Bitter Bite (Elemental Assassin Series #14)

Bitter Bite (Elemental Assassin Series #14)

4.8 20
by Jennifer Estep

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Which is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship? That’s the question Gin Blanco asks when a friend’s long-lost relative strolls into town. The suspicious reunion is a surprise for everyone—and a big problem for Gin. Book fourteen in the New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series RT Book Reviews calls


Which is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship? That’s the question Gin Blanco asks when a friend’s long-lost relative strolls into town. The suspicious reunion is a surprise for everyone—and a big problem for Gin. Book fourteen in the New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series RT Book Reviews calls “unbeatable entertainment!”

It’s not easy being queen bee of an underworld abuzz with crooks and killers. Wielding my potent Ice and Stone elemental magic will only get me so far—my real secret is my tight-knit makeshift family, a motley crew of cops and criminals, dwarves and playboys. My foster brother Finnegan Lane is my right-hand man, but when his suddenly not-dead relative comes back into the picture, I’m the one on the outside looking in.

It’s funny how life works: one minute your best friend is rock-steady, and the next he’s doe-eyed and buying into this whole loving-relative routine to the point of ignoring you. I’d like to be happy for Finn, I really would. But all of my instincts are telling me that beneath the syrupy sweet demeanor and old-fashioned charm, this sudden interloper is planning something. The whole shtick leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. This person might have avoided the grave once, but I’ll put anyone who hurts Finn in the ground—for good.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Estep drags readers along the tracks of an emotional roller-coaster right along with her protagonist, the infamous elemental assassin known as Gin Blanco, who heads the criminal underworld of the fictional Southern U.S. city of Ashland. This 14th book (after Spider’s Trap) finds Gin desperately trying to figure out a way to break some unwelcome news to her foster brother, Finn. Unfortunately, someone else leaks it first, leaving Gin and her cohorts to pick up the pieces and avert disaster. As always, Estep delights in torturing the characters in her urban fantasy series, perhaps a little bit more than they deserve. Even though some may argue that Gin’s own actions have led her down this path, Estep’s willingness to pile on the troubles keeps Gin sympathetic, ensuring that readers will continue rooting for her. This installment’s plot is intriguing, but it’s primarily a transition book, setting the stage for the next act in the series. Agent: Annelise Robey, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Feb.)
—RT Book Reviews
“Gin Blanco is one of the most intriguing heroines on the scene. . . . If you have not gotten on the Gin bandwagon yet, do so today!”
—Fresh Fiction
“This series kicked off with a bang, and the action hasn’t let up since.”
— Lilith Saintcrow
"Watch out world, here comes Gin Blanco. Funny, smart, and dead sexy."
— Nalini Singh
"A raw, gritty, and compelling walk on the wild side, one that had me hooked from the first page."
—Romantic Times
"When it comes to work, Estep's newest heroine is brutally efficient and very pragmatic, which gives the new Elemental Assassin series plenty of bite. Shades of gray rule in this world where magic and murder are all too commonplace. The gritty tone of this series gives Estep a chance to walk on the darker side. Kudos to her for the knife-edged suspense!"
Library Journal
In her 14th adventure (after Spider's Trap), Gin Blanco is still adjusting to her new status as queen of the underworld. With mobsters and supernatural dealers attempting to put her in the ground, Gin has always relied on her chosen family—related and not—to get her through the hardest times. Her foster brother, Finnegan Lane, has had her back until his mother, long presumed dead, arrives in town to reestablish ties. Gin's intuition tells her that Finn's new family is up to no good. Finn will not hear any of it, and between robberies, death threats, and secrets from the (literal) grave, Gin will fight for her life and her family relationships once again. With her assassin's instincts and a few good friends, Gin is determined to discover the truth about Finn's mother, which will lead to some revelations about her own. VERDICT Estep's street-smart characters, lively narrative, and ever-evolving stories keep this series alive and kicking. If readers are still coming off a Netflix Jessica Jones high, Gin Blanco will make a good follow-up.—KC
Kirkus Reviews
Retired paranormal underworld assassin Gin Blanco can handle almost any physical threat, but when a figure from her past returns to charm her best friend and foster brother into a close relationship, she's convinced the woman is up to no good. Gin is queen of the underworld in the Southern criminal stronghold of Ashland, though she doesn't want to be. She's spent the last few years creating a tight-knit quasi-family from a motley crew of friends and just wants to run her barbecue joint in peace. Unfortunately, she's a prime target for a huge line of villains who want to take her out of the picture. Recently, she's discovered that Fletcher, her mentor and father of her best friend, Finn, left her some post-mortem clues as to a shadowy figure from their past who everyone believed was dead but isn't. Should that woman, Deirdre—Fletcher's wife and Finn's mother—ever come back to Ashland, she'll be up to no good. By the time Gin gathers all the pieces and proof together, Deirdre has already reconnected with Finn, and he's resentful of Gin's attempts to protect him and angry at her refusal to believe Deirdre's intentions are good. So she plays a precarious game of trying to be supportive of Finn's genuine desire to reconnect with a woman she believes betrayed him in the past while also quietly probing what Deirdre's true motives are so that she can help Finn when she betrays him again. The 14th title in the Elemental Assassin series is a fast, furious, and entertaining romp in an intriguing though violent paranormal world, and Estep does an admirable job of moving the story forward, expressing Gin's obvious discomfort at the complicated emotions she and her friends are navigating, all while balancing the psychological and physical threats Deirdre brings to Ashland. Occasionally, though, scenes and plot elements seem to be inserted more for shock value rather than growing authentically out of the characters or story. An intense yet engaging urban fantasy jaunt.

