Monday, April 18, 2011

ARC Review: Tangled Threads by Jennifer Estep

Title: Tangled Threads
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Elemental Assassin #4
Publisher: Pocket
Number of Pages: 384
Source: Sent to me from the author to read
Publication date: April 26, 2011

*May contain a few unavoidable spoilers if you haven't read the other books in the series!*

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

The Elemental Assassin Series by Jennifer Estep will forever hold a special place in my heart because it was the first nitty gritty Urban Fantasy series that I read, thanks to Mandi over at Smexybooks and her review of A Spiders Bite. (book 1) Tangled Threads is book 4 in the series, and by far my favorite.

When I started Tangled Threads I was worried that I had forgotten too much of the previous books to enjoy this one properly, but I had no need to worry because it was like greeting old friends as soon as I started the book. Previous story lines are woven into the story without taking anything away from the story being told or taking away from any of the action. This book really could be read as a stand alone, but I don't recommend it because so much of the animosity Gin and Mab feel for each other started in the other books. 

Gin is one of my favorite all time kick ass heroines, and Finn is just well,  Finnalicious, I felt like this book was really different then the others. While it still had a lot of action, this was more about Gin dealing with her feelings and wanting to get close to Owen, but at the same time wondering if she was good enough for him. (Damn that Detective Caine for getting to her like that! I have never disliked a love interest more then I loathed him!)

There is a new enemy to defeat in this book-the La Fleur, another assassin is out to get her because Mabs, the leader of the underworld is still hopping mad that Gin killed one of her best people in book three, and my memory is a bit fuzzy, but also because Gin killed her brother who was out to get her in book two, A Spiders Bite. The La Fleur will stop at nothing to kill Gin, and is frustrated because she keeps failing at it. Gin hasn't seen another elemental as powerful as the La Fleur, and is forced to tap into her powers more then ever before. While her stone powers have always been greater, she is forced to tap into her ice powers to save herself against the La Fleur. I really enjoyed how there is also a new danger to Gin along with the continuous war with Mab Monroe. In this book it's really more about Gin growing as a person rather then just battling it out-which I loved. It was was a nice progression from book one when Gin could have cared less about anything or anyone other then herself.  One of the things I love about this series is that everything fits together like a puzzle piece, and past characters suddenly come into play when you least expect it.

The secondary characters have all become like members of the family and I loved seeing them all again-especially Finn. He's just so well, Finnalious! I love that he has met his match in this book with Bria, and can't wait to see their story develop alongside that of Gin and Owen. Let me just say that Owen makes me sigh all over the place. He's just so crush-worthy in this book. I love how he gets Gin and has done somethings that he's not proud of in his past, so he totally understands where Gin is coming from.  The Deveraux sisters are also back~and I love how they try to instill little lessons into Gin to remind her that she's not completely alone. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the La Fleur and Mab Monroe. The la Fleur was a great match for Gin, but I have to admit she has nothing on Mab. I know I keep using this word a lot, but really, I love the continual duel between Mab and Gin. I can't wait to see how it all plays out. Mab's probably my favorite villianious.

Tangled Threads does not disappoint, and come back this afternoon for a chance to win Tangled Threads and for my interview with Jennifer Estep!

 Favorite Quote:
A slow, lazy grin spread across Owen’s chiseled face.“Well, maybe that’s one of the things we can talk about in greater detail—at my house this evening.”The grin dropped from his face, and he was seriousonce more. “What do you say, Gin? Come home withme. Even if it’s only for today.”
Please. He didn’t say the word, but we both heard itin the rough, raw tone of his voice. And try as I might, I couldn’t stop the silken threads wrapped around my heart from quivering in agreement. From wanting to enjoy just one more carefree day and night with Owen, before I focused all my attention on the deadliest enemy I’d ever faced.

* This book has made me do something I've never done before: change the name of a meter. The Sidekick meter, formerly known as the Giguhl sidekick meter is now the Finn Sidekick Meter. I love him that much. *

Curran Crush Meter: High 
Martini Sigh Meter: Super High 
Barrons Hero Hotness Meter: Super High 
Rhiannon Kick Ass Heroine Meter: Super High 
Ethan/Merit Sizzle Meter: Medium
Finnalicious Side Kick Meter: Super High