After I read this I didn't know what to rate this. I kept going back and forth between a 3 and 4 stars. So I've, finally, decided on rating this 3 stars. It took me 2 weeks to decide on a rating but I finally decided.
Nalini Singh is absolutely, without a doubt, one of my favorite authors. I've always been able to count on her to give me a good book to read. And that is the case with Archangel's Viper, it was a good read, even though it did take me a few weeks to actually finish this book. I adored the characters (especially Holly's family), the writing is amazing, the story was interesting...however I felt totally screwed on the romance.
Holly/Sorrow is an amazing character. I love her so much and I was ready and eager for her story. Then to pair her with Venom another character I adore...perfection!
Unfortunately the "romance" we got was more two frenemies that magically fall in love in the last 70 pages. There was some attraction between them before that but so much of the story was focused on what was going on with Holly that maybe 5% of the story, before those last 70 pages, was an erotic moment (usually Holly feeding from Venom) or a kiss or a thought, romantically, about the other person. So when the kissing, sex, and feelings started being done and mentioned it felt completely out of left field. And for the first 60% of the story Venom would mention how young she was to him, and that she was a baby compared to him (which most women, at his age, would be anyway). Sure they needled each other but it didn't seem like 'oh we have so much chemistry but I can only express that through sarcasm and barbs to each other', instead it felt more like friends who had no romantic interest in the other.
And Holly and Venom were together a lot of this book. A lot, a lot! They were searching and investigating and traveling...together...a lot...and next to nothing romantic went on, in thought or deed.
I mentioned this in one of my updates that I wondered if Holly/Venom would get the Elena/Raphael treatment of multiple books with them as the main couple. I don't see that happening just from the end and how fast everything happened and wrapped up with them. Which makes it really hard to forgive, for lack of a better word, the lack of romance here.
So overall this was a good story, the writing is great, and the characters are wonderful BUT I also can't ignore the glaring issue of a romance with hardly any romance at all.