Unraveled (Elemental Assassin Series #15)

Unraveled (Elemental Assassin Series #15)

by Jennifer Estep

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501142215
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 08/30/2016
Series: Elemental Assassin Series , #15
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 155,364
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

About 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 JenniferEstep.com and @Jennifer_Estep.

Read an Excerpt

Unraveled

1

It was the perfect night to kill someone.

Thick, heavy clouds obscured the moon and stars, deepening the shadows of the cold December evening, and an icy drizzle spattered down from the sky, slowly covering everything in a slick, glossy, treacherous sheen. Icicles had already formed on many of the trees that lined the street, looking like gnarled, glittering fingers that were crawling all over the bare, skeletal branches. No animals moved or stirred, not so much as an owl sailing into one of the treetops searching for shelter.

Down the block, red, green, and white holiday lights flashed on the doors and windows of one of the sprawling mansions set back from the street, and the faint trill of Christmas carols filled the air. A steady stream of people hurried from the mistletoe-festooned front door, down the snowmen-lined driveway, and out to their cars, scrambling into the vehicles and cranking the engines. Someone’s dinner party was rapidly winding down, although it was only nine o’clock. Everyone wanted to get home and be all safe, warm, and snug in their own beds, dreaming of sugarplums, before the weather got any worse. In ten minutes, they’d all be gone, and the street would be quiet and deserted again.

Yes, it was the perfect night to kill someone.

Too bad my mission was recon only.

I slouched down in my seat, staying as much out of view of the passing headlights as possible. But none of the drivers gave my battered old white van a second look, and I doubted that any of them even bothered to glance at the blue lettering on the side that read Cloudburst Falls Catering. Caterers, florists, musicians. Such service vehicles were all too common in Northtown, the part of Ashland where the rich, social, and magical elite lived. If not for the lousy weather, this entire street probably would have been lit up with holiday cheer as people hosted various parties, each one trying to outdo their neighbors with garish light displays.

Once the last of the cars cruised by and the final pair of headlights faded away, I straightened up in my seat, picked up my binoculars from my lap, and peered through them at another nearby mansion.

A stone wall cordoned this mansion off from the street, featuring a wide iron gate that was closed and locked. Unlike its neighbor, no holiday lights decorated this house, and only a single room on the front was illuminated—an office with glass doors that led out to a stone patio. Thin white curtains covered the doors, and every few seconds, the murky shape of a man would appear, moving back and forth, as though he were continuously pacing from one side of his office to the other.

I just bet he was pacing. From all the reports I’d heard, he’d been holed up in his mansion for months now, preparing for his murder trial, which was set to begin after the first of the year. That would be enough to drive anyone stir-crazy.

Beside me, a soft creak rang out, followed by a long, loud sigh. Two sounds that I’d heard over and over in the last hour I’d been parked here.

The man in the mansion wasn’t the only one going nuts.

“Tell me again. How did I get stuck hanging out with you tonight?” a low voice muttered.

I lowered my binoculars and looked over at Phillip Kincaid, who had his arms crossed over his muscled chest and a mulish expression on his handsome face. A long black trench coat covered his body, while a black toboggan was pulled down low on his forehead, hiding his golden hair from sight, except for the low ponytail that stuck out the back. I was dressed in all black as well, from my boots to my jeans to my turtleneck, silverstone vest, and fleece jacket. A black toboggan also topped my head, although I’d stuffed all my dark brown hair up underneath the knit hat.

“What’s wrong, Philly?” I said. “Don’t like being my babysitter tonight?”

He shrugged, not even bothering to deny it. “You’re Gin Blanco, the famed assassin turned underworld queen. You don’t need babysitting.” He shifted in his seat, making it creak again, and shook his head. “But Owen insisted on it. . . . The things I do for that man.”

Phillip was right. As the Spider, I could handle myself in just about any situation. I certainly didn’t need him here, but Owen Grayson, Phillip’s best friend and my significant other, had wanted it this way. But I hadn’t protested too much when Phillip had shown up at the Pork Pit and told me that he wanted to tag along tonight.

