Read Venom by Jennifer Estep Online


What kind of assassin works pro bono?It’s hard to be a badass assassin when a giant is beating the crap out of you. Luckily, I never let pride get in the way of my work. My current mission is personal: annihilate Mab Monroe, the Fire elemental who murdered my family. Which means protecting my identity, even if I have to conceal my powerful Stone and Ice magic when I need iWhat kind of assassin works pro bono?It’s hard to be a badass assassin when a giant is beating the crap out of you. Luckily, I never let pride get in the way of my work. My current mission is personal: annihilate Mab Monroe, the Fire elemental who murdered my family. Which means protecting my identity, even if I have to conceal my powerful Stone and Ice magic when I need it most. To the public, I’m Gin Blanco, owner of Ashland’s best barbecue joint. To my friends, I’m the Spider, retired assassin. I still do favors on the side. Like ridding a vampire friend of her oversized stalker—Mab’s right-hand goon who almost got me dead with his massive fists. At least irresistible Owen Grayson is on my side. The man knows too much about me, but I’ll take my chances. Then there’s Detective Bria Coolidge, one of Ashland’s finest. Until recently, I thought my baby sister was dead. She probably thinks the same about me. Little does she know, I’m a cold-blooded killer . . . who is about to save her life....

Title : Venom
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781439155455
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 416 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Venom Reviews

  • Limonessa
    2018-10-31 17:21

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that...- Gin Blanco, aka The Spider, professional assassin, always carries at least five silverstone knives on her at all times: two up her sleeves, two down her boots and one in the small of her back;- Finnegan Lake drinks a lot of chicory coffee and the supposed caffeine content does not affect him;- the symbol for Northern Aggression is a heart with an arrow through it;- Mab Monroe's rune is ruby with wavy rays all around;- Gin Blanco's eyes are grey whereas Owen Grayson are violet (and by the way, I still have to meet in my life somebody with violet eyes);You might have guessed from my remarks what kind of problem I had with this book. If there was ever a GoodReads' contest for Queen of Repetitions 2011, I would vote Estep. Because she not only recaps events of previous books in the series, she recaps CHAPTERS within the same book. If we took away all the repetitions the book would probably be half its size.And it is with great chagrin that I say this irritated me and distracted me quite a bit. It feels like like the author suffers from short-term memory loss OR she thinks that it's ME suffering from it.The plot is good. I enjoyed it quite a bit and that is why I am giving this book 3 stars anyway. The writing is smooth. Characters have become familiar to me, they are well formed and interesting. I liked how she introduced Bria in the story, I liked that she got rid of donovancaine and I give my blessings to Owen Grayson. I WANT to know how the story goes on. But can I take another or multiple books of continuous recappings?I am baffled: who edited this book?This could be easily a five star book if not for the fact that my intelligence feels insulted by it.If you're a lover of UF this is definitely a series I recommend reading. If you can stomach the recappings.

  • Choko
    2018-11-11 14:26

    *** 4.35 ***Buddy read with my fellow UF addicts over at BB&B, because we are bloodthirsty and love Gin's violent assassin ways (a direct quote from my buddy Jo) !!! Loved it much, much better than the previous 2 books! Hope it keeps going in the same direction... Now I am on my way to Ashville, literally, and have to jump on the road... RTC soon, hopefully...

  • Denisa
    2018-10-29 15:00

    3.5 Not as good as the previous one, but still great!Ok, so Gin is still an assassin, she still kicks ass and she still has that great personality and humor that I love (and most people hate). This book was a bit annoying though 'cause the author kept writing the same thing over and over again. I mean, I read about why Finn drinks that coffee at least 4 times just in this book. I get that most people read this over time (not in 2 days) and they need to be reminded of stuff from time to time, but for me this was damn annoying. Still, I love this series! It is fun and so fast paced, it feels like a 200 page read. I love Gin's sarcasm and that dark, dark humor. And I'm so damn glad that detective, Donoavn, left, I really didn't like the guy. Owen, though.... well, he's great; can't wait to see what happens next! :D

  • Robin (Bridge Four)
    2018-10-31 17:09

    Sometimes there are tag lines in a TV show, book series or movie for a set of characters that really work and you look forward to seeing them or hearing them. For Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series it was “There is always another secret” and for Heroes it was “Save the Cheerleader. Save the World” and Highlander’s “There can be only one.” I wish I could say the Estep accomplishes this too…but while she has a ton of repetition and things that could be tag linesk none of them are endearing to me and most of them just annoy me now.For example: Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy is actually one of the better ones Then there isGray eyes on violet (or gold or blue insert arbitrary eye color of various character here)And two up my the sleeves, two in my boots, and one at the small of my back. referring to the locations of all of her Silverstone knives.It is a little distracting. I think problem Number 1 that I’m having with the series is that I’m listening to it and so I can’t just eyeskim the parts that are redundant. I remember who Donovan Caine is, he was just in the last book and the guy you were uber hung up on. I don’t need to be reminded multiple times why your semi-relationship (seriously more like 2 rolls in the hay) didn’t work out. I know that you have 5 blades on you at all times. I remember character XYZ because we have met them multiple times. Stop with all the recounts of EVERYTHING. Problem Number 2…get a new danger factor. Rape or threat of rape to the MC or side characters only carries for so far. It can’t be one of the main danger factors in every book. Does every bad dude have to threaten to rape Gin or the Client??? There are other ways to create fear and drama in a book.BUTEven with those things said the story is easy and I am starting to like Gin just a little more all the time. I very much like the introduction of a new love interest that can like our assassin for exactly who and what she is. I also like that he calls her on her bullshit.“I don't judge you for what you've done, Gin. Why are you judging me for another man's mistakes?” Owen can definitely stick around.The plot was decent. Another member of Mab’s crew has targeted Rosalyn and is playing a nasty little game with her. The more I learn about Mab and her minions the more I want her dead and Gin would just be the assassin to take care of that. The addition of Gin’s sister into the mix was really interesting too. I’m looking forward to seeing where all that goes.I’m still waiting for this series break out moment. It hasn’t happened yet. The stone cold assassin with a soft spot hasn’t found my soft spot just yet. But I still see a lot of potential and overall these are easy and don’t require a lot of thinking on my part so they are a good easy read so far. Still I’m waiting for that one book that just hooks me and makes me decided that I can’t wait to get to the next book in the series.

  • Kat Kennedy
    2018-11-13 11:11

    Okay, so I've finished the series now and there's nothing more to say except that the quality has remained, Gin is still badass but going kind of soft and heroic and I love Owen.I only complaint is that Estep has this annoying habit of recaping things that she's never written about. Particularly Donovan and Gin's relationship.Imagine if you read a story like Water for Elephants where Jacob joins the circus, falls in love, marries and has children. Then you read the sequel and Jacob starts off the narration by saying. "Since last week when we fell in love and married, my wife and I decided to call it quits after she found me in the asian brothel with my transvestite lover.Well, damn, I kind of want to read that part! You know, like to learn more about why Jacob suddenly had a tranvestite lover and when he found time to go visiting Asian brothels. Maybe I want to read how his wife reacted.Other than that, this series has been good to me and I eagerly await the next installment.

