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Book Blast & Giveaway: Nice Guys Bite by Jennifer Estep

Whoop! Happy book birthday to Jennifer Estep for the novella, Nice Guys BiteNice Guys Bite takes place after the events of Unraveled (#15). It is told from the point of view of vampire Silvio Sanchez, Gin’s personal assistant. Does anyone else think that Silvio, on this cover, looks a lot like Sam Trammel? 🙂

Nice Guys BiteTitleNice Guys Bite
AuthorJennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin, Book 15.5
Publish Date: Dec 12, 2016, Pocket Star
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher’s DescriptionWorking for Gin Blanco (aka the Spider, the assassin who runs the Ashland underworld) doesn’t leave much time for romance, especially with Gin’s holiday party planning in full swing. But when he catches the eye of a charming gentleman, Silvio finds himself going out for coffee.

All’s fair in love and war, though. Just as Silvio is starting to enjoy himself, he realizes he’s being watched. His nice-guy date doesn’t sense the danger, and Silvio wants to keep it that way (and, well, keep the guy alive) so Silvio ends the date early—only to be abducted by some villainous giants.

Will Silvio survive the night and make it back to the Pork Pit in time for Gin’s holiday party? Only if he decks the hall with bodies …

Buy Links

Amazon B&N | BAM Google Play | iBooks | Kobo

Giveaway…

Jennifer has a $20 Amazon gift card giveaway for this book blast! Giveaway runs Dec. 12 – 19. Enter via Rafflecopter.


jennifer-estepAbout the Author…

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. She is also the author of the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series, the Black Blade young adult urban fantasy series, and the Bigtime paranormal romance series.

For more information on Jennifer and her books, visit www.jenniferestep.com or follow Jennifer on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.

 

Unraveled by Jennifer Estep

Gin, Owen, Bria, and Finn take a “vacation” at an Old West theme park. In keeping with tradition, the “vacation” turns into a deadly showdown, with Gin and her friends playing the part of the white hats. Unraveled is another fun, fun adventure for beloved assassin.

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

UnraveledTitleUnraveled
AuthorJennifer Estep
SeriesElemental Assassin Book 15
Publish Date: August 30, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
SourceNetGalley

Publisher’s DescriptionAfter the shocking revelations of the previous book, Bitter Bite, the world of Ashland’s become even more sinister, and Gin Blanco (aka Ashland’s most fearsome assassin, the Spider) no longer knows who—or what—she can count on. Only one thing is for certain: danger and new enemies await Gin in Unraveled.

What could go wrong when you’re trying to unravel a decades-old conspiracy?

As the current queen of the Ashland underworld, you would think that I, Gin Blanco, would know all about some secret society controlling things from behind the scenes. I might be the Spider, the city’s most fearsome assassin, but all my Ice and Stone elemental magic hasn’t done me a lick of good in learning more about “the Circle”. Despite my continued investigations, the trail’s gone as cold as the coming winter.

So when Finnegan Lane, my foster brother, gets word of a surprising inheritance, we figure why not skip town for someplace less dangerous for a few days? That place: Bullet Pointe, a fancy hotel resort complex plus Old West theme park that Finn now owns lock, stock, and barrel. At first, all the struttin’ cowboys and sassy saloon girls are just hokey fun. But add in some shady coincidences and Circle assassins lurking all around, and vacationing becomes wilder—and deadlier—than any of us expected.

Good thing this assassin brought plenty of knives to the gunfight…

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

God, I love this series! How much cheesier can you get than an Old West theme park as a setting?

Finn has inherited the theme park from his deceased mother. So he and Bria, Gin and Owen take off for the theme park. Finn wants to learn more about his mom and Gin wants to learn more about The Circle, a shady underworld organization who may be moving in on her territory. Along the way they go on a scavenger hunt for some valuable jewels and free the theme park from the clutches of The Circle, returning management of the park to one person who seems to really love it.

badge5v4Unraveled is a fun romp in the Western style. There’s even a showdown on Main Street, though it happens closer to midnight than high-noon. I’m not sure Gin has learned much more about The Circle than she knew before, but they are surely taking more notice of her. I can’t wait to see what the next novel has in store for Gin and her friends!