With the mysterious members of the Circle out there, a little backup might come in handy. Even if said backup was whinier than one would hope.

“Why couldn’t Lane sit out here with you?” Phillip asked. “Or Jo-Jo or even Sophia for that matter? Why did I get elected to freeze my balls off tonight?”

Finnegan Lane, my foster brother, was often my partner in crime in all things Spider-related, while Jo-Jo and Sophia Deveraux respectively healed me and cleaned up the blood and bodies I left in my wake.

“Because Finn is still dealing with the mess that Deirdre Shaw left behind at First Trust bank, and Jo-Jo and Sophia had tickets to The Nutcracker,” I said, ticking our friends off on my fingers. “And of course, you know that Owen promised Eva that he’d help out with that holiday toy drive she’s leading over at the community college.”

“I would have been happy to help Eva with her toy drive,” Phillip grumbled. “Thrilled. Ecstatic even.”

Despite their roughly ten-year age difference, Phillip was crazy about Eva Grayson, Owen’s younger sister, although he was waiting for her to finish college and grow up a bit before pursuing a real relationship with her.

“Anything would have been better—warmer—than this.” He popped up the collar of his trench coat so that it would cover more of his neck, then slouched down even farther in his seat.

“Aw, poor baby. Stuck out here in the cold and dark with me tonight.” I clucked my tongue in mock sympathy. “And to think that I was just about to offer you some hot chocolate.”

His blue eyes narrowed with interest. “You have hot chocolate? Homemade hot chocolate?”

I reached down and pulled a large metal thermos out of the black duffel bag sitting between our seats on the van floor. “Of course I do. You can’t have a stakeout on a cold winter’s night without it.”

I grabbed two plastic cups out of the bag and handed them over to Phillip, who held them steady while I poured. The rich, heady aroma of the decadent drink filled the van, cutting through the icy chill that had crept inside the vehicle. I breathed in the fumes as I capped the thermos and put it away. Phillip passed over my cup, and I drew in a couple more deep, steamy breaths before taking a sip. The dark brew coated my tongue with its bittersweet flavor, softened by the vanilla extract and raspberry puree that I’d added to the mixture.

Phillip cradled his cup like a bum huddled over a trash-can fire. He took a long slurp and sighed again, this time with happiness. “Now that’s more like it.”

We both settled back in our seats, watching the mansion and sipping our hot chocolate.

The folks who’d been hosting the dinner party must have decided to go to bed, since the recorded carols abruptly cut off, and the holiday lights winked out one door, window, and plastic snowman at a time, further blackening the landscape. The icy drizzle picked up as well, turning into more of a steady rain, each drop tinking against the van windshield. It truly was a night fit for neither man nor beast, but these were my favorite kinds of environments as an assassin. The cold, the rain, and the darkness always made it that much easier to get close to your target and then get away after you’d put him down. If I’d wanted someone dead, I would have waited for a night just like this one to strike.

And I was willing to bet that someone might have the same idea about the man in the mansion.

Phillip tipped his cup at the shadow still pacing back and forth behind the patio doors. “You really think that he knows something about the Circle?”

I shrugged. “He’s the best lead I have right now—and the only person still alive who might know anything about them.”

Two weeks ago, I’d been kidnapped and held hostage by Hugh Tucker, a vampire who claimed that he was part of a secret group that supposedly pulled the strings on the underworld and everything else in Ashland. That had certainly come as news to me, since I was supposedly the head of the underworld these days. But Tucker had claimed that the Circle was an organization of criminals so high-and-mighty that no one could touch them, especially not a lowly assassin like me. The vamp had also said that the Circle monitored everything from behind the scenes—and that they could kill me and my friends anytime they wanted to.

But the most shocking thing he’d revealed was that my mother, Eira Snow, had supposedly been one of them.

