Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Review: Vipers Run (Skulls Creek #1) by Stephanie Tyler

The Vipers Motorcycle Club has strict rules for their brotherhood and the women who enter it. Now one Viper is about to find out how much trouble one woman can be…

Former Army Ranger Christian Cage Owens joined the Vipers Motorcycle Club for its sense of brotherhood. In return, he pledged to live outside the law, protecting club members and their families, as well as keeping other MCs out of Skulls Creek. But when Cage discovers that a rival MC—one Cage has an all too familiar past with—plans to push meth into his town, he calls an old Army buddy turned private investigator who’s helped the Vipers in the past. By doing so, Cage endangers both his friend and Calla, a woman who works in the PI’s office. Now he’s made it his mission to track Calla down and do whatever it takes to protect her.

Thanks to the phone call with Cage, Calla knows she’s formed a deep connection to a dangerous man. She quickly discovers that although he may live by a different set of rules, Cage is an honorable man who wants to be more than her protector—if only she can accept his dangerous lifestyle. But Calla comes to Skulls Creek with her own set of secrets…secrets that threaten to tear her and Cage—and the Vipers MC—apart. As they put their newfound love to the ultimate test, Cage will risk everything he cares about to save her……

Well...Vipers Run lost me pretty much from the start when the heroine and hero have a connection immediately upon “meeting” via a telephone call. Cage is dying but Calla’s voice gives him strength and now that she’s connected to Cage, her life is in danger so she’s hidden away by friends of Cage’s until a plan is put together. She doesn’t know if Cage is alive or dead so weeks later he shows up and BAM, instant love connection. Ah, no.

Cage had been caught between two worlds. He grew up as the son of a Heathen MC member but bad, bad stuff happens in that club, and when Cage’s mom turned to drugs and ended up dead, he made a run for it and tried to help his siblings best he could. One sibling sided completely with Cage’s father and both want Cage dead. He found help in a rival MC, the Vipers, and became a member after he joined the Army. He’s now in the middle of a mess that involves drugs, a potentially crooked FBI agent with ties to Calla, and trying to protect information he has that could set the Heathen MC up for a downfall.

Calla was sexually assaulted at 15 and the man responsible is still making her life a living hell. Add to that, her half-brother has photographs taken during the horrible night Calla wants desperately to move past and is using it as blackmail against Calla and her wealthy father. She’s still healing from this past nightmare and feels instantly safe around Cage, nevermind his life is anything but safe. She opens up to him about her past, how it’s threatening her future and Cage, not one to sit around, takes action. He wants the men to die for what they did to Calla, and for Cage and his MC, that’s something they can make happen. But a man from Calla’s past crosses over into Cage’s current trouble and something’s got to give.

I really had a hard time with this story. Part of it was the story itself and the characters. The other part was the way it was written. First, the story and characters – everyone came off as so unlikable. I never felt any kind of connection with Cage or Calla. There was something very surface about them and I really didn’t like that they supposedly has this crazy attraction and connection by just talking on the phone for a few minutes.

For someone who’s still dealing with her past trauma, who’s currently in hiding and has a hit out on her life from a dangerous motorcycle club, Calla sure falls into bed easy with Cage. But she wasn’t a heroine I had much respect for anyway – she makes a few stupid decisions along the way that had me shaking my head. Although I will say it’s a huge annoyance of mine when a heroine who’s been sexually assaulted in the past, finds herself naked and vulnerable again to the bad guy (be it a new danger or someone from her past). I thought this scene might be coming, I had hoped it wouldn’t because it seemed so clich├ęd but yup, there it was.

That brings me to the story and how it was written as a whole. This is not a story I would have expected from Stephanie Tyler. Not necessarily regarding the type of story, a suspenseful plot surrounding motorcycle clubs, but the writing style read weird to me. The point of view changes between Calla and Cage and usually in odd spots – scenes would feel half finished, or it would jump from one scene to the next and I’d feel like a big chunk of story was missing which made it a confusing story to follow at times. That just added to my overall frustration level as I found myself having to go back and reread parts just because the scene change made zero sense.

There were some supporting characters introduced, mainly related to the Vipers and I really didn’t find any of them to be that interesting. I’m not sure if it’s how the MC was described, but I can’t say that there was another club member, save for maybe Cage’s younger brother who’s technically not in the club, that I found appealing enough to want to know more about. I did enjoy Tenn, a man who’s in the business of filming gay porn, but he’s not in any motorcycle club. The whole gay porn part really threw me because the book starts off with this business of Tenn’s showing up front and center and I had to do a double take because we go from a man filming gay porn at his house (where Calla is hiding out when she doesn’t know if Cage is alive or dead) to Cage showing up and the motorcycle clubs being introduced and playing a larger role. In a way, Tenn’s business it felt tossed in and I get that it was more to introduce Tenn, but still, it just seemed weird to start out the book and a new series like that.

Needless to say, this wasn’t a story for me. I had a hard connecting to the characters, I didn’t buy in at all to the love connection between Cage and Calla and I didn’t find myself invested enough in this world or the other characters we’re introduced to, to continue with the series.


Rating: D

Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Signet
Stephanie Tyler: Webpage | Facebook | Twitter
Buy Here: Amazon.com | B&N
*eARC provided by publisher for review* 

 

1 comment:

  1. Sorry you didn't enjoy this one. I'm not a fan of insta-love myself. I definitely need my love connections to have some substance and "meeting" over the phone is not the way it happens.

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