Review: Kiss of Venom

kiss of venomReviewed by Jen

Oh Owen, this novella was almost what I needed to start forgiving you for your abject stupidity and completely out-of-character behavior in the past couple of books.  Your contrition was heartfelt and long overdue.  You owned your bad behavior. You move towards making amends. I just wish I would have gotten a little bit more of an explanation of WHY. It’s so close.

“…the really sad thing, the really pathetic thing, the truly unforgiveable thing, was that I knew exactly what kind of stupid ass I was being that night at the Dubois estate.  I’d known it the day I’d gone to see Gin at the Pork Pit and told her I needed some time to think about things.  And again when we talked in the moonlit gardens outside the Briartop museum, and she’d finally let me see how sick, weary, and hurt she was because of how I’d reacted to Salina’s death. Gin had risked her life to rescue me at Salina’s estate and then again at Briartop, and all I had done was wound her time and time again.”


Yes. Yes to all of that.  But I felt like I needed one more paragraph.  The one that said, “I knew I was being an ass, but I did it anyway, because (*enter your reason I can’t understand here*)” Because I still don’t get it.  You were wounded, ok. You felt guilty. Responsible.  Blind-sided.  But WHY, when you knew you were being an ass, did you hurt the woman you love most? Why did you do it again, and again, and again?

Obviously, I am not entirely over my Owen issues.  This story does help, though, and I wish I had read it before I read Heart of Venom. You definitely should.  The events here are referenced, but they are too cursory to have the same impact as they do from Owen’s POV.  There is stuff happening here: essentially Owen stealthily saving Gin from a group of would-be assassins. But more than that –the real crux of it– is Owen’s internal call to action to fix the mess he made.

I think this will make everyone feel a little bit better about forgiving him.  Me, too, albeit reluctantly.  Maybe there just isn’t a why.  Maybe I just can’t reconcile Owen’s behavior with his character as I knew him.  But all of this just goes to show how deeply invested I am in Gin and her world.  (*sigh*)

It’s definitely a must-read for fans of the series.

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

Kiss of Venom
by Jennifer Estep
Release Date: July 22, 2013
Publisher: Pocket Star


  1. WHY? Guilt, plan and simple. He felt so guilty for letting that ho bag hurt his loved ones. Guilt for blindly trusting her.

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