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Heart of Venom

(Elemental Assassin #9)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  7,810 ratings  ·  486 reviews
The hotly anticipated ninth novel in the hugely popular Elemental Assassin series finds Gin Blanco on a dangerous mission to rescue a friend.

When a terror from the past threatens Gin’s friend and body-disposer, Sophia, Gin will stop at nothing to protect her, even if it means walking straight into a killer’s trap. Meanwhile, the rocky romance between Gin and Owen reaches
Mass Market Paperback, 358 pages
Published August 27th 2013 by Pocket Books
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  7,810 ratings  ·  486 reviews

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Start your review of Heart of Venom (Elemental Assassin, #9)
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
*** 4.35 ***

A buddy read with my Bloodthirsty assassins in training at BB&B.

What a wonderful addition to this progressively better series! I have been very pleased with the last couple of books. They have brought the adrenaline levels up and action has taken a more personal slant.

Since our retired assassin withdrawal from the game, it has been open season on her head and anyone who wants to prove their worth and make a name as the new bad ass in town, has attempted to shorten Gin's life span as
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sharon ∞❥ is an emotional book junkie ❥∞
Trouble always finds Gin or Gin always finds trouble but this time trouble isn't looking for her, but...her family. And Gin won't stand for that.

Well, if this series hasn't proven it, this book surely will because there is no one more "bad@ssier" than Gin. Yes, I know there are a lot of kick@ss chicks out there in UF land but no one gets covered in other people's blood as much as Gin. And it's not as if she likes it...technically, she's not even an assassin for hire anymore but this is who she
Sooo... Before I started reading this book I told myself "I should take a break from this series, it's beginning to sound the same and I don't appreciate it anymore as much as I should". Guess what I did?!
Yup, that's right! I started the 9th book in the series!

It wasn't the best idea that I've ever had... And guess I ended up not appreciating the book as much as it deserved.

Even so, I love this series! I really like that Gin is still the badass assassin that I got to know and adore. Now we e
Robin (Bridge Four)
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is one of the better books of the series. It is more emotional because the person in trouble is Sophia. She already went through a brutal abduction and has been one of Gin’s closest friends since book 1 so when her former captor Harley Grimes decides it is time to take her back and kidnaps Sophia again I was completely invested.

The good part is there is a lot going on and this story is action packed. It is also good that we get quite a bit of time with Owen and Gin so they can sort out the

Whoa, whoa, whoa- now wait just a minute.


"Meanwhile, the rocky romance between Gin and Owen reaches a turning point—can they reunite and rekindle their love? Or will the things Gin has been forced to do in her line of work as the deadly assassin the Spider keep them apart forever?"



Are you, like, saying Owen and Gin are having differences even after the 8th book that's gonna be released in late March in freakin' 2013?


I-I thought you we
Angela (Angel's Guilty Pleasures)
Heart of Venom is book nine in the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep.

In Heart of Venom we get to see a different side to Gin. Her patient demeanor slips and is replaced by emotion. She takes risk’s that in her line of work is dangerous. We see that she won’t let anything happen to the ones she loves. You mess with her family and friends and the Spider comes calling.

As the Spider she is always patient, waiting in the background to strike when the time is right, but this time around she
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy, magic
I really do love this series although it has flaws- the flaws themselves have become part of what this series so enjoyable. Sophia is up for the starring role in this story.
Maria Dimitrova
Buddy read with the assassin loving bloodthirsty posse over at BB&B

I finished this book a few days ago but RL interfered so I had to postpone writing a review. This let me pay attention to something that I usually miss when I read on my Kindle - the cover. It's perfect! But you have to have read the book to appreciate it. It's a scene from the book that was never really shown but it was talked about. It symbolises Gin's fear. And it's perfect for the book because this was a book about Gin's fea
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Like I had told Finn, my plan was simple.
Save Sophia. Kill Grimes. Stab to death anyone who got in my way.

This book was AMAZING! Definitely my favorite in this series so far. It was a rollercoaster ride of emotions and action packed with the most evil villains yet.

Grimes won’t let Sophia go a second time. And he doesn’t deserve to live after what he’s done to her and so many others over the years. Finish what I started. Kill him, Gin. For Sophia, for Jo-Jo—and for me too.
Be careful.
Carmel (Rabid Reads)
Nov 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-2014
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

There’s only a handful of series’ where I will literally count the days between releases and Elemental Assassin is one of them. Gin kicks this installment off in true Spider style with blood on her hands and a body to dispose of. In Heart of Venom we finally see Blanco’s cool, patient demeanor slip only to be replaced by an emotional, risk-taking one which is incredibly dangerous in her line of work but also an as-of-yet unexplored side of her character. It’s personal thi
Douglas Meeks
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Well I had to really sit down and examine this whole story to decide if it was going to be a 4 or 5 star review since Gin does what she does best, leave bodies in her wake. I guess it depends on what you measure this book against ...