Product Details

Pocket Books
Publication date:
Elemental Assassin Series , #14
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, Venom, Tangled Threads, Spider’s Revenge, By a Thread, Widow’s Web, Deadly Sting, Heart of Venom, The Spider, Poison Promise, Black Widow, Spider’s Trap, Bitter Bite, Unraveled, and Snared, along with the e-shorts Thread of Death, Parlor Tricks, Kiss of Venom, Unwanted, and Nice Guys Bite are the other works in her red-hot Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. Jennifer is also the author of the Black Blade and Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series and the Bigtime paranormal romance series. For more on Jennifer and her books, visit her at and @Jennifer_Estep.

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Bitter Bite (Elemental Assassin Series #14) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Singlein2009 6 months ago
The Elimental Assasin series is one I always put on my "Must Read" list! I have read every one of the books in this series and I must say this one was right back up to her standards. The story has a few new twist and turns, and will want you to come back and read the next one! In this story we find some new and unknown think about Fletcher that come back to bite both Gin and Finn! You also find new clues to her mothers death. Trust me start from the beginning and go along for a great ride!
Selethia-Ayaze 9 months ago
Gin remembered She was the Spider patient and waiting to strike not barging in with no plan. This was one was better then the past couple
Lynn-MI 11 months ago
This is an enjoyable read, and even though it’s part of a series you can read a-lone with no problem! There’s family, mystery, magic, fun a bit of humor and a happy ending! All I need to end with a smile on my face!
Anonymous 12 months ago
Love this series. So many twists and turns.... awesome writing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It just keeps getting better!
KimHeniadis More than 1 year ago
The Elemental Assassin series is one that I always look forward to. The previous book, Spider’s Trap, was not as awesome as the other books in the series. But Bitter Bite more than made up for it! This series is one you need to start at the beginning, with Spider’s Bite. Estep does such a magnificent job with developing the characters, that you won’t want to miss any of it. The previous book relied heavily on flashbacks, and while this book had one that continued throughout the story, it added more dimension to the book. And if you read my review for Spider’s Trap, you will see my biggest issue was Gin not remember something, and it felt like Estep was just using that to add more pages to her book. In this book, Gin’s sister, Bria, is not able to remember something, but Estep didn’t heavily dwell on it. And once Bria does remember, it makes sense why she hadn’t. The ending to this one was, Wow! We learn more about a character from the past, and there is an even bigger baddie that we will be seeing in upcoming books. I know it’s not a long review, but if you’re a long time fan, I don’t want to give anything away. And if you just stumbled across this book/review, I want you to start with book one. Trust me, it’s well worth it.
KahlanMercy More than 1 year ago
Elemental Assassin Book 14 This series never disappoints. After the revelation that Finn's mother is actually still alive, Gin digs for proof of her existence and information on how that will affect her foster-brother. However, unknown to Gin, Deirdre has ingratiated herself to her son as a new client. The night that Gin intends to reveal the information she has found to Finn, their dinner is crashed by the very woman she means to tell him about. A robbery sets things into motion that even the head of the Asheland Underworld cannot halt, especially when her brother just will not listen. If you've loved this series in the past, this book will draw you even deeper into the lives of Gin, Finn and their friends. Even this far into the series, bombs can still be dropped...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just love these books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
weluvdopey More than 1 year ago
Great Series! This is a great series; this is the fourteenth book in the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep. This book picks up where the last book left off. Gin is now the queen of Ashland’s underworld and uses her Ice and Stone magic to help her survive her volatile new position. If you are looking for a great book then you need to read this book and series. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book hel d no determination on my personal review.
LilyElementBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Bitter Bite is book 14 of the Elemental Assassin series. In this installment, Gin is following up on a lead that her foster brother's mother might not be dead. Finding mementos from Fletcher confirms it and the novel takes off quickly. Finn's long lost mother, Deirdre Shaw expertly cons her way into her son's life by posing as a wealthy woman looking for a new investment firm. I knew Finn was going to fall for her charms when she tells him that she's his mother. We've all grown to know and love Finn's character with each passing book in the series, I know I have. We know Finn's so charming and suave and that his personality is quite different from Fletcher. I wasn't surprised to see that Deirdre held most of the same characteristics. It did make me nervous though since Finn has longed for that motherly connection and she clearly is up to something. Blinded by the love and acceptance Finn is most assuredly walking into a trap of some sort. And Gin is forced to play nice around Deirdre, or else she'll risk losing Finn. This installment really had a ton of emotion mixed in and it gave me an uneasy feeling while reading almost the entire time. We're gearing up for another big villain(s) I believe. We learn something new about Gin's family, and it's going to be a doozy when everything comes to light. Until then, we'll get a few more books with some villain that leads us closer to the big bad. I can't wait, but I hope everything manages to get through it safely. I adore this series, it somehow stays fresh even at book 14. I hope there are plenty of more to come! I recommend this series if you're looking for a cunning assassin Urban Fantasy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good look into how family work in a blood thirsty kind of way with you a dead body here and there love this series
JackieBCentralTexasJB More than 1 year ago
Read from December 09 to 10, 2015 Book Info Paperback, 400 pages Expected publication: February 23rd 2016 by Pocket Books ISBN 1501111272 (ISBN13: 9781501111273) series Elemental Assassin #14 other editions (3) Source:Netgalley EARC Book Buy Links Amazon B&N BOOK SYNOPSIS Which is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship? It’s not easy being queen bee of an underworld abuzz with crooks and killers. Wielding my potent Ice and Stone elemental magic will only get me so far—my real secret is my tight-knit makeshift family, a motley crew of cops and criminals, dwarves and playboys. My foster brother Finnegan Lane is my right-hand man, but when his suddenly not-dead relative comes back into the picture, I’m the one on the outside looking in. It’s funny how life works: one minute your best friend is rock-steady, and the next he’s doe-eyed and buying into this whole loving-relative routine to the point of ignoring you. I’d like to be happy for Finn, I really would. But all of my instincts are telling me that beneath the syrupy sweet demeanor and old-fashioned charm, this sudden interloper is planning something. The whole shtick leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. This person might have avoided the grave once, but I’ll put anyone who hurts Finn in the ground—for good. My Thoughts To borrow the words of a long ago song ”You always hurt the ones you love, the ones you shouldn’t hurt at all”. Finn Lane grew up with no mother, a father who loved him but was not demonstrative of that love and when Gin came along both he and his father opened their hearts to her until they became the family she had lost. Funny thing is no matter how many years have passed, no matter how many times Finn and Gin had each others backs, no matter how much the bond they shared ran thicker than blood it seemed that Finn found his ”long-lost-relative” to be more important than his love for Gin or even his love for her sister Bria combined. When something seems too good-to-be-true, watch out because in Gin Blanco’s world it usually is. We never seem to see what is right in front of us as clearly as those who are closest to us do, usually when this happens what we want and what is real are very different and in the case of Finn and his relative come back from the dead this is especially true. Gin smells something off when first introduced to Finn’s newest client, however when the shocking secret that she has recently uncovered is revealed it causes even more of a rift between the two. A rift that makes the reader’s heart ache on Gin’s behalf just as much as it did when she and Owen were on the outs with each other in Widow's Web. Showcasing the dry humor, sarcastic wit, explosive action and numerous brushes with death that we have grown to expect from Gin Blanco with each new book Bitter Bite once again delivers a punch to the head and heart while still keeping us wanting more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gin and her brother are so great together. I like how things arnt always happy just like in a real family. Loved the book, love the series, love the author!
Sailon More than 1 year ago
