Title: Spider’s Bite
Series: Elemental Assassin, #1
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Sensuality Rating: Innocent/Mild/Sensual/Steamy/Erotic
Source: personal shelf
Published: January 2010 by Pocket Books
My name is Gin, and I kill people.
They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South — when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.
Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way — good or bad. I may look hot, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I'm battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction...especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.
Why I Read this Book: The cover for Spider’s Bite caught my attention but the synopsis piqued my interest and reeled me in. The book pretty much had me at ‘assassin’. And a female assassin at that? Say no more.
What I Liked: I was hooked from page one. The writing captured my attention and held it until the very end. I couldn’t read fast enough. The physical book itself dissolved in my hands as I literately got sucked into Gin’s world.
The characters in this book are well-developed, and I’m just talking about book one here people! I like the idea of a female assassin. Gin is tough, she’s smart, and she’s something fierce. And even though she kills people for a living, what she’s going through makes her relatable. She gets double-crossed and people very close to her are targeted and that isn’t going to fly when Gin is involved. And the secondary characters are just as much memorable as the leads. They bring structure to the story and to Gin’s life. I loved them all – Finn, Fletcher, the Deveraux sisters.
Spider’s Bite is told in first person narrative from Gin’s POV. I know some readers don’t prefer this type of narration but the author avoids the annoyances that are usually associated with this narration. With Gin, there is no over thinking. You’re not flooded with endless, pointless thoughts or emotions. Gin thinks things through before acting but doesn’t let emotion get the best of her; nor does she let it effect her decision making. That’s what makes her one of my all-time favorite heroines.
The attraction between Gin and Detective Donovan Caine is undeniable but there are certain specific reasons that prevent Donovan from getting involved with Gin. But she doesn’t let that stop her from making the move on him. Yet at the same time, she’s not going to beg him to be with her. She wants him to want her; enough to overcome his battles. She’s strong enough to go after what she wants but smart enough to not allow herself be in a one-sided relationship. She’s made the first move, and the second; ball’s in his court now.
What I Didn’t Like: Absofuckinglutely nothing.
Because I was the Spider. I always followed through. And I never, ever missed.
“Maybe I find him...interesting. Attractive in an uptight sort of way. But that won't keep me from killing him if he does something stupid—like try to double-cross us. That is something that’s nonnegotiable, no matter how much fuck potential he might have.”
“Despite our differences, I’m attracted to you, detective. Something about you fascinates me. I want you like I haven’t wanted anybody in a long time. I think you feel the same way about me.”
For a moment, I thought he wouldn't answer. But he did. “I do want you.”
His voice was low, tight, strained. The confession cost him. It was all he could do to keep from reaching for me. Good thing I had no qualms about making the first move.
I stepped into his arms and put my hands on his shoulders. Then I raised my head and gazed into his hazel eyes. “So, why don’t we do something about it?”
Overall Impression: The author had my attention from the very first page. I cannot wait to read the rest of this series. This is actually the 2nd time reading this book and I am not a re-reader. The Elemental Assassin series definitely surpasses some other Urban Fantasy series I’ve read. If you’re new to the genre, or looking for a new Urban Fantasy series, I highly recommend this one. Just be prepared to read this book in one setting; it’s definitely a page turner. And if you do pick up this series, be sure to join Ash and I for our Elemental Assassin Series Read-a-Long.