Spartan Heart by Jennifer Estep – Review & Giveaway

Spartan Heart by Jennifer Estep – Review & Giveaway

 

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Spartan HeartAmazon / B&N / Kobo

Description:
New school year, same old problems . . .

At Mythos Academy, everyone knows exactly who I am: Rory Forseti, Spartan girl and the daughter of Reapers.

Even though I fought alongside my cousin Gwen Frost to save the mythological world from Loki and his evil Reapers of Chaos, I’m still the most hated girl at the academy because of all the horrible things my parents did. I had hoped that this school year would be different, but the other kids just won’t let me forget about my parents.

But something strange is going on at the Colorado academy. First, I run into a Viking guy who dislikes me more than most. Then I notice some odd artifacts in the Library of Antiquities. And worst of all, I start hearing rumors about a new group of Reapers who can summon mythological monsters.

I might be the most hated girl at Mythos Academy, but I’m also the only one who can save it . .

 

Review:

Spartan Heart by Jennifer Estep is the 1st book in her new Mythos Academy: Colorado series, which is a spinoff of her original Mythos Academy series.   I really did enjoy the Mythos Academy series and Gwen Frost.   I looked forward to reading Spartan Heart, and I am happy to say I enjoyed the start of this series.

Rory Forseti, whom we met in the original Mythos Academy series, is Gwen’s cousin and our heroine in this series.   Rory, who helped Gwen and her gang defeat Loki, and now is attending school at Mythos Academy, Colorado.  Rory dreads going back to school, especially since her deceased mother and father were discovered to be Reapers.  As we know, Reapers are bad and evil, bent on destroying humans, and the Protectorate (who protect humans and dangerous artifacts).  Rory is uncomfortable at school, as everyone looks down on her because of the sins of her parents.

Rory is a Spartan (warrior extraordinaire), and in a short time, she is using her skills to kill over creatures that the Reapers created using a stolen scepter artifact.  Rory is than asked to join the Midgard team (part of the Protectorate) and help find whoever is in charge of the Reapers now, and get back the artifact.  Some of her new teammates do not trust her, but once she helps save them, Rory will earn their respect and trust.  I really like her teammates, Ian, Zoe, Mateo, Takeda & Rachel. Most of all I absolutely loved the Gryphons (especially Brono the baby gryphon), whom Rory bonded with when she helped Gwen; and Babs, the talking sword.

What follows is an exciting, action filled adventure that also has some surprises for Rory.  There is also a slow built romance between Rory and Ian that I expect we will see more of in future books.  Besides some of the great characters in this book, there are also some good villains; such as Lance, Drake and the Reaper leader.  I loved being able to see Gwen Frost again, nearer to the end.  Nice touch by Estep.

If you like Urban Fantasy, with mythology, action, excitement, a number of twists and surprises, and a wonderful young heroine; look no further then Mythos Academy, Colorado.  Spartan Heart was a wonderful enjoyable read, and Jennifer Estep continues to write these books so well, keeping us thoroughly entertained. I cannot wait for the next book in this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy supplied for review

 

Giveaway

Jennifer is graciously offering an e-copy of SPARTAN HEART to TWO  (2) lucky commenters at The Reading Cafe:

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

NOTE:  If you are having difficulty commenting after logging into the site, please refresh the page at the top of your computer

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE and Follow Jennifer Estep on Facebook

4. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

5. FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

6. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

7. Giveaway open to USA only.

8. Giveaway runs from December 3 to 7, 2017

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Snared by Jennifer Estep – Dual Review & Giveaway

Snared by Jennifer Estep – Dual Review & Giveaway

 

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Snared
Elemental Assassin series – Book #16
by Jennifer Estep
Release Date: April 25, 2017

SnaredAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
If you don’t know Gin “the Spider” Blanco, you don’t know dangerous female heroines.

Irony 101—The Spider herself snared in someone else’s web…

Another week, another few clues trickling in about the Circle, the mysterious group that supposedly runs the city’s underworld. Gathering intel on my hidden enemies is a painstaking process, but a more immediate mystery has popped up on my radar: a missing girl.

My search for the girl begins on the mean streets of Ashland, but with all the killers and crooks in this city, I’m not holding out much hope that she’s still alive.