My mother had been murdered when I was thirteen, a deep loss that I still felt to this day. But I’d viewed her like any other kid. She was my mom—nothing more, nothing less. I’d never really thought about who she was, much less what kind of person. The good things she did, the bad ones, how she felt about all of them. I didn’t know any of that. But Tucker had turned my world upside down with his accusations, and I wanted to know if they were true: I had to know if my mother had been the good person I’d always assumed she was, or just as rotten, heartless, and depraved as the rest of this shadowy Circle.

“You know, we could just go knock on his door and ask him about all this,” Phillip said.

I snorted. “He wouldn’t tell me anything. Nothing I could trust anyway. He hates me too much for that.”

Phillip shifted in his seat again. “Well, at least we could get this over with and go home. That would certainly keep my balls from turning into ice cubes—”

A pair of headlights popped up in the van’s rearview mirror. I gestured at Phillip, and we both slouched back down in our seats.

A black SUV cruised down the street, passing our van. The vehicle stopped at the end of the block and made a right, disappearing from sight. Phillip started to sit back up, but I held out my hand, stopping him.

“Wait,” I said. “Let’s see if they come back.”

He rolled his eyes, but he stayed still. “Why would they come back? It’s probably just somebody who lives in the neighborhood—”

Headlights popped up in the van’s rearview mirror again, and that same SUV cruised by our position. This time the vehicle turned left at the end of the block.

“Maybe they’re lost,” he said. “All these cookie-cutter Northtown streets and mansions look alike, especially in the dark.”

I shook my head. “They’re not lost. They’re seeing how quiet and deserted the area is for whatever they have in mind. They’ll be back. You’ll see.”

We sat in the van, watching our mirrors. Sure enough, a minute later, that same SUV cruised by us again. Only this time, the vehicle didn’t have its headlights on, or even its parking lights. It whipped a U-turn in the middle of the street, pulled over to the curb, and stopped—right in front of the mansion we were watching.

“Hello,” I murmured. “What do we have here?”

The doors opened, and two people got out of the front of the SUV, both wearing long black trench coats akin to Phillip’s. They were giants, each one roughly seven feet tall with thick shoulders and broad chests; most likely they were the muscle and bodyguards for whoever was in the back of the vehicle.

Sure enough, one of the giants opened a rear door, and a shorter, thinner figure emerged, also sporting a black trench coat, along with a black fedora and a matching scarf wrapped around their neck. I peered through my binoculars, but the person’s back was to me, so I couldn’t see their face, although from the size and gait, I did get the impression that it was a woman.

“Some late-night visitors here for a hush-hush meeting with our old friend?” Phillip mused.

“Maybe.”

One of the giants squatted down. At first, I wondered what he was doing, but then the woman in the fedora and scarf ran over to the giant, who hoisted her high up into the air. Ms. Fedora grabbed hold of the top of the iron gate and swung her legs up and over it with all the grace of an Olympic gymnast. Landing deftly on her feet in the driveway on the other side, she straightened up and started striding toward the mansion with deadly purpose.

I cursed, realizing that I was about to lose my one and only lead on the Circle. I’d considered the possibility that someone might come here to silence him, but part of me hadn’t thought that it would actually happen since everything else I’d tried to track down the members of the Circle had been a dead end.

“Not a meeting,” I growled. “They’re here to kill him.”

Since Fedora was already past the gate, I didn’t have time to ease out of the van, sneak through the shadows, and stab the giants in the back the way I normally would have. So I dropped my binoculars, kicked my door open, barreled out of the vehicle, and ran down the street toward the SUV.

“Gin! Wait!” Phillip shouted, scrambling to get out and follow me.

But I needed to get to the man in the mansion before Fedora did, so I tuned him out. The giants whirled around at the sound of Phillip’s voice and spotted me racing toward them. They cursed, pulled guns from inside their trench coats, and snapped up the weapons.

Pfft! Pfft! Pfft!

I zigzagged, and the first round of bullets went wide. But when the giants paused to take more careful aim, I reached for my Stone magic and hardened my skin into an impenetrable shell.

