Published February 28th 2012 by Pocket
ISBN 1451651767 (ISBN13: 9781451651768)
Series: Elemental Assassin #6
Characters: Gin Blanco, Owen Grayson, Finnegan Lane, Bria, Jo-Jo and Sophie.
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 silverstone 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.
Jennifer Estep just keeps delivering action-filled stories in her Elemental series which keeps me on the edge of my seat and my eyes glued to the pages. I just can't get enough of the familiar cast of characters nor the plots unraveled. What also becomes a recurring issue is the rehashing of information from the previous novels in the beginning. Now I understand readers who pick up a random book in this series will appreciate the additional information given. I, as an invested reader in this series however, it becomes a bump in an otherwise fast paced story.
With By A Thread I was wondering where Jennifer Estep was going to take Gin Blanco now that the overall story arc got its conclusion. I was taken to Blue Marsh where Gin took a vacation with her family. There, trouble was cooking and Gin got a quick taste of it on her first day. I absolutely revel in the villains Jennifer Estep brings to life. The sadistic nature of the villain made my blood boil and got me that much more invested in the fights against him. The high octane action that ranged from knife, to gun, to hand to hand combat and elemental magic, amps up the chills and thrills I experienced while reading. The suspense also showcased the strong bond Gin, Bria, Owen and Finn share.
I love Gin in how tough she is, how she fights and kills without any scruples. But I love it even more how it is counterbalanced by her inner monologues which show her own insecurities in the emotional department. Her growth in accepting herself and falling in love shows her more vulnerable side and deepens her characterization. Owen is down-to-earth, sexy and so in to Gin you don't doubt his feelings for one second. Owen is hot hero stuff!! There are a few beach scenes that brought a whole new kind of sexy to this series! I also liked the return of Donovan. There was still unfinished business between them and of course I whooped as there was personal justice for Gin.
The Elemental series equals Gin Blanco but it also makes me think of Bria and their sisterly trials and tribulations. The one that can always make me laugh out loud is the adoptive brother of Gin, the highly quotable, Finnegan Lane. Sophie and Jo-Jo conclude this group, when danger comes calling you would want these two fantastic dwarfs at your side!! They are the core ingredients that make the stories one to savor. Their animated dialogues laced with humor and sarcastic bantering breathes the love and connection they share. It’s like returning to a family you love to hang out with.
The plot raises the stakes, the love burns fierce, the action is spine tingling good and both major and minor characters are well-developed, dynamic and intense. Jennifer Estep delivers another rip roaring, action filled episode in the elemental series!
“Just think about it. You, Owen, me, and Bria, all happily ensconced in a swanky hotel by a beautiful beach. Bria in a bikini. You and Owen doing your own thing, Bria in a bikini. Did I mention Bria in a bikini?”
I looked at Bria. “How do you put up with him?”
Bria started to open her mouth, but Finn piped up instead.
“She puts up with me because I happen to be rich, handsome, charming, a witty conversationalist, and exceptionally talented in bed,” he smirked. “Flexible too.”
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