A series of clues leads me down an increasingly dark, dangerous path, and I realize that the missing girl is really just the first thread in this web of evil. As an assassin, I’m used to facing down the worst of the worst, but nothing prepares me for this new, terrifying enemy—one who strikes from the shadows and is determined to make me the next victim.

Barb’s Review

Snared by Jennifer Estep is the 16th book in her fantastic Urban Fantasy Elemental Assassin series.  I always look forward to reading the next book in this series, as Jennifer Estep never fails to give us another fantastic exciting action packed story, which has one of the best kick-ass heroines in Gin Blanco (Spider). 

In Snared, Gin continues to research about the secret powerful group called the Circle, who was part of killing her mother years before.  When on a mission to find more information on one of the Circle leaders, she overhears something about her mother and her evil enemy Tucker, which upsets Gin, and pushes her to find out more.  But when Jade, one of Ashland’s gangland leaders, asks for help, Gin will step forward.  It seems that Jade’s younger sister is missing, and when Gin pulls her team (what an awesome group; Bria, Finn, Owen, Silvio, Sophia, Jo Jo, Xavier, etc), together they discover that a serial killer has been killing young blond haired girls. 

What follows is an exciting, mind blowing, pulse pounding mystery that will bring Gin right into the lion’s den, where clues will point to the serial killer somewhere within the circle.  As always with Gin Blanco, she is right in the middle of this wild adventure.  No one messes with Gin, and yet so many times they all try to kill her, and somehow our heroine always manages to suffer horrific injuries, and yet escape death.  Will she find Jade’s sister in time?  Will she learn the truth about her mother and her enemy, Tucker?

Reading this series, and spending time with Gin is always fun and enjoyable.  I love how tough and loyal Gin is, and no matter how much she suffers in each book, she still rises up for more.  We are always on the edge of our seats through each and every book.  Jennifer Estep is a master at creating a seamless flow into each story, and watching Gin evolve into such a great heroine.  As I noted earlier, the secondary characters that make up Gin’s team are great, and always fun to be with.  Her romance with Owen is just perfect and sweet, which always manages to release the tension in the story at the moment.

Snared was a wonderful  action filled addition to this series, which also gives us answers to some questions, as well as surprises that will have us waiting impatiently for the next book;  I cannot wait for more adventures of Gin Blanco. If you have not read the Elemental Assassin series, it is time for you to start now.

 

Sandy’s Review

SNARED is the sixteenth full-length installment in Jennifer Estep’s contemporary, adult ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN paranormal, urban fantasy series focusing on Gin Blanco aka The Spider –the reigning Queen of the paranormal Underworld of Ashland. SNARED can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty although I recommend reading the series in order for cohesion and backstory.

Told from first person point of view (Gin Blanco) using present day and memories (flashbacks) from the past SNARED follows Gin as she searches for the mysterious, underground group known as the Circle-a secret organization connected to the death of her parents and her beloved sister. A serial killer is on the loose in Ashland, and Gin and her family of supernatural investigators find themselves on the hunt for the person responsible leading Gin back to the Circle and their connections to the past. New details continue to emerge about Gin’s younger years, and her mother’s possible association with the Circle assassins.

Once again, there is a large ensemble cast of characters including Gin’s lover Owen, her sister Bria, and foster brother Finn, as well as Gin’s assistant /vampire Silvio Sanchez, Jo Jo and her sister Sophia, and an assortment of giants, dwarves, more elementals and vampires. Vampire Hugh Tucker returns and sets into motion a series events that are both deadly and revealing.

SNARED has moments of intrigue, mystery, action and suspense as Gin and her family of elementals search for answers from the present and the past. The action is limited; the violence not as graphic as in previous story line but that is not to say that the violence is non-existent. Gin Blanco, is after all an assassin, and as Queen of the Underworld there is always someone waiting to take down the woman in charge. The premise is engaging, revealing and spirited; the characters are colorful and energetic. Jennifer Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series is a magical and impassioned look at the world of the supernatural, and all of the evil brought together in a battle for power and control.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Giveaway

Jennifer is graciously offering a paper copy of SNARED (Elemental Assassin #16) to TWO  (2) lucky commenters at The Reading Cafe:

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

NOTE:  If you are having difficulty commenting after logging into the site, please refresh the page at the top of your computer

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE and Follow Jennifer Estep on Facebook

4. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

5. FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

6. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

7. Giveaway open to USA only.

8. Giveaway runs from April 25 to 29, 2017

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Nice Guys Bite by Jennifer Estep – Dual Review & Giveaway

Nice Guys Bite by Jennifer Estep – Dual Review & Giveaway

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NICE GUYS BITE
Elemental Assassin 15.5
by Jennifer Estep
Genre: adult, contemporary, urban fantasy
Release Date: December 15, 2016

 

Nice Guys BiteAmazon / Amazon. ca /B&N / Kobo / BAM

Description:
Working for Gin Blanco (aka the Spider, the assassin who runs the Ashland underworld) doesn’t leave much time for romance, especially with Gin’s holiday party planning in full swing. But when he catches the eye of a charming gentleman, Silvio finds himself going out for coffee.

All’s fair in love and war, though. Just as Silvio is starting to enjoy himself, he realizes he’s being watched. His nice guy date doesn’t sense the danger, and Silvio wants to keep it that way (and, well, keep the guy alive) so Silvio ends the date early—only to be abducted by some villainous giants.

Will Silvio survive the night and make it back to the Pork Pit in time for Gin’s holiday party?

 

 

Barb’s Review:

Nice Guys Bite by Jennifer Estep is a Christmas themed novella from her wonderful Elemental Assassin series. This was a different type of story; short, exciting, some fun, and only little bit of our heroine, Gin Blanco.  Gin is in the holiday spirit, planning for her party for friends and family.  She tries to get her assistant, Silvio to relax and take some time to have fun.  For those who are not familiar with Silvio, he is a vampire, who became her assistant after Gin became the leader of the Ashland underworld. Silvio, after being pestered by Gin, finally agrees to go out for coffee with a charming new male friend. 

While having some fun, Silvio is being charmed by his new friend, and realizes that someone is watching them.  He excuses himself to quickly leave, so that his friend wouldn’t get hurt from the expected attack.  What follows is an exciting adventure where Silvio and his friend are kidnapped, putting both of their lives in danger.  Anything more would be spoilers, but it was exciting and fun to watch Silvio use his abilities to recognize that all is not what it seems.

I am a big fan of Jennifer Estep, and this story had a lot of action, but also some humor as we see Gin planning her party.  It is the holiday season, and Estep has given us a quick fun read to hold us over for the next full Elemental Assassin book, Snared, coming in April, 2017.

 

Sandy’s Review:

NICE GUYS BITE by Jennifer Estep is the latest novella in her ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN urban fantasy series focusing on the head of Ashland’s Underworld and Elemental Assassin known as The Spider aka Gin Blanco. NICE GUYS BITE focuses on Gin’s assistant-vampire Silvio Sanchez.

Told from first person point of view (Silvio) NICE GUYS BITE follows Silvio as he embarks on a date with a local college professor Martin Mahoney- but things don’t go according to plan when the couple finds themselves victims of a kidnapping where information about The Spider is payment for release. As Gin prepares for the friends and family Christmas party, Silvio struggles to get himself free.

 

NICE GUYS BITE is a quick read; a supernatural tale of mystery and suspense that allows the reader a small glimpse into the mind of Silvio Sanchez-a vampire whose strengths have never been revealed; with a protective streak for his boss known as The Spider; and a man whose loneliness comes at a cost. There are moments of fun and humor; heartbreak and crushing realization; torment and victory. NICE GUYS BITE is an entertaining and engaging short story; another playful addition to Jennifer Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series.

Copies supplied by Netgalley

giveaway

Jennifer is graciously offering a paper copy of UNRAVELED (Elemental Assassin #15) to TWO (2) lucky commenters at The Reading Cafe:

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

NOTE:  If you are having difficulty commenting after logging into the site, please refresh the page at the top of your computer

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE and Follow Jennifer Estep on Facebook

4. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

5. FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

6. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

7. Giveaway open to USA only.

8. Giveaway runs from December 12  to 15, 2016

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Unwanted (Elemental Assassin 14.5) by Jennifer Estep-a dual review

UNWANTED (Elemental Assassin 14.5) by Jennifer Estep-a dual review

Unwanted

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / BAM /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date July 18, 2016

The New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin series continues with a new e-novella–from the point of view of Finnegan Lane, the foster brother of Gin Blanco, and a fan favorite of readers of the series.