  • Maria Dimitrova
    2018-10-20 16:19

    Buddy read with my fellow UF addicts at BB&B.This is what I was waiting for. Getting so caught up in the book that I can't put it down. Sure it took three books to get here but the important thing is that it did. Because I would have been pissed otherwise. I read for that feeling of being so high on the story that I crave the next page like a drug. For that alone I usually give a 5 star rating. However, I had to knock a star from Venom because of a few minor problems. I know myself so I know that as the series progress and I get more caught up in the world it'll stop being a problem (I just won't notice it anymore) so I'll mention these "flaws" now and be done with it. I know I usually start with the good things but this time it'll be done backward because I want to get it out of my chest and then continue with the fangirling part of the review without any lingering feelings of guilt. The first thing is more of a writing style and it probably wouldn't have made a ping on my radar if I wasn't reading the first three books back to back. Repetitions. I think I complained about it in a previous review but I'll do it again one last time. There are a lot of repetitions in these books. There are some phrases that creep up every once in a while all over the book. Like "Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy". I can chalk that up to trying to establish mental patterns. People tend to think in a certain pattern and repeat stuff in their minds a lot. Then there's the repetition of whole sentences. I don't mean similar I mean identical sentences. It happens both in the book and in the series as a whole so far. It gets really annoying after a while. And to top it off there a some paragraphs that read the same. I guess it's done as a reminder of some stuff but after reading three books I think the reader will remember the basics of the magical system. Which is precisely the thing that's being repeated over and over again. The second thing that set my teeth on edge has to do with my "favourite" character Donovan Caine. This is more of a personal problem and I can see why Ms. Estep did what she did but since this is my review and my opinion I'm going to complain about it. I thought that we're finally rid of that pesky little close-minded fool. But even gone he's still manages to ruin everything. Because Gin is still very much obsessed with the guy. And measures everyone up to HIM. As f he's some kind of god instead of the hypocrite that doesn't know a good thing when it practically throws itself at him. Bloody idiot! Gin constantly thinks of him, what he would have done and how he left her. Donovan really did a number on her. And because of that she almost let something good slip between her fingers. Thankfully she realized that she's making a mistake by not even trying and gave Owen a chance. So these are the things that made me give a 4 star rating even though I basically read this book in one day. Something that only happens when I really like a book. And now to the more pleasant parts of the review where I'll gush about all the things I liked :) Starting with Fletcher Lane. The guy might be dead but he still plays a major role in Gin's life. Not only the memory of him, of what he was like and the things he did for her, but the actions he took before he died and the parts of his life he kept hidden from his children. And I think of Gin as his daughter because family is more than bloodline. As this series shows time and again. I love that concept but I'll talk about it latter. Now about Fletcher. He had an altruistic strike a mile wide it seems and now it's slowly surfacing. All the things he's done for the strays of Ashland and for those who can't take care of themselves. Because the world Gin lives in is much darker than our own. It's not survival of the fittest, it's survival of the cruellest. And now that Gin knows some of the truth she's finally growing out of her self-centred existence. I liked her enough as a simple assassin but as someone who cares for people outside of her little circle I adore her. Gin is a peculiar character. In a way she's very straightforward and I like the lack of any real drama. When there's a job to be done she doesn't whine about the things that need doing. Even if it's something she doesn't really want to do or like she sucks it up and does what is necessary. She reminds me of one of my all time favourite characters - Mara Jade from the Star Wars Legends. And she might even follow in Mara's footsteps and become one of the heroes in the full sense of the word :) Gin would and will use everything at her disposal to do her job. No nonsense about honour and what's the right way to do things. The job gets done one way or another. I like that she doesn't rely on her magic because most UF characters are very predictable in their displays of power. I like the down to earth vibe she gives off. And I have a thing for sharp objects so I can't complain about her methods ;) I guess that as the series progress she'll lose some of that and start using her magic more and more but I'm going to enjoy the blood and gore as long as we have it. The new romantic interest Owen that showed up in the previous book is simply amazing. I adore him. This is a relationship that has a future. mostly because Owen understand how the world works and is secure enough in his masculinity not to be threatened and intimidated by a strong woman. The fact that he genuinely wants to get to know Gin and not just do the nasty with her endears him even more to me. Add the banter and the thoughtful way he treats Gin and the fact that he's both intelligent and street smart and you have a perfect package. Oh did I mention that the guy makes weapons? I mean how cool is that? He must be good with his hands and Gin will have her very own personal weapons maker to help on her suicide mission. And Owen doesn't scare easily. He had every chance to freak out and run for the hills. Gin made sure to stuff her illegal actions down his throat at every turn after the initial discovery of her extracurricular activities. But our boy didn't waver. Didn't look at her as if she's a monster. Didn't make her feel less for what she's had to do to survive. More points to him in my book.In this instalment we meet Gin's baby sister Bria. The one she though was dead but Fletcher had unearthed and left a picture of. And she's a police detective a lot like Donovan Caine. At first I was really worried about that because she's described as a "crusader", a straight arrow just like Caine. And we all know how that one ended. Thankfully she is more aware of the how the world works and is not as rigid. She's even a bit of a badass herself. And stubborn as hell :) The scene when she finally realizes that Gin is her sister is going to be epic. Bria is Gin's last living blood relative. But she has a new family that is perhaps even more cohesive than your usual run of the mill family. Finn, Sophia and Jo-Jo and Fletcher's specter. They are Gin's foundations, the people she loves most and can always count on. And they prove that they're there to stay. That they won't run when the goings get tough. Without being bound by blood. Just simple, real love and respect. Genuine interest in the welfare of Gin. And because of that they're willing to accept a virtual stranger in their midst and help Bria because of her connection to Gin. Sure they can't trust baby sister yet but they're going to give her the chance to prove she deserves it. Gin is one lucky girl to have found such a devoted family for herself. And she knows it.Now about the bad guys. Elliot Slater is one sick son of a b*tch. He was the target this time around and he more than earned his demise even if it was only about his on page actions in this book. Boy did I hate that giant. In my opinion he didn't suffer nearly enough to quench my thirst for blood. He deserved a lot more painful death! I think Jonah is next and I can't wait for him to look at Gin's eyes and see his death in them. I'm going to enjoy the moment when he realizes that he's been so close to the one he's looking for and never made the connection and is now going to pay with his life for all he's done to Gin. And then there's Mab. She a real psycho from what I've read so far. Mostly it's seen in Gin's memories. The irony is that she made her own bed. She set Gin on the path that will ultimately lead to her demise that night when she murdered the Snow family. She did that not only out of hate but out of fear for the future because (view spoiler)[ some aunt with Air magic foretold that the Snow kid with the Stone and Ice magic will kill her. (hide spoiler)] That's the thing about prophecies. When you try to stop them from happening you usually end up being the catalyst for the events foretold. Mab should have read more of the Greek tragedies. She might have avoided that mistake if she had. And now that Gin has set herself against the Fire elemental officially things should get a lot more interesting :)

