by Jennifer Estep
Paperback: 416 pages
Available: September 28, 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
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 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.
Reviewed by: Sophia (FV)
Gin is still officially retired from her trade however she hasn’t stopped flexing her assassin skills. She’s on a mission to end Mab Monroe, the woman who killed her mother and sister years ago. But Gin is ever loyal to her friends and family and when she finds out that Mab’s right hand man, giant Elliot Slater is stalking her vampire friend Roslyn, she sets out to put an end to his reign of terror. She’s also got Jonah McAllister, Mab Monroe’s personal attorney breathing down her neck and maybe even trying to break it. He suspects Gin had some kind of involvement in his son’s murder, which she did.
Gin kicks ass, and takes names like no other urban fantasy heroine earning her a spot on my all time favorite heroines list. In Venom, we learn even more about her past through flash backs and thus begin to discover who the real Gin Blanco of today really is. Although Gin thinks of herself as a cold blooded killer, she is so much more. She is an intriguing character that can be counted on to do right by those she loves no matter what it takes.
Speaking of love, Gin’s love life has taken an interesting turn. Owen Grayson is a much bigger part of Gin’s life now and he is determined to win her over. Gin has to decide if she should continue pining over the upstanding Detective Caine that is everything she thinks she is not, or should she take a chance on Owen who not only wants her, but seems to get her as well. That fact that Owen is charming and super sexy doesn’t hurt his case at all.
All of the secondary characters we’ve come to know from the previous books are present within this story but it seems that as time goes on Gin’s friends are becoming more like extended family to her. Now a new upstanding Detective has hit town and it’s Bria, the baby sister who Gin once thought perished along with her mother and older sister. Gin will have to keep Bria safe and in the dark about her true identity until she comes to terms with this new turn of events and decides just how to handle this new discovery. There relationship will be interesting since they are on opposite sides of the law.
While I enjoy the colorful cast of characters in this series, one secondary stands out above the rest and I just can’t get enough of him. Finnegan Lane is a womanizing, sort of sleazy but not really, kind of guy that adds a special flavor to this series. Jennifer Estep really has a knack for creating characters that by all intents and purposes should be despicable but I just can’t help but love.
Venom, like the previous books in the series is action packed, violent, and is a genuinely kick ass read. But Jennifer Estep really kicks it up a notch and out does herself with this installment in her Elemental Assassin series. This is definitely a page turner and the ending will leave you itching for more.
Finn did what he always did when confronted by an angry woman—he checked out her boobs.
Books in the series:
- Spider’s Bite
- Web Of Lies
- Venom (September 28, 2010)
- Tangled Threads (May 2011)
- Untitled (October 2011)
Other reviews on GoodReads
Check back later today for a guest post from Jennifer Estep. She’ll be giving away a copy of VENOM to one lucky reader.