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. (summary from goodreads)
My thoughts...If you are looking for a fierce, no-nonsense character, then you will love Gin Blanco.
This is the third book in the Elemental Assassin series, so if you have not read Spider's Bite or Web of Lies, you should definitely start there. This third book feels pivotal to me. Gin has reached an edge. She has lost so much in her short time and she has been defeated by love. This fact makes her character, while still tough as nails, very vulnerable. I developed a new appreciation for her character in this installment. She became so much more likable and relatable. Don't get me wrong, she is still just as fierce, even more so than before. But that vulnerability makes me like her more.
I am pleased with the other characters in Venom as well. We get to read more about the handsome Finn. We see more of Owen Grayson, who I love compared to that close-minded detective. A bit more is revealed about the mysterious sisters and Bria.
The action is once again non-stop. Estep leaves readers little time to catch their breath between scenes. It is still violent, bloody, and gritty, but retired or not, Gin is still the Spider. There were more world details revealed, as well as more fuel to the fire against Mab Monroe. As usual, I enjoyed reading the magic Gin created in the kitchen as well as the development of her elemental magic. I can't wait to see what happens in the fourth book.
For more information, visit Jennifer Estep at her website. Don't forget to add her books to your goodreads list. The fourth book in the Elemental Assassin series will be released in May under the title Tangled Threads.