  • Jo
    2018-11-06 18:05

    18/05/2016 Buddy read with my fellow UF addicts over at BB&B because we are bloodthirsty and love Gin's violent assassin ways “I’m just wondering how exactly I went from being the Spider to the Robin fucking Hood of the greater Ashland area. Three months ago, I was killing people for money. Lots of money. Buckets of it. Now, tell me a good sob story instead and I’ll take care of all your problems for free. Instead of stealing from the rich, I’m stabbing them to death for the poor.” With every book this series just gets better and better!! The favour Gin asked of Roslyn Phillips, the owner of the famed nightclub Northern Aggression, in the previous book has brought trouble for Roslyn in the form of Elliott Slater, the giant enforcer of Mab Monroe. He is obsessed with Roslyn, and his obsession means bad news for everyone. And Roslyn has come to ask Gin for her help in getting rid of him. Now normally this wouldn’t be a problem, except doing this would put Gin on Mab Monroe’s radar, and even though Gin is determined to annihilate her for killing her family, she is not ready yet. But she refuses to not help Roslyn, and if this gets her attention from Mab, then so be it.Then there is the new detective, Bria Coolidge, who replaced Detective Donovan Cain when he left. And what a surprise this was. I really liked her and I’m really excited to see what is going to happen between her and Gin, but I’m also a little weary because I’m not sure whether this is something that will bring Gin happiness or pain. “Nonsense,” Jo-Jo said. “We’re family, darling. Always will be.”“Family,” Sophia repeated.“Family,” Finn echoed Gin has built the most perfect family: Finn her foster brother, whom I adore; the dwarfs Jo Jo and Sophia who are always there to help. I just love these three together, how loyal and supportive they are of each other. “Because I’m the Spider. Because my retirement’s been a fucking bore. Because you asked me to do a job, and I never go back on my word. Because we’re friends, in a weird sort of way. But mainly because nobody deserves to be treated like this—except the bastards who live here.” I paused to let the cold venom seep back into my tone. “And you can believe that I’m not leaving this place until every single one of them is dead.”There were SO many things happening in this book, and Gin was just as kick-ass as always. I really love this assassin and her bloodthirsty ways.The confrontation between Gin and the very powerful fire elemental Mab Monroe seems to be getting closer with every instalment, and I cannot wait to see what is going to happen. And finally we find out the truth of why Mab murdered them. So very interesting!!Owen stared at me. “Someone who’s passionate and full of life. Someone who’s funny and smart. But mostly, someone who’ll do whatever the fuck it takes to protect the people she cares about. That’s what I like about you, Gin. That’s what I admire about you. That’s what draws me to you.” His mouth quirked up in a smile. “Well, that and the knives. Did I ever mention that I think weapons are sexy?” On the romance side I must say I’m really starting to love Owen Grayson. He is a much better beau for Gin than asshole Donovan Caine, and the little history given on how they met years ago was very enlightening. I’m very excited to see where things are going to go with them. And damn the shower scene was hot :-D I am really enjoying this series!!! A must read for all UF fans.

  • J. D Wenzel
    2018-11-02 17:23

    I've given this series as much of my time as I could. I was thoroughly intrigued by the ideas that Estep's stories held within their confines. The first book was a wonderful read. Even if some of her writing quirks were a little irritating I could ignore them for the characters, the story, and the otherwise wonderfully crafted prose. And then I moved onto the second book and those quirks were more prevalent as I read. It's very repetitive, even obnoxious. I ignored those things and continued reading and as it came to a close I was excited to see her FINALLY using her elemental powers. Now, here we are with the third installment. Estep still feels the need to remind us of things in that incredibly redundant style. The Spider's mentor was Fletcher Lane; she's got 5 silverstone knives on her person: one at the small of her back, two up her sleeves, and two in her boots. She palms the silverstone knives, she throws the silverstone knives, and she slashes the giant's throat with a silverstone knife as if we had forgotten that they were made out of silverstone. This is only a minor gripe, but when Estep does it with just about everything, the type of coffee Finnegan drinks (and why), the silverstone spider rune scars in her palms, the way someone is going to "get dead", and it just grates on you. After two full novels of it, well, it's obnoxious to say the least. On top of that, nothing has really changed, she's supposedly the most powerful elemental JoJo had ever seen, and yet...she simply refuses to logically use her powers. She fears growing too dependent on them, which is a legitimate worry, but she's supposed to be the city's best assassin is she not? Why then would she not TRAIN those powers so when she finally NEEDED them they would be there and ready for her? In my mind her mentor would have broken this flaw in her character during her training, but I could ignore that too. It's when she simply refuses to use her powers in TANDEM with her obvious physical prowess when everything is on the line that I really just can't wrap my mind around. SPOILER ALERT: During the final showdown with Mab's right hand, instead of imbuing herself with the stone skin AND attacking him she only thinks to use it at the very last moment, like she's totally unaware that the man's a giant and could kill her with one blow. You would think that she would USE the stoneskin to protect her from the brunt of the damage, wouldn't you? She only uses the stone magic to strengthen her skin when she's weaponless and has nothing left to fall back on. Okay, that's fine, but not what a competent assassin would have done. Then when she's being pummeled by the giant she only thinks to use her recently unblocked ice magic to make a crude ice dagger? Really? She's this powerful Ice and Stone Elemental and she can only do two things with those powers? Why didn't she blast him with ice to freeze him? Why didn't she do as JoJo suggested and used her ice to slow him for a millisecond at a time? At the very least she could have created some sort of ice-slick when he charged her, causing him to slip. Why didn't she do any number of things? Instead of being this cold assassin, the best assassin in the city, she's just an incompetent that happens to be handy with knives. It's just infuriating because we are TOLD time and time again that she is so powerful. Nothing so far has SHOWN me that she really is an incredible assassin (aside from the stellar opening of book one). We're three books in and the greatest display of power comes at the end of book two, and that wasn't really an intentional use of her power, she was backed into a corner and she reacted. Where is the calm, cool logic that an assassin is supposed to have? How on earth is she supposed to be a match for the most powerful fire elemental in the last 500 years if she's not even a match for a giant without any elemental powers? I understand that she's supposed to GROW into the powers and become this formidable opponent for the woman who controls the city, but so far I've not seen any real PROOF that the Spider can do anything the author boasts. In fact, all I can see is wasted potential. I love the emotionally conflicted character; I love the very southern Finnegan Lane, and Sophia and JoJo. Estep shows off a flair for crafting words and creating beautiful, believable imagery, but it's brought low by her compulsive need to qualify nouns with adjectives at every turn. We know it's a silverstone knife, Estep, just because we've moved onto the next paragraph doesn't mean we've forgotten. The premise of this entire series had such great potential, it's unfortunate that it's been executed so poorly.