Pfft! Pfft! Pfft!

The second round of bullets also went wide. The giants had come prepared, and the silencers on the ends of their weapons muffled the sounds of the shots. No lights snapped on inside the neighboring mansions. They wanted to keep this quiet? Well, so did I.

Pfft! Pfft! Pfft!

Two of the shots went wide again, but the third punched into my right shoulder, spinning me around. Still, thanks to my magic, it didn’t blast through me the way it otherwise would have. I skidded on the ice coating the street, but I managed to regain my balance and charge forward again.

Instead of heading toward the giants, I ran straight at the SUV. When I was in range, I leaped up onto the bumper, then the hood, then scrambled up onto the roof. Before the giants realized what I was doing, I raced forward and leaped off the vehicle’s roof, pushing off hard and trying to get as high in the air as possible. Lucky for me, they’d parked close to the curb and the narrow sidewalk. A second later, my hands hit the top of the wall that fronted the mansion, and I dug my boots into the slick stones so that I could pull myself up onto the ledge. Fedora wasn’t the only one who could do gymnastics.

I rolled off the top of the wall and dropped ten feet down to the other side, landing in a crouch. I palmed one of the silverstone knives tucked up my sleeves, surged to my feet, and darted forward across the lawn. The ice-crusted grass crunched like brittle bones under my boots.

The light spilling out from the office perfectly illuminated Fedora, who was fifty feet ahead of me and moving fast, her breath streaming out behind her in a trail of frosty vapor. She must have heard the disturbance out on the street because she picked up her pace, pulled a gun out of her trench coat, and shot through the lock on the patio doors with one smooth motion. A second later, she was inside the mansion.

“Hey!” a man’s voice shouted from inside the office. “Who are you? What do you think you’re doing?”

I didn’t hear her reply, if there even was one.

Pfft! Pfft! Pfft!

Pfft! Pfft! Pfft!

More and more shots sounded on the street behind me, but the giants weren’t aiming at me anymore. Phillip must have gotten into the fight. He could take care of himself, so I focused all my energy on sprinting across the lawn, trying to get to the mansion, even though it was already too late.

Pfft! Pfft! Pfft!

Sure enough, gunfire flashed inside the office, as bright as the holiday lights had been earlier. Someone had just been shot.

A second later, Fedora stepped through the doors and out onto the stone patio. I squinted, but the office lights were behind her, and all I could see in the darkness was the pale glitter of her eyes above the black scarf wrapped around her face. She gave me a mocking salute with her gun before ducking back inside the mansion. Now that her mission was accomplished, no doubt she’d leave through one of the back doors and disappear into the woods. All without my even getting a good look at her face.

I cursed. Even though I wanted to rush inside the mansion, I forced myself to slow down and approach the patio doors with caution, just in case she might be lying in wait to try to kill me too. I also grabbed hold of even more of my Stone power, hardening my skin as much as possible, on the off chance that she decided to blast me with bullets and elemental magic. As a final precaution, I reached out with my power, listening to all the emotional vibrations that had sunk into the stone walls of the mansion.

Harsh, shocked mutters echoed back to me, from the shots the woman had just fired. Alongside that was a high, whiny chorus of worry, fear, and paranoia. But there were no sly whispers or dark murmurs of evil intent that would have signaled that she was hiding in the office, ready to put a bullet in my head the second I stepped inside. Whoever the woman was, she was long gone.

Still, I was careful as I eased into the office, my knife still in my hand, my other hand up and lightly glowing with my Ice magic, ready to blast whoever might attack me.

But only one person was in the office: the man I’d been watching.

Jonah McAllister, my old nemesis, lay sprawled across the floor.

