Snared by Jennifer Estep

There is never a shortage of bad guys in the city of Ashland, and Gin Blanco does not plan on letting any of them continue their ruthless ways if at all possible. In the sixteenth Elemental Assassin book, evil intentions take a horrific turn, and all the beloved characters previously met are ready to bring this reign of terror to a halt. Whether Gin was fighting for her life or trading quips with Finn, I was completely caught up the engaging situations taking place. Jennifer Estep consistently captures my interest in her latest urban fantasy story, where the quest to finding answers about ongoing mysteries continues and evildoers are combated. SNARED has surprising incidents and numerous death-defying battles.

While sneaking around and spying on certain Ashland residents is not a favorite activity of Gin Blanco, it is necessary if she wants to learn about the group known as the Circle. Its members are responsible for much of the wrongdoing in her city, and the woman who is often called the Spider also has a personal reason for wanting their merciless schemes brought to a standstill. Though Gin does uncover some relevant facts from time to time, way too much remains a mystery and she is tired of waiting for answers.

When a young woman disappears one night, Gin immediately stops focusing on the Circle until the fate of the individual is discovered. What is gradually revealed just proves that Ashland has more than its share of corruption, and she is somehow linked to what is currently happening. But one thing Gin is extremely good at doing is stopping evil, and she is not about to let it win.

Regardless of the events going on in the life of Gin and her friends, I equally enjoyed their downtime and the many colorful entanglements in which they became involved. The conversations that she has with anyone who supports her are repeatedly comical when cheerfulness is needed. Yet each person can turn deadly when a situation calls for it. I have come to know those around her very well over the course of so many stories, and it feels like I am visiting with people who could easily be my friends.

Danger is definitely real in the story, and Gin quickly becomes immersed in stopping it from escalating. As she searches for evidence as to whom is responsible for a current problem in Ashland, looking for any hints about the Circle are still simmering in the back of her mind because of how this group is connected to her tragic past. Her intensely vivid dreams give her and the reader some additional facts, and I can tell there are more important truths just waiting to be exposed.

SNARED is entertaining from the start, and the enjoyment only increases with each new development. Scenes where Gin is fighting to stay alive are a big highlight of the Elemental Assassin series, and she once again uses her Ice and/or Stone abilities to put a big hurt on others. There are several instances where she and Owen get to express their feelings for each other, and I found the moments to be believably heartwarming. Whatever Jennifer Estep imagines for the next Elemental Assassin book is guaranteed to be enthralling.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher, and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Elemental Assassin – Book 16

Publisher:  Pocket Books

Releases:  April 25, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/khh5c35

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Author website:  http://www.jenniferestep.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars

Dragon King Of Treoir by Dianna Love

There is little downtime for the Beladors and those who fight alongside them in the eighth book about these fascinating beings. Between battling enemies and facing emotional personal conflicts, the many beloved characters whom I have grown to adore find themselves in some dire predicaments that often seem hopeless. Dianna Love makes every aspect of her unique urban fantasy world believable, regardless of what is occurring. Also, if an incident contained something out-of-the-ordinary, I always felt as though the event could actually have happened in my own world just as described. If hostile supernatural forces really do exist, then I hope there is somebody like Evalle plus her numerous comrades who are always ready to protect humans from the evil kept hidden from them. DRAGON KING OF TREOIR is filled with startling twists, where unexpected turns put loyalty and vows to the test.

Though the Beladors have a reason to celebrate, a peaceful existence is not yet guaranteed. Daegan has become their ruler, and these exceptional individuals truly hope the dragon shifter will turn out to be the leader that they have long needed. Yet their group has been accused of killing several Medb which is their hated enemy, and they must quickly prove otherwise. Many of the Beladors are diligently searching for whoever is actually responsible, but so far no proof has been found. But these beings who possess a wide variety of abilities are not willing to give up easily.

Evalle and her Belador friends are beginning to realize just how much trouble they are in when every new situation brings more questions than answers. Vladimir Quinn had taken over the Maistir position of the group, but a personal problem could have terrible consequences if he makes a wrong decision. With time running out, his final choice will have to be made soon. But having to choose what is best for all involved could come at a very high price.

Several very dramatic circumstances at the start of DRAGON KING OF TREOIR could have a huge impact on the characters who have been met in the previous seven books of the Belador series. Unexpected threats and few clues make life very difficult for many of them, and there are even some sinister plots about which they know nothing. I became more and more alarmed as I learned information related to these schemes, as each one could greatly affect the characters for whom I greatly care. Evalle, Storm, Quinn and other favorites play vital roles in the story, and I was especially delighted when Tristan showed up numerous times. I definitely have a soft spot for him.

