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Curiosity is definitely going to get me dead one of these days. Probably real soon.

 

I'm Gin Blanco.

 

You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I’m retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren’t aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox. Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coalmining tycoon, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I’m a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn’t made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man . . . dead or alive.

Topics: Assassins, Magic, Dwarves, Supernatural Powers, Urban, Series, and Police

Published: Pocket Books on May 25, 2010
ISBN: 9781439155448
List price: $7.99
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This is the second book in the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep. Right now Estep is contracted for 5 books in this series; the third book Venom is due out Sept. 28th 2010 and the fourth book Tangled Threads is due out April 2011. This book was a great addition to this series. I enjoyed the fast pace and the great action scenes.Gin is trying to take retirement from the assassin trade seriously. She is back in college part-time and running the restaurant The Pork Pit, that Fletcher left her. Things won't be calm for long though. One of the son's of Ashland's top powers stops by to hold up Gin's restaurant and then someone tries to assassinate one of Gin's restaurant clients. Well this just pisses Gin off and pretty soon she is immersed in a plot to stop one of Ashland's mining companies from taking out the people who run an old general store on the mountain. Of course she runs into Donavan in the course of her investigations. So that complicates things too.Like the last book this book is full of non-stop action and a great plot the clips along at a fast pace. I didn't like this book quite as much as the last one because it seemed to be more of a transition book and the plot wasn't as tight. But it was a necessary book, Gin needs to get on with her life after Fletcher's death and this is how she does it. That didn't stop me from tearing through it at a breakneck pace though...I just couldn't put it down.Things heat up between Donavan and Gin again, but we see these characters having a lot of the same problems they did in the last book, Estep tries to resolve this and I think she did a good job with that. I am just hoping the Donavan/Gin issues are dealt with and don't drag on into the next book. We do see Gin changing as a character and she is growing in power; I am eager to see what happens as her power continues to grow and becomes more complex.I like Gin's sassy attitude and her snide humor. This book brought some more great characters into the mix with Eva and Violet, some young girls that get caught up in the robbery at Gin's restaurant. They add some additional fun and lightness to the story. I also found Owen Grayson intriguing; he is set up to be another potential love interest for Gin but also has his fingers in a lot of plots and intrigues which could prove interesting in the future books. The basic story dealing with the attempted assassination of Violet Fox is wrapped up neatly. The broader story about Gin's past, her younger sister, and how everything ties in with the city's deadliest fire elemental is deepening. Hopefully we will see these issues addressed more in the next book; they didn't really get a lot of page space here.Overall an excellent addition to this series. I love the characters and the world Estep has created. I am eagerly awaiting the next book Venom. Luckily I only have a few weeks to wait! Fans of Kate Daniels, Jane Yellowrock, Jaz Parks and other kick-butt female urban fantasies out there should really give this series a try.read more
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Web of Lies is an excellent follow-up to Spider's Bite. While I didn't enjoy this book quite as much as the first one, I did like it a lot. Like all of Estep's books, the characters grow and change over the course of the novel. The plot is action-packed and full of suspense, and the pacing is perfect. Like the Spider's Bite, I found Web of Lies difficult to put down. It definitely held my interest, and I can't wait to read Venom to see what Gin and company get into next. One of my favorite things about this novel is how Gin changes as a character. She really grows and turns into someone who is more caring, yet still hardcore. She doesn't let her emotions get in the way, but she's learning that she can do good with her skills instead of always doing other people's dirty work. I enjoyed watching her learn more about Fletcher's past and more about herself through the process of helping the Foxes. Speaking of the Foxes, I also like how Estep had Warren Fox be a Cherokee character, but she doesn't make a big deal out of it. The Qualla Boundary (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians' reservation) is right outside of Asheville (or Ashland), in the mountains, and I'm glad she acknowledges that the land is and always has been theirs. However, she doesn't depoliticize the EBCI or any of the other American Indian nations. She just states that he's Cherokee, and he states that the land has been in his family over 300 years and that he's not willing to part with it. No weirdo New Age/Pseudo-Powwow culture junk that a lot of authors try to throw into their novels when they have Indigenous peoples in them. Warren T. Fox is simply a mountain man who's trying to hold onto his family home. He's very much a contemporary mountaineer, and he illustrates that American Indians are still present and functioning in present-day society. I commend you, Ms. Estep, for handling this with such grace. My main complaint about this novel is that Finn isn't present as much. I missed him, haha. Also, Donovan really pissed me off. He's just a jerk. One of my commenters mentioned she didn't really like him when I reviewed the last book. I have to admit that I fully agree with her. I did love Owen Grayson, though, and I can't wait to learn more about him. He seems like he may actually be man-enough to handle Gin. The plot and pacing are perfect, as I've come to expect from Estep. I don't feel like things are as mysterious in this novel as they were in the last, but there is plenty of action and a little bit of romance thrown in. Again, there were times when I wasn't sure Gin would make it out alive, even though I knew the series continued. Estep is really good at keeping the reader on the edge of his or her seat. Overall, I'd recommend this book and series to anyone who loves good Urban Fantasy material. I've really enjoyed both books in the series so far, and I'm looking forward to reading Venom in the next day or so.read more