Bitter Bite is the fourteenth book in the Elemental Assassin series and is proof positive this series is only gaining momentum as it progresses. I flat out love this series, I loved Bitter Bite. If Jennifer Estep writes it, I’m there. You never thought anything could ever come between Gin and Finn, but when a presumed dead family member returns she creates all kinds of trouble for Gin. This predicament provides the perfect opportunity to see deep into Gin’s and Finn’s history, even deeper insight into the relationship we thought we knew so well. Gin is also dealing with her new role as the leader of Ashland’s underworld, a relationship she has been pulled into kicking and screaming. A new, unknown ice elemental is making some waves in Gin’s other relationships and causing some serious questions about her ability to rule said underworld. At 400 pages, I still didn’t get my fill of Estep's Elemental Assassin world. Captivating, action intense, visionary world building and amazingly humanized characters makes Bitter Bite a must read for 2016. I received this ARC copy of Bitter Bite from Pocket Books in exchange for a honest review.
Boundlessbookreviews More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of Bitter Bite, via Net Galley for an honest review. Gin finds herself locked in a battle a wills, with Fin’s long lost mother. Who by all appearances; is just a harmless, sweet, southern lady. But Gin can feel it in her gut that the woman is up to no good, and is going to hurt Fin. If Gin is one thing, it is protective of her loved ones. She is more protective of Fin, her faster brother and her rock, than anybody. The Spider does what the Spider does best! She waits and watches and lets things play out. However, this time around, this foe may be too much for Gin, and she may be caught in her own web! Like all Elemental Assassin Books, Bitter Bite was fast paced and full of not stop action and drama. Even though it wasn’t my favorite in the series, it was still pretty darn good! I’m giving it a rating of 4 Boundless Stars; it was A OK to me!...Sara
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
4.25 stars-BITTER BITE is the fourteenth full length installment in Jennifer Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN Urban Fantasy series focusing on the Underworld elemental assassin Gin Blanco-aka The Spider. Told from first person point of view (Gin) BITTER BITE focuses on the return of Deirdre Shaw-Finnegan Lane’s ‘deceased’ mother, Fletcher’s ex-wife, and Gin’s next target as the underworld assassin. Deirdre is a powerful ‘Ice’ elemental but returns as a mother grieving the missed years of her son’s childhood, and his assent into Ashland’s elite bankers and grifters. What ensues is a rekindling of a relationship between Finn and Deirdre, and Gin’s not so subtle reminder to Finn and the others that Deirdre has returned at a very opportunistic time. BITTER BITE follows Gin’s investigation into Deirdre’s return and Finn’s obvious reluctance to heed Gin’s warnings. When a botched bank robbery and jewel heist point all the fingers at Deirdre Shaw, Finn turns a blind eye to the mother he desperately wants in his life. Jennifer Estep wraps our heroine in an icy blanket of violence, death, blood shed and mystery. Not as graphically violent as some of the earlier installments BITTER BITE once again finds ‘The Spider’ in one too many circumstances out of her control. Her constant need to do everything alone lands Gin on the precipice of life and death –yet again. All of the series regulars including Gin’s boyfriend Owen, her sister and Finn’s girlfriend Bria play secondary and supporting roles; Jo Jo and Sophie (the magical dwarves) make cameo appearances; and Gin’s assistant Silvio’s role is broadening with every story line. The world building traverses the past and the present, as the reader is pulled into Gin’s memories of Fletcher and Finn using letters, dreams and nightmares. Gin is the leader of the paranormal underworld of Ashland but she has very little control on the criminal element. Our heroine must constantly prove she is worthy of the title, and with each installment someone stronger begins to make life difficult for The Spider. BITTER BITE is a revealing story line that focuses on family and betrayal; heartbreak and lies; secrets and letting go of the past-but the past doesn’t want to lie down and die. The new series arc is focusing on the past, and the reemergence of those long thought dead and gone. A fantastic series by an amazing author.
InvestedIvana More than 1 year ago
Gin's loyalty to her family has been proven over and over again. But will they be just as loyal when push comes to shove? This is a great addition to the Elemental Assassin series! So... I've mentioned before how much I love Gin Blanco, right? Well, if I haven't, I LOVE GIN BLANCO! I love that she can run a barbecue restaurant, make an awesome lasagna, and slit the throats of bad guys all in the same day with equal amounts of contentment. In Bitter Bite, Gin's adopted brother, Finn, meets the mother he thought long dead. Gin suspects she's a bad guy, and has to be the one that breaks the news to Finn. BIG SPOILER HERE: I was kind of hoping Finn would save himself in this story. It has to suck for Gin to be the bad guy all the time, first with Owen and his former girlfriend, and now with Finn and his mother. I was hoping Finn, even though he *wanted* his mother to be good, would have prepared for the worst and had plans to take her down if she showed her true colors. But, that's not what happened. The more I think about and write about this series, the more I recognize the characteristics it shares with