Two Books & A Blog: Black Widow by Jennifer Estep

Series: Elemental Assassin 12

Format: Paperback
Release Date: November 25, 2015
Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Publisher
Recommended By: Amber I.
Genre: Urban Fantasy

There’s nothing worse than a cruel, cunning enemy with time to kill—and my murder to plan.

With wicked Fire elemental Mab Monroe long gone, you’d think I could finally catch a break. But someone’s always trying to take me down, either as Gin Blanco or my assassin alter-ago. Now along comes the Spider’s new arch-nemesis, the mysteriously named M. M. Monroe, who is gleefully working overtime to trap me in a sticky web of deceit.

The thing is, I’m not the only target. I can see through the tangled threads enough to know that every bit of bad luck my friends have been having lately is no accident—and that each unfortunate “coincidence” is just one more arrow drawing ever closer to hitting the real bulls-eye. Though new to Ashland, this M. M. Monroe is no stranger to irony, trying to get me, an assassin, framed for murder. Yet, as my enemy’s master plan is slowly revealed, I have a sinking feeling that it will take more than my powerful Ice and Stone magic to stop my whole life from going up in flames.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Supies!
I love holidays, but if you’re a single lady like moi, you either love or hate “hearts” day. I hate it.

Lee’s so kind to help me make this day a bloody one. What better way to celebrate V-Day than with an assassin who won’t think twice in decorating a lovely ballroom with different shades of red? 

Let the body count begin!
*This is part 2 of the review, 
you may find the first part over at She-Wolf Reads*

TS: Did you tear up? Man, I found myself mimicking Owen at one point, my hand to my chest because of Gin and what Madeline has put her through! For a minute there, I was doubtful she’ll make it whole.

SWR: Yes, the tension was intense. For the first time in a long time I really couldn’t see how Gin would make it out of this one. And the emotions. Intense, too. When Owen didn’t believe it was true…let’s just say, I got teary. It was emotional to say the least. And I love how everyone banded together for that final confrontation. Do you think Emery will come back at some point? And will Jonah get what’s coming to him?

TS: Oh my gawd! When they were in Jojo’s kitchen and Owen was the only steadfast person there… waaahh!! I’m so happy Gin heard his declaration! I think Emery will come back, that’s for sure. As for Jonah, he’s like a cockroach! LOL

Speaking of which, did you read the preview for the Spider’s Trap? Gin was hinting of her next aggressor being “familiar”. Do you think that’s Emery? I’m thinking it’s someone else, like someone we’ve met in the older books.

SWR: No, didn’t read the preview. It would be awesome if it ends up being someone other than Emery. A flash from the past would be an interesting surprise, keeping Emery as an unknown in the background until the time is right.

TS: That’s true. I want Emery to stay on reserve for now as well.

I love the twist in BLACK WIDOW and Madeline’s style. I was half expecting her to be like Mab, what I did NOT expect was her finesse.

SWR: Finesse and power. She packed some serious juice! What do you think of Gin’s new role as queen of the underworld? I wonder where that road will take her!

TS: Honestly, I’m not sold on this idea. Gin has always been outside the circle. Operating on her own rules, etc. I was hoping she’ll go back to being a hired assassin, get out of Ashland and hunt other types of bad guys. How about you, do you like this new development?

SWR: More curious than anything else. I’m not sure I see Gin as running the Ashland underworld due to her need for a low key existence. But, honestly, unless she wants people to keep trying to kill her, there really is no other choice. I’m open to this new direction.

My final verdict is 4.5 howls. BLACK WIDOW is THE book in terms of injecting some new energy into this series. I loved the action, the emotion, and the character interaction. This has me excited for the next in the series. What’s your final take, Braine?

TS: I’m giving BLACK WIDOW 5 caulrons! We’ve waited too long for this and I’m only too happy it wasn’t in vain. And like you, Gin Blanco with the help of Madeline Monroe, revived my interest for the series. Now that we’re caught up, the wait for Spider’s Trap is going to be a long one.


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Two Blogs & A Book: Poison Promise by Jennifer Estep

Series: Elemental Assassin 11

Format: ARC
Release Date: July 22, 2014 
Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Publisher
Recommended By: Awesomesauce Book Bloc 
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Gin Blanco is hard-nosed, sexy, and lethal. Nicknamed “The Spider,” she’s a stone elemental assassin who brings her unique mix of magic and tact to every assignment, no matter the target.

There’s a new drug on the streets of Ashland, and its name “Burn” sums up the potent effect it has on its users. When one of her restaurant employees is threatened by dealers of the drug, Gin steps in to set things straight.

It’s that time again when Lee of She-Wolf Reads & I gab about Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin. We’re almost caught up, and though we’re not really impressed by this installment, it’s one book closer to MMM! 

Talk Supe (TS): Lee! We have to read Black Widow like ASAP! OMG! OMG! So before we get ahead of ourselves, POISON PROMISE! What did you think about this?

My thoughts on POISON PROMISE is good like 3-cauldron good. I just feel like it’s a new spin on the same thing since after Spider’s Revenge. Like Gin is up against a powerful dude but not exactly Mab so it’s very likely she’s going to vanquish the villain somehow. BUT I did like how personal this case was. 
She-Wolf Reads (SWR): I have to agree with you. This one was a solid 3 howler for me. It was similar to other entries in the series – bad villain, forced into the fight when someone she cares for is threatened, you think she will lose, she succeeds, celebration, and then some foreshadowing of things to come. Even the tension with Bria felt a bit forced. And though I point out these negatives, it was a solid story. I was entertained and I enjoyed going back into the familiar territory of Gin’s world. I guess I’m just starting wonder where this is all going. But maybe I’m getting too ahead of myself…One of the new additions to this world is Silvio Sanchez. What did you think of this character and what it means for Gin and company?

TS: I didn’t really give him too much thought until the end. I find Gin having an… assistant, amusing. Gin’s becoming a team of some sort, like Batman! She has a intelligencer, a clean-up crew, weapons man, cops on her side, very much like The Caped Crusader! LOL
SWR: I was surprised how he fits himself into her world at the end. I kinda liked it and wonder if this will change up some of the chemistry a bit. He seems to be a kind of Finn in the most basic sense but with a totally different personality.
TS: True, I guess he’ll be Gin’s contact in the underworld or something? We’ll see, I’m curious if he’s going to play a bigger role especially now that MMM is officially in the picture.
Head on over to She-Wolf Reads to read the rest of the review



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Pack Review w/ She-Wolf Reads: The Spider by Jennifer Estep

Series: Elemental Assassin 10

Format: Mass Paperback
Release Date: December 24, 2013
Publisher: Pocket Books
Excerpt
Source: Publisher
Genre: Urban Fantasy

The tenth book in the bestselling and “outstanding” (Romantic Times) Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series finally reveals for the first time the origins of Gin Blanco’s career as the deadliest of assassins.