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Unraveled 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She managed to have a gripping story. And opened up the series for more stories.
NancyLovesBooks More than 1 year ago
A new setting, and new adversaries. I was thoroughly pleased to see that the protagonist was portrayed in a stronger, more consistent with her built up reputation as "The Spider" Exciting story line, lot's of plotting and action, a few revelations and plenty of twists and turns, made for a very satisfying read.
LadiSteele More than 1 year ago
Love this entire series, have read everything she's written!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What to say? Always delivers. Great plot development and character developing. Leaves you wanting more
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The series just gets better and better
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it.really good read as always.
Judy-Ree More than 1 year ago
If you have been following my reviews for any length of time, you know that I have been a HUGE fan of Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin series since the very first book. And if you haven't or are new to the series, I strongly suggest starting from book 1. This is an on going series, and each story builds on the next to create a fascinating world full of unique and complex characters. In the last full book, Gin was taunted with information that led her to discover what she thought she knew about Ashland's criminal activities was the mere tip of the iceberg. A group called the Circle has been manipulating and plotting from behind the scenes for decades. And she was just informed that not only was Mab Monroe a member, but so was her very own mother. Talk about turning your world upside down! So when Finn receives a surprise inheritance from his recently departed mother, they decided to take a break and go check out this Old West Theme park and resort. But of course, just like the last time Gin and the gang tried to get away for a few days, there is no relaxation to be found. And when Brea, Finn and Owen are held prisoner, it will take all of Gin's resourcefulness and the help of their friends to overcome the odds stacked against them. This was an exciting book, full of all the action and resourcefulness that we have come to expect from Gin. One thing you have to admit about Gin, she may get knocked down, but she comes up swinging. This was a magnificent addition to the series. Pocket Books and Netgalley provided me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Boundlessbookreviews More than 1 year ago
Fifteen books in and the story is still as exciting and so much fun that it is one of my favorite series. Jennifer Estep, keeps delivering the perfect blend of kickass elemental assassin, meets down home country girl and I love it! Unraveled is the second book in the series I have listened to on Audiobook. I am tempted to go back and start again from the beginning, re-listen to all of them. I loved Lauren Fortgang’s narration that much, she has captured Gin perfectly and breathed life into her....Sara
KimHeniadis More than 1 year ago
I love this series. This is one of the series I am willing to take a day of vacation from work to read it. This is the 15th books in the series, and with a lot of series by the time you get this far in it, the series has fizzled out. Not with the Elemental Assassin though. I’ve only encountered one book (#13 and the review can be read here), that has not wowed me. I do recommend that you start this series from the beginning though. There is so much back story and character development that you would miss too much if you didn’t, and there is a good chance you would get confused as to what is going on. I did have one major problem with the story line though, and if you’re a long time reader of the series, there will be spoilers coming. So just know that I highly recommend this one. Spoilers…… I had one problem in regards to where the gems were hidden. Gin doesn’t sense them at first, and the thin excuse is that they were surrounded by water. Yet later on she is many feet away from them, and can sense they are vibrating from their beauty. I really can’t see why the water would have inhibited her from feeling them earlier, even if she was distracted. The other thing with the gems is they were taken from pieces of jewelry, so I would think some of them would be pretty big sized stones. Yet it seemed like all the stones she found were smaller in size. I know it’s not super important, but with someone who’s been writing so long, and writes such great books I would think that even these small details would be examined to make sure they make sense. But even with this, I still enjoyed this book. And if you’ve never read any of this series again, make sure to start with book one, Spider’s Bite.
absolutartist1_Cate More than 1 year ago
