Review: Venom in the Veins by Jennifer Estep

Reviewed by Jen

Sliding in to an Elemental Assassin book for me is like donning a comfortable old sweater at the beginning of fall. It’s pleasant and familiar. Not really flashy or new, but that’s not why I pick it up. I know what to expect and I like it.

As this installment begins, Gin still searching for answers about the mysterious Circle. But more pressing right now is the fact that someone seems to be targeting Finn’s boss at the bank, Moseley. He is attacked early in the book and Gin is convinced it has something to do with the bigger picture. She goes on high alert, determined to protect him as he puts on a high profile auction of Mab Munro‘s personal effects.

As in several recent books, the current happenings end up tying in to old memories of Gin’s and they manifest in dreams. That, along with one of Fletcher’s old files tip her off that it all has something to do with a vampire she killed many years ago. The story follows her as she unravels those connections and works to keep Mosley safe. [Read more…]

Review: Lake Silence by Anne Bishop

Reviewed by Jen

This sixth installment in Ann Bishop’s The Others series is like a spinoff and a reboot all in one. It feels almost just like the first book, with a kind, emotionally damaged heroine in a new terre indigene community where the monsters learn through her that some humans are worth not eating. There is a very very very slow-burn/ might-be-a-romance one day. And a cop who doesn’t want to be there, but feels compelled to do the right thing. The only things different from Written in Red are the names and the particulars of the bad guys who threaten the peace of the community.

The new heroine is Vicki. She is a frumpy human divorcee. She was emotionally abused by her ex to the point where she has terrible panic attacks, is largely intimidated by men, and thinks very little of herself. She inherited the Jumble in her divorce settlement. It’s basically a bunch of cabins surrounding a rustic main house where she can rent rooms along the lake community largely populated by Others. The almost-love-interest is Julian, an Intuit and former cop who runs the local bookstore. Wayne is the highway patrol officer sent in to investigate a dead body Vicki reports as the story begins. [Read more…]

Review: Snared by Jennifer Estep

Reviewed by Jen

Another great installment in Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series. I’ve got to say, I’m digging the new series arc.

Assassin Gin Blanco has come a long way over the past 16 books. She’s no longer just a killer for hire. She’s become the head of Ashland’s Underworld. Or at least the figurehead. We now know there’s a super-secret group known only as The Circle and they’re pulling all the strings, including the one that called for the deaths of Gin’s mother and sister many years ago. Let’s just say Gin is very motivated to bring them down. [Read more…]

Review: Unraveled by Jennifer Estep

unraveledReviewed by Jen

I really enjoyed this latest Elemental Assassin story, which takes us into an entirely new arc with a great mystery and a new big bad. Plus, there’s a road trip, which brings along just enough familiar faces to feel connected, while still providing a fun change of pace and scenery.

Gin, Owen, Finn, and Bria head to an old cowboy resort that Finn’s evil mother owned and left to him. Obviously, he doesn’t have exactly warm and fuzzy feelings for dear old mom, but the gang hopes the trip will help get him out of the doldrums and maybe give some clues about Regina’s cohort Tucker, who revealed himself as a major player in the last book. Tucker is part of the mysterious Circle, an underworld consortium that’s been deeply hidden, and now Gin is determined to uncover their secrets –and their possible connection to her mother. [Read more…]

Review: Unwanted by Jennifer Estep

unwantedReviewed by Jen

The idea of having a Finn-centric novella in this series seemed like a fun idea. I wish I  could say that it lived up to its potential. It’s not a bad story, necessarily, but there is not much to it. And it didn’t really feel like the Finn we know and love.

Understandably, this isn’t the time for Finn to be smooth or charming or sexy. This story is set on the heels of a book where his own mother tried to kill him. She tortured him and left a trail of bodies in her wake. And now Finn feels responsible. He feels guilty and everyone around him blames him too. No fun to be had here. [Read more…]

Review: Forevermore by Kristen Callihan

forevermoreReviewed by Jen

It’s hard to say goodbye to a series I have enjoyed as much as this one. This seventh installment is the last in Kristen Callihan’s Darkest London series, and while a new reader could probably catch up, I’d definitely recommend starting with Firelight; one, because I loved that book like chocolate, and two, because this book is really a culmination of the series. It pulls together lingering threads, builds bridges between stories, and ends with the world in a very different place from where it began. It’s also a long awaited happy ending for a character who has been to hell and back. [Read more…]

Review: Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep

bitter biteReviewed by Jen

I’m happy to say that this book lives up to a pretty exciting premise. It’s all about Finn’s long lost mother, who is back from the dead and up to no good. Gin knows it. Bria knows it. Unfortunately, Finn DOESN’T know it. He is vulnerable in a way that we don’t normally see him, because like anyone would, he wants to believe his mother loves him. He wants the relationship with her that he has missed his entire life. [Read more…]

Review and Giveaway: Spider’s Trap by Jennifer Estep

spiders trapReviewed by Jen

Gin Blanco is back and the more things change, the more they stay the same.  There is a comfortable familiarity that allows me to sink right back into this world every time I pick up a new book. There are all of those delicious food references. Spider puns. Owen’s violet eyes. The fact they use rubbers, despite the fact Gin takes her “little white pills.” Chicory coffee. Where the Red Fern Grows. Dreams as memory restoration device. Finn’s charm. Gin’s disdain for sloppiness. [Read more…]

Review: Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

vision in silverReviewed by Jen

The Meg is back! Well, she is not actually The Meg anymore. She’s Our Meg and that may be even better.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, you are clearly missing out on one of my favorite Urban Fantasy series and you need to stop what you are doing and go buy Written in Red. No really. Do it now.

This third installment picks up right on the heels of book 2.  It follows Meg as she continues to find balance, free of the Controller and the Walking Names who shaped her life for so long.  She has come a long way, but she still struggles with her need to cut.  Now it’s not just her life on the line, but the lives of all the girls rescued who are like her. Meg needs to understand herself and her triggers in order to help those like her survive in the outside world. [Read more…]

Review: Black Widow by Jennifer Estep

black widowReviewed by Jen

I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a book in this series so much! It feels like Jennifer Estep breathed new life into the Elemental Assassin series, giving readers Gin Blanco as we love her best: an unvarnished killer who is loyal to the core and a survivor against all odds.  I appreciate the fact that Gin has a vulnerable side under all of her bravado and some books have explored that more than others. But here, it’s just Gin kicking ass and taking names and I absolutely loved it. [Read more…]