Two Blogs and a Book – Double Review! WIDOW’S WEB & DEADLY STING by Jennifer Estep

May 31, 2014 4 Star Reviews, General, Reviews, Two Blogs and a Book 6 ★★★★

Two Blogs and a Book – Double Review! WIDOW’S WEB & DEADLY STING by Jennifer EstepWidow's Web by Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin #7
Published by Pocket Books on August 21, 2012
Genres: Epic, Fantasy, Fiction, General, Romance, Urban, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
I used to murder people for money, but these days it’s more of a survival technique.

Once an assassin, always an assassin. So much for being plain old Gin Blanco. With every lowlife in Ashland gunning for me, I don’t need another problem, but a new one has come to town.

Salina might seem like a sweet Southern belle, but she’s really a dangerous enemy whose water elemental magic can go head-to-head with my own Ice and Stone power. Salina also has an intimate history with my lover, Owen Grayson, and now that she’s back in town, she thinks he’s hers for the taking.

Salina’s playing a mysterious game that involves a shady local casino owner with a surprising connection to Owen. But they call me the Spider for a reason. I’m going to untangle her deadly scheme, even if it leaves my love affair hanging by a thread.



My buddy, Braine, of the spectacular blog Talk Supe, and I are doing a buddy read of the entire Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep.  We decided to do two books this month and we had a nice little chat about them.  You’ll find our discussion on WIDOW’S WEB here at SWR and Braine over at Talk Supe will post our discussion on DEADLY STING.  Check out the links at the end!


Note:  Though this interview is spoiler free for the current book, it does assume a knowledge of the previous books in the series.


BRAINE: Hi Lee! I missed you, beech! Where have you been?! Gosh it’s been almost a MONTH! How are you?

SWR: I know, I’m sorry.  Work has been kicking my butt and it hasn’t let up.  I probably won’t be on top of it until July!  But enough about me.  

BRAINE: So let’s get down to business. WIDOW’S WEB. How romantically tragic is this installment?! I thought Gin’s got Owen heart so seeing him so torn here is a big WTF for me.

SWR: I think I may have gone through the five stages of grief.  I’m at four right now – depression.  Well, maybe at three, anger.  I mean come on!  B*%@h crazy!  I just couldn’t buy that Owen would have these feelings for Salina after knowing what he knows. She was horrible, beyond help.  How is he torn?!  I kinda don’t buy it.  I feel a distinct disconnect between myself and his character now and it makes me sad.  I understand shock and disbelief, but to understand the truth of Salina’s character and still feel conflicted…not sure.  What did you think?

BRAINE: Yeah, Owen’s inconsistent here. Can he be more out of it?! I would understand if Salina’s power is glamorizing people but despite how attractive she is, I’d think his bond with Gin would trump whatever latent infatuation he has for Salina. He was bumbling around Salina here! Ugh! 

And you’re right, Owen is the last I expect to pull the moral card. It’s not like he’s the paragon of good deeds either. Hello?! He was a gangster at one point and did some bad things himself to survive. Do you think he’s been talking to Donovan Caine?!

SWR: You’re right.  It’s Donovan all over again!  He knew what he was getting into with Gin.  She’s been nothing but open about who and what she is, what she is capable of and what she will do to protect her loved ones.  Owen has no right to hold this against her indefinitely.

BRAINE: But to be fair, I enjoyed Owen’s backstory in this installment. I was expecting a little gangsta background from Owen but I didn’t expect the romantic intrigue.

SWR: Yes, it was good to see the origin story here between him and Philly.  It added some more grit to Owen and I liked it.  I also liked the connection between Philly and Eva.  There seems to be the beginning of a romantic involvement and it’s sweet, not what I expected.  Same with JoJo and Cooper.  In fact, how do you feel about all of these happy couples sprouting up while Owen and Gin face their first real challenge as a couple?

BRAINE: I did like the Philly-Eva pairing. Very old school, the protector is now the suitor and all that backstory on how he saved Eva had me swooning for Philly! Jojo and Cooper, I forgot about that… the romance feel I’m liking, I just hope JEstep won’t go crazy and keep pairing people up. It would be corny IMO if everyone’s part of the item.

SWR: It makes Gin’s current romantic state even more depressing, honestly. 

BRAINE: Salina. For me she’s Gin’s most difficult opponent since Mab not in terms of power but because of how personal the situation is.

SWR: Yes!  Nothing can get in your head more than your current boyfriend’s crazy ex.  Gin is so raw where Owen is concerned and, while on the one hand, I loved that Estep challenged Gin this way, on the other, I felt it was too soon.  Can’t a girl catch a break?  Give them a couple of books to be happy, maybe?  

BRAINE: True. She just had closure over Donovan Caine and that was brutal! And exes are tough monkey wrenches, they bring out insecurities from the most confident of people.

SWR: You said something in an email that I want to bring up…how do you feel about Gin constantly referring to Owen as her “lover”?  It kind of annoys me.  It sounds a little…insignificant but pretentious at the same time.  He’s more than a lover, if Gin can admit that.

BRAINE: I just can’t stand the endearment, lover, blech!

SWR:  I think, for me, WIDOW’S WEB was a four star read.  I was intrigued, I was engrossed, I was heartbroken, I didn’t know if Gin could handle it…it was good. You?

BRAINE:  Except for Owen, I loved the plot as a whole. We’ve seen Gin’s vulnerable side with the whole Mab business but this one is a totally different ball game. She found love and sanctuary with Owen, a promise of something good and new and that rug was swept from under her with no warning. And I’m not a fan of love triangles but I did enjoy this one plus the fact that Gin kicked Salina’s ass made me happy.


Now, hop on over to Braine at Talk Supe to see what we thought of DEADLY STING!







About Jennifer Estep

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.

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin adult urban fantasy series for Pocket. Books in the series are SPIDER’S BITE, WEB OF LIES, VENOM, TANGLED THREADS, SPIDER’S REVENGE, BY A THREAD, and WIDOW’S WEB. THREAD OF DEATH, an e-novella, is also available.

DEADLY STING, the eighth book, is set to be released on March 26, 2013.

Jennifer also writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington.

6 Responses to “Two Blogs and a Book – Double Review! WIDOW’S WEB & DEADLY STING by Jennifer Estep”

    • Lee

      Thanks! This series is great and Braine is a fantastic partner to share it with!

    • Lee

      Thanks, Braine! I loved the discussion. We should do it like this again! Good luck with the anniversary events!

  1. fishgirl182

    Hi Lee! I had to skim this a little since I haven’t read this series yet but glad to see you back. I feel like it’s been a while. This series has been on my TBR pile for soooo long, I really need to get on it. Glad you’re enjoying it though.
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    • Lee

      It’s a great series. Gin Blanco is a fabulous heroine. The next book in the series fell a little short for me but overall, highly recommended.