By a Thread

Elemental Assassin, #6

Gin Blanco is back in “By A Thread”, Jennifer Estep’s next contribution to her exciting Elemental Assassin series. The challenges never seem to stop coming as Gin attempts to return to her life as proprietor of the eatery, the Pork Pit, following her successful elimination of the evil Mab Monroe. She finally acquiesces to foster brother Finnegan (Finn) Lane’s persuasion and plans a vacation with him, her sister Bria, and lover Owen. The trip to Bria’s former hometown is somewhat of an unexpected minefield as Gin must deal not only with her own jealousy over Bria’s best friend Callie but inadvertently becomes enmeshed in yet another power struggle with the vampire Randall Dekes who is acquiring property through fair means or foul. Gin’s special talents are required to deal with the threat that imperils Callie and the restaurant that provides her livelihood but the resentment that Bria has been suppressing since being tortured by Mab continues to provide a serious impediment to the sisters’ relationship. An additional relationship wrinkle and the evil machinations of the vampire Dekes threaten Gin’s equanimity and possibly her very life as her ‘vacation’ turns into a ‘working vacation’.

This was another fantastic addition to a series that contains non-stop action, a kick-butt but self-deprecating heroine and sizzling scenes. Gin is an intriguing blend of exceptionally competent assassin and cook contrasted with the scarred woman who has had to overcome serious childhood trauma and concerns about self-worth. The complex emotions that govern her interactions with those who are important in her life are nicely addressed without becoming saccharine. This book detailed a maturation of Gin’s character and provides a long-awaited resolution of a past irritant. A great read, can’t wait for the next in the series, “Widow’s Web”.

Book Blurb for By a Thread

The sixth book in the USA TODAY bestselling Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series featuring Gin Blanco, who by day owns a Tennessee BBQ joint, and by night is a tough female assassin known as the Spider. I never thought I'd need a vacation from being an assassin..

My name is Gin Blanco, and I'm the assassin the Spider. All the Ashland's lowlifes are gunning for me and trying to make a name for themselves by taking out the Spider. So I think it's a good idea to get out of Ashland for a while until things cool down.

So I'm headed south to a swanky beach town, along with my baby sister, Bria, for a weekend of fun in the sun. But when an old friend of Bria's is threatened by a powerful vampire with deadly elemental magic, it looks like I'll have to dig my silverstone knives out of my suitcase after all. But this time, not even my own Ice and Stone power may be enough to save me from coming home in a pine box.

Night Owl Reviews Feb, 2012 5.00