Book Review: Black Widow by Jennifer Estep {plus Giveaway!}

Black Widow by Jennifer EstepTitle: Black Widow
Series: Elemental Assassin, Book 12
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Sensuality Rating: Sensual
Source: review copy provided via NetGalley
Published: November 25, 2014 by Pocket Books

There’s nothing worse than a cruel, cunning enemy with time to kill—and my murder to plan.

With wicked Fire elemental Mab Monroe long gone, you’d think I could finally catch a break. But someone’s always trying to take me down, either as Gin Blanco or my assassin alter-ago. Now along comes the Spider’s new arch-nemesis, the mysteriously named M. M. Monroe, who is gleefully working overtime to trap me in a sticky web of deceit.

The thing is, I’m not the only target. I can see through the tangled threads enough to know that every bit of bad luck my friends have been having lately is no accident—and that each unfortunate “coincidence” is just one more arrow drawing ever closer to hitting the real bulls-eye. Though new to Ashland, this M. M. Monroe is no stranger to irony, trying to get me, an assassin, framed for murder. Yet, as my enemy’s master plan is slowly revealed, I have a sinking feeling that it will take more than my powerful Ice and Stone magic to stop my whole life from going up in flames.

amazon | goodreads

Why I Read this Book: This is one of my all-time favorite series.

What I Liked: Probably my favorite element (no pun intended) of the Elemental Assassin series is the heroine. Gin is not just a fighter or killer; her moves are calculated, thoroughly thought out to the last detail, and executed with precision. There’s a fight scene in Black Widow that was so beautifully choreographed, and it showcases Gin’s attributes as an assassin. Gin knows she has to stay a step ahead of her enemies in order to survive.

I am really liking Silvio’s character and what he brings to the table. He gives Finn a run for his money at times and it’s fun to see Finn’s reaction when Silvio uses his own bag of tricks.

A common theme in the Elemental Assassin series is foreshadowing.There are a few instances where the present parallels events from the past and it makes for interesting situations, one of which really hits home for Gin. She’s placed in quite the predicament and I was anxiously reading to see how she would handle the situation and what the outcome would be.

Many times, a villain will put on this display of false fortitude and fearlessness but in Black Widow, the villain expresses honest emotion and a genuine shock during a pivotal moment that felt very authentic.

Memorable Moments:

“She’s like a black widow spider. I can admire the beauty of such a creature, even if I know exactly how deadly it is.”

”Only you would think that being eaten during your post-coital bliss would be worth it.”

“But what a way to go.”
Arrogance will get you, every single time.
Step into my parlor, said the Spider to the fly.

Overall Impression: I was blown away with Black Widow. Jennifer Estep made me eat the words I wrote in my review for Poison Promise (“The books are a bit formulaic…” and “I know what to expect…”). Just when I was beginning to think every song and dance possible with these characters has been done, the author adds in new twists and turns that not only kept me guessing, but kept me on the edge of my seat. I don’t usually read this far into a series, especially when each book follows the same lead characters, but this author has kept me as a reader with her calculating, badass heroine, well-orchestrated plot developments, and sneaky surprises that pop up every now and again.

Brianna’s Rating:
5 Frogs

Brianna’s reviews for other books in this series:
Spider’s Bite, Book 1
Web of Lies, Book 2
Venom, Book 3
Tangled Threads, Book 4
Spider’s Revenge, Book 5
By A Thread, Book 6
Widow’s Web, Book 7
Deadly Sting, Book 8
Heart of Venom, Book 9
The Spider, Book 10
Poison Promise, Book 11


Thanks to Pocket Books, two lucky winners will receive a print copy of Black Widow. Good luck to all who enter!

  • No purchase necessary.
  • Must be 18 years old or older to enter.
  • Giveaway open to US residents only. Void where prohibited by law.
  • Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received.
  • You must use the Rafflecopter widget to enter giveaway. Please see Rafflecopter form information on how to enter this giveaway.
  • Please read TBV's Giveaway Policy before entering.
  • Giveaway ends 9:00 pm (Pacific Time) on 1/5/2015.
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About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. Good review and looks like an enjoyable novel. My only problem is I don't have time for series the way I used to, dang it(lol) Love your Blog and wishing you a very Happy New Year!

  2. I have yet to start this series although I have some of them on my kindle and in print. I am looking forward to getting started on it, though. I have read wonderful reviews on this series. Thanks for the post and Happy New Year,

  3. I'd probably have pulled pork or baby back ribs, unless they had carnitas (then I'd have those).
    Maybe some pork belly or cracklin's, too!


  4. This is a series that I'm excited to get caught up on. I'm through book 2, web if lies, and I just loved it. Its great to continue seeing such strong reviews in the series!

  5. I would order ribs or a pork sandwich.

  6. Can't get any good barbecue where I live, so everyone time I read a book in this series it makes me hungry. I just want a good pulled pork sandwich.

  7. I'd get the pork sandwich :) Yummm! Thanks for the fun post!

  8. I would definitely order the Pork sandwich with the cole slaw and peach pie!!!!! Her books make me hungry just reading them!

  9. I would order the pork sandwich.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  10. Babyback ribs. I just love them.

  11. I'd have to go with a pulled pork sandwich. Ribs are good, but too messy in public :)


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