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Okay, I loved the first book in the series. I really do like the world that Jennifer Estep has developed in this series. I really do adore Gin and her friends and the fact that this is a very different world we live in with a very shady set of morals. Which I'm fine with. There were some components that bothered me about this book. The love interest for Gin, really pissed me off Donovan Caine. I liked him in book one. This book he was a complete idiot towards her. In some ways the sex scenes were excellent. Yet what I didn't like about Donovan Caine was that he can't seem to make up his mind and what does he do at the end, he decides to leave because he doesn't want to end up shady. So I did like it when we got introduce to Owen. Owen I hope will be a much better love interest for Gin and not be all wishy-wash like Caine. I also felt like this book was kind of filler in some ways. This book I think is going to set up the next book in the series, Venom. (Hey I'm playing catch up with this series). I also like how the Author makes Mab Monroe seem more important, and I'm betting she will play a major role in book 3. The other thing that made me like Gin a lot more in this book that she is trying to help the Fox family in this book. I like that in some ways her helping the Foxes made her seem more real and try to be a better human being, and in some ways honoring her late guardian. I think this book was okay, but felt that there was something missing. I felt that even though it move forward a little and maybe this was my problem with it, was there seemed no progression of Gin's powers towards the end and her start to make an investigation to find her long lost sister, which I felt should have happened in the beginning. Oh Well maybe Venom will be better. I give this book a rating of 3 Heartsread more
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Review courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: Our favorite elemental assassin comes out of retirement to met out some much needed justice, Spider-style. Opening Sentence: “Freeze!”The Review: Gin Blanco has been retired from the assassin life for two months now. She runs the Pork Pit and catches up on her reading. Who knew retirement was going to be so boring? But she made a promise to her old mentor and surrogate father, Fletcher Lane, to do something else with her life so that’s what she is going to do. Of course, it would be easier if people didn’t come into her place and try to rob her and rough up her customers. Even more so if a girl didn’t come in looking for help from a man no longer alive. Some days it pays to call in sick, owner or not. So watch out Ashland, The Spider is back in business. The job is finding out what a mining businessman named Tobias Dawson wants with the girl’s family land. Even though Gin is not known for her altruism, she is doing this job pro bono; as it were. Warren Fox, the girl’s grandfather, and Fletcher were once friends before they had a falling out over a love interest. Gin can’t seem to resist finding out more about the man that was the closest she’d ever had to a real father. We are led through the web of secrets that has made up Fletcher’s character and motives to arrive at what kind of man he really is. As her mentor, Fletcher and his morals have had an effect on Gin, conscience or not. Though Gin likes to think of herself as cold-hearted, she truly has a strong loyalty streak and a need to stand up for the underdog. Detective Donovan Caine makes another appearance in this book. He is still conflicted about his feelings for the once assassin, though their chemistry is still off the charts. He agrees to help her out with the Foxes and their situation. But the more involved he gets in the case, the more uncomfortable he is with his actions. The man’s morals and self recrimination leaves the two of them forever at odds. After the climax of the story, Gin realizes that Donovan will never accept all of her, past and present. This is a problem that has plagued their being together from the beginning. I hope at some point, the two of them can resolve their issues together. That is, of course, if she doesn’t find someone else in the mean time, like a certain sexy man intent on learning all he can about the “real” Gin. Gin also has developments in her magical abilities in Web of Lies. During a duel using her Stone magic, she ends up releasing the block on her Ice magic. Ice has always been weaker of the two elements that Gin controls. Now that she can really use it, what will Gin do with Ice in the future? Will she try to develop it into a more useful weapon at her disposal, or will she let it be? For the most part, this book offers a more personal look at Gin. It still offers the hard edge of her dark side while highlighting a more emotional connection with her character. Overall, this is the book that truly gets me interested in the series as a whole. Notable Scene: The dwarf let out a low laugh. “You have power, bitch, I’ll give you that. A lot of raw power. I’m going to enjoy this.” “So why give me this chance, if I’m so strong? If I could beat you?” “Because I like challenges.” Dawson grinned and spit out another stream of tobacco juice. The foul brown mixture landed at my feet. “Do you know what I like, Tobias? I asked. “What?” “Playing dirty.” I smiled at him and threw my magic at the cavern ceiling.FTC Advisory: Pocket Books graciously provided me with a copy of Web of Lies. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. The only payment received came in the form of hugs and kisses from my little boys.read more
