A fun romp, but lacks the depth I want in a romance and the plausibility I want in suspense.
I’ll be honest. This book is a bit all over the place. The title smacks of the paranormal—snake shifters, anyone?—but the story is romantic suspense and ‘Viper’ is the codename for a notorious spy.
The cover is beefy, but the more sympathetic character is librarian heroine Maggie Kincaid, who is mistaken for Viper and is trying to avoid arrest, capture and/or torture, depending on who’s doing the chasing.
Luke Fletcher is a private security operative—ex-Special Forces, of course—hired to track down Viper and the top-secret technology she’s stolen from a research facility.
Debut Australian author Shannon Curtis tries to do too much in a story that, by virtue of the plot, needs to be fast-paced. Maggie’s decisions don’t always make sense, and Luke may well be the most incompetent security operative working for the good side. You have to question how valuable the lost technology really is, or how much harm it could cause in the wrong hands when the recovery job is given to the company’s newest recruit, who manages to lose the suspect when she goes to the bathroom and escapes through a window. It’s a wonder he wasn’t sacked halfway through the book.
The addition of Maggie’s dying mother and her family backstory are extra complications that the plot doesn’t really need. I would’ve been content to have a solid suspense plot with credible characters.
Yay or nay?
There’s enough for Viper’s Kiss to be a fun romp for readers looking for a quick romantic suspense fix, but it lacks the depth I want in a romance and the plausibility I want in suspense.