By Jennifer Estep
Release Date: May 25, 2010
Curiosity is definitely going to get me dead one of these days. Probably real soon.
I'm Gin Blanco.
When it comes to heroines who put the "kick" in "kick ass", Gin Blanco is at the top of the heap! She's put her life as an assassin behind her for now. After her handler/mentor Fletcher Lane is murdered, Gin inherits the Pork Pit barbeque restaurant from him, so she starts a new life as a business owner. Although Gin enjoys her customers, the day to day routine gets a little boring for her. But where Gin is concerned, trouble usually finds her sooner or later.
Trouble arrives in the form of Jake McAllister, a punk who just happens to be a fire elemental. When he comes into the Pork Pit with his friend and threatens to kill her customers, Gin decides to teach him a lesson. By the time the Ashland police arrive, Gin and her dwarven cook, Sophia Deveraux have the situation under control and Jake and his friend down on the ground. Of course, Gin's troubles are about to get much bigger---Jake's father is an incredibly powerful attorney, and he's also on the payroll of Mab Monroe, the ruthless fire elemental who practically runs Ashland. So much for a quiet life of retirement!
Gin thinks that having to deal with the fallout from her encounter with Jake McAllister is a pain in the butt, but things go from bad to worse when someone decides to blast the front window of her restaurant with gunfire---Gin's glad she paid extra for bullet proof glass!--but it turns out they're not after Gin. The target is Violet Fox, a young college student, who showed up asking questions about "Tin Man" (Fletcher's name when he'd been an assassin). Violet's grandfather was friends with Fletcher when they were young, so Violet has heard stories about him. She comes to the Pork Pit looking for help, and since Fletcher is gone, Gin steps in. They are trying to fight off Tobias Dawson, the powerful owner of a coal mine---who just happens to also be an equally powerful stone elemental--who wants their land and will stop at nothing to get it. Gin will have to use both her stone and ice elements to have a chance of beating Tobias.
Gin not only has to fight Dawson and his band of miscreants, but she's also up against detective Donovan Caine, the man who ignites a passion in her hotter than anything a fire elemental can cook up. Donovan's attraction to Gin is equally powerful, but he can't accept who she truly is and what she has done in the past. (Note: Donovan and Gin first meet and heat things up in Spider's Bite). He's a by-the-book cop and Gin is an assassin, and in spite of their chemistry, Donovan can't fully commit to her. In her heart, Gin realizes this, but it takes an outsider--Violet's grandfather--to open her eyes to what's in front of her.
"So that's how you know Donovan. You knew his father."
Warren nodded. "Daniel Caine, a fine man. Donovan is too. But he's not the one for you."
He was more observant that I'd given him credit for. I raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"
Warren glanced over his shoulder, but Donovan Caine was still talking on his cell phone, so he turned back to me. "I mean you and Donovan are on opposite sides. Always have been, always be. He's not going to change, and he'll never accept what you are, what you've done. It's just not in his nature, no matter how much he might want to."
"And you're telling me this because..."
"Because Donovan is a good man, and you're good too, in your own way. At least you should be if Fletcher raised you right," Warren said. "At the very least, you're good at what you do."
Jennifer Estep has written one of the best urban fantasy series I've ever read. The action is off the charts, the passion is hot, and her cast of secondary characters is stellar. Donovan and Gin continue to heat up the pages, but Ms. Estep has introduced another sexy man, Owen Grayson, who definitely makes things interesting for Gin. I can't wait for Venom, the third book in the Elemental Assassins series, to see what will happen next! If you haven't read this series, you are missing out on one heck of good time!