For the first time, the origins of Gin Blanco’s career as the deadly assassin “the Spider” are revealed in full. In a story that pre-dates the other nine books in the series, Gin Blanco goes through her paces to become the most feared assassin in the Ashland.

And my Elemental Assassin buddy review with Lee of She-Wolf Reads continues with THE SPIDER. Although I found the overall plot, conflict and resolution a tad predictable, I did enjoy this origins story, as Lee puts it. It’s nice to rewind a bit, look back, and figure out Gin’s first turning point. I didn’t realize that I miss some of the old characters from Fletcher Lane to the villains that Gin already took down. I’m hoping that going back to basics will kick-start this series again, fingers crossed Monroe v2.0 will be as epic as the first one.

BRAINE: Before anything else, I want to say how special I feel right now. I know your schedule is hectic and yet here you are, making time to chat about, THE SPIDER with me. So big thanks, Lee! Muah!

LEE: No, thank you for being so patient with me! I’ve had to take a break from blogging since I moved and it’s been nice to have these reviews with you to remind me I need to hurry up and get back to it!

BRAINE: You moved? Okay I’ll ask you about that offline and you’re welcome, you’ve been missed. On to business… did you like this little throwback?

LEE: Overall, yes, I did like it. And I think you know that I was not looking forward to reading THE SPIDER. I had no interest in an origins story so I went into this with a certain amount of “let’s move onto the next one!” but I was wrong. It’s a good story; actually, a story pivotal to fully understanding how Gin became the Gin we know – cold, untrusting, haunted, and lonely.

BRAINE: That’s true and after reading the blurbs for the next two books I’m speculating that maybe JEstep wrote this to open the new Monroe arc. That said, I think THE SPIDER is genius, I don’t know where JEstep is getting her ideas from, it’s just amazing! I have to say I miss “the gang” meaning Gin’s victims including Fletcher Lane.

LEE: Yes, it was nice to see Fletcher in the “father” mode. He cared for Gin and his training was old school and aimed at keeping her alive. It was nice to see those moments with Fletcher but also with Finn! The brother-sister bonding was in full swing and very sweet.

BRAINE: Yup although I feel awkward every time Gin and Owen mention their little fling… THE SPIDER made me sad a little bit because I always took Fletcher for granted. After reading this I wish he didn’t die too early in the series.

LEE: Yes, in a way his character left before his time but it was his death that really put a lot of things in motion for Gin. There were a lot of “winks” in the story to characters we’ve come to love like how Roslyn and Finn met, Bria, and even Owen. I thought they were fun but it also made me want to go back and skim past books to see if the connections were true to what we’ve learned so far. What did you think of these connections?

BRAINE: Some parts felt orchestrated like her run in with young Owen but at the same time I guess it’s expected because they’re moving in the same circle and Fletcher made sure that Gin wasn’t too far from Mab.


To be continued at She-Wolf Reads



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Bon Appetit! Elemental Assassin’s Gin Blanco on Food, Friends + a Giveaway

Elemental Assassin 9
April 27, 2013
Pocket Books
From the Publisher via Edelweiss
Urban Fantasy

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
Read my chat review with Lee over at She-Wolf Reads for
HEART OF VENOM here
If you’re an ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN fan, you’d know that Gin Blanco’s knife skills aren’t limited to killing people, she’s also very handy in the kitchen. Reader her books not only sets me off into a blood lust, it also get me hungry because of the foods she makes! So Lee of She-Wolf Reads and I can’t help but ask her foodie questions. Bon Appetit!


BRAINEHi Gin! Thanks for visiting with Talk Supe and She-Wolf Reads!


Gin: Thanks for hosting me on your blog! I appreciate it.


BRAINESo every time Lee and I read your books, we always get so so hungry! Also Lee and I are both believers that the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach… except if you have sharp knives or something like that. Anyway! 

If your close family and friends: Finn & Bria, Owen, Jo-Jo & Sophia, Xavier and Roslyn, are food or dishes, what would they be and why?

Gin: I would say that Finn would be a hot fudge sundae – something really decadent that you know isn’t good for you, but that you just can’t help but enjoy anyway.


Owen would be a chocolate chip cookie – a classic dessert that you never get tired of and that’s always in your pantry when you need a sugar fix.

Bria would be a spinach salad – something that’s very healthy for you, since she’s so good and honest.

Jo-Jo would be strawberry cotton candy – light and fluffy – while Sophia would be bittersweet chocolate, to match the sisters’ respective personalities.


Xavier
would be a spinach salad like Bria, since he’s her partner on the police force, while Roslyn would be a mojito, since she runs the Northern Aggression night club.


BRAINE: Geez, it’s too early for sweets but how can I NOT crave a sundae & some dark choco w/a glass of mojito to wash it off?!

LEE: Ha! Too bad, Braine, I have access to some of the best chocolates in the world *smirks*. Now Gin, as a cook and an assassin, have you ever thought about what you want for your last meal? As a foodie, I’m sure you kinda thought about this.

Gin: I would probably want some traditional Southern comfort food for my last meal – fried chicken, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, buttermilk biscuits – all my favorite foods.

BRAINE: See?! *shakes fist* You Gin Blanco are my diet’s kryptonite! Sigh…Lastly, if you were to prep a special meal, entree and dessert, for your man, Owen, what would it be?Gin: I would go with dessert, and since it’s summertime, something that’s easy to make and doesn’t require turning on the stove, like this recipe:

Easy Strawberry Shortcakes

Sweet Summer Strawberries (recipe below)
1 frozen pound cake
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (or both)

Thaw and slice the pound cake according to the package directions. Place one slice of cake on a plate. Top with a generous scoop of Sweet Summer Strawberries and either whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (or both). Repeat with another layer of cake, strawberries, and cream. Top with a final scoop of sweet summer strawberries. Serve immediately.


Note: You could use fresh strawberries or other summer fruits – peaches, blueberries, etc. – in place of the Sweet Summer Strawberries.



Sweet Summer Strawberries

1 gallon fresh strawberries
Sugar, to taste

Wash and cap the strawberries. Let the strawberries dry, then cut them into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. Starting with about a cup of sugar, add sugar to the strawberries until desired sweetness is reached. (The more sugar you add, the sweeter they will be.)

Stir the sugar until it is dissolved and has formed a syrup over the strawberries. Serve immediately, store in the refrigerator for a few days, or ladle the strawberries and syrup into airtight containers and freeze until ready to use.