The fallout from his disastrous “family reunion” in Bitter Bite has left Finn feeling hurt, angry, and depressed. He can barely stand to look at himself in the mirror, much less eat any of the delicious barbecue from Gin’s famed Pork Pit restaurant.

But when the funeral for a slain security guard at his bank turns into a showdown with some nasty underworld giants, Finn knows that he must act in order to protect an innocent family.

Finnegan Lane might be the most unwanted man in Ashland these days, but he’s determined to try to make amends for his past mistakes…

••••••••••••

Sandy’s Review

NOTE: If you have not read BITTER BITE, there may be some spoilers in my review.

REVIEW: UNWANTED is a novella by Jennifer Estep that focuses on the aftermath and fallout from the events of BITTER BITE (Elemental Assassin #14) wherein Finnegan Lane’s past comes back from the dead seeking retribution, leaving a path of destruction and death in its wake.

Told from first person point of view (Finnegan Lane) UNWANTED follows Finnegan and his growing guilt in the days and weeks after several co-workers were murdered doing their job. Although not directly responsible for the massacre and ensuing death, Finn compounds his grief and guilt with each funeral having to face the employees and their family knowing most of them place the blame squarely on his shoulders. When a threat of a different nature touches upon one of the survivors, Finn makes it his responsibility to mete out justice, ending the threat-once and for all.

UNWANTED takes a quick look at the man we have grown to love. Although we still know very little about Finnegan’s life with Fletcher Lane, UNWANTED reveals some of the thought processes and his need to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. The premise helps to close up some lose ends in the aftermath of a dark and dangerous time; the characters are an eclectic mix of good and bad.

 

Barb’s Review

Unwanted by Jennifer Estep is 14.5 of her wonderful Elemental Assassin series.  This novella is different, as it is told in Finn’s POV.  Finn is Gin Blanco’s foster brother.  Unwanted picks up right after Bitter Bite left off.  Finn is depressed and feeling guilty about his behavior in not trusting Gin, when he allowed his mother to set a trap for him, thereby causing deaths and Bank issues that are still trying to be resolved.  Those in the bank, where he works, do not talk to him, as they blame him for everything. 

When he has to attend a funeral of one of the banks employees, he overhears a bookie threatening the family of the deceased.   Though everyone does not want any help from him, Finn is determined to intervene and help.  Finn will snap out of his self imposed lethargy, as he has to face 3 giants, who plan on hurting the wife and child of the deceased.  Finn will not go to Gin, as he can feel his old self rising to the challenge.  It was great to see Finn battle the villains, and I also enjoyed reading this in his pov. Finn’s boss also helped the way to get those blaming Finn straight by telling them he was tortured during the fiasco with his mother.  This was a face paced short story, which is always difficult to write reviews.  If you are a fan of this series, it is a fun read that you will enjoy. If you have not read this series, do not start with this book.  Go back to beginning and learn all about Gin Blanco, one of the best kick-ass heroines. 

 

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

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Bright Blaze of Magic by Jennifer Estep – Review & Giveaway

Bright Blaze of Magic by Jennifer Estep – Review & Giveaway

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Bright Blaze of MagicAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM / The Book Depository

Description:
Bad Things Always Come In Threes…

As a thief, I’m good at three things: hiding in the shadows, getting in and out unseen, and uncovering secrets. I put these skills to work for the Sinclair Family, one of the magical mobs that run the tourist town of Cloudburst Falls.

Everyone knows Victor Draconi wants to take over all the other Families–and kill every last Sinclair. What they don’t know is that I’m on to him, and no way will I let the man who murdered my mom get away with hurting all the other people I care about. Especially when I’ve got places to break into, stuff to steal, and Devon Sinclair fighting right by my side…

 

Review:

Bright Blaze of Magic by Jennifer Estep is the 3rd book in her Black Blade series. Each book in this series just keeps getting better and better.  I love this series by Estep, as it is non stop action, very exciting, tense and exhilarating.  Lila Merriweather is a fantastic heroine that rivals Estep’s other fabulous heroine, Gin Blanco.  What are the chances that an author can create two fantastic heroines in both of their series….Jennifer Estep does it. 