Whose side several newcomers are on is a big question until all is revealed. Some unpredicted facts stunned me, and I had no idea how a number of characters would react when they discovered the details. Dianna Love has created an extremely diverse group for her Belador series, and seeing if they can overcome challenging issues makes her stories continuously riveting. DRAGON KING OF TREOIR is particularly captivating because of never-ending danger and countless surprises. The war between different preternaturals is heating up even more, as Ms. Love pits demons, gryphons, dragons, witches, gods and humans against one another.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and these comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Belador Book 8

Publisher:  Silver Hawk Press LLC

Releases:  January 10, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/jttpl93

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Author website:  http://authordiannalove.com/home

Rating:  5 Stars

Nice Guys Bite by Jennifer Estep

51dj8jodyalWhen any story connected to the Elemental Assassin series comes out, I am always grateful for the chance to discover additional details about the beloved characters associated with Gin Blanco. She may be the Spider and is a competent assassin, but she often requires some help from friends to make certain her life runs smoothly. The individual who expertly keeps things straight when it comes to fighting crime in Ashland is Silvio Sanchez, her assistant, and he takes his job very seriously. In NICE GUYS BITE, the Christmas holidays have arrived, and it is time for this finicky vampire to have some enjoyment and not think about work. But being employed by Gin can complicate his own life when least expected.

Even though it will soon be Christmas day, Silvio Sanchez thinks his responsibilities as the personal assistant of Gin Blanco should continue as normal. But when his boss says to stop working and do something fun, he knows arguing is useless. Since he has received an offer to go get coffee with a repeat customer at Gin’s BBQ restaurant, Silvio decides to see what the enticing man has on his mind.

His time spent with the college professor is going even better than he had hoped, as the two have much in common. But just as Silvio is beginning to ponder if he might be ready to learn more about his date, he becomes aware of several giants sitting nearby that appear to pose a threat. When it turns out his hunch was unfortunately correct, he will have to do some quick thinking or his time working with Gin will be over.

Not a lot has ever been divulged about Silvio since he became closely linked with Gin and her friends, so it wonderful to get some insight into his thoughts and how he would handle himself if threatened. I was surprised at some of his responses, as he is usually seen taking care of any business on his computer or phone, not getting involved in one of her risky escapades. Since the story is told from his viewpoint, I came to understand this often mysterious vampire much clearer.

The story takes place at Christmas, and seeing how Gin prepared for a huge party at her restaurant left me smiling because of her unique ideas for decorations. There are some delightful conversations between her and Silvio, and even some moments where real feelings come into play. Jennifer Estep interweaves some suspense with emotional conflicts and adds in a dash of humor to make NICE GUYS BITE constantly entertaining.

Received copy via NetGalley for my honest opinion

Series:  Elemental Assassin – Book 15.5

Publisher:  Pocket Star

Releases:  December 12, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/zv6zfvg

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Author website:  http://www.jenniferestep.com/

Rating:  4 Stars

Unraveled by Jennifer Estep

51xwMaW-ncL._SY346_It seems there is never a shortage when it comes to the list of people trying to end the life of Gin Blanco. The woman known as the Spider may look like an average female at first glance, but regularly concealed underneath the black clothes she often wears are numerous weapons because she is a skilled assassin. In the fifteenth book of the Elemental Assassin series, Gin and those with whom she closely associates must fight for their lives in the unusual setting of a theme park. Jennifer Estep takes her beloved characters on a risky venture packed with danger and lots of unexpected humor. I would be laughing one moment at one of Gin’s sarcastic thoughts, and then shortly become breathless because of unforeseen peril that could end her life in an instant. While I always enjoy every book in the series, I must say this story is particularly rewarding. UNRAVELED is a memorable adventure that will be fondly recalled again and again.

After recently being told about a group known as the Circle and how it masterminds all the criminal activities in her town, Gin Blanco is diligently looking for any information related to the organization. She was under the impression her demands ruled the Ashland underworld, but hearing she is not the one in control makes her determined to gather facts and stop those who seem to be exceedingly influential plus confident about not getting caught. Yet every time Gin gets a possible clue which might tell her about the mysterious group, nothing helpful is actually found.

Since she feels completely frustrated because there are no leads and does not know what to do next, Gin agrees to accompany her foster brother Finnegan Lane to the amusement park that he just inherited. Bullet Pointe has rides and a swanky hotel, all geared toward an Old West theme. So Gin and Finn along with her boyfriend Owen plus her sister Bria will be spending a relaxing weekend away from her problems in Ashland. But instead of a peaceful couple of days, the four individuals find themselves once again in the middle of threatening situations.

