I had a few issues, but the world building and characters are intriguing enough that I am definitely picking up the next book in the series. I was worI had a few issues, but the world building and characters are intriguing enough that I am definitely picking up the next book in the series. I was worried there for a moment that this would be another love triangle, but now I don't think that will be a problem. Thank goodness, I'm sick to death of love triangles in UF.
Dare I say I enjoy Ms. Ford’s fantasy voice even more than her contemporary romance voice? Because I really do. Her descriptive style and mad skills at writing adrenalin fueled, tension-filled, crazy action scenes seem made for the urban fantasy genre. So to say I was excited that there would be a second Kai Gracen novel would be an understatement.
Despite there being quite some time between the release dates of the first and second book in this series, I found it easy to dive right back in. Maybe Black Dog Blues made an impression on me, maybe it was the memorable world-building and interesting characters, but I had no problem finding my footing almost immediately upon opening my Kindle.
Mad Lizard Mambo jumps right in with a high energy scene of Kai running for his life while clutching a prized dragon egg and being chased down by a pissed off mama. He survives, barely, but almost as soon as he’s safely home and recovering from his mad dash across the lava fields he’s thrown for a loop when he realizes the only father he’s ever really known is very sick and Ryder, the elfin Lord he wants nothing to do with, has a high-stakes, dangerous job for him. A job with a huge payday that will enable him to help with Dempsey’s medical bills.
I enjoyed Kai’s newest adventure immensely. especially because I sense a Kai/Ryder romantic relationship on the horizon. They seem to be coming to an understanding and I WANT MORE! Yes, I love this world. Yes, I enjoyed the non-stop action and adventure… But, my favorite thing about this series is the characters and their relationships. Which means I am very much looking forward to seeing Kai and Ryder finally give in and just have each other. Final Grade-B ...more
Unwanted is a novella in the Elemental Assassin world told entirely from Finn’s POV. In the last novel, Bitter Bite, Finnegan Lane made a huge mistake when he trusted his mother after she suddenly reappeared in his life after so many years. He hurt his family and friends. I remember being angry with him for the way he treated Gin, Sophia, and Bria. Then hurting along with him after he realized how his mother played him false. I’ve always adored his character, and might have even set him up on a pedestal, thinking he would always be by Gin’s side and at her back. What Bitter Bite showed me was that he is fallible and able to let his emotions and feelings lead him astray just like everyone else.
Now he must handle the fall out of his actions in Bitter Bite. He has to face the stares and frowns of his co-workers and even attend the funerals of those who died during the bank robbery. He’s emotionally distant and not his usual joking, carefree self. Gin and his lover Bria are worried about his mental state and are determined to show him that they are there for him. But Finn must work out his feelings of guilt and shame for himself.
He’s given the chance to make some kind of reparations when he notices the widow of one of the victims being bullied by a known criminal. Determined to set things right and offer protection to some one who desperately needs help, he sets out on his own regardless of the danger to himself. Just like his foster sister, at his core he is a protector, and this novella shows just how true that is.
I loved getting this brief look into Finn’s head, especially as I look forward to the next book in the series. I had wondered how his actions would affect his personal relationships and now I have some insight. No doubt shit will hit the fan yet again in Unraveled, but Finn and Gin and the whole group will be just fine. Final Grade- B
She might be an assassin, but Gin Blanco was far and away the best person I knew. And I’d failed her miserably.
The last installment of the Elemental Assassins series, Bitter Bite, changed the bad guy game in Ashland. For the first several books it was Mab Monroe who Gin slowly hunted as the woman who murdered her mother and sister and ruled the Ashland underworld with a fire touched iron fist. Then came her daughter and various other characters who Gin took down one by one when they came to town with ideas on becoming the newest supreme villain. But with the introduction of Dierdre, Fletcher’s ex-wife and Finn’s long-lost mother, we now know that we know absolutely nothing about what’s really been going on behind the scenes in Ashland. Gin and Bria’s mother may not have been a completely innocent victim, but instead a bona fide member of a shadowy organization known as The Circle, which she sat on alongside Mab, Dierdre and quite a few other prominent Ashland family members. Now it’s Gin’s job to unravel the mystery and finally, once and for all, put an end to the criminals responsible for killing Gin’s family.
At the beginning of Unraveled Finn is still dealing with the fallout from his mother’s deception and Gin is desperately working to uncover clues about the identities of The Circle members. All she has are a few pictures and the knowledge that her mother may not have been exactly who she remembers. She knows a few of the players but keeps coming to dead ends when looking for people in Ashland who might have information on events of the past. Even a safe deposit box left by Fletcher leaves more questions than answers when she and Finn finally open it and reveal its contents. When Finn is left the deed to his now deceased mother’s Wild West hotel and theme park, he and Gin figure this is their best bet on finally uncovering new information about Deirdre and Hugh Tucker. So they load up Bria and Owen and head out. Besides, it’s Christmas and they could use a vacation.
You’d think with the new plot twists and series story arc that Unraveled would be a darker, grittier addition to this series, but to my surprise it wasn’t. Not that there weren’t creepy new characters, a sinister mystery plot to figure out and awesome action scenes where Gin, with the help of her friends and family, kicked ass in the bloodiest way possible. All of that happened, because of course it did, this is Gin Blanco, better known as The Spider after all. Maybe it was the backdrop of the Old West hotel and theme park that lightened the mood a bit, I’m not sure, but for some reason, it felt like a slightly less intense read.
I enjoyed the step out of Ashland as Gin and the gang navigated their way around Bullet Pointe, interrupted the High Noon showdown and created madness and mayhem while battling for their lives against giants and fire elementals gussied up as cowboys and girls. But what I really enjoyed was Gin’s flashbacks to a time before Fletcher entered her life. I always look forward to these glimpses into the past when they pop up in every book, but it was nice seeing Gin as she was before becoming the hardened assassin known as The Spider. I expect we’ll see more of these scenes involving her mother and sisters in the upcoming new releases as the newest series arc is set up and the members of The Circle are slowly revealed.
As with every previous installment in this series, I read straight through Unraveled in one sitting. The Elemental Assassin series has always been one of my favorites in the urban fantasy genre, and now with the new series arc, it looks like it will be around for quite a bit longer. I look forward to finding out what new adventures await the Spider and her crew. Final Grade- B
Then again, my friends and I being in mortal danger with enemies all around was perfectly normal. Vacation. Heh.