  • Alisha
    2018-10-27 18:59

    Initial reaction (upon finishing): Rock ON! That's how it's freakin done.This was an absolutely fantastic addition to the Elemental Assassin series. I just don't know where to start. But I'll say this: Venom is a very pivotal book, placing Gin in the position of finally being able to address (and do something about) her family's torture and murder. I would not recommend beginning the series here (rather, first check out Spider's Bite and then Web of Lies). Technically the main plot arc is self-contained in this one installment, but Gin makes a lot of decisions and does a lot of soul searching that simply won't have the same impact without proper context.For example, this book finds Gin's sometimes-lover Donovan Cain long-gone, as he's "gotten outta Dodge" to escape his considerable attraction to our beloved assassin. Eager to fill that void is Owen Grayson...but we're repeatedly reminded of Caine during Gin's interactions with Owen, due to her feeling once-burned; she basically compares everything from their kisses and physical attributes to their respective morals and motivations. Her wanting to know Owen at all is colored by her past with Caine. Personally, I really found the introduction of Owen as a major figure to be an intriguing one. His presence brings an enticing air of mystery, for both Gin and the reader.We've also got a conundrum that forms the main plot and is directly influenced by the events of book two. That is to say, some of Gin's decisions and actions come back to bite her in the butt. I actually loved this inclusion, because it reveals Gin's humanity, humility, generosity and sense of honor/fidelity. Eat your heart out, Donovan Caine. ^_^The plot was deliciously paced; just about every returning character is fleshed out more (and to addictive effect!). Estep has trained me to be on guard; I feel like no one is safe and anything can happen (which not always the case in series, open-ended or not). This is the installment that really solidifies the series arc; I am now absolutely vested in the outcome of the next books to come.

  • Wanda
    2018-10-24 19:18

    Gin Blanco is ready to quit skulking in the shadows and declare war on the criminals who are worse than she is. That’s right, our assassin main character is done being the patient Spider and is ready to deal with the Big Bad that is controlling everyone in her town of Ashland. She begins small, by trying to protect Finn’s vampire lady friend from a large, aggressive stalker (who is, of course, one of the triumvirate who holds the town hostage). Gone is a lot of the annoying repetition of certain phrases, although some instances remain. Gone also is the brooding, guilty, conflicted love interest—and good riddance. But somebody’s gotta be the ultra-good guy, so enter Gin’s long lost little sister, Bria, as the new arrow-straight lawman (or woman) in town. This arrangement is perfect—Gin gets have her hot-as-Tabasco love relationship, but still have a law-abiding cop to court, since Bria doesn’t know of their relationship.Although there is still a lot of focus on Gin’s romantic life and on her relationship with her foster-brother, Finn, this installment shows hope that she may get some female BFF’s soon, with whom to share secrets and drink gin. Creeping closer to Bechdel test territory, I hope the next book reaches the tipping point with this situation.I am looking forward to attending some sessions at the When Words Collide conference in August where this author will be speaking.

  • Cheryl La Pa
    2018-10-25 18:14

    4.5 stars. So good! It is getting better with each book. Gin is such a mixed bag - tough on the outside but so soft on in the inside, and her 'family' are the glue that keeps her together. I must admit that I was much more interested in Gin's relationship with Bria and Owen (he is so hot and much more suited to Gin than Donovan) than I was with the happenings with Mab Monroe and Elliot Slater. My only gripe is the repetitiveness of events in previous books which I tend to skip over. I am reading this series in a monthly sequence so maybe if I read them as they were released, I would find the recap more useful. The deep, unforgettable characters and their close bonds with each other are what appeals to me most about this series.

  • Jenn
    2018-10-30 10:59

    Maybe I shouldn't have read this one immediately after reading the second in the series, but this book annoyed the crap out of me by the end of it. It was too repetitious. I wish the author would have given the reader some credit and didn't feel the need to constantly feed us the same thing over and over and over again. I got it the first few times. Yes, Gin is a semi-retired assassain. Yes, she feels guilty for the predicament that Rosilyn is in. Yes, Mab Monroe is the Fire elemental who tortured her and killed/divided her family when she was a child. Yes, her ill-fated, non-existent, sexual attraction based 'relationship' with Donovan Caine is over. Bang head here and repeat.Compared to the other two books from this series this book was slooow and the main story dragged on. I think there could have been a better way to get to the final show down with Elliot Slater without all the 'missed opportunities'. Plus, the author turned Rosilyn into some kind of a pathetic creature by the end of the story and not a street hardened ex-hooker, hardcore business woman she was depicted to be in the first two books. A lot of back story and repetition was used as filler. I was really looking forward to reading this book but I was sadly disappointed. :(

  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
    2018-11-11 19:22

    Can this series get any better?I swear each book is taken to a new level and I fall harder for Gin, Finn, Sophia, Jo-Jo, Owen (oh my hotness Owen!), and all the others that have made appearances in this book and series.The action is better, the romance steamier, the friendship more solid, the kick butt-ness more kick butt get the idea. Just when I think I couldn't love this series more Estep ups the anty and it is. This really is a series that is just getting better with time and one of the biggest appeals to it, at least for me, is the friendship. Gin and her gang are just amazing and I love their closeness. They truly are family in every sense of the word and I adore it. I adore them. Things are heating up and I don't just mean between Gin and Owen. The stakes are getting higher, the danger more evident and consequences for past actions are about to be called forward and revenge taken. I am so excited the direction this series is going and I can't wait to read more. I have a feeling this is one of those series that will be in my top ten this year and for always for sure. Estep certainly knows how to write 'em!

  • Steven
    2018-11-03 15:24

    Another great entry into the life and times of one Gin Blanco.Good character development, nice setting up of future plots, relationship growth on both the romance and family front... overall, a really fun book.

