Review: The Viper

The Viper
The Viper by Kele Moon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Romance Review

The spin-off series from Battered Hearts, Untamed Hearts is finally here!

Staying with the rough and tough mixed martial arts (MMA) scene, Marcos Rivera is a fighter from the gang-filled Florida area. He believes coming to Garnet is his chance to get out of the gang-related headaches. He wants to go straight but it is so hard to do. Unfortunately, his chance is blown when he hits a car. The driver of the car is Katie Foster. She lets the police know it isn't Marcos' fault yet no one will believe her. For the first time, she feels something more for a guy and she won't let this bad boy get away.

Ms. Moon brings two very different characters together in this romance. It's an enjoyable read because the characters are so engaging. Marcos is a gentleman and in another setting, a reader can see how he could have been. Stuck in an environment where there are little choices except to work for a chop shop is hard. Ms. Moon shows how difficult life can be when mixed up with a gang. It's for life. The yearning for something better, especially after the death of family members, is what kickstarts Marcos' desire for a fresh start.

Katie is the fresh start for Marcos. She believes in him and wants to help him. Ms. Moon sets this up well with a West Side Story flavour. The progression of the story leads a reader to believe Marcos will be lifted out of his criminal life and into the white suburbia world where there is little crime. It looks as if MMA will be the way for Marcos to move on. Just when the reader believes this will be the case, Ms. Moon throws a fork in the road and the journey takes a completely different route to an unexpected ending. It works really well and this ending is better than the expected one. It's because it shows a perseverance to make a difference in the life of more than just one person. The message in this book is humbling and reminds me one of my favorite movies--Stand and Deliver.

The story is more than just the budding romance between bad boy Marcos and sweet naïve Katie. It touches upon a socio-economic divide and helps readers understand how giving a person a chance can make a huge difference. It also shows how judging a person by their appearance can be deceiving. Also, family, friendship and loyalty is what can make the world a better place for all. I love this kind of message and Ms. Moon delivers it smooth as silk.

This romance is recommended for readers who love the bad boy with a heart of gold.

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