We return to Cloudburst Falls, the place where those with magic and monsters rule.  In Bright Blaze of Magic, Lila not only has admitted her feelings for Devon, but she is now fully a member of the Sinclair Family. She has made amends with Deah, the daughter of the evil Victor Draconi, who in the last book, learns that she is her cousin.  Deah will help Lila, Devon and Feliz enter the Draconi mansion to steal the dreaded black blades that is filled will stolen magic. Lila also works closely with Claudia, who is Devon’s mom and the leader of the Sinclair Family. Together they will double up protection to move the blades again to another area that even Devon won’t know.

But when Victor Draconi attacks all the Cloudburst Falls families at an annual dinner, all hell breaks loose, with many members of all the other families being slaughtered.  Claudia and most of the upper members of the Sinclair Family are captured, with only Lila, Devon and Felix escaping.  It is a race against time to rescue Claudia and the others before Victor forces her to reveal where the blades are, and then kills her.

Lila will work with Deah to find where they are hiding them, and together with Devon and Felix they devise a plan to rescue them.   Will Claudia survive?   Will Lila be able to fool the Draconi’s and rescue her friends? 

What follows is an awesome thrilling last half of the book that had us holding our breaths.  I had to know what happens, and ended up staying up late to finish the book.  I will not give any spoilers, but what happens was absolutely mind-boggling as we watched the evil Victor try to destroy Lila, as he had done years before to her mother.  Lila must pull out every trick she has learned, and then some.  This was a pulse pounding, tense, wildly exciting battle. Who will win this fight?

I will say that Jennifer Estep has given us a fantastic fast paced story, which I finished in one day.  I love Devon and Lila together. I love that Deah and Lila get closer, as a family.  I got a kick out of the shirt both Lila and Deah were wearing mentioning the Pork Pit being the best barbeque (it is part of the Elemental Assassin series). LOL

I cannot wait to see what else Jennifer Estep has in store for us. Lastly, this series is considered YA, but trust me when I say it is a wonderful read for all of you who love Urban Fantasy. If you have not started this series, I suggest you do so now.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

 

Giveaway

Jennifer is offering a paper copy of BRIGHT BLAZE OF MAGIC to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE and Follow Jennifer Estep on Facebook

4. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

5. FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

6. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

7. Giveaway open to USA only.

8. Giveaway runs from April 26 –  May 01, 2016

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Bitter Bite (Elemental Assassin #14) by Jennifer Estep -Dual review

BITTER BITE (Elemental Assassin #14) by Jennifer Estep-Dual Review

Bitter Bite

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 23, 2016

Which is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship?

It’s not easy being queen bee of an underworld abuzz with crooks and killers. Wielding my potent Ice and Stone elemental magic will only get me so far—my real secret is my tight-knit makeshift family, a motley crew of cops and criminals, dwarves and playboys. My foster brother Finnegan Lane is my right-hand man, but when his suddenly not-dead relative comes back into the picture, I’m the one on the outside looking in.

It’s funny how life works: one minute your best friend is rock-steady, and the next he’s doe-eyed and buying into this whole loving-relative routine to the point of ignoring you. I’d like to be happy for Finn, I really would. But all of my instincts are telling me that beneath the syrupy sweet demeanor and old-fashioned charm, this sudden interloper is planning something. The whole shtick leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. This person might have avoided the grave once, but I’ll put anyone who hurts Finn in the ground—for good.

•••••••••

Sandy’s Review

 BITTER BITE is the fourteenth full length installment in Jennifer Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN Urban Fantasy series focusing on the Underworld elemental assassin Gin Blanco-aka The Spider.

Told from first person point of view (Gin) BITTER BITE focuses on the return of Deirdre Shaw-Finnegan Lane’s ‘deceased’ mother, Fletcher’s ex-wife, and Gin’s next target as the underworld assassin. Deirdre is a powerful ‘Ice’ elemental but returns as a mother grieving the missed years of her son’s childhood, and his assent into Ashland’s elite bankers and grifters. What ensues is a rekindling of a relationship between Finn and Deirdre, and Gin’s not so subtle reminder to Finn and the others that Deirdre has returned at a very opportunistic time.

BITTER BITE follows Gin’s investigation into Deirdre’s return and Finn’s obvious reluctance to heed Gin’s warnings. When a botched bank robbery and jewel heist point all the fingers at Deirdre Shaw, Finn turns a blind eye to the mother he desperately wants in his life.