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I liked the characters and the story structure, but there were elements of the storytelling that continuously annoyed me -- too repetitive, too much food porn at the beginning (three pages about baking apricot bars nearly put me over the edge), too much Gin obsessing over Donovan Caine (who I like, just not as a romantic interest for Gin. I don't get why she keeps beating her head against that wall at all).read more
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Unfortunately, I wasn't quite paying attention when I picked this book up, so I didn't realize that it was the second book in a series until after I was a good ways in. Now, it definitely shows the author's skill when someone can pick up a book in the middle of a series and still be able to understand what's going on and be able to get into the characters, but now I definitely want to go back and read the first book.In Web of Lies, retired assassin Gin Blanco (yeah, gotta love that name), also known as The Spider, is attacked in her own restaurant, the aptly-named Pork Pit. But she soon finds out that she's not the one the assassin is after, but a young woman named Violet Fox. While trying to defend Violet, Gin becomes tangled up in a fascinating web including a sexy detective, wild cowboy gear and going undercover as a hooker to trap the bad guy. Filled with non-stop, high-octane excitement, Web of Lies stands up against the flood of urban paranormal novels out there and delivers wonderful, mindless fun.I think that's the best word to describe Web of Lies: mindless. I'm not saying that in a bad way. In fact, I enjoy a fun, easy read that's just great escapism and that's what this book is. It has a bad ass, exciting main character, is set in fascinating and engaging world, has fun, semi-cheesy dialog that left me chuckling, and of course, steamy sex scenes worthy of any paranormal romance.Perfect for fans of the genre, Web of Lies is one of the most pulse-pounding books I've read in a while.read more
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I was pretty sure after I read Spider's Bite that Jennifer Estep would be an author to watch but Web of Lies has me putting her in my top 10 authors to read. I love the way her writing flows, how she drives the story in direction I just don't see coming and she crosses that line into the gray area of morality.Gin Blanco, an assassin and the heroine of this series, is flawed in a fabulously real way that makes her personality come alive for me and has me cheering for her every step on her path to finding herself. The supporting characters, the dwarven sisters Jo Jo and Sophia along with her surrogate brother Fin, have me feeling a companionship with them that makes the story even more personable.Then there's Donovan Caine, who is a straight-laced cop that likes to go by the book and whose also Gin's love interest. They are exact opposites but as they say, "Opposites attract." Because of their difference in morality, things are always high strung between the two, with Gin and Donovan wanting more but Donovan fighting it every step of the way. I have to say that there were a few times I wanted to open a can of whoop-ass on Caine, probably as much as Gin does herself at times.Ah, then there are the bad guys aka the villains. They are deliciously evil, making you believe the worst can happen and will happen.If you like your Urban Fantasy steeped in all things dark, gritty, sexy and full of excitement that's different from the traditional good versus evil then this book is for you. For myself, the darker and grittier the story is the more I like it and this one fits the bill.read more
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I loved the first book in this series, Spider's Bite and was hoping that I wouldn't be disappointed in the sequel. I wasn't. I loved the second book as much as the first and am waiting impatiently for Venom to be released.read more
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Well, she didn't hit a sophmore slump with this book. Gin still hits the ground running. And I for one, am glad she didn't get the guy. He was way to goody two shoes if the po-po was as corrupt as Gin states. My only question is, who gets the diamonds? If more than one person knows a secret, then it won't stay secret for long. Maybe that question will get answered in a future book.read more
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The Good Stuff * Gin is kick ass! One of my favorite heroines ever - up there with Julie Kenner and Jeaniene Frost heroines * Yummy mentions of food that will make you drool * Hot male characters (although the detective is a bit of a pussy at times) * Excellent second book in series, back-story being developed quite effectively * Love the idea of Elementals * Fiery and hot -- and I don't just mean the food * Witty dialogue and fast paced, good luck putting it down -- I had to but I'm a Mom (my little hellions come first) * Secondary characters are interesting and some of them just plain funThe Not so Good Stuff * The term Po-po irritates the crap out of me, don't know why, it just does * The descriptions of food are so yummy you will gain 10 pounds just reading about them * You won't want to put it down and may forget about your responsibilities -- just warning you -- Sorry Jake and Jesse about those PB sandwiches for dinner last nightFavorite Quotes/Passages"Donovan Caine had made himself a promise, and he wasn’t going to break it. Oh, I imagined I could get him to forget about his morals, his rules, his vows. All I’d have to do would be to crawl over and start giving him the lap dance of his life."“See something you like, detective?" I said in a soft voice. “Because I sure do.” "Wow. Three cliches in a row. Somebody was seriously lacking in the imagination department"What I Learned * Pesky morals get in the way all the time * Police departments are always filled with crooked cops * I really want to have bbq for dinner tonight * That I really wish that someone had Jo-Jo's talents, I really could use some of her helpWho Should/Shouldn't Read * Not for the very young or prudish as there are naughty bits * Not for those that are squeamish or who don't have a sense of humor (and if you don't have a sense of humor you are soooo at the wrong blog) * Great for fans of Julie Kenner, Jeaniene Frost, or Ilona Andrews * Everyone because Jennifer is just such a nice person, go buy her books NOW -- yup all of them!read more