  • Jo ★The Book Sloth★
    2018-11-17 16:21

    ****************Re-read July 2015****************

  • AH
    2018-10-18 15:26

    Venom is the third book in Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassins series. I enjoy these books for the most part, especially the author’s imaginative world building. I love how the author has created a world filled with humans, giants, dwarfs, vampires, and practitioners of elemental magic. This world is set in the city of Ashland, a corrupt city where most of the city officials and the police force are under the control of Mab Monroe and her cronies.In this installment, Gin is enjoying her retired life. She is running Fletcher’s restaurant The Pork Pitt. Gin is a little bit bored and when Roslyn comes to her with a problem, Gin can’t refuse. Roslyn is being stalked by the giant Eliot Slater. Eliot has a way of playing with his girlfriends until they “disappear.” Gin feels guilty because Roslyn only came into Eliot’s attention because of Gin’s disguise in the previous book. Gin decides to come out of her retirement to help Roslyn. Gin takes quite a lot of beatings in this book, but the capable Jo Jo is always there to heal her. The characters in this book are great. I love how Gin has gathered a whole group of friends that work with her and support her. The dwarfs – Sophia and JoJo are like Gin’s extended family. Sophia works at the restaurant along with her secondary job – disposal and crime scene cleanup. JoJo is like a second mother, always healing Gin with her air elemental powers. Finn provides excellent back up during jobs. Gin’s love life is definitely looking up. I just wish she would quit mooning over Donovan and see what she has in front of her. Owen is more than ready to accept Gin for herself. He does not judge her, nor is he condescending. Owen is the perfect match, and good looking too!We also learn more about Bria, Gin’s long lost sister. Gin manages to get to know her sister, but I would have liked to have seen more.Just a few things kept me from giving this book a higher rating. The book suffers from a little too much repetition. A lot of grey eyes talking to hazel eyes. The author also recaps a few too many times. A little tighter editing would make this a 5 star read.Off to find the next book Tangled Threads.

  • Beth The Vampire
    2018-10-28 18:09

    This book made me realise how much I love Urban Fantasy. I love the idea of magic and paranormal in the everyday. Maybe it’s because recently I have been reading so many ‘realist’ books for Uni I forgot about how much I love this genre. Which is also good because for a while there I was falling into a bit of a reading slump, which is now dead and buried in the cold hard ground.Coughing, sneezing, aching, wheezing. That was me. Gin Blanco. Restaurant owner. Stone and Ice elemental. Former assassin. And all-around badass. Laid low by a microbe.So I liked this book for a number of reasons; it had a good story, there was a lot less repetition with the writing, and Donovan Caine is as good as gone. Gin’s retirement as an assassin did not last long, but I’m glad that she has stepped from the shadows and is finally making her intentions known to Mab Monroe, our resident fire elemental and murderer of families. Unlike Web Of Lies before it, the story inVenom felt like it meant more to the world and character progression. There was also more of an insight into Gin’s past, why her family was targeted, and why Mab wanted her sister dead.Gin has had her run ins with Roslyn Phillips, vampire and owner of the nightclub Northern Aggression, but now she is asking for Gin’s help. Mab Monroe’s right hand man and giant, Elliot Slater, has developed an obsession for the vampire and is stalking her, threatening her, and making inappropriate sexual advances. Feeling completely powerless, Roslyn asks Gin to take out the giant, which is convenient given that he beat the shit out of Gin at the beginning of the book and so she feels like she has a score to settle. Not only will she be doing a favour in taking out the giant, but she will be taking a strike at Mab herself. Ripping down her empire one step at a time.”Why a spider rune? Because it’s the symbol for patience,” I replied. “And I can wait however long I have to until I get you. So look at the rune, Mab, memorise it and remember it well. Because you’ll be seeing it again real soon, sugar. Including the second before you die.”Also enter new police detective, Bria Coolidge, better known as Gin’s long lost sister. Bria doesn’t have much of an impact in this book, but her showing up now was meant to serve a greater purpose for the story as a whole. I’m glad Gin didn’t just come out and confess who she was to Bria, but at the same time I feel like she’s making the inevitable reveal worse for their relationship. Gin’s new romance with Owen Grayson feels more real to me than her relationship with Donovan Caine (boo). He doesn’t look at her like she is less of a person because of what she does, and he sees beyond the assassin to the strong and compassionate woman underneath. If Gin wanted my approval, she has it.Previously in Web Of Lies there was no much repetition in the writing that I found it detracted from the actual story. Not once in this book did the author repeat the same images over and over again. At this stage in the series, the reader should know Gin’s past, and who she is now, so we don’t need to be reminded again and again that her family were killed, and that she has the Silverstone spider rune embedded in her hands, or that she is known as the assassin the Spider. Don’t get me wrong, there was still a bit of this, but because the story was more fleshy there was less time for constant revision.So all in all, a good addition to the series, and I feel like the intensity is about to pick up a hell of a lot more from here.

  • ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
    2018-11-18 18:10

    So what seemed to be a minor quibble in the last instalment is turning into something quite annoying. What am I talking about? The constant repetitions: phrases, turns of phrases, names, events… The narrative is polluted by them. Gin keeps saying she is “the assassin the Spider,” that Mab killed her mother and older sister (yes yes we got that part), she keeps describing her spider rune and explaining its meaning, keeps repeating she takes her little white pills (and that condoms are extra protection)… Should I go on? Mab’s rune is a ruby with wavy rays, Gin always carries five (or more) silverstone knives on her (their location on her body is rehashed repeatedly)… Oh and the thing with the eye colour: grey on violet, grey on hazel, grey on green or whatever. Enough! This is spoiling it for me! Sometimes it felt like I was reading the same chapter I’d just finished. This book lacks some serious editing! When you think about it, had the book been properly edited I’m not sure it would have reached the 150-page mark… (view spoiler)[A word of warning: this problem gets worse in book 4 but be brave and hold on because things get much better with book 5. I usually DNF pretty fast but I’m actually glad I kept going with this series. (hide spoiler)]Let’s get some other irritating parts of the story out of the way :(view spoiler)[ that Gin actually “saved” Owen & Eva’s lives when they were kids (and hardly remembers anything about it!) is pushing it a bit too far. That Fletcher helped them get off the streets is pushing it even more. And that Mab is the one who killed their parents is just too much. Too many coincidences for my taste, this is bordering on ridiculous. (hide spoiler)]This could have been a fantastic book but the execution was disappointing. The writing lacks precision and the narrative style often gets in the way of the storyline. That being said, I still found the book entertaining. I really like the premise of the series (a semi-retired assassin with magical powers) and characterization is just great. I love Gin, I love Finn, and Owen, and the Deveraux Sisters, and Bria, and Eva, and Roslyn, and Mab… I really love all the characters in this series. Oh, and I’m so glad to be finally rid of (choose all that apply) jerk/bastard/asshole Donovan Caine! Thank God for small mercies! I still don’t get what Gin saw in him. All they did was have sex a few times while he was completely disgusted by his attraction to her. Twisted, twisted, twisted. Anyway, he’s gone and I hope he never comes back (or only to have his butt properly kicked by Owen “Rawr” Grayson). Despite Gin being a cold-blooded assassin, I see this series as “light” urban fantasy. There is nothing wrong with that, just don’t expect the fight scenes to be as gory/bloody/gruesome as in some other series (Kate Daniels, Descent…). The plot is fast-paced and enjoyable. The book is quite a page-turner even if the constant recaps get in the way. I really hope that Estep’s writing will get better with the next instalment, or that the editor will do a much better job. Off to read Tangled Threads!

