Thursday, October 28, 2010

Give Me More Gin - Straight Up Please!

What a difference a day makes! Big sigh - the weekend is almost here and it's my favorite time of the year. Halloween rocks in our house! No, we aren't the most decorated house on the block. No, we don't throw big parties. And no, we are NOT going to talk about the time I let the Jack-o-lantern stay on the porch until it rotted down and returned as a large pumpkin vine the following summer! We just happen to really enjoy a holiday that allows us to let our "freak flags fly"! Jack Skellington knew what he was about celebrating Halloween year round - other holidays are fraught with potential disappointments: Christmas, New Years, Birthdays but not Halloween. It's just fun, costumes and candy highs....

Trick or treat? Treat it is then. Today's review highlights newly released third in Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin series, Venom. Readers who enjoyed the first two books in this series will have their love cemented by this latest installment, the strongest by far. More of the same witty repartee, action packed fight sequences and, finally, some lovin' for tender hearted, stone cold killer Gin!

At the end of Web of Lies, book two in the series, Donovan Caine cuts bait and runs away from his tormented feelings for Gin, his moral opposite. Bruised but not broken, in Venom Gin continues life as she knows it: running the Pork Pit, supporting her friends, considering her retirement. Like a bad penny, the creepy giants who support the uber evil Mab Monroe manage to find Gin in the college parking lot one night and nearly beat her to death because she doesn't want to risk exposing her elemental gifts. First detective on the scene happens to be...the Spider's long lost sister, Bria. What a quandary - how precisely does an assassin reunite successfully with the po-po sibling sent to replace Donovan Caine?
Before she can make a decision that big, Gin gets forced out of retirement again when vamp nightclub owner Rosalyn Phillips requires her services to rid herself of a stalker, Mab's giant thug Eliot Slater. Horrified and riddled with guilt that she caused the pair to meet after her first assassination attempt on the mining tycoon in Web of Lies, Gin agrees to kill the sadistic Slater. During her planning phase, Gin also manages to save sister Bria from an attempt on her life with little thanks. Unfortunately for Gin, the best laid plans of mice and men and assassins often goes astray. Thanks to the support of her best friends, Finn and the Devereaux sisters, Gin manages once and for all to stop the scumbag Slater. In the process however, Gin throws down the gauntlet and openly challenges Mab Monroe: powerful elemental, arch enemy and destroyer of her family.

On the lighter side, for once things seem to be working out romantically for Gin. Owen Grayson, brother to Eva who was saved by Gin in Web Of Lies, pursues a full court press. Call it timing or uncanny coincidence, he seems to be wherever Gin is and their exchanges sizzle (and not just because she's a stone elemental and he's a metal). Gin opens herself up to Owen and is pleasantly surprised he not only doesn't reject her but is actually even more turned on! When forces like that collide, the result is magic. And, while ever the pragmatist, Gin appears to be warming to the idea of a relationship with this successful, fascinating hottie rather than fighting it as she had initially.

By far my favorite so far, I now have to suffer in agony waiting for the next book, Tangled Threads, set to release April 26, 2011. This one will definitely be a re-read once the TBR pile shrinks a bit more. Filled with sassy assassins, sexy heroes and a supporting cast that makes you want more BBQ than a girl can handle, Jennifer Estep's Venom totally rocks! Easily worth every one of the 5 Chocolate covered strawberries - I say bring on the Gin....Yummmmmm!

Please don't forget to drop by Friday, October 29th, to see guest blogger author Jennifer Estep and get her take on the world of Elemental Assassins, Halloween and those yummy sandwiches that tantalize and tempt!
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