Note: These strawberries are great on toast, as part of a PB&J, or over vanilla ice cream. Also, this recipe works with all kinds of summer berries, as well as other summer fruits, like peaches.


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Pack Review w/She-Wolf Reads: Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep

Series: Elemental Assassin 8

Format: eGalley
Excerpt
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Recommended By: Amber I. Awesomesauce Book Blog
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Red is definitely my color. Good thing, because in my line of work, I end up wearing it a lot.

Most people shy away from blood, but for an assassin like me— Gin Blanco, aka the Spider—it’s just part of the job. Still, it would be nice to get a night off, especially when I’m attending the biggest gala event of the summer at Briartop, Ashland’s fanciest art museum. But it’s just not meant to be. For this exhibition of my late nemesis’s priceless possessions is not only theplace to be seen, but the place to be robbed and taken hostage at gunpoint as well. No sooner did I get my champagne than a bunch of the unluckiest thieves ever burst into the museum and started looting the place.

Unlucky why? Because I brought along a couple of knives in addition to my killer dress. Add these to my Ice and Stone magic, and nothing makes me happier than showing the bad guys why red really is my color.

BRAINE: Hi Lee! I missed you, beech! Where have you been?! Gosh it’s been almost a MONTH! How are you?

LEE: I know, I’m sorry.  Work has been kicking my butt and it hasn’t let up.  I probably won’t be on top of it until July!  But enough about me.  

On to DEADLY STING….This made me sad but I have to admit it — this is my least favorite in the series. It was Gin’s version of Die Hard but a little less exciting.  And I am still so mad about Owen.  What did you think?

BRAINE: Yeah, Owen’s a dick & I’m with you. I can’t believe he’s carrying some sort of grudge over what happened in WIDOW’S WEB…. DEADLY STING felt like a filler volume.

LEE: I liked that the Giants took center stage here.  Clementine was a worthy villain but I kind of feel like it was all setup for what was really the ultimate issue here which was Mab’s will.  Convince me this book was necessary? (too harsh?)

BRAINE: I agree and hard truths are necessary at times. I’m with you, I didn’t see the whole point of this novel except for Gin finally out maneuvering the lawyer. Fluck! What’s his name?! MENTAL BLOCK!!!

LEE: Jonah McAllister!

BRAINE: LOL… This chat thing is fun… yes! Jonah McAllister! The walking Botoxed man or whatever he calls his facial treatment!

LEE: But how did you feel about how that was handled?  I felt like the book dragged on a bit and then the Jonah thing was tagged on.

BRAINE: It took me quite some time to finish DEADLY STING. Although the action and pace was great, like you, I didn’t see WHY this has to be a story arc. I know JEstep is trying to start up something here but again, the big production was a bit excessive!

LEE: Yes, I guess it was all about Jonah trying to hide the will essentially, but also unveiling a new potential threat – Mab’s heir. I can’t help but feel like this could have been handled in the first three chapters of another book.

I love this series but I have to get a bit critical for a moment — I’m tired of the constant asides of Gin bragging about her prowess. I’m on book eight, I think at this point I know she is a bad ass.  She knows she is a bad ass.  No more, “He’d realize how wrong he was soon enough – when I killed him.”  On the one hand, I think the repetitiveness that I nitpicked about before has lessened, and now these constant asides have started to grate.

BRAINE: Funny, I follow a blog who’s also binge-reading Elemental Assassin and she more or less said the same thing…. and all this self-doubt IS getting old. Like girl, how many people do you have to kill before you realize you’re The Spider?! I’m all for humility but I’m also for taking credit where credit is due!

LEE: Yes but it’s also not only humility but she’s so bad ass she doesn’t have to say anything.  Nothing.  I know as well as everyone in the Ashland-verse, that Gin is going to kill somebody but good.  She doesn’t need to preface it or foreshadow it or shit-talk anymore; she can just do it, get on with it.  Her reputation is enough.

BRAINE: Yeah, she has a Reputation and there’s a reason why it’s there. Embrace it Gin! Stop dallying girl and embrace your Queen B status!! LOL… speaking of Queen B. What’s your theory about this Monroe person? Honestly I’m excited, Gin’s opponents post-Mab are so-so except for Salina, I’m hoping that this Monroe character is a super villain.

LEE: Yes!  This was the most worthy thing to come out of this story.  Is it a man or woman?  Are they as strong as Mab?  As vicious and unredeemable?  I’m super excited to see who the heck this person is and whether or not he/she is coming for Gin.   Did you read the synopsis for the next book?

BRAINE: I wonder if s/he is holding a grudge on Gin and I wonder if there’s more to Gin’s family’s murder than what was told. This Monroe person is certainly a wild card and the possibilities are endless for me at this point…

*reading the blurb for the next book* After book 5, I tried not to read anymore blurbs because some of them are “spoilery”… ok do you think Heart of Venom is filler-ish? I love Sophia but this feels like another “side story”… I do like the part about Gin & Owen. Hopefully Owen gets his shiznit together because at this point, Gin deserves so much better than what he’s giving her now.

LEE: You’re right.  I does sound kind of fillerish but honestly, I’ve been dying to know about Sophia’s past so this is one filler that I might embrace.  I hope it pushes the Mab connection forward, too.

BRAINE: You’re right, Sophia’s a mystery to me too and despite Jojo telling us what happened, I want to see Sophia in action and what she does with the bodies. I just hope that it’s not like DEADLY STING where it felt pointless.

LEE: Final Verdict?

BRAINE: Loved WIDOW’S WEB, I wasn’t expecting an assassin’s love life could be like daytime soap LOL… DEADLY STING not so much. Even if DEADLY STING opened a Monroe arc, I didn’t really care much for Clementine and her squad of giants. I feel like that could’ve been a side story and this Monroe person the main plot.

LEE: I think we’re in agreement.  WIDOW’S WEB was great but DEADLY STING was a disappointment.  I normally rip through these books but this one took me a while to finish.  I’m hoping the return of the Mab storyline continues to be developed because I think it has the most potential to match the greatness that was Mab Monroe as Gin’s nemesis.

BRAINE: Yeah, JEstep did so well with Mab’s arc that she’s probably having a hard time topping that LOL. Fingers cross all this build-up won’t be anti-climactic.

Lee and I doubled up this month, read our chat review 
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Pack Review: By A Thread by Jennifer Estep w/ She-Wolf Reads + GIveaway

Series: Elemental Assassin 6

Format: Mobi
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Purchased
Recommended By: Amber I. Awesomesauce Book Club 
Genre: Urban Fantasy

When killing people is your job, there’s no such thing as a vacation.