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So, even though Gin made some changes in her life at the end of the first book (I'm being vague to avoid spoilers), she still gets sucked into trouble very early on in this book. She ends up feeling obligated to help the friends of a friend out of a territory dispute with a very dangerous and powerful dwarf. As she does so, she finds out some things about her own magic that surprise her - and will definitely surprise you!We get more time with the side characters, JoJo and Sophia, who I absolutely love. Basically I love just about everyone in the series. The exception being Detective Donovan. Man...I hate that guy. Estep makes their chemistry jump off the pages, and there is definitely something between him and Gin...but that doesn't mean he isn't a complete moron. Still waiting for him to jump off that cliff...The good news is an addition to the party: Owen Grayson. Yes, please. I hope Gin takes a nice long look in his direction. He is a much better fit for her, and I really hope that relationship develops. A lot. And soon.Overall, this book is a great addition to the series, the action and character development don't lag at all!read more
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I didn't like it as much as the first one. It is very similar in some ways, but had a lot more "angst" between Gin and her completely unexpected, out-of-character and out-of-the-blue "love" for Caine. To the point that her continual harping on about him became annoying. At one point, near the end, she decides she's had enough of his cold shoulder and yet, a bit later in the story, she's all up in a twist over him again. They were never a couple, he never indicated he wanted to be one - sure he shagged her a couple times, but so what - and yet she gets all miffed because, gasp, he doesn't want to be in a relationship with her? It was just out of place.My other bother was the whole "trapped in the mine" scene that went on and on and on with nothing much happening... like it was a page quota filler. Oh, and I thought the whole Jake thing was kind of lame... an unexpected problem pops up and is cleared up as unexpectedly... and sorta unbelievably. If someone kicks your butt once, chances are she's going to be able to do it again next time, so don't go following her around and expect to live. Overall, I was disappointed in the story. I will read the next one and hope Gin stops being so sad-sack and gets on with her life.read more
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Synopsis: I'm Gin Blanco. You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I’m retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren’t aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox. Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coalmining tycoon, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I’m a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn’t made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man . . . dead or alive. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My thoughts: First, please, please, please read the first book before jumping into this one. Trust me you will not be disappointed. Second, Gin is one of those in my top 10 female heroines and I don't see that changing anytime soon. This is the second book in a series that has been extended to five books on October of 2011read more
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I loved this book, but not as much as the first one. Not because of anything lacking in the plot, but simply because I hated how Caine acted, esp. towards the later half of the book. But it's a good thing there's a lot more to this series than romance, because the action was amazing and extremely engaging. The side characters are also very interesting and I love seeing the development in Gin's persona. And judging from the cliffhanger at the end of this book, the next book's sure to be as fascinating as its prequels.read more
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Gin Blanco's best-laid plans to stay an ex-assassin blow up in her face when an old friend of her foster father's needs help. Would-be thugs attempting to knock over the Pork Pit, and some new and very deadly enemies add some spice to the sauce in the Elemental Assassin's second installment. Definitely a keeper.read more
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Gin Blanco is now a retired assassin, and running the Pork Pit full time since inheriting the BBQ restaurant from Fletcher. Yep, life is a little boring, but Fletcher had asked her to retire before his brutal murder. She feels like the least she can do is honor her dead handler’s wishes. At least until things get a little monotonous, and Gin finds a girl who needs protecting. Still pondering the meaning behind the file Fletcher left her, Gin could use the distraction and the action.I liked this one so much more than the first. I’m still not a Donovan Caine fan though. Gin, you can do better girl! This one was packed full of serious action. I love Gin, and have nothing but admiration for her tenacity. A few mysteries brought up in the first book are solved in this installment. Of course that means a few new ones also pop up. I’m so excited to see where Gin’s adventures take us next. Thanks to a few well timed flashbacks, we learn more about Gin’s past. We also witness her attempt to digest what was in the file Fletcher left her. Retirement is turning out to be almost as exciting as when Gin was working as a paid assassin.I also enjoyed learning more about Gin’s nontraditional family unit, the love they share, and how far they are willing to go to protect each other. Gin has come so far from the frightened orphan living on the streets. Definitely a character you can’t help but to love (knives and all). This is a fantastic series brimming with the potential of more awesomeness to come. I loved it!read more
