Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep
"My name is Gin, and I kill people."
My name is Gin Blanco. They call me the Spider — the most feared assassin in the South (and a part-time cook at the Pork Pit BBQ joint.) As a Stone elemental, I can hear the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet and feel the vibrations of the soaring mountains above me, though I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.
After a ruthless Air elemental double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way. I may look hot in a miniskirt, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble when irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine agrees to help. The last thing a coldhearted killer needs when she's battling a magic more powerful than her own is a sexy distraction ... especially when he wants her dead just as much as the enemy.
With a series name like Elemental Assassin, I was expecting all kinds of awesomeness—and the book delivers. Even the cover is lethal!
Assassin characters have always interested me, if a book has a main character that's an assassin I'm there. Sadly enough, not to many authors have been able to pull off this character. The means to how they got to that point are generic, and the character is some how elevated as being a good person and their blood spilling ways justified.
Estep really makes Gin a believable killer. She didn't wake up one day and say, “Hey I think I'd like to kill people, that's a good career path!” A chain of tragic childhood events bring her to a point where she needs to survive, and things fall in to place for her to become an assassin. Gin has even carved out the best of life she can manage being an assassin. Her handler and son have become her family, and she tries to aspire to be a cook when she's not killing. Gin was a great character, she new what she was doing was wrong and even refers to herself as a monster at points in the book. Gin does keep to a moral code and tries to only go after “bad” people. She even does some “pro-bono” work for some abused people.
Following Gin on one of her kills at the beginning of the book is really fun (I know, I know we're killing people here). The work and planning that goes into each kill and all of the steps that need to be taken to remain anonymous. After all our girl is the Spider, one of the best killers out there and in high demand.
The love interest was such a great match. He's the only clean cop in the city, and after Gin killed his unsavory partner, he's out to bring the killer in. Gin has had her eye on him ever since, his purity or the fact that he's trying to find her draws her in. The events end up leaving the cop with only Gin to help him as the whole system is corrupt and all he can do to stay alive is trust in the honor of an assassin. Watching his growing attraction to Gin was definitely a highlight of this book for me. After all he's a saint, how can he be attracted to such an evil person. Someone who killed his partner. Maybe his world isn't black and white, maybe there are shades of gray.
The other side characters are very colorful and very lovable. Each one was a treat on the page and I loved getting more information on them. They all interacted in the world and made for great dialogue. The giant evil villain that is probably going to be spanning this series is fantastic. I love the fact that both evil villains in this book are female—women evil villains always seem to be more vicious and absolute fun!
My only complaint is the F-bomb is thrown out there a lot, like candy at a parade. Gin is a kick-booty, very witty character she can come across just as cool minus the swearing. Or maybe just a little less, as it is part of her character.
It's great learning about our witty assassin as the story progresses. I completely fell for our killing lady and I am DIEING for more! (Every pun intended.) Need is the word that pops into mind about this book. I NEED to know where Gin is headed now that she's “retiring” and that cliffhanger ending. The love story is on the NEED to know what's going to happen next. Just give me the next book, I NEED it.
Naughty thoughts are running through Gins mind about our good cop and there is a very steamy closet scene. Oh, and some heavy petting at the bar.
5/5- Fabulous, a beautiful obsession.