Bitter Bite (Elemental Assassin #14)

bittercover75605-mediumAuthor: Jennifer Estep

Publisher: Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books

Rating: 5 stars

Buy Links: Amazon

Type: Novel in Series

Provided by Publisher


Blurb: 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.


Review: Deidre Shaw. Finnegan’s mother and Fletcher’s ex. Why is she back and what’s it going to take to get her to reveal her real motivation?

We start out the book with Gin at Blue Ridge Cemetary. Due to events that occurred in the last book, she’s been suspicious about the “death” of her foster brother Finnegan’s mother. Several hidden clues have pointed her in this direction, and she’s determined to find out all she can before she goes to Finn with the evidence. Not finding a body in the grave she expected; finding a box filled with information from her dead mentor, Fletcher, told her more than she wanted to know.

He’d known that one day Deidre would be back.

How do you convince someone you love that their mother showing up after all these years–of course with a convincing story about how she’d been forced to stay away–isn’t the best thing ever?

As always, the intricate plotting and complicated world building are beautifully supported by intricate character development and the many long-standing relationships. How can Gin protect the citizens of Ashland, keep precarious hold of her leadership of the criminal element in the area, while keeping herself alive and protecting Finn from whatever evil Deidre has planned?

She can, but not without a little help from her friends.

Returning to Ashland and the world of Gin Blanco is always exciting, and this story delivered on the promise made in the last book. I love how Gin thinks, and while I’d never be able to handle the lifestyle, I feel like I’m living vicariously as a tough, accomplished assassin who shows her soft and squishy side only to those closest to her. I cheer when she wins, and I wince when she’s down. Estep has the ability to make her readers ignore the darker side of this character, seeing her as a heroine instead of a killer. Plus, I adore the fact that she’s spun two other series that tie into this world.

Write on, Ms. Estep.

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