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This is the second book in the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep. Right now Estep is contracted for 5 books in this series; the third book Venom is due out Sept. 28th 2010 and the fourth book Tangled Threads is due out April 2011. This book was a great addition to this series. I enjoyed the fast pace and the great action scenes.Gin is trying to take retirement from the assassin trade seriously. She is back in college part-time and running the restaurant The Pork Pit, that Fletcher left her. Things won't be calm for long though. One of the son's of Ashland's top powers stops by to hold up Gin's restaurant and then someone tries to assassinate one of Gin's restaurant clients. Well this just pisses Gin off and pretty soon she is immersed in a plot to stop one of Ashland's mining companies from taking out the people who run an old general store on the mountain. Of course she runs into Donavan in the course of her investigations. So that complicates things too.Like the last book this book is full of non-stop action and a great plot the clips along at a fast pace. I didn't like this book quite as much as the last one because it seemed to be more of a transition book and the plot wasn't as tight. But it was a necessary book, Gin needs to get on with her life after Fletcher's death and this is how she does it. That didn't stop me from tearing through it at a breakneck pace though...I just couldn't put it down.Things heat up between Donavan and Gin again, but we see these characters having a lot of the same problems they did in the last book, Estep tries to resolve this and I think she did a good job with that. I am just hoping the Donavan/Gin issues are dealt with and don't drag on into the next book. We do see Gin changing as a character and she is growing in power; I am eager to see what happens as her power continues to grow and becomes more complex.I like Gin's sassy attitude and her snide humor. This book brought some more great characters into the mix with Eva and Violet, some young girls that get caught up in the robbery at Gin's restaurant. They add some additional fun and lightness to the story. I also found Owen Grayson intriguing; he is set up to be another potential love interest for Gin but also has his fingers in a lot of plots and intrigues which could prove interesting in the future books. The basic story dealing with the attempted assassination of Violet Fox is wrapped up neatly. The broader story about Gin's past, her younger sister, and how everything ties in with the city's deadliest fire elemental is deepening. Hopefully we will see these issues addressed more in the next book; they didn't really get a lot of page space here.Overall an excellent addition to this series. I love the characters and the world Estep has created. I am eagerly awaiting the next book Venom. Luckily I only have a few weeks to wait! Fans of Kate Daniels, Jane Yellowrock, Jaz Parks and other kick-butt female urban fantasies out there should really give this series a try.
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Web of Lies is an excellent follow-up to Spider's Bite. While I didn't enjoy this book quite as much as the first one, I did like it a lot. Like all of Estep's books, the characters grow and change over the course of the novel. The plot is action-packed and full of suspense, and the pacing is perfect. Like the Spider's Bite, I found Web of Lies difficult to put down. It definitely held my interest, and I can't wait to read Venom to see what Gin and company get into next. One of my favorite things about this novel is how Gin changes as a character. She really grows and turns into someone who is more caring, yet still hardcore. She doesn't let her emotions get in the way, but she's learning that she can do good with her skills instead of always doing other people's dirty work. I enjoyed watching her learn more about Fletcher's past and more about herself through the process of helping the Foxes. Speaking of the Foxes, I also like how Estep had Warren Fox be a Cherokee character, but she doesn't make a big deal out of it. The Qualla Boundary (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians' reservation) is right outside of Asheville (or Ashland), in the mountains, and I'm glad she acknowledges that the land is and always has been theirs. However, she doesn't depoliticize the EBCI or any of the other American Indian nations. She just states that he's Cherokee, and he states that the land has been in his family over 300 years and that he's not willing to part with it. No weirdo New Age/Pseudo-Powwow culture junk that a lot of authors try to throw into their novels when they have Indigenous peoples in them. Warren T. Fox is simply a mountain man who's trying to hold onto his family home. He's very much a contemporary mountaineer, and he illustrates that American Indians are still present and functioning in present-day society. I commend you, Ms. Estep, for handling this with such grace. My main complaint about this novel is that Finn isn't present as much. I missed him, haha. Also, Donovan really pissed me off. He's just a jerk. One of my commenters mentioned she didn't really like him when I reviewed the last book. I have to admit that I fully agree with her. I did love Owen Grayson, though, and I can't wait to learn more about him. He seems like he may actually be man-enough to handle Gin. The plot and pacing are perfect, as I've come to expect from Estep. I don't feel like things are as mysterious in this novel as they were in the last, but there is plenty of action and a little bit of romance thrown in. Again, there were times when I wasn't sure Gin would make it out alive, even though I knew the series continued. Estep is really good at keeping the reader on the edge of his or her seat. Overall, I'd recommend this book and series to anyone who loves good Urban Fantasy material. I've really enjoyed both books in the series so far, and I'm looking forward to reading Venom in the next day or so.
