Title: The Viper (Untamed Hearts, #1)
Author: Kele Moon
Genre: Erotic / Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 19, 2014
Publisher: Loose Id
Tour Organized by: As the Pages Turn
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 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?
Will she survive The Viper?
I first fell in love with Kele Moon after reading her Battered Hearts series. I kind of read the books out of order but that in no way lessened the amazing reading experience I had. From those books featuring a rag tag group of characters involved in the MMA fighting world comes the companion spin off that introduces this new group of Latino fighters mixed up in a dangerous world. All the things I love in a good conflict! The Viper was a sexy, intense and surprisingly funny way to kick off the series for me.
Marcos and Katie are two of the most unlikely people you would ever expect to be a couple. That is something I love in a story. Two people from opposite sides of the life spectrum. Marcos is an on again off again gang banger who's tired of the banger lifestyle and wants more for himself. Katie is a reserved school teacher with a clingy ex husband and a deeper longing for more excitement from her small town of Gardner. So how do you bring these two people who aren't even from the same area, together? A fated car accident on New Years eve, that's how! With Marcos on his way out of town and Katie on her way home and throw in an erratic driver and the two come face to face when Marcos stops to help Katie who was badly hurt in the wreck. Four months after the accident when neither of them can stop thinking about the other Marcos makes a bold decision that kicks off the start of a HOT affair!
I loved the way these two were brought together. It wasn't just the car accident but Katie's attempts at posting ads on Craigslist to find Marcos was entertaining and incredibly romantic. Marcos Rivera stole my fucking heart! I already had a soft spot for Latino hero's but there was something about this guy I loved. He was obviously intense seeing as how he came from a gang influenced lifestyle but the time he spent with Katie really showed a softer more romantic side to him. Reeling from the death of his mother and young cousin in a drive by shooting, Marcos carries the weight of guilt and self loathing that makes him feel undeserving of a woman like Katie. The self deprecating way he felt about himself was probably the main thing I loved about him aside from his filthy, dirty, amazingly sexy mouth. Revenge is something Marcos is familiar with and even though he took drastic matters into his own hands tracking down his mothers killer, I still found myself loving him. His viscous retaliation although not described in graphic detail made the part of me who craves justice stand up and clap for him.
Katie Foster was the perfect person to set Marcos up with. Although she was a school teacher and you automatically think of her as meek, she quickly shows she's anything but. Feisty, blunt and unwilling to take no for an answer, Katie challenged everything Marcos thought about life and himself. Her controlling ex husband who won't accept the fact that they are over pushes her to explore more with Marcos. She's not entirely motivated by that because he helped save her life and that played a bigger part in it. Like me, Katie noticed that Marcos was intriguing and wanted to know him better. After her accident that left her with a severely scarred left arm, Katie is seeking more excitement and adventure in her life. Katie was one of my favorite Moon heroines with her blunt curiosity and inner strength not to be defined by past circumstances. Throughout her budding romance with Marcos she held a clear understanding of how his life worked and the things he did and I loved her acceptance of him. Katie didn't delude herself with grand romantic notions about their relationship. She knew exactly what she was getting into and chose to jump in anyway. Nothing beats a ballsy heroine.
The gang aspect is something I could relate to and also I found it very interesting. I think it's a sad way of life not to mention dangerous but at one point in my youth I honestly thought I wanted to be a part of a local gang and almost let myself get initiated but chickened out at the last minute. It's not a life you can just walk away from and nobody understands that better than Marcos. Though he's been away from the life for a few months trying to do better after getting released from prison the ties that bind him start trying to bring him back into the fold. His cousin Chuito, who I was introduced to in Moon's other series is who I originally thought this book would be about upon learning of the spin-off. A smoldering chemistry between Chuito and another secondary character had my mouth watering for that story but I was extremely pleased with The Viper. Seeing Chuito again and the part he plays in helping Marcos made me teary eyed with gratitude but a little worried for him come time for the next book. His involvement with another group of characters (Whom I love) from the other series is sure to bring way more drama and darker undertones.
I was very excited going into The Viper and I never lost that excitement while I was reading it. Moon's writing style flows so naturally and the way she writes her erotic scenes does more than just stimulate the senses. The addition of humor in the sexy times ads a layer of depth and charm to such a serious underlying story. From their first meeting I was 100% invested in this unlikely relationship between Katie and Marcos. Moon kept me on my toes not knowing how things would work out and usually I'm usually good about figuring things out. A bold move from Marcos that challenged the status quo and an equally brave move from Katie made for a spectacular ending and something I won't forget. With every book I read of Moon's I fall more under her spell and can't wait to see where she takes these new characters she's got me hooked on. The Viper is a can't miss sexy romance with lots of exciting, nail biting moments.