The problem is that the plots are beginning to start to look a lot alike and that cools my enthusiasm a bit with this series, not to mention the fact that the next book is a prequel (UGH).

The premise here is we get to revisit a story that was told to readers early i
May 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
The tenuous relationship between Gin and Owen is about to be put to the test when an old enemy resurfaces threatening the family Gin’s built. Racing against the clock, Gin must save Sophia from a pair of fire elementals. A pair of elementals that combined power create a greater threat than Mab.

With her emotions still raw from the rejection of Owen, Gin traverses her feelings for those she loves including Owen. But when the only way for her love ones to survive is by her sacrificing herself will
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-books
So glad things seem more...normal in this one. I love this rag tag group of friends and it's so nice to see more of them and especially nice to get this background on Sophia who has always been a sort of mystery since the series began. Absolutely loved all that happened in this! ...more
Anna (Bobs Her Hair)
Dec 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: UF/PNR Fanss

4 Stars – And the Elemental Assassin Series Rocks Again!

Fletcher Lane, father figure and assassin mentor, took young Gin into his home after fire elemental Mab Monroe killed Gin’s family. Elemental sisters Jo-Jo and Sophia Deveraux are also part of the adopted family. Silent Goth sister Sophia is Gin’s aka the Spider’s one person clean-up crew after each bloody mission, and Jo-Jo is Gin’s healer. This time the sisters need Gin, and the Spider never turns her back on people in need, especially th
Mar 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
"Meanwhile, the rocky romance between Gin and Owen reaches a turning point—can they reunite and rekindle their love? Or will the things Gin has been forced to do in her line of work as the deadly assassin the Spider keep them apart forever?"


Its still rocky?? I am guessing its rocky in book 8 too so its going to be rocky for 3 books. If the author wanted us to root for Owen and Gin she shouldnt have ruined him as a character in book 7. Now i am glad i stopped this series after book 7. The
Initial thoughts: 4 stars - Gin Blanco is one of my favorite assassins. She is well equipped, lethal, ruthless, and she is a fantastic cook. Yup, she cooks. Kind of takes the edge off of all that killing.

The Review: Heart of Venom takes place a few weeks after the events of Deadly Sting. The story begins rather innocuously, as Gin and the girls plan a girls’ night. But of course, it wasn’t to be and Sophia is kidnapped by Harley Grimes, one of Esteps sickest psychotic villains yet.

Gin vows to

5 Stars! One of my favorites in the series.

This was goooood! Not only are these characters that we love a rag-tag jumble of a family, they are a team and work together like a well-oiled machine. There was some brutal stuff going on in this book, which is usually the case in the entire series, but this one had some extra special violence and gore! *shudder* I loved it! Owen and Gin are a match made in urban fantasy heaven. From beginning to end, this was a real page turner! I can't imagine how JE
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Urban Fantasy
Heart of Venom (Elemental Assassin) Many years earlier Sophia was kidnapped and brutalised by Harley and his sister Hazel, both powerful fire elementals. She was saved by Fletcher, Gin's mentor and surrogate father. Now Fletcher is dead and Harley has returned to reclaim Sophia and exact some revenge. After Harley drags Sophia back to his mountain hide-out, Gin launches a desperate suicide mission to save her and put an end to Harley's reign of terror once and for all.
Sophia has been in this se
Danielle  Gypsy Soul
Do I still have issues with this series - absolutely yes. Despite having these issues with the books in the series I really do love the characters and so I continue to read and will continue to read them. The villains in this one were just a bit to cliched for me. Give me a good villain who isn't 100% evil and has a decent motive - Grimes and his sister were just too OTT for me to enjoy and for me it means there isn't as much suspense since you know they will be soundly defeated. Unfortunately E ...more
Cheryl La Pa
Another great book in the Elemental Assassin series. I love Gin & her friends, and with each book we get to know them a little better. I love the backstories about their past and how it ties in with the current book.