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Okay, I loved the first book in the series. I really do like the world that Jennifer Estep has developed in this series. I really do adore Gin and her friends and the fact that this is a very different world we live in with a very shady set of morals. Which I'm fine with. There were some components that bothered me about this book. The love interest for Gin, really pissed me off Donovan Caine. I liked him in book one. This book he was a complete idiot towards her. In some ways the sex scenes were excellent. Yet what I didn't like about Donovan Caine was that he can't seem to make up his mind and what does he do at the end, he decides to leave because he doesn't want to end up shady. So I did like it when we got introduce to Owen. Owen I hope will be a much better love interest for Gin and not be all wishy-wash like Caine. I also felt like this book was kind of filler in some ways. This book I think is going to set up the next book in the series, Venom. (Hey I'm playing catch up with this series). I also like how the Author makes Mab Monroe seem more important, and I'm betting she will play a major role in book 3. The other thing that made me like Gin a lot more in this book that she is trying to help the Fox family in this book. I like that in some ways her helping the Foxes made her seem more real and try to be a better human being, and in some ways honoring her late guardian. I think this book was okay, but felt that there was something missing. I felt that even though it move forward a little and maybe this was my problem with it, was there seemed no progression of Gin's powers towards the end and her start to make an investigation to find her long lost sister, which I felt should have happened in the beginning. Oh Well maybe Venom will be better. I give this book a rating of 3 Hearts
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Review courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: Our favorite elemental assassin comes out of retirement to met out some much needed justice, Spider-style. Opening Sentence: “Freeze!”The Review: Gin Blanco has been retired from the assassin life for two months now. She runs the Pork Pit and catches up on her reading. Who knew retirement was going to be so boring? But she made a promise to her old mentor and surrogate father, Fletcher Lane, to do something else with her life so that’s what she is going to do. Of course, it would be easier if people didn’t come into her place and try to rob her and rough up her customers. Even more so if a girl didn’t come in looking for help from a man no longer alive. Some days it pays to call in sick, owner or not. So watch out Ashland, The Spider is back in business. The job is finding out what a mining businessman named Tobias Dawson wants with the girl’s family land. Even though Gin is not known for her altruism, she is doing this job pro bono; as it were. Warren Fox, the girl’s grandfather, and Fletcher were once friends before they had a falling out over a love interest. Gin can’t seem to resist finding out more about the man that was the closest she’d ever had to a real father. We are led through the web of secrets that has made up Fletcher’s character and motives to arrive at what kind of man he really is. As her mentor, Fletcher and his morals have had an effect on Gin, conscience or not. Though Gin likes to think of herself as cold-hearted, she truly has a strong loyalty streak and a need to stand up for the underdog. Detective Donovan Caine makes another appearance in this book. He is still conflicted about his feelings for the once assassin, though their chemistry is still off the charts. He agrees to help her out with the Foxes and their situation. But the more involved he gets in the case, the more uncomfortable he is with his actions. The man’s morals and self recrimination leaves the two of them forever at odds. After the climax of the story, Gin realizes that Donovan will never accept all of her, past and present. This is a problem that has plagued their being together from the beginning. I hope at some point, the two of them can resolve their issues together. That is, of course, if she doesn’t find someone else in the mean time, like a certain sexy man intent on learning all he can about the “real” Gin. Gin also has developments in her magical abilities in Web of Lies. During a duel using her Stone magic, she ends up releasing the block on her Ice magic. Ice has always been weaker of the two elements that Gin controls. Now that she can really use it, what will Gin do with Ice in the future? Will she try to develop it into a more useful weapon at her disposal, or will she let it be? For the most part, this book offers a more personal look at Gin. It still offers the hard edge of her dark side while highlighting a more emotional connection with her character. Overall, this is the book that truly gets me interested in the series as a whole. Notable Scene: The dwarf let out a low laugh. “You have power, bitch, I’ll give you that. A lot of raw power. I’m going to enjoy this.” “So why give me this chance, if I’m so strong? If I could beat you?” “Because I like challenges.” Dawson grinned and spit out another stream of tobacco juice. The foul brown mixture landed at my feet. “Do you know what I like, Tobias? I asked. “What?” “Playing dirty.” I smiled at him and threw my magic at the cavern ceiling.FTC Advisory: Pocket Books graciously provided me with a copy of Web of Lies. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. The only payment received came in the form of hugs and kisses from my little boys.