Jennifer Estep wraps our heroine in an icy blanket of violence, death, blood shed and mystery. Not as graphically violent as some of the earlier installments BITTER BITE once again finds ‘The Spider’ in one too many circumstances out of her control. Her constant need to do everything alone lands Gin on the precipice of life and death –yet again.

All of the series regulars including Gin’s boyfriend Owen, her sister and Finn’s girlfriend Bria play secondary and supporting roles; Jo Jo and Sophie (the magical dwarves) make cameo appearances; and Gin’s assistant Silvio’s role is broadening with every story line.

The world building traverses the past and the present, as the reader is pulled into Gin’s memories of Fletcher and Finn using letters, dreams and nightmares. Gin is the leader of the paranormal underworld of Ashland but she has very little control on the criminal element. Our heroine must constantly prove she is worthy of the title, and with each installment someone stronger begins to make life difficult for The Spider.

BITTER BITE is a revealing story line that focuses on family and betrayal; heartbreak and lies; secrets and letting go of the past-but the past doesn’t want to lie down and die. The new series arc is focusing on the past, and the reemergence of those long thought dead and gone. A fantastic series by an amazing author.

 

Barb’s Review:

Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep is the 14th book in her fantastic Elemental Assassin series. I’m sure you have heard me say this many times, but I love this series, I love Gin Blanco and I love everything Jennifer Estep writes. Just saying. 🙂

Bitter Bite is another wonderful story, which picks up immediately after the last book, with Gin investigating a hidden message warning left for her to find by the now deceased Fletcher. Before Gin can find out much more about Deidre Shaw, Finn’s long dead mother, who is now alive and a very powerful ice elemental; Finn will find out before she can tell him.  To Finn’s shock, he finds out that the woman he has been dealing with for his bank, is his mother. Despite Gin’s warning, he falls totally into his mother’s charm and forgets about his family and friends.

As we have come to know and love Gin, we also know she will do all she can to protect Finn. Gin does not trust Deidre, and begins to have her investigated as well as spied upon. What Gin does discover is that Deidre has enormous powers, which she can feel, even when it is harnessed.   Almost immediately, there is a robbery attempt, which rises Gin’s suspicions even more; but at every visit, Deidre is the doting mom and nothing appears to be wrong.

But again, Gin Blanco is not your average young lady; she is the Spider, who is used to living in a dangerous and violent world. Rather than reveal any spoilers, what follows is an action packed exciting adventure that will bring Gin, Bria, Owen, Finn and all their friends into danger that will put their lives at risk. Will Finn forgive Gin? Will they all survive?

It was a wild tense last 1/3 of the book, with new revelations that will shock Gin’s world even more. Jennifer Estep once again gives us another fabulous story that continues to change the game and add on more elements that will have Gin looking into her past to discover more about about her mother and the enemies both old and new.

As I said before, I love this series. Besides such a great heroine, we have a wonderful group of characters. I loved the further bonding of Gin and Bria, as well as Gin’s relationship with Owen. In each and every book, Jennifer Estep continues to wow us and keep us totally hooked into the life of Gin Blanco…the Spider. If you have not read this series, I suggest you start it now.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.

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Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep – Review & Giveaway

Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep – Review & Giveaway

 

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Dark Heart of MagicAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM / The Book Depository  / Audible link

Description:
Something Wicked This Way Comes…

As a thief, I stick to the shadows as much as possible. But when the head of the Sinclair Family picks me to compete in the Tournament of Blades, there’s no escaping the spotlight—or the danger.

Even though he’s my competition, Devon Sinclair thinks I have the best shot at winning what’s supposed to be a friendly contest. But when the competitors start having mysterious “accidents,” it looks like someone will do anything to win—no matter who they hurt.

As if I didn’t have enough to worry about, mobster Victor Draconi is plotting against Devon and the rest of my friends, and someone’s going around Cloudburst Falls murdering monsters. One thing’s for sure. Sometimes, humans can be more monstrous than anything else…

 

 

Review:

Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep is the 2nd book in her urban fantasy Black Blade series. This is a YA series, but it truly is a series for everyone. Once again I am happy to say that Jennifer Estep has done it again, with another fabulous story. Now that I have completed the second book of this series, I am sure that my comment in the first review is correct.   Lila Merriweather, our heroine, is a young Gin Blanco (Elemental Assassin series), and if you love that series, then run quickly to pick up the first book, Cold Burn of Magic, and follow it up with this book. I love everything that Jennifer Estep writes, and I am thrilled with this series, and all the wonderful characters she has created.