Then again, how often does an assassin live long enough to enjoy her retirement? In this line of work, you either get lucky or you get dead. And since I destroyed my nemesis Mab Monroe a few weeks ago, all of Ashland’s lowlifes are gunning to make a name for themselves by taking out the lethal Spider—me, Gin Blanco. So I’m leaving behind my beloved barbecue joint and heading south with my baby sister, Bria, to cool my heels in a swanky beach town. Call it a weekend of fun in the sun. But when a powerful vampire with deadly elemental magic threatens an old friend of Bria’s, it looks like I’ll have to dig my silver stone knives out of my suitcase after all. Complicating matters further is the reappearance of Detective Donovan Caine, my old lover. But Donovan is the least of my problems. Because this time, the danger is hot on my trail, and not even my elemental Ice and Stone magic may be enough to save me from getting buried in the sand—permanently.

I have to admit, BY A THREAD made me nervous because Mab’s arc was nothing short of epic and as it was wrapped up in Spider’s Revenge, I’m not sure how the heck Jennifer Estep is going to keep the excitement in the succeeding books. Lee and I have been speculating behind the scenes and the only way for us to satisfy our curiosity is to read BY A THREAD
Elemental Assassin 6 is great and although I know that it won’t top Spider’s Revenge, at least it wasn’t a let down. The plot of BY A THREAD is a one-off and though I miss having a strong storyline like Mab’s, I’m still pleased with this follow-up. There’s still lots of action and fantastic duels but the main point for me is the romantic intrigue between Gin, her current boyfriend, Owen, and her ex, Donovan Caine. 

1. So what’s your verdict? Do you like this one-book storyline or were you expecting/hoping/looking for an arc like Mab?

LEE: This is really the million dollar question, isn’t it? I have to say, for me, this book didn’t miss a beat. I think the villain was super creepy, scary, and unrelentingly strong. Just like Mab, it was unclear if Gin could take him which made the stakes incredibly high. You add to this all the personal drama – Donovan, Owen, and Bria – and I felt BY A THREAD was equally as strong and absorbing as the previous individual books. That being said, I do think it needs an overall arc and the question continues to persist…what’s next?
BRAINE: I have to say I have my doubts and although I know that BY A THREAD wouldn’t be as epic as Spider’s Revenge, I was happy that it was still a strong follow-up. I loved the duel between Gin and Randall Dekes because like you, I was doubtful of Gin’s success. Essentially Randall used Gin’s powers against her so really it’s her quick thinking that saved her once again. Overall, I love how JEstep is keeping us guessing and speculative about the direction of the series at this point.

2. I know how you feel about Caine and now I’ve come to realize what a total dick he is. I feel bad for Callie because she has WORK ahead of her knowing Caine is still hung up on Gin. What was going through your head in all his scenes with Gin? I was imagining a mad She-Wolf and I can’t help but chuckle while reading, I know you probably ripped Caine a new one.

LEE: I despised him in the earlier books and he annoyed me in BY A TRHEAD. I just cannot take his self-righteousness! I mean, seriously, you have angst and guilt and anger over your feelings for someone you shouldn’t love? Fine, but he doesn’t have to be such a douche! And his arrogance? The ARROGANCE of it all at the end! I love how Gin handled it. Owen is by far the better man. I hope Callie doesn’t get hurt and Donovan sure as hell doesn’t deserve her. Grrr….
BRAINE: Bahahaha! OMG! I’ll let you have it… why did you hold back, Lee?! I know your mini rant there barely scratched the surface!

3. Bria and Gin, what do you think about these two’s relationship?

LEE: I like it. It’s got its issues and I think Bria’s resentment was a little unfair but I appreciate the moment at the end when she and Gin come to an understanding. This relationship has a lot of potential to go so right or so very wrong, their emotions are so on the surface in a way that it’s exciting to see where it will go and how Gin will be impacted by it.
BRAINE: Yup, that honest conversation in the end was loaded. I felt like a huge thorn was removed from both Gin and Bria’s side because of that and I can tell they’re on their way to having an understanding of sorts. I was applauding Bria when she admitted her resentment towards Gin and how bad she felt after seeing herself in Caine, that takes a lot of humility to admit something like that.  

4. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed it but aside from the recaps, there seems to be a formula in the books: Gin finds a target, Finn does the research, Jo-jo and Sophia help with the clean-up. I mean it works but I’m starting to look for a deviation from that. Thoughts?


LEE: Glad you brought this up. I would add to it “Gin underestimates target” since that seems to happen a lot. All I can say is “teamwork”? This is definitely a sort of formula for each book and while it doesn’t bother me per se, for example, each person has his or her own job, it would be nice to see something totally different. I will say in BY A THREAD, Gin did have to dispose of several bodies without Sophia’s assistance and that was new. 
BRAINE: True, and I wonder why she’s still doubtful about herself after killing Mab. Although I know it’s prudent not to be cocky but she’s not The Spider for nothing. As for the formula, I’d like to see Gin without her team, that would be an interesting situation since her buddies always manage to save her just in the nick of time. I want JEstep to really push Gin outside the safety her “team” gives her.

5. What do you think of Gin’s character development so far? I don’t see a big change but I love how vulnerable she has become thanks to Bria, Owen and Fletcher’s death.

LEE:  I feel like BY A THREAD marks a new start. A lot of the big character development happened in the previous books and in this one we see Gin sort of tie up a loose end (Donovan Caine) so I assume the next books will show Gin grow a bit more. And I have to admit that I peeked at the synopsis for the next in the series, Widow’s Web, and l am eagerly waiting our next discussion because I think DRAMA is heading our beloved Gin’s way!

BRAINE: By all intents and purposes, BY A THREAD is indeed a new phase in the Elemental Assassin series and I know that our little chit-chat is probably stale news to older fans of the series. And like you, I’m excited to see where the story’s going. Elemental Assassin seems to be one of those rare series that still manages to surprise its audience after 10 books so I’m sure that we’re in for lots of drama, more action, menacing villains and plot twists that will leave both of our mouths hanging open. Now let’s talk offline bout Widow’s Web

Read my BY A THREAD Q&A with Lee at She-Wolf Reads.
Click the cover arts to check out our previous Pack Reviews

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Pack Review: Spider’s Revenge by Jennifer Estep + Giveaway

Series: Elemental Assassin 5
Format: Mobi
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Gift from Amber I. AwesomeSauce Book Club
Recommended By: Amber I.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Audible | Barnes & NobleKobo

Old habits die hard. And I plan on mur­der­ing some­one before the night is through.

Killing used to be my reg­u­lar gig, after all. Gin Blanco, aka the Spi­der, assassin-for-hire. And I was very good at it. Now, I’m ready to make the one hit that truly mat­ters: Mab Mon­roe, the dan­ger­ous Fire ele­men­tal who mur­dered my fam­ily when I was thir­teen.