**I received an ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.** -------------------- This book picks up almost exactly where Unwanted left off. Gin and Finn are still trying to come to terms with the mess left behind by Mama Dee - Finn's mother. Gin now has many questions regarding the mother she thought she knew, and Finn is trying to come to terms with the complete lack of feeling from his mother. Finn & Gin decide it is time to unlock a safety deposit box - one that Gin found the key to in her mother's grave. The box only reveals a very vague clue which frustrates Gin to the extreme so Finn decides to spring another surprise and proposes a short vacation for the two of them and their significant others... to a theme park he's just inherited from Mama Dee. So, despite Gin's reservations about another attempted vacation, off go Finn, Bria, Owen, and Gin. And, you can kind of guess what happens. Like the other stories in this series there is action, violence, friendship, loyalty, and sarcasm - a perfect combination to keep you reading. I love Gin's wit, her ability to stay alive when most wouldn't, and her ability to win new friends when they are needed most. Jennifer's writing is imaginative, complex, and entertaining. If you haven't read any of this series yet, you really need to!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome as always. Love this series
LilyElementBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Unraveled is book 15 in the Elemental Assassin series. This book has Gin and her group of friends recovering from the events in the previous installment. After dealing with Finn's mother, everyone is a bit shaken and Gin is on a mission to find out about the mysterious group of bad guys aka the Circle. We start off with Gin hanging out with Finn and he finds out his mother left him an Old West theme park with a swanky hotel. Figuring after everything that has happened, they all need a break. So Finn, Brea, Gin and Owen head to Bullet Pointe to check it out. Don't you know this isn't going to be a relaxing vacation for the couples, though. Gin spots a bad guy from her past in the crowd and has the uneasy feeling that she's beeing watched since they first arrived. With her spidey senses on overdrive, it doesn't take long before trouble finds them. Unraveled was a change of pace for Gin and the gang but included everything I've come to love about the series as a whole. There's always a bit of a mystery element that Gin must find out that keeps my intrigue. Then there are the battles with strong elementals that you're not sure how she's going to survive. My favorite bits are the strong friendship bonds she shares with her group and it creates a really solid story. What starts out as a vacation ends in a battle that leads us to know a bit more about the Circle. Now with Gin's sights set on the Circle I cannot wait until the next big showdown starts! This series continues to get better with each story and I highly recommend it for Urban Fantasy lovers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TinaCourts More than 1 year ago
Once I started reading was unable to stop till I was finished as I was pulled into Gin's world. It is a must read if you love action filled stories with a strong female heroine with a magical element. This is an ongoing series following Gin who is an elemental assassin and her friends. In this particular story you have Gin going on a holiday again which of course leads into trouble, There is puzzles that need to be solved and a group who calls themselves "The Circle" to learn more about. Gin learns more about her mom and some secrets are started to be unravelled. Looking forward to reading her next book when it comes out called "Snared"
SallyRob More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed Gin's holiday to the wild west and it was good to find out a bit more of Gin's back story. The only thing I could drop half a star for is not really involving the rest of the gang. The thing that makes Gin great is her relationships.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just love these books about Gin Blanco, im always reading them in one sitting. When they come up for preorder they are immediatly put in my library. When i got to the end of this book i was thrilled and horrified! She had an excerpt for the next book in the series. I now was so looking forward to the next book, and i realised how long it was going to be before it came out. Drives me crazy! For those of you who havnt read any of Jennifers other books, check them out, even the YA, there great also.
InvestedIvana More than 1 year ago