comic adaptations like Batman and Gotham-- a highly stylized, highly corrupt town where a few honorable people are trying hard to fight the good fight. Yes, there is some realism in the story, but in what other environment can you kill the bad guys so blatantly and often without consequence? I caught myself wondering, "Why hasn't some kid come after Gin yet for killing his daddy, who was some underling in a crime family forced to work off debt, but deep down was just a good guy? She's killed enough people, there should be orphans everywhere!" But in a world like Ashland, or Gotham, minions don't have families. They're expendable, nameless, and replaceable, but oh-so satisfying to pick off. Copy provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. Review courtesy of onebooktwo | one book, two reviews.
Barb-TRC More than 1 year ago
Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep is the 14th book in her fantastic Elemental Assassin series. I’m sure you have heard me say this many times, but I love this series, I love Gin Blanco and I love everything Jennifer Estep writes. Just saying. :) Bitter Bite is another wonderful story, which picks up immediately after the last book, with Gin investigating a hidden message warning left for her to find by the now deceased Fletcher. Before Gin can find out much more about Deidre Shaw, Finn’s long dead mother, who is now alive and a very powerful ice elemental; Finn will find out before she can tell him. To Finn’s shock, he finds out that the woman he has been dealing with for his bank, is his mother. Despite Gin’s warning, he falls totally into his mother’s charm and forgets about his family and friends. As we have come to know and love Gin, we also know she will do all she can to protect Finn. Gin does not trust Deidre, and begins to have her investigated as well as spied upon. What Gin does discover is that Deidre has enormous powers, which she can feel, even when it is harnessed. Almost immediately, there is a robbery attempt, which rises Gin’s suspicions even more; but at every visit, Deidre is the doting mom and nothing appears to be wrong. But again, Gin Blanco is not your average young lady; she is the Spider, who is used to living in a dangerous and violent world. Rather than reveal any spoilers, what follows is an action packed exciting adventure that will bring Gin, Bria, Owen, Finn and all their friends into danger that will put their lives at risk. Will Finn forgive Gin? Will they all survive? It was a wild tense last 1/3 of the book, with new revelations that will shock Gin’s world even more. Jennifer Estep once again gives us another fabulous story that continues to change the game and add on more elements that will have Gin looking into her past to discover more about about her mother and the enemies both old and new. As I said before, I love this series. Besides such a great heroine, we have a wonderful group of characters. I loved the further bonding of Gin and Bria, as well as Gin’s relationship with Owen. In each and every book, Jennifer Estep continues to wow us and keep us totally hooked into the life of Gin Blanco…the Spider. If you have not read this series, I suggest you start it now.
Judy-Ree More than 1 year ago
It's hard for me to believe that this series is at book 14. After all, it is rare to find a series continually focused on the same main characters throughout it's entirety, and to be able to not only be going strong after 10+ books, but to keep getting better. That's just what this series has continued to do over and over again. Gin Blanco has grown as a character throughout the series. She's a flawed, yet captivating individual. As an assassin, she has no compunction with using her knife skills or her elemental magic to solve those messy problems that others shy away from. She's also a deeply moral person, sticking to her own unique compass of right and wrong, and never wavering. When she draws a line in the sand, she sticks to it. Gin's incredibly loyal to her friends and family, literally willing to kill for them (and has). We have seen this trait over and over again in the proceeding books. However this time, she has to be willing to let someone live, no matter how much she feels they deserve to die, for her family. One very interesting thing in this book were memories of Gin and Finn's teen aged interactions. There are some short stories available on the author's website, but not much in the prior novels. The scenes shared with us, highlighted their early relationship and demonstrated what they mean to each other. See what they have been through, really cements their current bond. There were many unexpected revelations this book. It's definitely not one to miss if you are following the series, as a major new story arc is introduced. I'll give you a hint... is all about Family. I stand by prior assertions that starting at this point in the series does a disservice to no one but yourself. Start at the beginning and read them in order. Once again, Gin's unique and detailed world earned a 5 star review from me. Thanks to Netgalley and Pocket books for the opportunity to read and review this book.