Heart of Venom (Elemental Assassin #9) by Jennifer Estep-a dual review

Heart of Venom (Elemental Assassin #9) by Jennifer Estep-a dual review

heart of venom

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HEART OF VENOM (Elemental Assassin #9) by Jennifer Estep

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date August 27, 2013

The hotly anticipated ninth novel in the hugely popular Elemental Assassin series finds Gin Blanco on a dangerous mission to rescue a friend.

When a terror from the past threatens Gin’s friend and body-disposer, Sophia, Gin will stop at nothing to protect her, even if it means walking straight into a killer’s trap. Meanwhile, the rocky romance between Gin and Owen reaches a turning point—can they reunite and rekindle their love? Or will the things Gin has been forced to do in her line of work as the deadly assassin the Spider keep them apart forever? Assuming, that is, she survives long enough to find out…


REVIEW by Sandy

HEART OF VENOM is the 9th installment in Jennifer Estep’s Urban Fantasy series the Elemental Assassin. Gin Blanco is the hired assassin known as The Spider. With her dual elements of Stone and Ice and, her ability to wield a knife, Gin is a threat to Ashland’s mobsters, vampires and assorted supernatural beings. But when those she calls family are threatened and hurt, Gin knows only one thing-get in, take down and get out. And that is exactly what Gin does best as long as she does not get caught in the act.

Heart of Venom is a storyline fraught with graphic violence and torture. Jennifer’s use of descriptive language will pull the reader into the scene where the senses will be assaulted at various levels. This storyline and series are not for the feint of heart.

Sophia and Jo Jo are the dwarf sisters who defend, heal and protect Gin as well as stand by her side in battle. But Heart of Venom belongs to the sisters as Sophia’s past catches up and Gin must attempt a rescue before Sophie is permanently taken from their lives. Like many of the previous installments, Gin will attempt the rescue on her own but there is always someone to watch her back. Sending everyone home is never a very good idea.

Jennifer Estep includes plenty of background information throughout Heart of Venom as it pertains to Sophia and Jo Jo’s first encounter with Gin’s mentor and friend Fletcher, as well as Sophia’s previous torture at the hands of a man who proclaims to want Sophia as his own. Some of the history between Gin and the sisters is revealed and by doing so reads as a prelude to the next installment in the series-The Spider-the prequel storyline in The Elemental Assassin series.

For those who have been following the series, there have been some issues with Gin and her relationship with her (ex) lover, friend and mate Owen. Heart of Venom will see a resolution to their relationship troubles (good or bad) that have been mounting throughout the series and reached impossible odds in book #7 Widow’s Web. My only regret is that there wasn’t more revelation details and development behind Owen’s decision-OH, but wait-Jennifer has released a novella Kiss of Venom -Owen’s POV and guess what-yes, the reader is taken on Owen’s journey of reflection and regret.

Jennifer Estep brings together Gin’s family of elementals and human, vampires, dwarves and giants. Fans will recognize many of the previous storyline characters and will be re-introduced to a familiar name that will bring more problems in the books to follow. I suspect the next arc in the series will begin in book #11.

Heart of Venom is a fast paced storyline of danger, intrigue, death and destruction and, a little sex. Jennifer pushes the momentum forward: there is never any time to rest for the reader or The Assassin because when you do, you will be caught in a web-not of your own making. The storyline flows smoothly; there are never any rough spots and the back history and story blends fluidly throughout the novel.

Copy supplied by Edelweiss


REVIEW by Barb

Heart of Venom is the 9th book in Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series. Rather then duplicate the storyline, which Sandy has done so well, I will discuss my highlights of this book.

I really enjoy this series, as Jennifer Estep continually keeps us on our toes with exciting, action packed thrilling adventures. But most of all, Gin, as the assassin Spider, is one of my top kick ass heroines. What I also love about Gin is how she will do anything, including offer her life to save those she considers her family. Heart of Venom was Gin at her best, determined to save Sophia from a powerful enemy of her past. Estep does a fantastic job of refreshing your memory of what has happened previously, as well as allowing us to learn what happened to Sophia all those years ago, when Fletcher saved her.

With her emotions running rampant, Gin pulls everything she has to fight two very strong fire elementals, with the help of her ex-lover Owen, and some others from her close knit group. Sandy is right when she says this is a violent bloody battle all the way, as Gin acts out on her need for vengeance & to save Sophia. Throughout the battle, and there are two major ones, Gin does not come out of this unscathed, but our heroine is a survivor.

Jennifer Estep has a wonderful secondary cast of recurring characters that you care about…Owen, Finn, Bria, Sophia, JoJo; just to name a few. She also creates great villains, like the departed Mab, or in this book, Harley and Hazel were horrible people, but super villains.

In between all the action in this book, it was nice to see Gin and Owen work together and try to mend their relationship. There was a hot steamy scene between them that made all the waiting worth it. I must add that I would like to attend one of Gin’s gatherings where she cooks such awesome food.

Heart of Venom is non-stop action from start to finish. Another wonderful reason to enjoy this series is the different elemental powers that are amazing to watch. Heart of Venom is another wonderful book in Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series, and Gin Blanco, the Spider is a great heroine to follow.

Copy supplied by Edelweiss.

ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series by Jennifer Estep reading order. Please note that most of the short stories can be read for FREE or found in other anthologies. The novellas are not stand alones but incremental to the series.

Elemental Assassin Series


0.5 Spider’s Bargain
1 Spider’s Bite
1.5 Web of Death
2 Web of Lies
2.5 Web of Deceit
2.6 Poison
2.7 Wasted
3 Venom
3.5 Tangled Dreams
3.7 Tangled Schemes
4 Tangled Threads
4.5 Spider’s Nemesis
5 Spider’s Revenge
5.5 Thread of Death
6 By A Thread
7 Widow’s Web
8 Deadly Sting
8.1 Parlor Tricks
8.5 Kiss of Venom
9 Heart of Venom
10 The Spider (Dec 2013)


19 thoughts on “Heart of Venom (Elemental Assassin #9) by Jennifer Estep-a dual review

  1. *simulating Wayne and Garth* “Not worthy…not worthy”

    That was phenomenal, ladies. Two amazing reviews to highlight and support a favorite series. I have had the first book on my Amazon Wish List forever. I’m taking a step in the right direction after your outstanding piece.

    • Thanks Carmen. Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series is one of my favorites. I am looking forward to her prequel THE SPIDER in the fall….some backstory with Fletcher and Gin and the gang.

  2. Great reviews ladies!! Although, when I saw it was a dual review, I was hoping for “good cop, bad cop”!! LOL!!!! I’ve had this series on my TBR for some time! Hopefully I’ll get to it soon!

  3. Pingback: Spider’s Trap (Elemental Assassin #13) by Jennifer Estep-Dual Review and Giveaway | The Reading Cafe

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