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Unwanted by Jennifer Estep

Finnegan Lane like you’ve never seen him… full of doubt and self-loathing. What’s it going to take to get Finn’s cocky confidence and charm back after being so horribly betrayed by his long-lost mother? Taking down an Ashland baddie and saving an innocent family might do for a start.

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Unwanted2Title:  Unwanted
Author:  Jennifer Estep
SeriesElemental Assassin Book 14.5
Publish Date:  July 18, 2016
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Source: NetGalley

Publisher’s DescriptionThe New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin series continues with a new e-novella–from the point of view of Finnegan Lane, the foster brother of Gin Blanco, and a fan favorite of readers of the series.

The fallout from his disastrous “family reunion” in Bitter Bite has left Finn feeling hurt, angry, and depressed. He can barely stand to look at himself in the mirror, much less eat any of the delicious barbecue from Gin’s famed Pork Pit restaurant.

But when the funeral for a slain security guard at his bank turns into a showdown with some nasty underworld giants, Finn knows that he must act in order to protect an innocent family.

Finnegan Lane might be the most unwanted man in Ashland these days, but he’s determined to try to make amends for his past mistakes…

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

What drew me to this book: Oooh, twist my arm <said sarcastically>! Frequent readers will know that I LOVE the Elemental Assassin series. Love, Love LOVE!

Why I kept reading: It’s a little painful that, for the very first book from Finn’s perspective, he’s not his usual over-confident, cocky, charming self. Finn is still reeling from the events of Bitter Bite, where the mother he long-thought was dead used and tortured him to gain access to the vault at the massive bank where Finn works.

Guilt and self-loathing plague Finn’s every waking moment. Even Gin and Bria’s attempts to cheer him up don’t work. Finn’s boss seems to be doing everything in his power to make Finn suffer more—forcing him to go to the funeral services and memorials of the men who were killed during his mother’s heist. Finn does it, too, and faces the scorn and hatred of his co-workers every day, feeling he deserves every bit of it.

When Finn discovers one of the widows of a slain security guard is in trouble with an Ashland bookie, he decided he has to help, even against the widow’s wishes. Finn attacks the problem, Gin Blanco-style, and starts his journey back to himself.

badge4v4Why I recommend it: There are a lot of feels in this book—for Finn, for the family of those who died, for Gin and Bria. If you are invested in these characters, you’ll want to experience this part of their lives with them. I very much enjoy when the reader gets to see the consequences of actions that have taken place in a previous book, which is what this novella is all about. Bitter Bite was an amazing book, and this is the perfect follow-up. Also, the twist at the end is awesome and so perfectly fits the style of this series. I wasn’t expecting it at all, and it was super!

Our reviews in this series…

 

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep

Gin’s loyalty to her family has been proven over and over again. But will they be just as loyal when push comes to shove? This is a great addition to the Elemental Assassin series!

Bitter BiteTitle:  Bitter Bite
Author:  Jennifer Estep
SeriesElemental Assassin Book 14
Publish Date:  February 23, 2016
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Source: NetGalley

Publisher’s DescriptionWhich is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship?

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.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

So… I’ve mentioned before how much I love Gin Blanco, right? Well, if I haven’t, I LOVE GIN BLANCO! I love that she can run a barbecue restaurant, make an awesome lasagna, and slit the throats of bad guys all in the same day with equal amounts of contentment.

In Bitter Bite, Gin’s adopted brother, Finn, meets the mother he thought long dead.  Gin suspects she’s a bad guy, and has to be the one that breaks the news to Finn.