Oh, I don’t think the mis­sion will be easy, but turns out it’s a bit more prob­lem­atic than expected. The bitch knows I’m com­ing for her. So now I’m up against the army of lethal bounty hunters she hired to track me down. She also put a price on my baby sister’s head. Keep­ing Bria safe is my first pri­or­ity. Tak­ing Mab out is a close sec­ond.

Good thing I’ve got my pow­er­ful Stone and Ice magic — and my irre­sistible lover Owen Grayson — to watch my back. This bat­tle has been years in the mak­ing, and there’s a chance I won’t sur­vive. But if I’m going down, then Mab’s com­ing with me…no mat­ter what I have to do to make that happen.

It’s finally here! 
After being taunted for four books, Gin and Mab finally face off in SPIDER’S REVENGE. I know I always say it with every Elemental Assassin book but this is my favorite so far. Jennifer Estep was relentless with the action, it was one thing after the other it’s quite impossible to put this down! So take it from me, don’t make the mistake of reading this late at night not unless you’re an insomiac or don’t have plans the following day. Gin Blanco won’t let go til you’ve read the last word.
And as always, it’s a pleasure to break each Elemental Assassin novel down with my buddy, Lee of She-Wolf Reads. We also have a giveaway to complement our review courtesy of the gracious Jennifer Estep. So read up and we hope you enjoy our little chat below!
What did you think of the fight scenes ESP between Gin & Mab?
LEE: I thought they were brilliant and tense. I think what Estep has done really well in the series is to make Gin powerful but not invincible and so every time she goes up against someone strong, you, as a reader, are always wondering if she’ll make it. The scenes in SPIDER’S REVENGE were no different. That final one was just fantastic. It actually felt like an old western full of quips, vengeance, fury, drama, and cool calculation. 
BRAINE: I also loved the half-way scene where Mab finally found out who the Spider is and they tore up that place, leather costumes and all. But yeah, the last face off was one of the great duels I’ve ever read but Gin really went nuclear on Mab there, I’m surprised she made it! And I agree with what you said, Gin’s magic is raw and untrained like you, I often wonder if she can wield it enough to save her butt. She’s always caught in these hair raising close calls I think her survival to this point lie on her sharp instincts.
Now that her arch enemy is dead, do you think that will break the momentum of the series?

LEE: I’m worried about that. It looks like the next one will have Gin doing more pro bono type stuff which is fine but I loved the overall series arc with Mab. I felt like we were working towards something and I will miss that sense of focus. I’m hoping another arc emerges that’s just as compelling and that will keep the momentum going. You?
BRAINE: I feel you. I don’t think Jonah MacAllister is strong enough to take Mab’s place as Gin’s next nemesis and there’s nobody really that poses a threat. All I can think of now as far as the series plot is concerned, is JEstep will continue to play with Gin’s personal relationships. Which is OK but I’m an adrenalin junkie and I need something more substantial than that.
What song would you pick for SPIDER’S REVENGE 
LEE: That’s a good question. And a hard one! For me, the most pivotal scene in the book is towards the end, the showdown between Gin and Mab. This is the scene that I thought about when choosing a song. I wanted something quiet and building, something that at first underscores the emotion and then helps drive it. So, I chose “Auto Rock” by Mogwai which is in the Miami Vice soundtrack. I think this music is so perfect for that scene that it gives me chills.
BRAINE: Thanks for that, I haven’t heard that song before… I like it. My choice is angrier. It’s Linkin Park’s Papercut. Gin never fails to pump my adrenalin, every time I read her books, I get excited and angsty. LOL (Yes people, I have anger issues)
Because it was just VDay, how do you feel about the romantic relationships here?
LEE: I love the romantic relationships here. Gin and Owen really cover new ground in their relationship in SPIDER’S REVENGE. They breakdown some barriers and open themselves to each other like never before. Finn and Bria cracked me up. They acted like teenagers and needed their butts beat for stupid decisions. And Xavier and Roslyn are just too sweet. All of these couples have experienced incredible pain and in their partners have discovered relief and comfort. It’s beautiful. I also love that all of these people are now Gin’s family. She’d risk anything for them and them for her. It’s an undiscovered country for Gin and I’m looking forward to what seeing what she finds there.
BRAINE: Finn and Bria, those two act like NA MC’s! I have to do a double take just to make sure that I read it right and they did bump uglies in the midst of a crisis. They’re my favorite now just because there’s so much tension between them and Finn’s used to be a ladie’s man and Bria can bring him to his knees with just one look. Xavier and Roslyn, like you said, are a sweet couple and I’m touched with how loyal they are to Gin. Gin and Owen, I love them because they mirror and understand each other completely. I love their chemistry and I want to see them fight as a team more. But I cheated and read the blurbs for the next books, looks like they’re headed to a rocky path and I hope they make it!

Check my inter-review with Lee at She-Wolf Reads

Big thanks to Jennifer Estep for the giveaway prize!

Good luck, Supies!

Pack Review + Giveaway: Spider’s Revenge by Jennifer Estep

Series: Elemental Assassin 5
Format: Mobi
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Gift from Amber I. AwesomeSauce Book Club
Recommended By: Amber I.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Audible | Barnes & NobleKobo

Old habits die hard. And I plan on mur­der­ing some­one before the night is through.

Killing used to be my reg­u­lar gig, after all. Gin Blanco, aka the Spi­der, assassin-for-hire. And I was very good at it. Now, I’m ready to make the one hit that truly mat­ters: Mab Mon­roe, the dan­ger­ous Fire ele­men­tal who mur­dered my fam­ily when I was thir­teen.

Oh, I don’t think the mis­sion will be easy, but turns out it’s a bit more prob­lem­atic than expected. The bitch knows I’m com­ing for her. So now I’m up against the army of lethal bounty hunters she hired to track me down. She also put a price on my baby sister’s head. Keep­ing Bria safe is my first pri­or­ity. Tak­ing Mab out is a close sec­ond.

Good thing I’ve got my pow­er­ful Stone and Ice magic — and my irre­sistible lover Owen Grayson — to watch my back. This bat­tle has been years in the mak­ing, and there’s a chance I won’t sur­vive. But if I’m going down, then Mab’s com­ing with me…no mat­ter what I have to do to make that happen.

