Many things have been said about 'Den of Vipers' by K.A. Knight. Generally the consensus seems to be that it's the darkest smut people have read before.. and to that I say.. maybe it's time to up your game.
Honestly, while there are some edgy scenes surrounding the demise of people here and there, the more intimate content is not that bad. The author certainly toys with dark possibilities, but she pulls her punches quite a bit.. dispelling the illusion of any real danger often before things get started.
Diesel had a ton of potential, but it was largely wasted due to that sort of.. neutering of his character. Ironically, Ryder gets better and better as the book goes on. I will say, the author gives great backstories. If she were able to properly break into those on a psychological and emotional level, they could be extremely moving. But that's not the point of this book.. and while it's a drawback, it doesn't really affect my opinion of the writing.
Roxy was a disappointment to me. I feel like if she'd been allowed to be the kind of resilient, sarcastic person she was at the core.. instead of being turned into some Harley Quinn caricature , I could have really liked her. She was still okay, but it just could have been so much more than that.
The story is written in multiple POV, but the author lacks the ability to do this well. Her idea of separating her characters comes down to changing their terms of endearment. Unfortunately, they all have the same narrative voice.. with no real distinction whatsoever. Frankly, the book would have benefitted from single or at worst.. dual perspective. Also, not every character in a room has to be addressed in every moment, it just bogs down the progress of the story.
Heaviness. That was a real problem with this book. It's long for a dark romance, I suppose.. but it only feels long because there's so much excess. Just.. a lot of wasted words that make it take so much longer to push yourself through than should be the case.
All that out of the way, I did find it decent. I enjoyed a few of the intimate scenes.. again, giving special mention to Ryder.. who is the only one that really got to loosen up slightly by the end. D should have been my favorite, but both of his big scenes were held back.
I'm glad I got to experience the book that has gotten so much attention in the last couple of years, but now I'm ready for someone to do it right.