Gin, Owen, Bria, and Finn take a “vacation” at an Old West theme park. In keeping with tradition, the “vacation” turns into a deadly showdown, with Gin and her friends playing the part of the white hats. Unraveled is another fun, fun adventure for beloved assassin. God, I love this series! How much cheesier can you get than an Old West theme park as a setting? Finn has inherited the theme park from his deceased mother. So he and Bria, Gin and Owen take off for the theme park. Finn wants to learn more about his mom and Gin wants to learn more about The Circle, a shady underworld organization who may be moving in on her territory. Along the way they go on a scavenger hunt for some valuable jewels and free the theme park from the clutches of The Circle, returning management of the park to one person who seems to really love it. Unraveled is a fun romp in the Western style. There’s even a showdown on Main Street, though it happens closer to midnight than high-noon. I’m not sure Gin has learned much more about The Circle than she knew before, but they are surely taking more notice of her. I can’t wait to see what the next novel has in store for Gin and her friends!
JackieBCentralTexasJB More than 1 year ago
Read from August 26 to 27, 2016 BOOK SYNOPSIS After the shocking revelations of the previous book, Bitter Bite, the world of Ashland’s become even more sinister, and Gin Blanco (aka Ashland’s most fearsome assassin, the Spider) no longer knows who—or what—she can count on. Only one thing is for certain: danger and new enemies await Gin in Unraveled, Book 15 in the New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series that RT Book Reviews calls “unbeatable entertainment!” What could go wrong when you’re trying to unravel a decades-old conspiracy? As the current queen of the Ashland underworld, you would think that I, Gin Blanco, would know all about some secret society controlling things from behind the scenes. I might be the Spider, the city’s most fearsome assassin, but all my Ice and Stone elemental magic hasn’t done me a lick of good in learning more about “the Circle”. Despite my continued investigations, the trail’s gone as cold as the coming winter. So when Finnegan Lane, my foster brother, gets word of a surprising inheritance, we figure why not skip town for someplace less dangerous for a few days? That place: Bullet Pointe, a fancy hotel resort complex plus Old West theme park that Finn now owns lock, stock, and barrel. At first, all the struttin’ cowboys and sassy saloon girls are just hokey fun. But add in some shady coincidences and Circle assassins lurking all around, and vacationing becomes wilder—and deadlier—than any of us expected. Good thing this assassin brought plenty of knives to the gunfight … My Thoughts In Bitter Bite we were introduced to the scheming, manipulative, deadly mother that Finnegan Lane thought was dead and buried years before. This woman crushed Finn in ways that went beyond just his physical torture and even now his actions and reactions are tainted by those memories. Surprise Finn, Mama Dee had one more trick up her sleeve when her lawyer reveals that she deeded the resort complex of Bullet Pointe to you. Upon finding out about the Old West theme park and hotel Finn, Owen, Bria and Gin take a road trip to spend the weekend vacationing at Bullet Pointe. A vacation that turns out to be every bit of a trap that Gin expected it to be without any of the relaxation that the four were hoping for when leaving Ashland. Despite the fact we do not get as much action from Gin she still defies logic by overcoming overwhelming odds of surviving once again, with a little help from friends of course. Longtime fans will also miss the normal times spent either at the Pork Pit or elsewhere with Gin whipping up her delicious meals, a nod to an expected occurrence was given a time or two when meals were mentioned and fell short in comparison to the cuisine the four normally enjoyed together. For me the best part of reading this series has always been the fact that no matter what there are always a surprise or two in each book to keep things fresh and build the story from one to the next. In this tradition, believe it or not 15 books later, Jennifer Estep has given old and new fans alike some really good surprises for Finn and Gin that gave them closure for the past as well as clues for future story arc to come. I am excited to have had the chance to read this a few days before release and happy my love for this series is still justified as it gets more enjoyable with each new book. [EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
UNRAVELED is the fifteenth installment in Jennifer Estep’s adult, contemporary ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN paranormal, urban fantasy series focusing on Gin Blanco aka The Spider –the reigning Queen of the paranormal Underworld of Ashland. UNRAVELED picks up immediately after the events of Bitter Bite and Finn’s novella Unwanted. NOTE: If you have NOT read BITTER BITE or UNWANTED there may be some spoilers in my review Told from first person point of view (Gin Blanco) UNRAVELED follows Gin and her intrepid group of crime fighting family and friends –Gin’s significant other Owen Grayson; her sister Bria Coolidge; and Gin’s foster brother and Bria’s boyfriend Finnegan Lane- as they embark on a well deserved vacation that Gin suspects will be more dangerous than fun. Upon the recent death of Deidre Shaw (Bitter Bite), Finnegan Lane learned he had inherited a ‘Western’ theme park and resort known as Bullet Pointe, and with it the potential for millions of dollar in missing gems. What ensues is the