It’s finally here! 
After being taunted for four books, Gin and Mab finally face off in SPIDER’S REVENGE. I know I always say it with every Elemental Assassin book but this is my favorite so far. Jennifer Estep was relentless with the action, it was one thing after the other it’s quite impossible to put this down! So take it from me, don’t make the mistake of reading this late at night not unless you’re an insomiac or don’t have plans the following day. Gin Blanco won’t let go til you’ve read the last word.
And as always, it’s a pleasure to break each Elemental Assassin novel down with my buddy, Lee of She-Wolf Reads. We also have a giveaway to complement our review courtesy of the gracious Jennifer Estep. So read up and we hope you enjoy our little chat below!
What did you think of the fight scenes ESP between Gin & Mab?
LEE: I thought they were brilliant and tense. I think what Estep has done really well in the series is to make Gin powerful but not invincible and so every time she goes up against someone strong, you, as a reader, are always wondering if she’ll make it. The scenes in SPIDER’S REVENGE were no different. That final one was just fantastic. It actually felt like an old western full of quips, vengeance, fury, drama, and cool calculation. 
BRAINE: I also loved the half-way scene where Mab finally found out who the Spider is and they tore up that place, leather costumes and all. But yeah, the last face off was one of the great duels I’ve ever read but Gin really went nuclear on Mab there, I’m surprised she made it! And I agree with what you said, Gin’s magic is raw and untrained like you, I often wonder if she can wield it enough to save her butt. She’s always caught in these hair raising close calls I think her survival to this point lie on her sharp instincts.
Now that her arch enemy is dead, do you think that will break the momentum of the series?

LEE: I’m worried about that. It looks like the next one will have Gin doing more pro bono type stuff which is fine but I loved the overall series arc with Mab. I felt like we were working towards something and I will miss that sense of focus. I’m hoping another arc emerges that’s just as compelling and that will keep the momentum going. You?
BRAINE: I feel you. I don’t think Jonah MacAllister is strong enough to take Mab’s place as Gin’s next nemesis and there’s nobody really that poses a threat. All I can think of now as far as the series plot is concerned, is JEstep will continue to play with Gin’s personal relationships. Which is OK but I’m an adrenalin junkie and I need something more substantial than that.
What song would you pick for SPIDER’S REVENGE 
LEE: That’s a good question. And a hard one! For me, the most pivotal scene in the book is towards the end, the showdown between Gin and Mab. This is the scene that I thought about when choosing a song. I wanted something quiet and building, something that at first underscores the emotion and then helps drive it. So, I chose “Auto Rock” by Mogwai which is in the Miami Vice soundtrack. I think this music is so perfect for that scene that it gives me chills.
BRAINE: Thanks for that, I haven’t heard that song before… I like it. My choice is angrier. It’s Linkin Park’s Papercut. Gin never fails to pump my adrenalin, every time I read her books, I get excited and angsty. LOL (Yes people, I have anger issues)
Because it was just VDay, how do you feel about the romantic relationships here?
LEE: I love the romantic relationships here. Gin and Owen really cover new ground in their relationship in SPIDER’S REVENGE. They breakdown some barriers and open themselves to each other like never before. Finn and Bria cracked me up. They acted like teenagers and needed their butts beat for stupid decisions. And Xavier and Roslyn are just too sweet. All of these couples have experienced incredible pain and in their partners have discovered relief and comfort. It’s beautiful. I also love that all of these people are now Gin’s family. She’d risk anything for them and them for her. It’s an undiscovered country for Gin and I’m looking forward to what seeing what she finds there.
BRAINE: Finn and Bria, those two act like NA MC’s! I have to do a double take just to make sure that I read it right and they did bump uglies in the midst of a crisis. They’re my favorite now just because there’s so much tension between them and Finn’s used to be a ladie’s man and Bria can bring him to his knees with just one look. Xavier and Roslyn, like you said, are a sweet couple and I’m touched with how loyal they are to Gin. Gin and Owen, I love them because they mirror and understand each other completely. I love their chemistry and I want to see them fight as a team more. But I cheated and read the blurbs for the next books, looks like they’re headed to a rocky path and I hope they make it!

Check my inter-review with Lee at She-Wolf Reads

Big thanks to Jennifer Estep for the giveaway prize!

Good luck, Supies!

Pack Review: Tangled Threads by Jennifer Estep w/She-Wolf Reads

Series: Elemental Assassin 4
Format: Mobi
Release Date: April 26, 2011
Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Gift from Amber I. Awesomesauce Book Club
Recommended By: Amber I.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo 

I’d rather face a dozen lethal assassins any night than deal with something as tricky, convoluted, and fragile as my feelings.

But here I am. Gin Blanco, the semi-retired assassin known as the Spider. Hovering outside sexy businessman Owen Grayson’s front door like a nervous teenage girl. One thing I like about Owen: he doesn’t shy away from my past—or my present. And right now I have a bull’s-eye on my forehead.

Cold-blooded Fire elemental Mab Monroe has hired one of the smartest assassins in the business to trap me. Elektra LaFleur is skilled and efficient, with deadly electrical elemental magic as potent as my own Ice and Stone powers. Which means there’s a fifty-fifty chance one of us won’t survive this battle. I intend to kill LaFleur—or die trying—because Mab wants the assassin to take out my baby sister, Detective Bria Coolidge, too.

The only problem is, Bria has no idea I’m her long-lost sibling . . . or that I’m the murderer she’s been chasing through Ashland for weeks. And what Bria doesn’t know just might get us both dead.

And yet another review that’s 2.5 years too late. I’m amending that now with my buddy, Lee of She-Wolf Reads, whose blog you should go check out because she’s a fab blogger and writes fantastic reviews!
Anyway back to TANGLED THREADS, Elemental Assassin 4. I’ll probably say this with every book moving forward but this has got to be my favorite in the series so far! There’s a bunch of things that had happened and if you’ve read the series you can relate why this volume is exciting for me. Finally! My much awaited conversation between Gin and Bria (they’re long lost sissies) has happened and though it’s not exactly what I had in mind, it was still a powerful scene nonetheless. Lots of emotions played out in that 1 minute conversation, it’s pivotal!
Then of course there’s the case of the evil villain, Mab Monroe. Mab had Gin’s family killed all those years ago and the Spider aka Gin Blanco, is Mad real Mad Joe Jackson (Yeezus). Mab hired an assassin, Elektra LeFleur (badass name), to take out Gin/Spider, a worthy opponent but still no match for the Spider. Their fight scenes are incredible, it’s a test of cunning and speed than force and physical strength plus I love how Elektra’s real supervillain-ish with her fashionista color coordinated outfits.
These are my personal quick takes, read below for some mild fangirling and more specifics about TANGLED THREADS in Lee’s POV.



BRAINE: Now that Gin & Bria have finally laid out their cards, do you think they will come to a place where Bria can accept Gin’s past and present? I mean do you think Gin is the exception because of Bria’s straight laced moral compass? 