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I liked the characters and the story structure, but there were elements of the storytelling that continuously annoyed me -- too repetitive, too much food porn at the beginning (three pages about baking apricot bars nearly put me over the edge), too much Gin obsessing over Donovan Caine (who I like, just not as a romantic interest for Gin. I don't get why she keeps beating her head against that wall at all).
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Unfortunately, I wasn't quite paying attention when I picked this book up, so I didn't realize that it was the second book in a series until after I was a good ways in. Now, it definitely shows the author's skill when someone can pick up a book in the middle of a series and still be able to understand what's going on and be able to get into the characters, but now I definitely want to go back and read the first book.In Web of Lies, retired assassin Gin Blanco (yeah, gotta love that name), also known as The Spider, is attacked in her own restaurant, the aptly-named Pork Pit. But she soon finds out that she's not the one the assassin is after, but a young woman named Violet Fox. While trying to defend Violet, Gin becomes tangled up in a fascinating web including a sexy detective, wild cowboy gear and going undercover as a hooker to trap the bad guy. Filled with non-stop, high-octane excitement, Web of Lies stands up against the flood of urban paranormal novels out there and delivers wonderful, mindless fun.I think that's the best word to describe Web of Lies: mindless. I'm not saying that in a bad way. In fact, I enjoy a fun, easy read that's just great escapism and that's what this book is. It has a bad ass, exciting main character, is set in fascinating and engaging world, has fun, semi-cheesy dialog that left me chuckling, and of course, steamy sex scenes worthy of any paranormal romance.Perfect for fans of the genre, Web of Lies is one of the most pulse-pounding books I've read in a while.
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I was pretty sure after I read Spider's Bite that Jennifer Estep would be an author to watch but Web of Lies has me putting her in my top 10 authors to read. I love the way her writing flows, how she drives the story in direction I just don't see coming and she crosses that line into the gray area of morality.Gin Blanco, an assassin and the heroine of this series, is flawed in a fabulously real way that makes her personality come alive for me and has me cheering for her every step on her path to finding herself. The supporting characters, the dwarven sisters Jo Jo and Sophia along with her surrogate brother Fin, have me feeling a companionship with them that makes the story even more personable.Then there's Donovan Caine, who is a straight-laced cop that likes to go by the book and whose also Gin's love interest. They are exact opposites but as they say, "Opposites attract." Because of their difference in morality, things are always high strung between the two, with Gin and Donovan wanting more but Donovan fighting it every step of the way. I have to say that there were a few times I wanted to open a can of whoop-ass on Caine, probably as much as Gin does herself at times.Ah, then there are the bad guys aka the villains. They are deliciously evil, making you believe the worst can happen and will happen.If you like your Urban Fantasy steeped in all things dark, gritty, sexy and full of excitement that's different from the traditional good versus evil then this book is for you. For myself, the darker and grittier the story is the more I like it and this one fits the bill.
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I loved the first book in this series, Spider's Bite and was hoping that I wouldn't be disappointed in the sequel. I wasn't. I loved the second book as much as the first and am waiting impatiently for Venom to be released.
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Well, she didn't hit a sophmore slump with this book. Gin still hits the ground running. And I for one, am glad she didn't get the guy. He was way to goody two shoes if the po-po was as corrupt as Gin states. My only question is, who gets the diamonds? If more than one person knows a secret, then it won't stay secret for long. Maybe that question will get answered in a future book.
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The Good Stuff * Gin is kick ass! One of my favorite heroines ever - up there with Julie Kenner and Jeaniene Frost heroines * Yummy mentions of food that will make you drool * Hot male characters (although the detective is a bit of a pussy at times) * Excellent second book in series, back-story being developed quite effectively * Love the idea of Elementals * Fiery and hot -- and I don't just mean the food * Witty dialogue and fast paced, good luck putting it down -- I had to but I'm a Mom (my little hellions come first) * Secondary characters are interesting and some of them just plain funThe Not so Good Stuff * The term Po-po irritates the crap out of me, don't know why, it just does * The descriptions of food are so yummy you will gain 10 pounds just reading about them * You won't want to put it down and may forget about your responsibilities -- just warning you -- Sorry Jake and Jesse about those PB sandwiches for dinner last nightFavorite Quotes/Passages"Donovan Caine had made himself a promise, and he wasn’t going to break it. Oh, I imagined I could get him to forget about his morals, his rules, his vows. All I’d have to do would be to crawl over and start giving him the lap dance of his life."“See something you like, detective?" I said in a soft voice. “Because I sure do.” "Wow. Three cliches in a row. Somebody was seriously lacking in the imagination department"What I Learned * Pesky morals get in the way all the time * Police departments are always filled with crooked cops * I really want to have bbq for dinner tonight * That I really wish that someone had Jo-Jo's talents, I really could use some of her helpWho Should/Shouldn't Read * Not for the very young or prudish as there are naughty bits * Not for those that are squeamish or who don't have a sense of humor (and if you don't have a sense of humor you are soooo at the wrong blog) * Great for fans of Julie Kenner, Jeaniene Frost, or Ilona Andrews * Everyone because Jennifer is just such a nice person, go buy her books NOW -- yup all of them!
