Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hump day hello....welcome back Gin!

Oy vey - what more can I say? Hump day couldn't get here soon enough. Between the torrential rains, full blown allergies and being sick as a dog all weekend (ugh - who wants to be sick on the weekend????) I am ready for the down hill slope....and, although I'd like to keep this week's treat all to myself, I am willing to share my latest treat with you so feast your eyes on this visual donut. Mmmmmm. (He is shirtless because it's 80 today but has a hat on because it is supposed to be 40 tonight - dont fight my logic, it's the cold medicine talking!)

So yesterday, the Divine Ms. T kicked off our sneak peak review of Jennifer Estep's latest Elemental Assassin novel, Tangled Threads. I personally want to thank her for saying brilliantly and succinctly what I wanted to say because I am about to embarrass myself with fan-girl squeals! I have been doing it since we got our e-ARC copy. I have enjoyed Ms. Estep's writing for several years (I have all the Bigtime novels) and like the funky mix of urban fantasy, humor and slips of romance that her EA series brings to the mix. Like the sassy assassin Gin, Jennifer Estep, has shown her readers she is definitely cookin' now!

Tangled Threads - Elemental Assassin Book 4, Jennifer Estep, Pocket Books, April 2011

Tangled Threads proves Jennifer Estep has found the recipe to success! Gin Blanco returns as the uber tough, bad-ass assassin who runs her BBQ joint by day and has taken on the personal assignment of destroying her mortal enemy, Mab Monroe's evil empire by night. Previously, Gin declared outright war on Mab Monroe and has successfully taken out both key and bit players in her mob ever since then. Mab has decided to fight back, hiring her own assassin to squash the Spider. Gin thought she had trouble with one powerful elemental enemy? Now she has two - and this one is about to fry her last nerve! Taking on yet another "pro-bono" case, Gin comes to the aid of a bartender from Roslyn's nightclub who daughter has been taken as insurance for his agreeing to spy on the Vamp owner in hopes of ferreting out the identity of the Spider.

Over the course of the past four novels, Estep's characters have evolved, morphing into very endearing (can one call an assassin endearing?) folks who care for one another: Gin, Finn, Sophia and Jo-Jo, Owen and Eva. Slowly, bits of Gin's past continue to unravel and those bits of information continue to build the mystery. The relationship between the Gin and Owen takes on new life in this installment as well. Gun shy and hard hearted, Gin fights against her feelings for the man who continues to accept her, knives and all. If the romance between Gin and the fickle detective Donovan Caine was the teasing appetizer, then Estep delivers a main dish of hot and steamy with Gin and Owen!

I continue to be amazed at the creative detail in this series. The story lines are unique, complex and fun. The dialogue is well crafted and peppered with great subtle, and more often snarky, humor. But the action scenes are my favorite, reading like choreography cues in a great movie script. The reader can easily visualize the fight sequences and they are everything an action buff could want - bloody, bone crunching, slicing and dicing goodness! (Add that little electricity elemental bonus and you have some serious hair raising fun!)

I give this Tangled treat five divine chocolate dipped strawberries, with some tangy gin, straight up. This series just keeps getting better and better - and you can bet your bottom dollar, I will be pre-ordering A Touch of Frost (due out 7/26/11), her new YA endeavor!
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