In Dark Heart of Magic, the story continues as Lila is now Devon’s bodyguard, and secretly works behind the scenes to find out more information on the Sinclair family’s enemy, Victor Draconi. The Draconi’s are a very powerful family, with lots of magical ability, and Victor wants to control all the families. We did learn in the first book that it was Victor, who had killed Lila’s mom years before. Claudia Sinclair is the leader of the Sinclair family, and she is the only one who knows the total truth about Lila, her past and what she is secretly doing.

The annual Tournament of Blades is upcoming, and Lila is shocked to find out that she has been selected to be one of the representatives in the tournament for the Sinclair family.  Devon is also competing, as is. Deah Draconi, who is Victor’s daughter. She will be defending her title from last year, and is expected to win again.

The relationship between Devon and Lila remains mute, even though Devon constantly shows Lila how he cares about her. He is forced to act as friends, since Lila wants nothing more. She knows she is falling for Devon, but just wants to do her job, and eventually leave Cloudburst Falls. So becoming serious with Devon is not an option for Lila; even if it becomes harder each passing day.

Before the tournament begins, Devon and Lila discover that someone is murdering tree trolls (one of many types of monsters in this series). Lila using her powers, to “see” the horrific death of the tree troll, and all the blood, but the mystery is on as to why and who.

The tournament begins, as Lila and Devon move up, but in a short time someone is sabotaging the tournament, forcing some competitors to bow out injured, as well as murdering one of the competitors.   As the tournament reaches the final stage, Lila is forced to make a decision that will affect the outcome. At the same time, the murderer begins to up the game, and Lila will put herself in danger to try to prevent another murder. The mystery of the trolls, and the murder comes full force.

Without telling too much more, the ending was a wildly exciting and tense climatic finish that answers all the questions, but will Lila survive?

In the first book we learn about who Lila’s mother is, and what she has to do with the Sinclair family. In Dark Heart of Magic, we learn a lot more; what we learn will change the game going forth, as there were many revelations. This is a great series, with a wonderful cast of characters, such as Lila, Devon, Felix, Claudia, Mo, Oscar, Deah; as well as villains you love to hate, such as Victor and Blake. This book was very exciting, fun, suspenseful, action-packed in a fantasy world of magical families and monsters; but most of all it belongs to Lila and Devon, whom we hope will continue to move forward in their relationship. I am excited about the next book, as so much was revealed. Jennifer Estep always entertains us with her wonderful stories, and amazing characters.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Author

 

 

giveaway

Jennifer is offering a paper copy of DARK HEART OF MAGIC to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE and Follow Jennifer Estep on Facebook

4. Please FOLLOW The Reading Cafe on TSU

5. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

6. FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

7. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

8. Giveaway open to USA only.

9. Giveaway runs from October 26 – 30, 2015

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Spider’s Trap (Elemental Assassin #13) by Jennifer Estep-Dual Review and Giveaway

SPIDER’S TRAP (Elemental Assassin #13) by Jennifer Estep-Dual review and Giveaway

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Spider’s Trap
Elemental Assassin #13
by Jennifer Estep
Genre: adult, urban fantasy
Release Date: July 28, 2015

Spider's Trap

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / The Book Depository

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date July 28, 2015

Keep your friends close but your enemies within stabbing distance.

One important lesson I’ve learned in the assassination business is that to be the best you have to roll with the punches. Now that I’m queen of Ashland’s underworld—by default, not by choice—a lot more punches are being thrown my way. But I suppose that’s the price of victory for taking down some of the underworld’s top dogs. Good thing I have my Ice and Stone magic to help me survive my volatile new position. Just when I think things are finally settling down, someone tries to murder me during a hush-hush underworld meeting. But the real surprise is how strangely familiar my shadowy assailant seems to be.

My job is to maintain order among killers, crooks, and thieves, and soon I’m embroiled in a bloody game where the ability to keep secrets could be the greatest superpower of all. My enemies have all sharpened their knives and laid their traps, waiting for me to fall. But this Spider weaves her own webs of death

•••••••••

Sandy’s Review

SPIDER’S TRAP is the thirteenth full-length installment in Jennifer Estep’s adult, contemporary Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series focusing on elemental assassin Gin Blanco aka The Spider. With her dual elements of stone and ice, Gin is a one woman force of nature’s power.