BIG SPOILER HERE: I was kind of hoping Finn would save himself in this story.  It has to suck for Gin to be the bad guy all the time, first with Owen and his former girlfriend, and now with Finn and his mother.  I was hoping Finn, even though he *wanted* his mother to be good, would have prepared for the worst and had plans to take her down if she showed her true colors.  But, that’s not what happened.

badge5v4The more I think about and write about this series, the more I recognize the characteristics it shares with comic adaptations like Batman and Gotham— a highly stylized, highly corrupt town where a few honorable people are trying hard to fight the good fight.  Yes, there is some realism in the story, but in what other environment can you kill the bad guys so blatantly and often without consequence? I caught myself wondering, “Why hasn’t some kid come after Gin yet for killing his daddy, who was some underling in a crime family forced to work off debt, but deep down was just a good guy?  She’s killed enough people, there should be orphans everywhere!” But in a world like Ashland, or Gotham, minions don’t have families.  They’re expendable, nameless, and replaceable, but oh-so satisfying to pick off.

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

…you might try the Immortal Vegas series by Jenn Stark, The Asylum Tales by Jocelynn Drake, or the Hollows series by Kim Harrison.

Spider’s Trap by Jennifer Estep

Spiders Trap

Spider’s Trap is a fun, and classic, Gin Blanco adventure.  Fan’s will enjoy watching Gin kicking ass and taking names.

TitleSpider’s Trap
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin Book 13
Publish Date: July 28, 2015
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: NetGalley
Audiobook Sample Clip – Available July 28th on Audible

Publisher’s Description: Keep your friends close but your enemies within stabbing distance.

One important lesson I’ve learned in the assassination business is that to be the best you have to roll with the punches. Now that I’m queen of Ashland’s underworld—by default, not by choice—a lot more punches are being thrown my way. But I suppose that’s the price of victory for taking down some of the underworld’s top dogs. Good thing I have my Ice and Stone magic to help me survive my volatile new position. Just when I think things are finally settling down, someone tries to murder me during a hush-hush underworld meeting. But the real surprise is how strangely familiar my shadowy assailant seems to be.

My job is to maintain order among killers, crooks, and thieves, and soon I’m embroiled in a bloody game where the ability to keep secrets could be the greatest superpower of all. My enemies have all sharpened their knives and laid their traps, waiting for me to fall. But this Spider weaves her own webs of death…

SPOILERS!


ivana 100Invested Ivana says…

Let me first say that you will never get an unbiased review of the Elemental Assassin series from me.  So, fair warning.  I LOVE Gin Blanco.  Gin is the part of me that really wishes I could stab asshats in the kidney and bathe in bloody justice.  She’s all my revenge fantasies come to life.  She’s the part of me that scares the crap out of Nell.

If you have read the series, you’ll know what I mean.  If you haven’t, don’t let me scare you off.  Gin is a good person and a protagonist you can care about.  But she’s a “retired” assassin, and the way she knows how to deal with dangerous asshats is to slice their throats with her knives.  Thus the bloody justice.

Gin’s world is not like our world.  It’s a highly stylized and very corrupt world centered around Ashland, a southern town where Gin and her friends live.  If you find yourself wondering why Gin doesn’t just move to a different town, you’re missing the point.  It’s kinda like asking why Batman doesn’t just leave Gotham.  Ashland is an essential character in the Elemental Assassin stories.

In this installment, a new threat has come to Ashland and is putting Gin and her friends in jeopardy.  So, Gin does what she always does – hunts it down and eliminates it.  Along the way she learns about pieces of her past she has forgotten.

I’m not going to say that any amazing new things are revealed about Gin or her friends – no major character developments, no huge surprises from the past (until the very end!).  I can’t even say this story anything really new for the series (except that Gin seems to get her ass kicked more than in any other book).  But it’s FUN!  It’s a fun adventure mystery romp, very much like the early books in the series, but without as much angst.

Okay, I lied.  There is one new element – we get to see Gin adapt to her defacto role as head of the criminal world.  It reminds me of the TV series Angel when Angel and company are given the very criminal supernatural legal firm, Wolfram & Heart, to run.  What would you do if you had all your enemies’ resources?  Could be interesting. 😉

badge4v4I’m heavily invested in Gin, Owen, Finn, Bria, Jo-Jo, Sophia, and all of Gin’s friends, so reading this book was pure delight.  I got to visit with my friends and watch them kick ass to set the world right.  Sounds like a fantastic time to me. 😀

Other reviews:

If you like this book…

You’d probably like the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter, the Allie Beckstrom series by Devon Monk, and the Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neil.