Gun fights, secrets and family issues are some of the concerns troubling the Spider in the latest Elemental Assassin story. After all the complications caused by Finn’s relative in the previous story, Gin had hoped for at least a short reprieve before she found herself confronting bad guys again. But there will be no rest for her when a new group that may be her most dangerous enemy yet is exposed. Not much is known about the Circle and its members, so information needs to be quickly learned or more lives may be at risk. Gin and three others may appear to be on a vacation, but uncovering crucial facts is always on their minds.

While Gin does have to battle some individuals who are not quite human, where she has to prove who is the most cunning, there are numerous scenes scattered throughout the story dealing with subjects that are very personal to her. How her mother died and why has affected her for a long time. Since a shocking detail about her mother was revealed in the last book, she also wants proof of its accuracy by discovering the truth soon. There is more amusement in the story than usual, and I was certainly delighted by all the comical thoughts and comments having to do with the western theme. Gin dressing up as a saloon girl is especially hilarious. Jennifer Estep makes UNRAVELED entertaining with enthralling developments and plenty of surprises.

Copy received from publisher

Series:  Elemental Assassin – Book 15

Publisher:  Pocket

Releases:  August 30, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/jen98ax

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Author website:  http://www.jenniferestep.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars

Unwanted by Jennifer Estep

51XS1WbM3tL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_Though Finnegan Lane often comes up with a comment that expresses his opinion about a subject, his statements are more than likely to be supportive of his foster sister, Gin Blanco. But in the last Elemental Assassin book, the suave banker made a terrible error in judgment, one which cost not only lives in the city of Ashland but also his reputation. Now Finn is seen as someone who cannot be trusted. I am truly delighted to get the actual views of this much-loved character straight from him, especially since his life has undergone such recent drastic changes. Jennifer Estep does not let Finn off the hook without paying his dues for a huge past mistake, and I am just glad for the opportunity to discover how he was really feeling because he is a master at hiding his reactions. UNWANTED is an emotional journey of seeking redemption.

His competency as an investment banker has made the career of Finnegan Lane very successful, and many townsfolk in Ashland want him as their financial advisor. But everything changed one day when the truth was finally revealed and events turned tragic. Finn had believed the lies told to him by a close relative, and it resulted in the deaths of people with whom he worked. Most everyone blames him for what happened, and no one is more unforgiving about his choices than himself.

One of the most disheartening obligations Finn has to do is attend the funerals of the killed bank guards, as he can see the shattering outcome of his actions. He has vowed to himself that he will take care of the families belonging to those slain, no matter what they need. Right after the last funeral is held, a disturbing occurrence involving a greedy giant takes place. Finn knows the time has come for him to offer his assistance, whether it is desired or not.

While Finn has been a prominent character in the Elemental Assassin books, the main focus is always on Gin. So it was interesting to finally see a situation from his perspective, troubled feelings and all other notions. He may have remained a fashionable dresser, but much else about his life is certainly not the same. Jennifer Estep takes Finn through one emotional episode after another, where he can learn from his devastating miscalculation, or become someone who wallows in self-pity. The author definitely had me caught up in the circumstances that unexpectedly arise, and wanting to know how everything would turn out kept me reading the story straight through. Although not long, Finn’s story has a big impact on what to expect from this wonderful character in the next Elemental Assassin book. UNWANTED intrigues with compelling experiences.

Copy received from publisher

Series:  Elemental Assassin – Book 14.5

Publisher:  Pocket Star

Releases:  July 18, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/j3stpsf

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Author website:  http://www.jenniferestep.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars

Rogue Belador by Dianna Love

612stNWGUaL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_The seventh Belador story begins with a battle, and the many beloved characters in this series are either troubled by emotional complications or find themselves in a dangerous situation on every compelling page. Dianna Love totally captures my full attention with vivid descriptions and constant originality, and the paranormal world to which I am transported comes across as particularly believable. With the large number of characters in the series that I have come to really like, I immediately became involved in the latest personal story being told. Since Tzader Burke may finally get to have the future he has long desired or will lose everything important to him, I was eager to find out what he would have to face, and Dianna Love did not disappoint me. Every emotional conflict in ROGUE BELADOR captivates with deeply affecting realism.

Her position as the Belador queen means Brina is a very significant individual, and she has been under special protection for years. But an enemy’s attack has caused her mind to deteriorate and soon no personal facts will be remembered, causing the man in love with her much worry. Though some only care because of her heritage, Tzader Burke wishes for Brina to be his mate and is willing to do whatever is necessary to make it happen. As time passes with no improvement, he makes a deal that might bring back her memories, but it could come at a great cost to him.

