|Title: Tangled Threads
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin #4
Cover Art: Tony Mauro
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Reviewed by: Julia
Sex scenes, mention of child abuse and rape.
I’d rather face a dozen lethal assassins any night than deal with something as tricky, convoluted, and fragile as my feelings.
But here I am. Gin Blanco, the semi-retired assassin known as the Spider. Hovering outside sexy businessman Owen Grayson’s front door like a nervous teenage girl. One thing I like about Owen: he doesn’t shy away from my past—or my present. And right now I have a bull’s-eye on my forehead. Cold-blooded Fire elemental Mab Monroe has hired one of the smartest assassins in the business to trap me. Elektra LaFleur is skilled and efficient, with deadly electrical elemental magic as potent as my own Ice and Stone powers. Which means there’s a fifty-fifty chance one of us won’t survive this battle. I intend to kill LaFleur—or die trying—because Mab wants the assassin to take out my baby sister, Detective Bria Coolidge, too. The only problem is, Bria has no idea I’m her long-lost sibling . . . or that I’m the murderer she’s been chasing through Ashland for weeks. And what Bria doesn’t know just might get us both dead. . . .
As I would have hoped at the close of VENOM, the Elemental Assassin series really hits it’s stride with TANGLED THREADS. Containing the best of the action sequences, bad-assery and romance from previous books, it also sets the stage for what promises to be the ultimate life-or-death confrontation of Gin’s career.
While readers new to the series may not initially understand how a former assassin is “the good guy”, they won’t have a hard time figuring things out. Gin is consistently surrounded by villains so psychopathic and irredeemable it’s easy to come up to speed. One of my favorite aspects of these books is the emphasis on professionalism, caution, and preparedness. In TANGLED THREADS, the bad guys that Gin faces are so magically powerful, even the addition of Gin’s newly unleashed Ice magic does not promise a sure victory. Rather, it is the villain’s own evil, sadistic, and greedy behaviors that provide Gin with the openings she needs to have a fighting chance.
And though Gin is fighting for the highest of stakes, her personal life is not neglected. Both her budding romance with Owen and her stalled relationship with baby sister Bria get some page time (to great effect). Estep has set the stage for a killer book five, SPIDER’S REVENGE due out this September, and hopefully, many more books to come in Gin’s universe.