I can't say enough about this series and how much I like Ms. McCarty's style. I like how she dialogues with actual historical events and tells you how they inspired her stories and characters (even they are hugely different). She makes the setting feel authentic (whether or not it actually is) and the famous background characters make the series feel incredibly epic. I also find it admirable that she is able to satisfactorily end stories in a believably happy manner. I mean, a 70-90% happy ending is much more genuine and fulfilling to me than a 100% happy ending, even if it is escapist literature.
"The Viper" is your classic jaded distant bad-boy meets spirited, principled, and optimistic woman. I really enjoyed watching their relationship unfold layer after layer over the course of years instead of the usual day, week, or month-long courtships that romance novels usually stick to. I relish McCarty's rich and complex characters and her devotion to both the male and female protagonist perspectives over the course of the novel. I am especially impressed with the strength of McCarty's female characters and their ability to not whine/become hysterical in certain moments/confrontations. Bella MacDuff is without a doubt in my top 2 for rock-awesome heroines in this series so far.