By going to TÅμr Medb and doing the bidding of a being that seems to possess much knowledge, Tzader could possibly get the solution to saving Brina. Yet traveling to the place where the Belador enemy lives is not only dangerous for him, but could be fuel for a new war. As plans are made and answers are sought, hidden truths are discovered about the Beladors and Medb. Tzader receives the unexpected assistance of several close friends, and they each find it hard to obey the vows they have sworn to follow as secrets are exposed.

When it comes to urban fantasy stories, Dianna Love is a master. What takes place in the Belador series is frequently innovative, and the circumstances in the seventh book are sometimes perilous and always emotional. The traits assigned to each of the characters are certainly unique, and I was delighted by how many of the individuals I have come to love that were featured. I really want Casper to have a big part in an upcoming book, as someone with ghost traits fascinates me.

Evalle and her mate Storm plus Quinn all play major parts in ROGUE BELADOR, and it was great catching up with the events in their lives. But the major focus is on Tzader and what will happen to Brina. I have watched these two suffer throughout much of the series, and my heart ached for them each time another difficulty kept them apart. Their story is about not giving up hope, and it was heartwarming to also see the importance of friendship. One new character is definitely intriguing, while several of those who have been met before and only have evil objectives are once again up to their ruthless tricks. I never knew what would be the end result of more than one power struggle, as some abilities came as a surprise. Ms. Love has also created a new interesting creature, and I hope to see more of Oskar in a forthcoming book. ROGUE BELADOR has riveting action, profound emotions and unforeseen twists.

Received copy from author

Series:  Belador – Book 7

Publisher:  Silver Hawk Press LLC

Releases:  April 12, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/gu8vaxu

Genre:  Urban fantasy

Author website:  https://www.authordiannalove.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep

517GWlvuk6LIt is difficult for Gin Blanco to trust many people outside of a select few that are close to her, and she has always felt her foster brother Finnegan Lane was someone she could count on. However, the unexpected arrival of a person thought long dead quickly changes the way Finn views Gin, and she does not like the feeling of being pushed away. She also has doubts about the true motives of this individual, and there is no way she is going to let anyone hurt him, even if she has to become the assassin known as the Spider. Jennifer Estep keeps the adventures coming in the Elemental Assassin series, where supernatural battles are fought and emotions run high. BITTER BITE is absolutely enthralling on every imaginative page.

When someone dies in Ashland by being killed, there is a good chance that Gin Blanco was the one responsible. As the new leader of the underworld in her hometown, plenty of criminal bosses keep trying to get rid of her. So there are way too many days where she has to defend herself, and thankfully so far she has not ended up dead. Her sister Bria and Finnegan Lane, her foster brother, are always willing to assist Gin, along with several more good friends plus her boyfriend, Owen Grayson. When a person closely connected to Finn was thought to have died but turns out to be still alive, he is thrilled to have a blood relative in his life.

While Finn may be overly happy, Gin has misgivings and thinks the pleasant behavior of the individual is concealing some scheme. As numerous questions are raised, any answers are slow in coming. But Gin knows one thing for certain, and that is she will protect her foster brother from his own too trusting nature of this cunning person.

Regardless of the situation in which Gin has found herself in the past, I have always been captivated with how she manages to come out on top. But this time, the stakes are raised when Finn thinks his life has just become more wonderful while she has lots of uncertainties. Many of the battles she has previously fought have been personal, but this one really captured my thoughts and would not let go until I discovered everything going on. Every time I read an Elemental Assassin story, I am concerned about Gin and those for whom she cares, usually because of physical danger. But the powerful emotions in this story had me even more worried than normal.

BITTER BITE is an intriguing story, as Jennifer Estep has invented interesting predicaments for Gin to overcome. From what to do about Finn and the appearance of his relative to new foes in the underworld, she has to deal with one problem after another. There are plenty of fight scenes to get my heart beating faster, and Gin definitely makes good use of her Ice and Stone elemental abilities along with some clever strategic planning. Her friends lend a hand from time to time, and I especially enjoyed the role her assistant, Silvio, played during a big confrontation. Several memories involving Gin and Finn are revealed throughout the book, and each remembrance let me understand the relationship between these two even better. There are quite a few shocking revelations exposed, particularly one near the end, and it makes waiting on the next book even harder. BITTER BITE is engagingly creative.

Series:  Elemental Assassin #14

Copy received from publisher:  Pocket

Releases:  February 23, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/ju2qntk

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Author website:  http://www.jenniferestep.com/

Rating:  5 Stars