  • Jennifer Y
    2018-11-06 14:02

    ****Review will contain mild spoilers if you are not update on the series.****Ok the awesomeness of this series just gets better with each book. Each book in the Elemental Assassins series has its own plot with a bigger picture plot surrounding the murder of Gin’s mother and older sister. Things keep building as Gin finds out more about that night and about her later handler, Flecter.Gin is still mourning her handler and foster father, Fletcher. She is also having a hard time with her love life. But as one douche bag leaves town; another HOTTER and more suited for Gin, guy comes along.“I don’t judge you for what you’ve done, Gin. Why are you judging me for another man’s mistakes? Because Donovan Caine did make a mistake,” Owen said in a soft voice. “Letting someone like you go.”By the time Venom ends I can’t see a more perfect guy for Gin than Owen.Gin just can’t seem to stay retired from the assassin gig. But instead of getting paid for her skills she is using them as a service to the good people of Ashland.“I’m just wondering how exactly I went from being the Spider to the Robin fucking Hood of the greater Ashland area... Instead of stealing from the rich, I’m stabbing them to death for the poor.”Gin and gang has their hands full trying to help Rosyln Phillips with a stalker problem. The stalker in question is Elliot Slater, Mab Monroe’s head of security. Gin has no problem planning a way to kill the giant, since we start out Venom with Slater beating the crap out of Gin on the college campus. How can that be? Gin decides to go along with the beating as not to give away her cover as Gin Blanco.Gin spends a great deal of Venom protecting her cover in order to get closer to Mab Monroe and figuring out a way to take her out for killing her family all those years ago.Speaking of family, Gin finally gets to meet her baby sister that she thought died with her other sister and mother on that dark night. Gin and baby sister Bria are on different sides of the law but are more alike than either would have guessed.Venom is full of action, mystery and a healthy dose of dark humor and snark. I love the world and characters that Jennifer Estep has built. It’s been a while since a series has grabbed me the way this one has.And now that I’m done with this review and can now start Tangled Threads!

  • Sharon ∞❥ is an emotional book junkie ❥∞
    2018-11-07 13:14

    Gin's still trying to settle into retirement but how can she do that when her friends need her? Turns out Roslyn the vampire is having problems with Mab's giant, Elliot Slater, and since Gin feels responsible, she can't say no. I loved how things are all starting to come together. The "family" is really meshing well, Bria's in the picture, Gin's love life took a turn for the better AND Gin's finally making her move against Mab ~ and what a move it was! Gin is her fabulous self and I like that she is really starting to believe in her powers. That's the part that has been bothering me and while I know she has some stuff to get through, I just want her to get on with it!! And hellloooo Owen. All I can say is I know why all my friends love him. We get to know him a lot better and I love the history between him and Gin. But I have a feeling that we haven't seen the last of Donovan.All the characters were really great...I just love the whole family thing. Finn is being his typical self but he really steps up to the plate when he needs to and even goes beyond what is expected. His Dad would be sooo proud. Jo-Jo was amazing as always and Sophia...I loved seeing the little cracks opening up. Roslyn and Xavier seem to becoming bigger players and I was glad that things got more settled between Gin and Roslyn. And that leaves Bria...I love all the baby steps and I can't wait for some clues to fall into place! And the giants? Eewww...they really creeped me out especially Slater (but not Xavier of course). I really, REALLY loved what happened to Slater...especially after what he did to Gin the first time! I can understand why people say this is when the series gets good. The story had a good pace with lots of interesting things happened. I loved the shower scene! Owen was sooo sweet! I can't wait for the next book!Favorite quotes: ♦ "I'm not most men."♦ “That’s hard core, Gin,” Finn replied. “Very hard core. Kind of kinky too.” A grim smile tightened my lips. “That’s me. Gin Blanco. Hard core and kinky to the bitter end.”

  • May
    2018-10-30 14:27

    Gin Blanco is a (sort of retired) assassin who's life is blowing wide open. Truths revealed, new possibilities forming, and a whole lot of action going on.I LOVE this series. I love that it's dark and gritty and that Gin sees herself as this hard shell of a woman when the reality is that she's fierce and loyal and protects those she cares for or makes promises to. It's not sunshine and roses here in assassin land, but I really liked that this book shows us Gin opening up a bit, her circle expanding and some glimmers of hope for a real future shining through. Gin doesn't rely on magic and tricks to kick ass - she has mad skills too. There's a lot of rules to know (about the people of her world, how things work, etc) so DO NOT try to read out of order. While I found the book a satisfying installment in this series it's really not stand-alone. It's fast paced, told from Gin's point of view, and I literally could not put it down. Estep brought her A-game once again to this book and I loved every single page. It was everything I hoped for and more. Counting the months until #4 releases... note: author has good website info, seen here:

  • Sunny
    2018-10-30 14:29

    This series just gets better and better. I can't believe how emotionally invested I've become in Gin Blanco. I've said it before, Gin and I could be besties. I admire most everything about her - her grit, courage, intelligence, passion, tenacity, mad skills, and mostly her deep and abiding care she has for the people she loves. I find this book emotional and darn frustrating because they are going to take that one issue and extended to the next book. Please, please, let this issue get resolved soon because I do not think my heart can take it!

  • Meigan
    2018-10-26 11:27

    Why have I been neglecting to read this series?! This installment was enough to bump Gin Blanco to my list of favorite series. Full review coming.

  • Carmel (Rabid Reads)
    2018-10-21 11:09

    Reviewed by: Rabid ReadsJennifer Estep has done it again! Venom is even better than the first two installments which is pretty unbelievable considering how outstanding they both were. No word of a lie, the Elemental Assassin series literally gets better with every book. That's pretty freaking remarkable if you ask me! It felt like that crazy drop in the Tower of Terror except that it lasted for twelve hours! The story is thrilling, the character development is exceptional and Owen Grayson is just plain smokin' hot. In this installment we get an even better look inside Gin's assassin persona; it's a scary and fascinating place. In the opening chapter she endures one heck of a beating in order to maintain her cover. I kept waiting for her to unleash a can of whoopass on the giants but hiding her skills was indeed the best long-term game plan for her and that's exactly what she does. You can't help but admire Blanco for willingly getting pummeled when she could have easily come out the winner of the encounter. This is just the first of many instances where she demonstrates her knack for thinking on her feet. As an ex-assassin, Gin finds herself in some pretty hairy situations yet she always manages to keep her cool, even when bullets are zooming past her head! There's more to her than just a cold blooded killer though and that's what makes her story so incredible. Her feelings and doubts go a long way into humanizing her in this book. I think that Estep does an exceptional job developing her characters in this series. They're memorable, life-like and unique; I for one can't get enough of them!Elliot Slater is the kind of guy you love to hate and the first bad guy of this series that I really wanted to see suffer a slow and painful death at the hands of Gin. I like that it took the entire book for Roslyn's revenge to come full circle; it made the end result extremely meaningful and personal. All of the characters play a role in the main plot which is yet another noteworthy element in this book. As a result, the side stories became an added bonus instead of an essential ingredient in order to tie everything together. Finn is finally coming into his own and I like that he actually kicked some butt in this installment. I've been on the fence about him for the past two books but now I'm glad he's a part of this series and I look forward to seeing what Estep has in store for him. I love, love LOVE Owen Grayson and how this book ended. I'm kinda hoping that he and Gin team up and go after Mab Monroe together. Wouldn't that be a romantic outing? Yeah... Natural Born Killers style! Sophia's story still remains a mystery but at least we learned something about her this time. I just hope her tale will be as awesome as I expect it to be!Venom is one giant action scene packed with unforgettable characters, startling truths and the ending is fan-freaking-tastic.

