Gin Blanco has many talents. She can run a BBQ joint by day, and run the underworld by night. Does this Ice and Stone Elemental magician ever sleep? Probably not. When we meet Gin in Bitter Bite, the 14th installment of Jennifer Estep‘s Elemental Assassin series, she is digging up a grave, and set upon by dwarves.
Cue immediate interest.
Gin has more problems than keeping control of the criminals of Ashland, most of whom want her dead so that they can take over. It seems that her foster brother Finn’s mother is not so dead, but before Gin can go to Finn with the truth, mommy dearest reunites with him with false tears in her eyes. Finn falls for it, even with all the lies she is telling about his dad – the dad that took Gin in, too. She may have to act syrupy sweet for her brother/BFF’s sake, but that doesn’t mean she trusts Mother Deidre (or anyone). Deidre Shaw is a powerful Ice Elemental, with a heart to match. Still… Gin’s instincts are pretty good when it comes to this.
Estep has created the best of both worlds in Gin – a gal who can take care of herself in incredibly dangerous situations, yet still keep her vulnerable side when it comes to her family and boyfriend Owen. Gin is a kickass character, a woman who does it all while remaining deeply loyal to her family, blood or not.
The Stone power was the most interesting to me. It allowed Gin to hear the whispers of rocks (who knew?), and to harden her skin so bullets could bounce off. Best. Power. Ever.
I have not read all of the books in the Elemental series yet, but this one was perfect even as a standalone, as just enough background was given so you were not totally lost, but it didn’t take up too much of the story. The action is pretty much non-stop, with a compelling magical mystery woven in.
Publisher’s official book synopsis:
Which is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship? That’s the question Gin Blanco asks when a friend’s long-lost relative strolls into town. The suspicious reunion is a surprise for everyone””and a big problem for Gin. Book fourteen in the New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series RT Book Reviews calls “unbeatable entertainment!”
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.