LEE: Good question. Not sure. I think there will always be a part of Bria that can’t accept Gin but given their past and their present, I don’t see how she could turn her back on her. She’s come into Gin’s life at a good time, at a time when Gin is working from her heart and taking jobs that help people out of very bad situations. Gin kills bad people (emphasis on BAD) and exacts the oldest law of all…an eye for an eye. There could be an argument made that they’re both law enforcement. **nervous giggle**

BRAINE: I think Bria is going to struggle with reconciling her beliefs with Gin’s life after the tragedy. Yet another conversation I can’t wait to read! 


Now I am a fan of Gin & Owen, those two are perfect for each other. But Finn & Bria excites me too! How do you think this budding romance is going to pan out?

LEE: I hope they have an HEA! I’m just not sure any of that is possible given the world they live in, the enemy they’re up against, and Finn’s flirty nature. But fingers-crossed those two crazy kids work it out. It makes for an interesting relationship that I think is going to have some funny moments and a lot of really good tension. 


BRAINE: I think Finn met his match on Bria *giggles*. 

So let’s talk about fun stuff, you’ve asked me who I see playing Gin, who do you see playing Owen and Finn?

LEE: Gin is such a hard one…At first I thought the actress from the Syfy show Lost Girl, but then, the more I thought about it, the more Maggie Q came to mind. She doesn’t look like Gin but she kicks serious butt. In terms of Finn…Chris Pine. Is he too young? He can nail the cockiness. I thought about Michael Fassbender but I’m not sure he could get Finn’s naughty humor. He could definitely get the danger lurking under the surface though. And Owen. This is a hard one. If Tom Hardy were brunette, I go for him. 

BRAINE: I’m for Fassy and Tom Hardy is so dreamy… sigh… Speaking of other characters, I personally am a little nervous that Gin’s circle is growing because that means they can be targets once Mab finds out Gin is Spider. Do you think it’s wise for Gin to continue to fraternize with Jo-jo, Sophia, Rosyln and Xavier?


LEE: She needs family and she needs their support. I think anyone who gets involved in her life and knows who and what she is runs the risk of getting caught in the crossfire. Something bad is going to happen, I have no doubt. I just think Gin takes care of her own and there is nobody better to have at your back than her.

BRAINE: Any thoughts on the supporting cast and predictions for their futures?

LEE: I love this supporting cast. They each have distinct personalities and they each play a unique role in Gin’s life. I don’t have predictions, per se, for all of them but I do have hopes for more development. I think the relationship that intrigues me the most is that between Sophia and Jojo. The two sisters are hiding something from Sophia’s past, something that has been expertly hinted at throughout these first few books and slowly developed…Sophia’s mysterious elemental power, her quiet withdrawn nature that hides a lot of emotion. I, quite honestly, am dying to know what the heck is up with her and sister, what they are hiding from their pasts, and how it will impact the overall arc of the series. I also love Bria and Finn. I love that she won’t take his shit and that she unsettles him. This makes for a great romance but I wonder if it makes for an HEA. Same goes for Owen and Gin. I just can’t see an HEA for an assassin, even if she kicks ass and is a good person. I’m hoping it lasts between those two because their chemistry is delicious.

BRAINE: You and I are the same page with Sophia. That dwarf’s got a secret and I have a feeling it’ll be jaw dropping! 

These crazy combat magic is exciting and I’m sure you’ve thought about it, if you could be an elemental, which element would you want to control and why?

LEE: Fire elemental. Without a doubt. First, because it looks cool. It’s very cinematic. I mean just going shopping on Black Friday…I would stand there with some random wind blowing through my hair, smizing, and fire jumping off my fingertips, saying in a very calm voice, “I believe I had my hands on that 50% off cashmere sweater first, ma’am.” Imagine the potential! Secondly, I could grill some ribs up real fast, too which my husband would love. So, yeah, fire elemental.

BRAINE: LOL yes that would do the job fo sho! I’d take Fire too just because I think it’s the most powerful element to have. Do you have a favorite moment or line in the book?

LEE: For me, I loved the last scene in the book. It bordered on corny but I loved it. I feel like it’s the calm before the storm. Estep is going to do something soon to yank all this happiness away and it’s going to break our hearts. In terms of a line, let me see…

Death came to us all in the end, no matter how tough we thought we were.

I highlighted that not because of the words or how it was written but because it says a lot for Gin’s future. I think it foreshadows and I think it shows how utterly grounded she is in the reality of her world. She knows she isn’t invincible, she knows that against the right opponent, she might not make it through. And she still fights. Mab has to be taken down!

BRAINE: I agree with the last scene, the Christmas party in Owen’s house is very poignant. My favorite is when Gin finally told Bria she’s her long lost sister and that she’s the Spider too. The inner struggle between the sisters was so palpable I wish I could be a fly on the wall at that moment. As for my favorite line, I love it when Gin taunts her enemies, it never fails! 

But this is my ultimate TANGLED THREAD quote because it’s squee worthy and it’s indicative that Gin is slowly letting her guard down and is comfortable to be vulnerable towards Owen.

the fragile strings of my feelings for Owen joined together, all the tangled threads wrapping around and weaving their way through my heart.

Thanks for doing this with me, Lee, and sorry for making you cram! 
Head on over to She-Wolf Reads and check out my thoughts on TANGLED THREADS.

Pack Review: Tangled Threads by Jennifer Estep w/She-Wolf Reads

Series: Elemental Assassin 4
Format: Mobi
Release Date: April 26, 2011
Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Gift from Amber I. Awesomesauce Book Club
Recommended By: Amber I.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo 

I’d rather face a dozen lethal assassins any night than deal with something as tricky, convoluted, and fragile as my feelings.

But here I am. Gin Blanco, the semi-retired assassin known as the Spider. Hovering outside sexy businessman Owen Grayson’s front door like a nervous teenage girl. One thing I like about Owen: he doesn’t shy away from my past—or my present. And right now I have a bull’s-eye on my forehead.

Cold-blooded Fire elemental Mab Monroe has hired one of the smartest assassins in the business to trap me. Elektra LaFleur is skilled and efficient, with deadly electrical elemental magic as potent as my own Ice and Stone powers. Which means there’s a fifty-fifty chance one of us won’t survive this battle. I intend to kill LaFleur—or die trying—because Mab wants the assassin to take out my baby sister, Detective Bria Coolidge, too.

The only problem is, Bria has no idea I’m her long-lost sibling . . . or that I’m the murderer she’s been chasing through Ashland for weeks. And what Bria doesn’t know just might get us both dead.

