BY A THREAD by Jennifer Estep
BY A THREAD is the sixth storyline in Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassins series. Featuring heroine Gin Blanco, The Elemental Assassins series focuses on Gin’s life as assassin-for-hire The Spider. Now that her nemesis Mab Monroe is no longer a threat, Gin schedules a long needed vacation with her sister Bria, only to find, that no one will ever let her forget her past.
Gin Blanco has decided it is time to retire. Her life as The Spider has affected everyone she loves including her sister, her love life and her extended family of vampires, dwarves, giants and elementals. When her step-brother and her sister’s lover Finn suggests a vacation, Gin is reluctant. Although time together may help heal the heartache between she and her sister, their destination is about to bring more problems than she could have ever imagined.
Bria and Gin head to Blue Marsh, a small sea-side town where Bria was raised when the sisters were orphaned following a fatal fire that killed their parents and older sibling. Hoping to catch up with her childhood friend Callie, Bria is surprised to learn that Callie is engaged, and Gin is stunned when she recognizes Callie’s fiancé. To make matters worse, neither Callie nor Bria are aware of the connection.
Bria’s continuous disdain for her sister, breaks Gin’s heart. As the assassin known as The Spider, Gin works the other side of the law. Her sister Bria, as a police detective, is torn between the law and her moral and ethical obligation to her superiors. But without Gin’s help, the tiny metropolis of Ashland, would be controlled by the beings more powerful than anyone could have predicted. Gin is washed in the knowledge that her only sister despises her and their relationship may be beyond repair.
The painful reminders from her past continue to haunt Gin, especially when her skills as an assassin may be needed. Randall Dekes is a wealthy landowner (and vampire) who continues to purchase all the surrounding land to build a large and sprawling casino, and Callie is one of only two holdouts in the land appropriation. On numerous occasions, Callie has been threatened and assaulted by the vampire’s men and Randall Dekes refuses to back down waging a campaign against Callie and anyone who stands in his way.
With her extended family now secluded in Blue Marsh, Gin, Bria, Finn and Gin’s lover Owen, devise a plan to convince Dekes, it would be in his interest to leave Callie and the others alone. But an error in judgment,almost costs Gin her life, as well as the lives of those thought to be closest to Randall Dekes. Gin’s fatal error, was not recognizing that perhaps her reputation as The Spider was known to Dekes. And once again, someone from her past, has let it be known, what and whom is Gin Blanco.
Randall Deke’s is a vampire, who knows a good thing when he finds it. To keep his abilities at full strength, he must feed from the Elementals, syphoning their powers, absorbing the elements of air, fire, stone and ice. With Gin’s dual elemental power, Deke is now in possession of all four elements. Weakened by Deke’s feeding, Gin must attempt an escape, by any means possible. But there are others who are in danger, and Gin promises to return.
Following a much-needed healing session with Jo Jo, Gin and the others must once again track a vampire in his lair, but not before it is revealed that Callie is missing and presumed in Deke’s custody. Knowing many people already despise her for who she is, Gin must call upon her skills as The Spider, to affect the rescue of her ex-lover’s fiancé and a couple of other elementals secluded within the walls of Deke’s mansion.
Gin’s battle with Deke and his warriors is action packed and the results are worth the effort. Freedom is gained at the cost of many lives but Callie is safe in the arms of her fiancé, and Blue Marsh and its’ people no longer have to worry about a vampire and his dreams of a casino and resort.
Gin and Owen’s relationship grows stronger throughout the storyline and the love scenes are gentle and pure. Callie’s fiance’s connection and feelings for Gin are revealed, and to everyone’s surprise, his confession leaves both himself and the reader-breathless. Gin’s past still haunts her dreams as well as her life, and we know, that we have not seen the last of Mab Monroe’s Ashland villains. BY A THREAD is another wonderful story in The Elemental Assassins series and I can’t wait for the next.
1. Spider’s Bite
2. Web of Lies
4. Tangled Threads
5. Spider’s Revenge
5.5 Thread of Death (ebook)
6. By A Thread
Reviewed by Sandy