Thursday, September 30, 2010

Book Blog Tour of Venom by Jennifer Estep

Venom (Elemental Assassin, Book 3)

Welcome to the book blog tour of Venom by Jennifer Estep.  The third in her Elemental Assassin series featuring Gin Blanco, otherwise known as the assassin Spider.

The blurb:
What kind of assassin works pro bono?

It's hard to be a badass assassin when a giant is beating the crap out of you.  Luckily, I never let pride get in the way of my work.  My current mission is personal:  annihilate Mab Monroe, the Fire elemental who murdered my family.  Which means protecting my identity, even if I have to conceal my powerful Stone and Ice magic when I need it most.  To the public, I'm Gin Blanco, owner of Ashland's best barbecue joint.  To my friends, I'm the Spider, retired assassin.  I still do favors on the side.  Like ridding a vampire friend of her oversize stalker -- Mab's right-hand goodn who almost got me dead with his massive fists.  At least irresistible Own Grayson is on my side.  The man knows too much about me, but I'll take my chances.  Then there's Detective Bria Coolidge, one of Ashland's finest. Until recently, I thought my baby sister was dead.  She probably thinks the same about me.  Little does she know, I'm a cold-blooded killer. . . who is about to save her life.

I hadn't read the earlier novels in the series before reading Venom.   Although, having become attached to the character of Gin Blanco, I intend to catch up on her earlier adventures. 

Venom takes us to the midsized city of Ashland at a time when magic is an acknowledged part of life.  There are several basic "elementals" of magic:  Stone, Air, Fire, Ice.  Aside from magicians, there are magical beings of all sorts from vampires to giants.  Here are some of the main characters:

  • Mab Monroe - has powerful Fire magic and a longstanding rivalry with Gin's mother.  
  • Elliot Slater - giant and enforcer of Mab Monroe.    Slater has a deep anger against Gin Blanco and will seize any excuse to attack her.
  • Gin  Blanco - comes from a line of magic. Her mother held powerful Ice magic and father held Stone magic.  Her mother and sisters were targeted Mab Monroe and her henchmen in a murderous attack when Gin was a child.  Through luck and the generosity of Fletcher Lane, Gin learns a deadly trade and inherits Pork Pit, a barbecue joint, which serves as a perfect cover for her identity as Spider, the deadly assassin.
  • Finnegan Lane - son of Fletcher Lane, investment banker, and loyal friend to Gin Blanco.
  • Jo-Jo Deveraux - dwarf,  Air elemental, beauty salon owner by day works miracles on her patron's wrinkles is an unparalleled healer for her select patients.
  • Sophia Deveraux - dwarf, Air elemental, cook at the Pork Pit and "cleaner" who disposes of many of Spider's kills.
  • Owen Grayson -  strikingly handsome and wealthy entrepreneur who is not shy about declaring his interest in Gin Blanco. 
The book opens with Gin Blanco suffering a savage beating - she purposely doesn't defend herself to hide the extent of her powers.  As an assassin, Spider is cautious, patient, and deadly but her  protective side might get her killed. 

Full of action, adventure and tales of loyalty and friendship the Elemental Assassin series is a fun escape.

ISBN-10: 1439148015- Mass  Market Paperback
Publisher: Pocket; Original edition (September 28, 2010), 416 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
Jennifer Estep is an award-winning features page designer for a daily newspaper.

Spider's Bite and Web of Lies are the first two books in her Elemental Assassin series.  She is also the author of Bigtime paranormal romances series that include Karma Girl, Hot Mama, and JinxLearn more about her and her books at

Thank you to Pocket Books for this review opportunity!

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