And yet another review that’s 2.5 years too late. I’m amending that now with my buddy, Lee of She-Wolf Reads, whose blog you should go check out because she’s a fab blogger and writes fantastic reviews!
Anyway back to TANGLED THREADS, Elemental Assassin 4. I’ll probably say this with every book moving forward but this has got to be my favorite in the series so far! There’s a bunch of things that had happened and if you’ve read the series you can relate why this volume is exciting for me. Finally! My much awaited conversation between Gin and Bria (they’re long lost sissies) has happened and though it’s not exactly what I had in mind, it was still a powerful scene nonetheless. Lots of emotions played out in that 1 minute conversation, it’s pivotal!
Then of course there’s the case of the evil villain, Mab Monroe. Mab had Gin’s family killed all those years ago and the Spider aka Gin Blanco, is Mad real Mad Joe Jackson (Yeezus). Mab hired an assassin, Elektra LeFleur (badass name), to take out Gin/Spider, a worthy opponent but still no match for the Spider. Their fight scenes are incredible, it’s a test of cunning and speed than force and physical strength plus I love how Elektra’s real supervillain-ish with her fashionista color coordinated outfits.
These are my personal quick takes, read below for some mild fangirling and more specifics about TANGLED THREADS in Lee’s POV.



BRAINE: Now that Gin & Bria have finally laid out their cards, do you think they will come to a place where Bria can accept Gin’s past and present? I mean do you think Gin is the exception because of Bria’s straight laced moral compass? 

LEE: Good question. Not sure. I think there will always be a part of Bria that can’t accept Gin but given their past and their present, I don’t see how she could turn her back on her. She’s come into Gin’s life at a good time, at a time when Gin is working from her heart and taking jobs that help people out of very bad situations. Gin kills bad people (emphasis on BAD) and exacts the oldest law of all…an eye for an eye. There could be an argument made that they’re both law enforcement. **nervous giggle**

BRAINE: I think Bria is going to struggle with reconciling her beliefs with Gin’s life after the tragedy. Yet another conversation I can’t wait to read! 


Now I am a fan of Gin & Owen, those two are perfect for each other. But Finn & Bria excites me too! How do you think this budding romance is going to pan out?

LEE: I hope they have an HEA! I’m just not sure any of that is possible given the world they live in, the enemy they’re up against, and Finn’s flirty nature. But fingers-crossed those two crazy kids work it out. It makes for an interesting relationship that I think is going to have some funny moments and a lot of really good tension. 


BRAINE: I think Finn met his match on Bria *giggles*. 

So let’s talk about fun stuff, you’ve asked me who I see playing Gin, who do you see playing Owen and Finn?

LEE: Gin is such a hard one…At first I thought the actress from the Syfy show Lost Girl, but then, the more I thought about it, the more Maggie Q came to mind. She doesn’t look like Gin but she kicks serious butt. In terms of Finn…Chris Pine. Is he too young? He can nail the cockiness. I thought about Michael Fassbender but I’m not sure he could get Finn’s naughty humor. He could definitely get the danger lurking under the surface though. And Owen. This is a hard one. If Tom Hardy were brunette, I go for him. 

BRAINE: I’m for Fassy and Tom Hardy is so dreamy… sigh… Speaking of other characters, I personally am a little nervous that Gin’s circle is growing because that means they can be targets once Mab finds out Gin is Spider. Do you think it’s wise for Gin to continue to fraternize with Jo-jo, Sophia, Rosyln and Xavier?


LEE: She needs family and she needs their support. I think anyone who gets involved in her life and knows who and what she is runs the risk of getting caught in the crossfire. Something bad is going to happen, I have no doubt. I just think Gin takes care of her own and there is nobody better to have at your back than her.

BRAINE: Any thoughts on the supporting cast and predictions for their futures?

LEE: I love this supporting cast. They each have distinct personalities and they each play a unique role in Gin’s life. I don’t have predictions, per se, for all of them but I do have hopes for more development. I think the relationship that intrigues me the most is that between Sophia and Jojo. The two sisters are hiding something from Sophia’s past, something that has been expertly hinted at throughout these first few books and slowly developed…Sophia’s mysterious elemental power, her quiet withdrawn nature that hides a lot of emotion. I, quite honestly, am dying to know what the heck is up with her and sister, what they are hiding from their pasts, and how it will impact the overall arc of the series. I also love Bria and Finn. I love that she won’t take his shit and that she unsettles him. This makes for a great romance but I wonder if it makes for an HEA. Same goes for Owen and Gin. I just can’t see an HEA for an assassin, even if she kicks ass and is a good person. I’m hoping it lasts between those two because their chemistry is delicious.

BRAINE: You and I are the same page with Sophia. That dwarf’s got a secret and I have a feeling it’ll be jaw dropping! 

These crazy combat magic is exciting and I’m sure you’ve thought about it, if you could be an elemental, which element would you want to control and why?

LEE: Fire elemental. Without a doubt. First, because it looks cool. It’s very cinematic. I mean just going shopping on Black Friday…I would stand there with some random wind blowing through my hair, smizing, and fire jumping off my fingertips, saying in a very calm voice, “I believe I had my hands on that 50% off cashmere sweater first, ma’am.” Imagine the potential! Secondly, I could grill some ribs up real fast, too which my husband would love. So, yeah, fire elemental.

BRAINE: LOL yes that would do the job fo sho! I’d take Fire too just because I think it’s the most powerful element to have. Do you have a favorite moment or line in the book?

LEE: For me, I loved the last scene in the book. It bordered on corny but I loved it. I feel like it’s the calm before the storm. Estep is going to do something soon to yank all this happiness away and it’s going to break our hearts. In terms of a line, let me see…

Death came to us all in the end, no matter how tough we thought we were.

I highlighted that not because of the words or how it was written but because it says a lot for Gin’s future. I think it foreshadows and I think it shows how utterly grounded she is in the reality of her world. She knows she isn’t invincible, she knows that against the right opponent, she might not make it through. And she still fights. Mab has to be taken down!

BRAINE: I agree with the last scene, the Christmas party in Owen’s house is very poignant. My favorite is when Gin finally told Bria she’s her long lost sister and that she’s the Spider too. The inner struggle between the sisters was so palpable I wish I could be a fly on the wall at that moment. As for my favorite line, I love it when Gin taunts her enemies, it never fails! 

But this is my ultimate TANGLED THREAD quote because it’s squee worthy and it’s indicative that Gin is slowly letting her guard down and is comfortable to be vulnerable towards Owen.

the fragile strings of my feelings for Owen joined together, all the tangled threads wrapping around and weaving their way through my heart.

Thanks for doing this with me, Lee, and sorry for making you cram! 
Head on over to She-Wolf Reads and check out my thoughts on TANGLED THREADS.