Bitter Bite (Elemental Assassin #14) by Jennifer Estep

Bitter Bite (Elemental Assassin #14) by Jennifer EstepSeries: Elemental Assassin #14
on 2016-02-23
Pages: 400
AmazonB&NNarrator: Lauren Fortgang
Which is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship? That’s the question Gin Blanco asks when a friend’s long-lost relative strolls into town. The suspicious reunion is a surprise for everyone—and a big problem for Gin. Book fourteen in the New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series RT Book Reviews calls “unbeatable entertainment!”It’s not easy being queen bee of an underworld abuzz with crooks and killers. Wielding my potent Ice and Stone elemental magic will only get me so far—my real secret is my tight-knit makeshift family, a motley crew of cops and criminals, dwarves and playboys. My foster brother Finnegan Lane is my right-hand man, but when his suddenly not-dead relative comes back into the picture, I’m the one on the outside looking in. It’s funny how life works: one minute your best friend is rock-steady, and the next he’s doe-eyed and buying into this whole loving-relative routine to the point of ignoring you. I’d like to be happy for Finn, I really would. But all of my instincts are telling me that beneath the syrupy sweet demeanor and old-fashioned charm, this sudden interloper is planning something. The whole shtick leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. This person might have avoided the grave once, but I’ll put anyone who hurts Finn in the ground—for good.

This book was one of the best. In fact, it is second only to Spider’s Revenge where Gin and Mab Monroe finally had their showdown. This book had all the things that I enjoy in this series: good fighting scenes, interesting villains, a good crime mystery, good teammate work and a final twist setting up the next book. It didn’t put this one down until I was finished. I always listen to this series because I love the narrator Lauren Fortgang’s interpretation of Gin. Her voice is full of sass, sarcastic humor and pizzazz. She brings Gin to life and I can imagine the Spider drawling “Oh Sugar” or “Gin, like the liquor”. It’s always a pleasure to listen to Lauren transport the reader to the drama in Ashland because she allows the characters to shine.

In this book, Finnegan Lane had an opportunity to reconnect with his mother Deirdre Shaw (“Mama D”), who had not been a part of his life since he was a little boy. It’s been almost a full year since his dad Fletcher Lane was murdered and now Finn’s mother has come back asking to be part of his life. Gin and the rest of the gang weren’t so trusting of the sudden appearance of Mama D. The gang was curious as to why she waited all this time and why now. Finn was very irritated with their misgivings and he got very irritated and offended. Gin and the gang had to walk a very fine line with being honest with Finn and also having Finn’s back regarding their doubts on Mama D’s true motive.

The author definitely upgraded the characters. I saw growth in Gin Blanco as well as Bria. The old Gin would have dug her heels in regarding her opinion on Finn’s mom. But the new and smarter Gin made her point and backed off in respect of her adopted brother’s feelings. Not once did I feel the normally judgmental comments I have come to expect from Bria. No note of censure, only support from little sister Brian. In addition, I love how Gin and Bria handled Mama D. For the first time, Gin trusted Bria and her team early and that is what helped her in the end. This was more of a team effort that I am used to with Gin and it made the book so much better for me.

My unsung hero award goes to Finnegan Lane. I feel like Finn deserves a special shout out for not wearing blinders as long as Owen did. Finn did what needed to be done and I was so impressed with him. He was happy to see his mother but as soon as the truth was revealed, Finn accepted the reality of his mother’s intention.

I am very curious about Ora Snow, Gin and Bria’s mother. I can’t wait to find out more about the woman whose death set Gin upon the path of being an assassin.

*Special Thanks to Simon and Schuster via Netgalley for the e-arc given in exchange for an honest review.