Told from first person point of view (Gin Blanco) SPIDER’S TRAP finds Gin facing a new but familiar enemy, in the fictional town of Ashland, whose elemental strength may be more than Gin had anticipated. As the new head of Ashland’s underworld, Gin must mediate between rival kingpins and settle disputes, all the while trying to ward off the attacks against the people that she loves. When an enemy from the past resurfaces looking for revenge, Gin makes it her mission to stay one step ahead-but is Gin the target or is someone else?

SPIDER’S TRAP brings together all of Gin’s elemental friends, vampires, giants and dwarves. Owen returns as Gin’s love interest but the romance is always limited in UF storylines; Finn continues to make impressions on the ladies; and memories of Fletcher continue to direct Gin on her path of knowledge and understanding. Gin and Bria’s relationship is no longer combative and hasn’t been for several storylines; Jo Jo and Sophia continue to play their supporting roles as protector and healer.

Jennifer Estep infuses some of the backstory and history between Gin and the previous evil elementals who have threatened our heroine or wreaked havoc on her family and friends. There is a familiarity to the storyline as old stories are revisited and the past comes full circle; Fletcher’s letters, files and lessons are a major part of the storyline (and series) premise as Gin continues her mentor’s job.

SPIDER’S TRAP is an engaging and intriguing addition to Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series that blends magic with the elementals; the supernatural with reality. There is the usual mayhem, violence, blood shed and death, but Gin, more or less, comes out of this adventure unharmed-others may not be so lucky. Gin’s evolution throughout the series finds our heroine stopping to consider all outcomes before jumping head first into a battle she may not be ready to lose-Gin’s overconfidence is often her Achilles heal.

Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series and Gin Blanco are a ‘go to’ read every time.

____________

Barb’s Review

Spider’s Trap by Jennifer Estep is the 13th book in her fantastic Elemental Assassin series. Gin Blanco is our heroine in this series, and she is one of the best kick-ass heroines I have read. Gin is an assassin with the name Spider, but in recent books, her identity which was hidden is now known. Gin is tough as they come, and throughout this series, she has killed many in self defense, killing evil beings, or to save those of her friends/family, whom she is loyal to. Gin thinks nothing of putting herself in continual danger, and in each story that Jennifer Estep so wonderfully creates, Gin faces off against the ultimate powerful nemesis and they just keep getting stronger and more powerful.

With the demise of Mab and Madeline Monroe in the last few books, Gin has been elevated to Queen of the Underworld, something she really doesn’t want, but having eliminated those in power, she inherits this title. The story begins with Gin overseeing a meeting of the Ashland underworld, and since she is bored, she begins to watch her surroundings and becomes suspicious of a waiter. Gin realizes there is a bomb and jumps to save everyone, and the mystery begins who is trying to kill who.

Gin will find herself against a powerful villain, as well as remembering a case from the past that comes back to haunt her and her competitor Lorelei Parker. What follows is an amazing adventure that puts Gin in many dangerous and death defying situations. What I loved the most is the team Gin has built over the years, consisting of friends and family that surround her. These are a wonderful group of secondary characters…Owen, Finn, Sophia, Jo Jo, Bria, Xavier, Silvio, just to name a few. As the danger escalates into an impossible situation, it will take enemies to join hands to fight against this master villain.

Jennifer Estep simply amazes me how she keeps giving us such fabulous thrilling stories, with such a fantastic heroine who always has us on the edge of our seat praying for her survival. The romance between Gin and Owen keeps growing, as does her second family. Each book in this series just keeps getting better and better. Please Jennifer, do not ever end this series. If you have not read Elemental Assassin series, what are you waiting for?

Copy supplied by Netgalley.

READING ORDER

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
11. Poison Promise
12. Black Widow
13. Spider’s Trap

giveaway

The Reading Cafe and Jennifer’s publisher are offering a paper copy of SPIDER’S TRAP to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE and Follow Jennifer Estep on Facebook

4. Please FOLLOW The Reading Cafe on TSU

5. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

6. FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

7. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

8. Giveaway open to USA only.

9. Giveaway runs from July 27- 31, 2015

Share