
Original review posted on Amazon and Goodreads on April 19, 2016.
And here’s something fun I found! It’s a mock interview with Marcos and Katie covering life after the epilogue…. It’s great! http://www.krisandvikbooktherapycafe.com/2014/08/26/promo-blitz-review-character-qa-the-viper-by-kele-moon/