Elemental Assassin #3
Author: Jennifer Estep
Paperback: 416 pages
Available for Kindle & Paperback
Summary: It’s hard to be a badass assassin when a giant is beating the crap out of you. Luckily, I never let pride get in the way of my work. My current mission is personal: annihilate Mab Monroe, the Fire elemental who murdered my family. Which means protecting my identity, even if I have to conceal my powerful Stone and Ice magic when I need it most. To the public, I’m Gin Blanco, owner of Ashland’s best barbecue joint. To my friends, I’m the Spider, retired assassin.
I reviewed the first book in the Elemental Assassin series back in February (read review), then I bought the second book, Web of Lies. I was especially pumped to be part of the blog tour for Venom, the third book in the series. Gin is one of my favorite urban fantasy heroines, though she would never think of herself that way. In the second book, Gin's life takes some twists and turns that had me feeling frustrated for her. (A sign of a talented writer when you think of their heroine as a real person.) In Venom, Gin may actually get hurt more than in the other books combined, but she also has a solid support group behind her now, and continues to learn about who she is and what she can do magically. This is my favorite book in the series, but it may be because of "sharing" Gin's struggles in the first two books, it made the events in Venom even more pivotal and intense.
Venom is a fast paced, gritty urban fantasy that has kick ass action scenes to keep the reader on the edge of their seats. More than that though, Gin learns to open up, to trust in those who love her, and she comes to some conclusions about herself. As I mentioned in my first review of the author's series, I love that Gin, the former hardass assassin is a gourmet cook. The more stressed she is, the more she bakes. I asked Jennifer if I could share the recipe for Chocolate Chip Pound Cake. Her mother gave her the recipe and had been making it for years, not sure where it originated, which is often the case with well loved recipes. Gin loves to serve the pound cake with a nice cold glass of milk:)
Chocolate Chip Pound Cake
1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
1 small package instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1 (12 ounce) package mini chocolate morsels
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 10-cup Bundt pan. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding, and sugar. Add water, oil, and eggs. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Stir in sour cream and mini chocolate morsels. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake for 1 hour (check at 50 minutes) or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
There are more recipes in Gin's Recipe Box.
Jennifer Estep has given her readers some wonderful free short stories in addition to the three Elemental Assassin books. Below, I have them in order of their time frame with links to each. The titles in bold are the books available currently, the other two will be available in 2011.
These two take place when Gin was a teenager:
Web of Deceit Read here
Poison Read here
Spider's Bargain: Free here
Book one: Spider’s Bite
Web of Death: Free here
Book two: Web of Lies
Wasted: Free here
Book three: Venom
Book four: Tangled Threads (5/2011)
Book five: Untitled (10/2011)
WIN A COPY OF VENOM!
The publisher has kindly allowed me to give away one copy of Venom to a visitor. Please leave a comment with the answer to this question:
What do YOU do when you are stressed out?
I will pick one person randomly on 10/15/2010. Please leave your answer and your email if it's not associated with a Google profile.
Happy Reading! ~Brenda