search for the ‘fabled’ diamonds, and the numerous attempts against our heroine’s life. Gin has been targeted by the secret society of assassins known as the Circle, and Bullet Pointe is the perfect location for the Circle to trap The Spider and her closest friends. As Finn and the others try to locate the missing gemstones, Gin finds herself on the run when the others are taken hostage and Gin is targeted for assassination. Throughout the story, there are a number of dreams and flashbacks focusing on Gin’s mother Eira Snow. New details are emerging about Gin’s younger years, and her mother’s possible association with the Circle assassins. Fletcher Lane’s cryptic message left behind in the bank’s safety-deposit box has Finn and Gin scratching their heads hoping for some other type of clue. There is a large ensemble cast of characters including Owen, Bria, and Finn, as well as Gin’s assistant Silvio Sanchez, ice elemental Lorelei Parker, and Owen’s best friend Phillip Kincaid. The requisite evil has many faces including vampire Hugh Tucker, and fire elemental Roxy Wyatt. Lawyer Jonah McAllister makes a cameo appearance as he prepares for his upcoming hearing, and he himself becomes the target of the infamous Circle. UNRAVELED and Bitter Bite mark the beginning of a new story line arc in Estep’s Elemental Assassin series. Unlike a number of the other story lines in the series, the action is limited, and the violence is not as graphic or one-sided. The premise is entertaining, while the author focused on the past and the cycle of events that comes full circle to present day. The characters are colorful and eclectic although Finn, Bria and Owen’s roles are more subdued than in the past couple of stories. And as with most Urban Fantasy story lines and series, the romance is secondary to the main premise although we do get some limited Gin and Owen time allowing for a glimpse into their revitalized relationship. UNRAVELED is a delightful and imaginative read.
madurden More than 1 year ago
OK, I just love this series!! I love Gin and all of her "entourage". Finn has been through the wringer lately but luckily he has Gin at his back. With each book, this series just gets better and better. I love that Gin is a kick butt female who doesnt take squat from nobody! Grab this book and read it..but make sure to read the other 14 first so you know all about the world of the Spider! I received this copy from NetGalley.
CathrineLake More than 1 year ago
I received this book from Netgalley, with the publisher's approval, for an honest review. Unraveled is the 15th book in the Element Assassin and after so many books you would think it might be repeating. But it isn't. Jennifer Estep brings multiple personalities with the characters, that even doing a vacation, Gin still finds trouble. This book is in first person of view, which is in Gin’s. It is full action packed urban fantasy book. You need to read the books in order or you will be confused. Gin is still doing her night time job, but now she is queen of the underworld. We start off trying to find more information on the Circle. However, no one is able to find any information. Finn inherited Bullet Pointe but it is fishy. So what is an assassin going to do. Go check it out with her family. Nothing wrong could happen, right? Well a lot but we learn a bunch at the same time. Ok so a little hint is we find out more about Gin’s mom. Now get to reading!
dsubsits More than 1 year ago
4.5 of 5 stars Jennifer Estep’s UNRAVELED is another exciting adventure in the Elemental Assassin Series. Gin Blanco sets out to discover who the members of “the Circle” are and what is their mission. Meanwhile, she accompanies her foster brother, Finnegan Lane, to Bullett Pointe, where he inherited an Old West themed resort and amusement park that they discover had ties to the Circle. This Urban Fantasy is suitable for adults. This was a fun book in the series. I love that it took place at an Old West themed resort and amusement park. I could easily visualize Gin in disguise. As I was reading, I could imagine the theme song to “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” playing in the background; okay, I’m sure that was just me. Anyway, this would be an entertaining book to see as a movie or television episode. It was full of action, mystery, and conspiracy. I love Gin. She is an impressive heroine. She is smart, cunning, and dangerous. She finds herself in impossible situations but eventually gets herself out of her predicaments. She has wonderful friends. She has a good heart, especially considering she is an assassin. You can’t help but like her. I love that she figures out multiple puzzles in this story. Jennifer Estep continues to do a phenomenal job with her character development and plot. She does a great job of creating visuals for the reader. We find out some things about Gin’s mother in this story. We also discover some interesting things about the Circle. I cannot wait for the next book in the series. Complimentary copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.