In Heart of Venom, Gin helps Jo-Jo and Sophia, whose troubles start when a foe from the past returns to claim Sophia. Gin really has her work cut out for her but she has some stellar sidekicks to help her save the day. I enjoyed learning more about Jo-Jo and Sophia's past - it helpe
It's Me - Yvette
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I still love Gin

This was fun, as usual. Gin is still her deadly self, thank goodness! M M Monroe? Hmmm, wonder who that is. Hopefully I'll find out in the next book. Here's hoping.
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jen Davis
May 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
You would think that by now that the bad guys of Ashland would all know who Gin Blanco is, and get the hell out of her way. After all, she kills everyone who does her wrong. (Well, almost everyone, but we’ll get to Owen in a minute.) But somehow, Harley Grimes missed the memo.

Who is Harley Grimes? you ask. He is the dude responsible for destroying Sophia’s voice. Years ago, he kidnapped and tortured her, and she only escaped once Fletcher came to rescue her. Now that Gin’s mentor is gone, Grimes
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the 9th book in the Elemental Assassin series. The tenth book will be a prequel novel titled The Spider and is due to release in December 2013. This was an okay book but, like the last one, it was a pretty self-contained story and didn’t do much to advance the broader story.

Sophia and Jo-Jo have some history with a brother-sister (Grime and Hazel) crime-lovin' combo team. When Grime and Hazel come to claim Sophia as their own, Gin will do everything in her power to get Sophia back.

Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
1,5 stars. (And the half stars is for "I really liked this series once...")

This was a disappointment.

It was overall fairly well written and had the same cast of characters as the other books in this series.
And this is all the good I can say about it.

Here comes what I didn't like (stay tuned for the RANT), full of spoilers:

The "constuction flaws" were so glaringly obvious in some parts that I just couldn't overlook it like I normally do - especially with Urban fantasy - for example my biggest pee
*Genre* Urban Fantasy
*Rating* 4.0

*My Thoughts*

With the release of Heart of Venom, we actually get to see a part of Jo-Jo and Sophia Deveraux's past that they don't normally talk about: Harley Grimes and the kidnapping and torture of Sophia. We knew that Sophia suffered at the hands of the Grimes causing her to have permanent problems with her voice (raspy voice) because Estep told us this whenever Sophia speaks!

What we didn't know about was how involved Gin's mentor Fletcher Lane was or who hel
Apr 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
I love this series especially Gin, she's one of the best kickass heroine in paranormal history but I think I've reached the point where I just can't read this anymore. At first, I thought that I would still read this despite my annoyance in the previous book (mainly involves OWEN!) because I've read 8 books already and I want to know the ending. But, when I scanned the reviews, they were not what I was hoping to read and what I've read about Owen disappoints me. A good heroine is not enough, the ...more
Heart of Venom
3 Stars

Not one of the better installments in the series.

Unfortunately, the cartoonish villains, Gin's guilt complex and Estep's repetitious phrasing undermine an otherwise excellent story. Grimes and his sister are so evil and diabolical that they cannot be taken seriously, which reduces the tension and suspense. Gin blames herself for everything even events that are completely out of her control, and Estep is still repeating all the salient points from this and previous books ad
This one was awesome. Backstory on some characters that I've wanted for a while, along with some resolution for some old threads and some new threads being woven. Overall a great addition to the series which has rapidly become one of my favorite UFs. ...more
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Urban Fantasy ser...: September SRA: HEART OF VENOM by Jennifer Estep 1 6 Sep 04, 2018 07:51AM  
Your thoughts on Owen & Gin as a couple... 6 127 Dec 26, 2013 04:40PM  
more? 4 20 Dec 26, 2013 03:44PM  
SOS: Serious Over...: [Oct 2013 - Tie] "Heart of Venom" Discussion **Spoilers** 10 35 Oct 26, 2013 10:18AM  

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Jennifer Estep is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. She has written more than 40 books, along with numerous novellas and stories.

In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys hanging out with friends and family, doing yoga, and reading fantasy and romance books. She also watches way too much TV and lo

Other books in the series

Elemental Assassin (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin, #1)
  • Web of Lies (Elemental Assassin, #2)
  • Venom (Elemental Assassin, #3)
  • Tangled Threads (Elemental Assassin, #4)
  • Spider’s Revenge (Elemental Assassin, #5)
  • By a Thread (Elemental Assassin, #6)
  • Widow's Web (Elemental Assassin, #7)
  • Deadly Sting (Elemental Assassin, #8)
  • The Spider (Elemental Assassin, #10)
  • Poison Promise (Elemental Assassin, #11)

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“I want to stay with you,” Owen said, his words almost a snarl. “I want to fight with you and be by your side to the end—no matter what that is.” 13 likes
“I did it,” the guy finally said. “I did it! I killed the Spider! Woo-hoo!”
Okay, I thought the woo-hoo at the end was a little much, but I let the giant enjoy his moment of victory.
It was going to be the last thing he ever enjoyed.”
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