Marcos could be an underwear model,
Katie mused as she sat straddled over him,
drinking her coffee and admiring all those muscles and tattoos.
"Be careful," he warned, his hands on her hips as he eyed her coffee.
"It'll ruin your afternoon if you drop that."
She coughed and laughed, spilling some.
"Carajo." He reached up to take her coffee from her and
set it on the nightstand next to the other dishes. "You can't be trusted with this." eARC 41%
"And what does a promise mean to you? A thief."
"To an OG, a promise means everything. You don't break a promise once you make it. Got it?"
She sighed and tightened her arms around him. "Yeah, I got it." eARC 61%
"We are never using condoms again. Holy shit."
"You better be faithful then."
Marcos caressed her face, and ran a thumb
over her bottom lip until she blinked up at him,
seeing that his eyes were heavy-lidded with pleasure
as he stared down at her and said,
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“You’re not exactly a ten, Katie.” Grayson laughed cruelly, reminding Katie why she left to begin with. “No one is going to love you for your mind like I do, not in this town. I’m your best option, and I don’t understand why you did this to us.”
“I think she’s a ten,” a man called from behind them.
Goose bumps danced over Katie’s skin, and she wasn’t sure why until she craned her neck to look toward the direction of the low, male voice. Her body must have recognized what her mind hadn’t caught up with, because walking over to them was Marcos Rivera. He was wearing sunglasses and a baseball hat, but it was undeniably him. She could see the snake tattoo on his arm from there.
He looked larger than life in the late afternoon sun with those impossibly broad shoulders and large, bunched biceps covered in tribal tattoos. She couldn’t help but notice that every inch of him seemed wound tight and ready to jump—like a tiger stalking prey. She blinked, understanding for the first time all those warnings Jules had been leveling at her in regards to Marcos.
This wasn’t the kind, handsome angel from the crash site.
This Marcos looked deadly.
He took off his sunglasses when he stopped in front of them. His light gaze rested on the steely grasp Grayson still had on her arm.
“This is the part where you let her go.”
“Excuse me?” Grayson huffed in that annoying superior voice of his that had always embarrassed Katie when he used it in public, usually toward someone parking their car or waiting on them at a restaurant. “This is my wife and—”
“Ex-wife,” Katie corrected before Grayson could finish. She was still staring at Marcos in shock, unable to believe he was really standing there in front of her.
“What are you doing here?”
Marcos broke the dangerous staring contest he was having with Grayson. He let his gaze run over her hotly for one long moment, making more goose bumps dance over her arms. A small bit of the tension eased out of his powerful frame, and the look in his beautiful eyes became warm just like she remembered. “I got your messages.”
“My messa—” Katie cheeks heated when she realized what he was talking about and her voice was a squeak of acknowledgement.
There was a quiet moment between them, one charged enough that Katie was actually breathless to be in his presence again after so long. Strangely enough, she could feel it off Marcos too. That electric fission of need so overwhelming it actually showed on his face and translated into something tangible enough that even someone as romantically challenged as Katie could sense it. As if remembering they weren’t alone, Marcos cleared his throat and turned back to Grayson, his eyes narrowed in warning once more.
“Yeah, I’m gonna have to insist you get your hands off her.” He eyed Grayson’s hold on her arm pointedly. “Now.”
Kele is offering the following prizes for the tour wide giveaway. The giveaway is open internationally and ends 08/31/2014 @ 11:59 PM CST.
1 x $25 Amazon or B&N gift card (winners choice)
5 x eBook copies from any of Kele's backlist including The Viper
About The Author:
A freckle faced, redhead born and raised in Hawaii, Kele Moon has always been a bit of a sore thumb and has come to enjoy the novelty of it. She thrives off pushing the envelope and finding ways to make the impossible work in her story telling. With a mad passion for romance, she adores the art of falling in love. The only rules she believes in is that, in love there are no rules and true love knows no bounds.
So obsessed is she with the beauty of romance and the novelty of creating it she’s lost in her own wonder world most of the time. Thankfully she married her own dark, handsome, brooding hero who had infinite patience for her airy ways and attempts to keep her grounded. When she leaves her keys in the refrigerator or her cell phone in the oven he’s usually there to save her from herself. The two of them now reside in Florida with their three beautiful children who make their lives both fun and challenging in equal parts–They wouldn’t have it any other way.