Viper’s Den: Part One, By J.B. Heller

vipers den

Grade: C-

Doing it at: 43%

Catnip: Hate to Love You; Fake it Till You Make it; Light Bondage

Shame Scale: The cover is actually really cute, right? The writing isn’t great, but its not the worst. Low to medium shame, like the half cooked toast of shame

Fantasy Cast: My brain didn’t bother getting attached enough to cast

Book Description:

Piper owns and runs Vipers Den. She worked her butt off to get the salon off the ground and now, the only problem she has is her meddling mother… She is determined to set her only daughter up with a suitable man. However, Piper and her mother have VERY different taste in men.
Enter Kade Benson, who is not only her big brothers incredibly sexy, yet very geekish best friend but also the bane of Piper’s existence. And with him he brings his masterful/ridiculous plan to get Piper’s mum off her back and to throw a crazy stalker girl off his trail…
Problem is, Piper and Kade, HATE each other…
Let the fun begin!

I picked out Vipers Den based on how cute the cover is, which is as good a reason as any for book picking. Bonus that it has the love to hate trope AND the fake relationship trope which are both catnippy to me. Unfortunately, I didn’t love this one.

Kade is best friend’s with Piper’s brother, and Piper has always hated him for what she perceived as stealing her brother’s attention from her. Kade has always pretended to hate Piper while secretly lusting for her, natch. The two decide to pretend to be dating to get Piper’s mom off her back and to distract the crazed stalker that is obsessed with Kade. This is all fine, I’m down for this whole plot, it was the execution I didn’t enjoy.

Even for a novella this felt very rushed, and we know that just because things are short we don’t have to feel like the story was thrown together. There is very little character building. Kade is a hot tech nerd whose mom died and who was also on the football team and restores cars. All of that info is shoe horned into the little book with almost none of it being reflected in his character. I couldn’t help feeling like this was all added in like a plot paint by numbers. Piper is supposed to be quirky: she eats a lot, she does martial arts, she wears “edgy” clothes; but it just seemed like there was no depth.

Could I be overly critical because the last book I read was so damned good and full of feels and plot and character development? It’s possible, I’m only human, brah.

One thing this book did get right? The sex scenes are well written, sexy, and didn’t feel as rushed as the rest of this little book.

Using my shirt, he tied my hands in place. I had never been this constricted, and never felt so powerless.

I thrust my hips forward at the same time as I slipped two fingers inside of her. She was so wet for me, I had to bite down on her shoulder to keep from moaning myself.

This story may have been better if it had been given an entire novel to play itself out, and I would definitely be willing to try something full length by this author. The problem certainly wasn’t in the ideas, just realization of the ideas. If you want something light that you can read in under two hours, maybe as a between book palate cleanser, this might be just what you’re looking for.

Buy on Amazon:

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