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I Belong

Review: By A Thread by Jennifer Estep

By a Thread (#6) by Jennifer EstepTitle: By A Thread

Author: Jennifer Estep

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Elemental Assassin Series (Book 6)

Publication Date: February 28, 2012

Format: Paperback, 356 Pages

ISBN-10: 1451651767 (Pocket After Dark)

ISBN-13: 978-1451651768 (Pocket After Dark)

Reviewed by: Sheila


When killing people is your job, there’s no such thing as a vacation. Then again, how often does an assassin live long enough to enjoy her retirement? In this line of work, you either get lucky or you get dead. And since I destroyed my nemesis Mab Monroe a few weeks ago, all of Ashland’s lowlifes are gunning to make a name for themselves by taking out the lethal Spider—me, Gin Blanco. So I’m leaving behind my beloved barbecue joint and heading south with my baby sister, Bria, to cool my heels in a swanky beach town. Call it a weekend of fun in the sun. But when a powerful vampire with deadly elemental magic threatens an old friend of Bria’s, it looks like I’ll have to dig my silverstone knives out of my suitcase after all. Complicating matters further is the reappearance of Detective Donovan Caine, my old lover. But Donovan is the least of my problems. Because this time, the danger is hot on my trail, and not even my elemental Ice and Stone magic may be enough to save me from getting buried in the sand—permanently.

Quick & Dirty: An assassin’s work is never done, not even when on vacation.

Opening Sentence“You need a vacation.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

After all the recent killings and near-death experiences, Gin Blanco, notorious assassin and Pork Pit owner, is getting a little tired of it all.  You would think that killing Mab Monroe would discourage others but instead, every two-bit hack is now trying to make a name for themselves by taking out the infamous Spider.  It is becoming so common that it’s not even fun to kill anymore: A vacation is definitely in order.  This is also the perfect opportunity to spend some a little one-on-one time with her long lost sister, Bria.  But really, trouble follows Gin around like a lost little puppy, begging for attention, so why would this time be any different?

Gin’s and Bria’s relationship has had a rocky start since being reunited.  Now they have the opportunity to get to know one another without imminent threats to life and limb so how will they get along?  It’s refreshing to see that they are at least making an effort, rather than giving up: giving up is really not in either of their vocabulary.  Their individual professions might be part of the problem as a semi-retired assassin and a crusading cop.  Gin’s answer to most problems is far more permanent than Bria’s, and less legal.  So when Bria’s best friend is having troubles with the local crime boss, Gin offers her unique brand of “help.”  Why does Bria’s unsupportive attitude sound familiar?  Maybe it reminds you of another detective that frowned down on Gin’s methods?

Detective Donovan Caine makes another entrance into Gin’s life, purely by accident of course.  The vacation is located in Bria’s old town; giving us a unique opportunity to view her life before Ashland.  Donovan happens to be a cop there now and engaged to Bria’s best friend, Callie.  There are lots of old hurts and prejudices that arise between Donovan and Gin.  Even though they have both moved on to other people, there are still unresolved issues between the two.  While the team helps out Callie’s “little problem”, the ex-lovers are forced to work together again.  Donovan is still just as self-righteous as always and Gin gets to compare her old love with her new one, Owen Grayson.  It’s obvious that Donavon will never accept Gin like Owen has, or can he?  Have they both truly moved on, or will their old passion reignite?

By A Thread is all about loose ends and last chances.  I have been hoping for some closure on Donovan Caine and Gin for quite some time and am satisfied with the results.  Not only that, but we see development in the relationship between the sisters.  Plus, readers get to see Gin getting into trouble in an all new town!  I’m glad that even though Mab is gone, Gin is still going strong.

Notable Scene:

“Hello, sexy.  I knew that you couldn’t get through the night without me,” Finn’s smug, slightly sleepy voice filled my ear.  “So why don’t you tell me what you’re wearing?”

I rolled my eyes.  Apparently, my foster brother hadn’t bothered to check his caller ID before he’d picked up the phone.  I wondered if this was how he answered all his late-night calls, or if he’d actually been expecting to hear from Bria.  I really hoped it was the second one.

“What am I wearing?  Why, right now it would be the blood of two giants, among other naughty unmentionables,” I purred.  “What does that do for you, sexy?”


Elemental Assassin Series:

1. Spider’s Bite

2. Web of Lies

3. Venom

4. Tangled Threads

5. Spider’s Revenge

5.5 Thread of Death

6. By A Thread

7. Widow’s Web

8. Deadly Sting (March 26, 2013)

FTC Advisory: Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books graciously provided me with a copy of By A ThreadNo goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  The only payment received came in the form of hugs and kisses from my little boys.

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Review: By A Thread by Jennifer Estep, 5.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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