  • Chichipio
    2018-11-05 14:59

    This time around, everyone--especially the good guys--seemed to conspire to make Gin fail. And fail she does, repeatedly.In the previous books there would be a buildup period where no direct confrontations happen and then the final execution of the "plan." Of course, some complication would arise at that point ratcheting up the danger but, in the end, things would resolve themselves. Formulaic, I know, and maybe something to improve. But it had a clear benefit: showing that Gin was really good at what she did. Kind of like watching an Ocean's eleven movies. Things might get complicated but you know than when Danny put his plan in motion, he considered all the possibilities and even complications were worked into the plan.Here, Gin clearly fumbles. Breaking with the formula, the first strike comes really early in the book (30% or so), so you already that she's going to fail. And OK, the first time this happens, they have a pretty good excuse for the failure so I could let it slide. Except that, after that, it falls into a rinse and repeat sort of pattern. More hurried plotting, more bad luck, more good-guy-supposed-to-be-clever-and-cunning doing something spectacularly moronic and getting in the way. More failing.In the end, she winds up doing things the way they had called "impossible" when they were making the first plan. And they pull if off without any planning or time to prepare at all. And, if I stop to think about it, the number of enemies present was smaller and the place easier to infiltrate than in any of the other attempts. The big Kahuna wasn't around either, which is big plus.So, story-wise, this wasn't nearly as good as the rest of the series. It uses Gin's and several support characters' poor decisions (especially Roslyn's) to advance the plot; a thing that always bothers me.As a counterpoint, aside from those plot-moving bad choices, I liked the cast of support characters in this book much better. Bria seems like a nice addition to the group and has the added bonus that it replaced Donovan Caine who was just painful to read (I hope she's not planning on bringing him back. I would have preferred him dying in some heroic way just to be sure).Other thing that seemed to improve was the writing. No annoying repetition of the same descriptions over and over. No countless "Mmm" to make you want to scratch your eyes out. And, finally, no making EVERY single sentence a comparison (blahblah "like a" [insert-nonsensical-graphic-reference-here]).All in all, I'd say that she's finding her stride about how she wants to write this series. Making small changes in one direction or another. Fortunately, I think that most of them are positive ones, things readers had noticed and wished fixed. At this rate, following this path, the 4th book should be really good.

  • Julie
    2018-11-13 11:05

    “Venom” is the third installment in Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series. The story is told from Gin’s perspective – a retired assassin that just can’t seem to stay retired. I really enjoy Gin’s character. She’s sassy and won’t let anyone boss her around. Well, she is an assassin after all! She is fiercely protective of those she cares about her. That has to be one of my favorite traits about her. And when she speaks in the book, I totally hear her with a deep, almost raspy voice. Sexy and fierce…just like Gin.The supporting characters in these books are really fun. I was happy to still see lots of Finn, Gin’s foster brother of sorts. He is charming and funny and witty and smart. And he’s a snappy dresser. I love it when he graces the page because I know I’m going to laughing out loud very soon. I also really enjoy Sophia, the Goth dwarf. She doesn’t speak much. She only grunts and that it quite comical.Another character that I pretty much fell in love with in “Venom” is Owen, Gin’s new love interest. Let me tell you, I really had issues with Donovan Caine, her previous ‘relationship’. He was a ‘good’ cop who couldn’t handle what Gin did in her past, even though most of the cases Gin took on were to help protect the innocent victims in Donovan’s beloved city. He never treated Gin the way she deserved to be treated and I’m glad he’s moved away. I only hope he doesn’t decide to come back and screw things up for Gin and Owen. I love Owen for Gin. He gets her, and he’s sexy as hell, and he’s perfect for her! So hear me Jennifer — keep them on the right track okay?! ;)The action in “Venom” was great. Sit on the edge of your seat exciting. You know there is going to be another book so you know Gin will survive it all, but it’s still really fun to see who gets out okay and who gets out dead. You really root for Gin because the villains are just not at all nice people and you want them to hurt. Yup, they are that repelling (but in a good sense).The reason I only gave this book a 3.5 is because there is something about the author’s voice I don’t mesh with. I find her style very repetitive and I often find myself saying: ‘I know that already because you just told me the exact same thing in the previous chapter!’ But even though my reading style doesn’t mesh well with the author’s writing style, it doesn’t mean that this is not a good series or that the writing is bad. The world building is solid, the characters are attractive and the stories are interesting. If you are a fan of urban fantasy books, I definitely recommend this series. I will for sure pick up “Tangled Threads”, book 4 in the Elemental Assassin series, on April 26th 2011 when it lands on bookstore shelves near you.3.5 stars

  • Natasha
    2018-11-09 11:10

    "To the public, I’m Gin Blanco, owner of Ashland’s best barbecue joint. To my friends, I’m the Spider, retired assassin."I strongly suggest you read this series in order. It shortly introduces some things you may have missed in previous novels, but it's not enough to know exactly what's going on and to appreciate the characters growth and relationships. Gin Blanco will never truly be retired, but it's for the best..she really does shine when in her element. Jennifer Estep is a fantastic storyteller and her action scenes are truly engrossing. I feel as if I'm Gin, the kick-ass assassin/hero. (Gin would probably laugh if you called her a hero, but she is turning out to be a modern day Robin Hood..only instead of stealing from the rich, she usually murders them..)The characters in this novel are excellent. I really love Finn, Gin's best friend/adopted brother. I wish he would get his own story. He's one of those men you think will never find love because he loves every woman, but once he finds the one woman who holds his heart, he's going to be the best companion. Who else wants to see Finn gets his own story?Another character I loved in this novel was Owen, Gin's new love interest. I liked Donovan Caine, her previous boyfriend, but I knew he wasn't right for Gin. Owen fits Gin perfectly, he's alpha enough to support Gin when she needs it, but won't pressure her where Donovan always seemed to do. I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of Donovan, but I don't want this relationship ruined, so I wonder how it will be played out if he resurfaces in Gins life.A male I hate and know I'm not alone with my feelings is Elliot Slater, Mad Monroe's right hand man and terrorizer. Every time he graces the pages, I want to punch him.. although we all know how that would end. :OI can't forget Mab Monroe. I know she's the main villain and without her it wouldn't be the same, for now at least.. but at times I just thought, "Your a assassin Gin, snipe her from afar?" I know that would be too easy and not really eventful, but I really don't like her. Yes, I know I sound very violent, wanting to punch Elliot and shoot Mab, but if you read the series you know it's just how it makes you feel. Jennifer Estep makes you so in tuned with the novel, you start thinking like Gin.. or was that just me? Ha Ha!

