Web of Lies
Author: Jennifer Estep
Title: Web of Lies
Series: Elemental Assassin 2
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Rating: Four Petals
On the Author's Website:
I'm Gin Blanco.
You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I’m retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren’t aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox. Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coalmining tycoon, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I’m a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn’t made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man . . . dead or alive.
I was worried that this series would fall into a tedious repetition of the same story line: Gin the assassin is hired to kill someone, something goes wrong, and Gin works hard to survive and make sure her mark ends up dead. In some ways this second book in the series does fall into that trap, but there is more than enough extra added to the plot that I didn't mind. The biggest difference is the fact that Gin is retired, which breaks the trope of her needing to be hired. She can and does choose to help someone in need. I really liked that difference and what it eventually started to mean for Gin. She's been the bad guy for so long, killing people for hire, that she doesn't know how to be good. Yet, when she chooses her next assignment it's solely to help someone in need. That slow growth of a spark of good in Gin's life is what made this book unique from the previous one.
Everything I enjoyed in the previous book was just as well written in this one. The magic system of elementals was explained with a little more depth. I didn't understand in the previous book that Gin is almost totally ignorant of her own powers, which explained some of the lacking details, so as she learns more I learn more. It will be an ongoing process to explain those powers with more depth that I am looking forward to.
I also really appreciated the way Estep handled the romantic relationship in this book. Caine can't reconcile his strong morals with Gin's willingness to kill and it's tearing him up inside. I couldn't figure out how a relationship between them might actually work. It will give away the ending if I say how it ended up, but the way Estep carefully handled it was perfect.
I do recommend this book. I thought the plot was very interesting, the magic system given more depth, and the difficult romance was handled very well. I will be reading the next book in the series.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.