Eternity and a Day (Desires of the Otherworld #1) by Aline Hunter

Eternity and a Day (Desires of the Otherworld #1) by Aline HunterSeries: Desires of the Otherworld #1
on 2012-02-23
Pages: 354
Dreading the one night per tide he's forced to travel between the realms, Draigen Eric Locke has only one desire on Samhain-to retrieve the fae transporting daemon relics through the realms and escort her to the Dark Court to face the sidhe king. When he mistakenly recovers the wrong fae, the dragon under his skin responds in a way he never could have predicted, and he discovers he's found the woman destined to him by the Fates-his Chosen. Runa Charon is an anomaly among her kind, the mortal offspring of a human and a fae. Unlike other sidhe, she longs to experience pleasure instead of pain, love instead of lust. Immortally strong but mortally fragile, she's been sheltered all of her life. When she's taken captive by a Draigen who plans to return her to the Otherworld for crimes she didn't commit, she attempts to fight him off only to discover her destiny has been changed forever. Draigen mate for life, choosing to follow the path of their beloved mate in this reality or the next. Knowing a future with his Chosen can only span one lifetime, Eric defies the Fates and claims Runa as his own. He'll do whatever it takes to possess her, protect her and keep her by his side.

I don’t know what I was expecting in this one, but I was really surprised at how much i enjoyed it. The world was very different, it had all kinds of creatures in the realm, fae, dragons, brownie, selkies, demons, witches/sorcerers, vampires, negromancers–which I don’t know what the heck that is, but they were there.

So Runa Charon is the 5th child to a Sidhe but unlike her siblings, she was born to a mortal woman. So she is the family black sheep. When her sister Octavia tricks her into paying for a crime committed by Octavia, Runa finds herself bound to a draigen named Eric Locke. But from the moment Eric saw Runa, he knew she was his chosen, so now he just has to convince the mortal fae girl to have him as a life partner.

This story was well written, and very entertaining. Runa was really likable and wasn’t a weakling. Yes, she was a tad gullible on the Octavia front, but Runa learned quick and didn’t make the same mistake twice. Eric was also a likeable character. He worked to gain her trust and he was very sweet. I don’t know if the author needed every creature in the Lore, but I guess like IAD, the more creatures, the more the author has to weave love stories.

Poison Promise (Elemental Assassin #11) by Jennifer Esterp

Poison Promise (Elemental Assassin #11) by Jennifer EsterpSeries: Elemental Assassin #11
on July 22nd, 2014
Pages: 400
AmazonNarrator: Lauren Fortgang
Gin Blanco is hard-nosed, sexy, and lethal. Nicknamed “The Spider,” she’s a stone elemental assassin who brings her unique mix of magic and tact to every assignment, no matter the target.

There’s a new drug on the streets of Ashland, and its name “Burn” sums up the potent effect it has on its users. When one of her restaurant employees is threatened by dealers of the drug, Gin steps in to set things straight…

Another action packed installment of the Elemental Assassin. It’s Gin’s Birthday book, Happy Birthday Genevieve Snow!

I requested an e-copy of this book from Netgalley, but I decided to wait for the audio since I have listened to all the books from audible. I love Lauren Fortgang’s interpretation of the Spider so I went add and preordered it from audible. Definitely a wise decision if i may say so.
This audiobook was all that I had hoped it would be. I had been waiting for this enemy for awhile and this book resolved many issues and paved the way for a new war.

Someone is dealing drugs, a new kind of drug called Burn, and it is worse than anything Ashland and South town had seen in a long time. When the Pork Pit waitress, Catalina, was accosted by her friend and forced to sell drugs, Gin stepped in to help Catalina. Of course, this inserted the Spider into Ashland’s underworld, and again forcing her to clean up the mess the Ashland PD couldn’t.

What I liked about this book was that Gin finally reached a comfortable place in her tenous relationship with Bria, her baby sister. Bria is a judgmental, self righteous cop (the female Donovan Caine) and everything was just black and white with her. In this book she finally saw the shaded areas Gin lived in and she was finally humbled (or smacked her off her high horse).

My favorite part was the fact that the focus of this book was on the Spider and that is when Gin is at her best–Kicking Ashland underworld butt. Everyone connected to Gin makes an appearance and we finally get to meet MM Monroe. It’s sad but I am excited because MM is definitely her mother’s daughter. There is another surprise to MM Monroe too. I am excited for where this series is going.

Special thanks to Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books via Netgalley for the review copy.