  • Amanda The Book Slayer
    2018-10-24 15:19

    Another Bullseye for Jennifer Estep! This book was even better than the last one.Recommend: Those who want a little paranormal in their lives. This has lots of action and suspense with a dash of romance.Highlights:*Gin doesn't fail to kick some series bad guys. One has to wonder "Is she really retired?"*Bria Coolidge shows up. She is looking for her Sister at the same time Gin is looking for her. Bria kicks butt as well, just through legal means.*Winner of Favorite Character for this book is OWEN Grayson. Not only is he HOT and Rick, he accepts Gin for who and what she is. Very sweet moment in book.*Best Move is when Gin lights up a lawn with the Spider symbol and then threatens Mab. Can't wait for the next book.Warning:*You may have the urge to make and eat pie. Gin's food/dessert always sound delicious.Quote:"I’m just wondering how exactly I went from being the Spider to the Robin fucking Hood of the greater Ashland area... Instead of stealing from the rich, I’m stabbing them to death for the poor."

  • Jen
    2018-11-05 14:19

    I really enjoyed this book, but for whatever reason it's not hitting "that was amazing!" levels for me. Though I am very happy that Gin seems to be moving on after Caine left her, I did not enjoy all of her remembrances about him. They gave me the sense that if he ever does return to Ashland, that if he crooks a finger at her, she'll go back to him at a run.There was one thought she had, though, that I wish I could believe she'll follow through on and forget Caine. This thought was on page 245 in Chapter 19: ... Because before he'd left town, before he'd left me, Detective Donovan Caine had taught me an important, if painful lesson---that anyone who couldn't accept me for who and what I was wasn't worth wasting my time on. I gave a mental cheer when I read this sentence, but I'm hesitant at believing that Gin has really forsaken all hope of a relationship with Caine. :-/I really like Owen Grayson. (view spoiler)[I was thrilled when he and Gin hooked up in this story. Sex between them was so much more satisfying than the sex Gin had with Caine. (hide spoiler)] He is an imminently better match for Gin. :-)There was one scene that put me to tears. On page 274, the end of Chapter 21, Gin just finished telling Finn, Jo-Jo, and Sophia her plan for (view spoiler)[going after Slater in such a way that Mab Monroe focuses on her, and not on Roslyn. She gives the three of them a chance to step away, stop helping, so that there won't be any links between her and them if something goes wrong. But. . . Finn, Sophia, and Jo-Jo didn't even have to look at each other."Nonsense," Jo-Jo said. "We're family, darling. Always will be." "Family," Sophia repeated. "Family," Finn echoed. . . . I turned away from them and took my teacup over to the sink so they wouldn't see the tears in my eyes. . . . (hide spoiler)] I got tears in my eyes, too. :'(:-)I loved that (view spoiler)[not only did we get to see Gin accept Owen Grayson into her life, but she (and we) also learned that Sophia is an Air Elemental (!!!) after the fight at Bria's house:Out on the porch, Jo-Jo told Gin that she knew of "just one person" who you couldn't detect power from no matter how much they used. Then they walked back into Bria's house, where Sophia was cleaning a last blood stain with Air magic. (!!!) I looked at Sophia, then at Jo-Jo. "Just one person, huh?"Jo-Jo's lips turned up in that sad smile again. "Just one. A skill she learned out of necessity rather than by choice." (hide spoiler)] There's a story there, but it wasn't shared with us in this book. Hopefully we'll learn more in a future book. :-)I don't think I've shared what this story was about, so I'll do that now. First, there's a new detective in Ashland: Detective Bria Coolidge (!!!) has taken over Donovan Caine's vacated position in the po-po. And secondly, "a vampire friend" of Gin's is being stalked by an "oversize stalker" in Mab's employ. (view spoiler)[Bria is Gin's long-thought-dead baby sister, now returned to Ashland. (Gin did not reveal herself as sister to Bria in this book.) Roslyn Phillips is the "vampire friend" and she asks Gin for help against Elliot Slater, Mab's right-hand giant.Mab knows that Bria is really Bria Snow (she looks exactly like her mother), and she's out to kill her. Gin and Finn foil the first attempt on Bria's life. :-)As far as the Roslyn-Elliot plot goes, Gin and Finn are again successful, but only on their third attempt. (hide spoiler)]In the end, (view spoiler)[after Roslyn kills Slater and Gin successfully convinces Mab Monroe that she killed him, Gin returns Owen's swords, they have sex, and three days later Gin is back at the Pork Pit and Bria walks in. (Bria thinks Gin looks familiar because she reminds her of a college roommate she used to have.) And then. . . With Roslyn's help, I'd struck a major blow against Mab Monroe and her organization. . . .And here I was, Gin Blanco, Genevieve Snow, whatever I was calling myself these days. Sitting here in my favorite place in the world with the baby sister that I'd thought was dead. It was something of a miracle. Oh, things weren't perfect. Mab Monroe was moving heaven and earth, at least what passed for it in Ashland, to try to find me. And if she did, well, there would be hell to pay. . . .I had no doubt that Bria had figured out that the Spider was really her long-lost big sister, Genevieve Snow. That Bria was going to do whatever she could to find me. What she did when she discovered the truth, whether baby sister turned me in to the cops or did something else, well, I just didn't know. But Bria was here, safe and warm in my restaurant, eating my food, and telling me about herself in a real, personal way. . . It wasn't the relationship that I had in mind with my sister. Wasn't what I had dreamed of ever since I'd learned that she was alive, but it was a place to start. That was all that I could ask for now. And it was much more than I deserved. . . . And finally, there was Owen Grayson. That morning at his house in the shower and then afterward in the kitchen; Owen had accepted me---all of me---in a way that Donovan Caine never had. Were Owen and me forever? Could I care about him? Could we build some sort of life together? I didn't know, but I was strangely eager to find out, which is why Owen would be waiting for me at his place later on tonight. It was enough for now. [fin] (hide spoiler)] These final lines were on pages 388-389 in this 389-page book.So this was a really good story. I really enjoyed it. It gives me hope. :-)

  • Felicia
    2018-10-30 19:23

    I was on the fence about 3 or 4 stars for this. I do enjoy the series, there was something a bit repetitive about this entry to me, like the chess pieces needed to be moved past this one and into the next book's plot a bit faster. It almost felt like the plot filled a novella, rather than a novel. Also, I think if Gin is really a famous assassin, she needs to be more stealthy, she has all the subtlety of a bull in a china shop sometime.This series doesn't reinvent the wheel in the urban-paranormal world, but it's a nice escape. Reading the next book now.