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So, even though Gin made some changes in her life at the end of the first book (I'm being vague to avoid spoilers), she still gets sucked into trouble very early on in this book. She ends up feeling obligated to help the friends of a friend out of a territory dispute with a very dangerous and powerful dwarf. As she does so, she finds out some things about her own magic that surprise her - and will definitely surprise you!We get more time with the side characters, JoJo and Sophia, who I absolutely love. Basically I love just about everyone in the series. The exception being Detective Donovan. Man...I hate that guy. Estep makes their chemistry jump off the pages, and there is definitely something between him and Gin...but that doesn't mean he isn't a complete moron. Still waiting for him to jump off that cliff...The good news is an addition to the party: Owen Grayson. Yes, please. I hope Gin takes a nice long look in his direction. He is a much better fit for her, and I really hope that relationship develops. A lot. And soon.Overall, this book is a great addition to the series, the action and character development don't lag at all!
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I didn't like it as much as the first one. It is very similar in some ways, but had a lot more "angst" between Gin and her completely unexpected, out-of-character and out-of-the-blue "love" for Caine. To the point that her continual harping on about him became annoying. At one point, near the end, she decides she's had enough of his cold shoulder and yet, a bit later in the story, she's all up in a twist over him again. They were never a couple, he never indicated he wanted to be one - sure he shagged her a couple times, but so what - and yet she gets all miffed because, gasp, he doesn't want to be in a relationship with her? It was just out of place.My other bother was the whole "trapped in the mine" scene that went on and on and on with nothing much happening... like it was a page quota filler. Oh, and I thought the whole Jake thing was kind of lame... an unexpected problem pops up and is cleared up as unexpectedly... and sorta unbelievably. If someone kicks your butt once, chances are she's going to be able to do it again next time, so don't go following her around and expect to live. Overall, I was disappointed in the story. I will read the next one and hope Gin stops being so sad-sack and gets on with her life.
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Synopsis: I'm Gin Blanco. You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I’m retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren’t aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox. Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coalmining tycoon, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I’m a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn’t made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man . . . dead or alive. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My thoughts: First, please, please, please read the first book before jumping into this one. Trust me you will not be disappointed. Second, Gin is one of those in my top 10 female heroines and I don't see that changing anytime soon. This is the second book in a series that has been extended to five books on October of 2011
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I loved this book, but not as much as the first one. Not because of anything lacking in the plot, but simply because I hated how Caine acted, esp. towards the later half of the book. But it's a good thing there's a lot more to this series than romance, because the action was amazing and extremely engaging. The side characters are also very interesting and I love seeing the development in Gin's persona. And judging from the cliffhanger at the end of this book, the next book's sure to be as fascinating as its prequels.
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Gin Blanco's best-laid plans to stay an ex-assassin blow up in her face when an old friend of her foster father's needs help. Would-be thugs attempting to knock over the Pork Pit, and some new and very deadly enemies add some spice to the sauce in the Elemental Assassin's second installment. Definitely a keeper.
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Gin Blanco is now a retired assassin, and running the Pork Pit full time since inheriting the BBQ restaurant from Fletcher. Yep, life is a little boring, but Fletcher had asked her to retire before his brutal murder. She feels like the least she can do is honor her dead handler’s wishes. At least until things get a little monotonous, and Gin finds a girl who needs protecting. Still pondering the meaning behind the file Fletcher left her, Gin could use the distraction and the action.I liked this one so much more than the first. I’m still not a Donovan Caine fan though. Gin, you can do better girl! This one was packed full of serious action. I love Gin, and have nothing but admiration for her tenacity. A few mysteries brought up in the first book are solved in this installment. Of course that means a few new ones also pop up. I’m so excited to see where Gin’s adventures take us next. Thanks to a few well timed flashbacks, we learn more about Gin’s past. We also witness her attempt to digest what was in the file Fletcher left her. Retirement is turning out to be almost as exciting as when Gin was working as a paid assassin.I also enjoyed learning more about Gin’s nontraditional family unit, the love they share, and how far they are willing to go to protect each other. Gin has come so far from the frightened orphan living on the streets. Definitely a character you can’t help but to love (knives and all). This is a fantastic series brimming with the potential of more awesomeness to come. I loved it!
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