The fourth book in the Elemental Assassin series, published April 2011.
I'd rather face a dozen lethal assassins any night than deal with something as tricky, convoluted, and fragile as my feelings. But here I am. Gin Blanco, the semi-retired assassin known as the Spider. Hovering outside sexy businessman Owen Grayson's front door like a nervous teenage girl. One thing I like about Owen: he doesn't shy away from my past--or my present. And right now I have a bull's eye on my forehead. Cold-blooded Fire elemental Mab Monroe has hired one of the smartest assassins in the business to trap me. Elektra LaFleur is skilled and efficient, with deadly electrical elemental magic as potent as my own Ice and Stone powers. Which means there's a fifty-fifty chance one of us won't survive this battle. I intend to kill LaFleur--or die trying—because Mab wants the assassin to take out my baby sister, Detective Bria Coolidge, too. The only problem is, Bria has no idea I'm her long-lost sibling ... or that I'm the murderer she's been chasing through Ashland for weeks. And what Bria doesn't know just might get us both dead ...
In the last book, the Spider has declared war on Mab Monroe. For killing her sister and parents, and all the other evil she does on a daily basis. Mab Monroe has to be stopped, and the law won’t touch the powerful and rich Fire Elemental, who rules Ashland like an old-fashioned mobster. Gin has been killing Mab’s men left and right, leaving her rune behind to let Mab know who did it.
One evening she and her foster-brother Finn are staking out a supposed drug transport, when something just strikes her as wrong. So Gin decides to wait it out. As a Spider, patience is her strong point. And if pays of to wait. The dwarf doing the loading is taking his sweet time with it, instead of working as fast as possible and drive away. When he is finished, and still hanging around, a woman appears from the shadows. They talk, and then she kills him, by electrocuting him. Then she drops a white flower on the corpse, and leaves. Gin knows who it is, another famous assassin, called LaFleur.
Apparently Mab has tired of the Spider killing her men, and has hired another famous assassin to hunt down the Spider, and kill her.
But how did LaFleur know to wait for her here? Was it a trap? Finn tells her where he heard the rumour, and Gin is shocked to find out it is the Ice-Elemental bartender working for their friend Roslyn, the Vampire with the nightclub. Intending to have a little chat with Vinnie about why he is spreading rumors on behalf of Mab, she is just in time to safe his life. And now she also has to find his little girl, who has been kidnapped by Mab’s people.
To her big surprise, while Gin and Sophia are busy in the Pork Pit with cooking for the holidays, filling orders for buffets and such, Jonas McAllister and Elektra LaFleur enter the restaurant. Jonas hates Gin’s guts as he believes she knows something about his son’s death. Of course she does, she killed him when he wanted to rape her. But Jonas doesn’t know that. He even had her beaten badly by some of Mab’s giants. She soon figures out why Jonas has come to her modest restaurant, used as he is to the most luxurious surroundings, being Mab Monroe’s lawyer and number one man. He has asked Elektra to kill Gin for him. And as she is busy looking for the Spider to kill for Mab, this is just an easy in-between job for Elektra. Or so they think.
So while Gin is busy in her guise as the Spider, staying out of the hands of Mab and Elektra, until that time is up, her personal live is in turmoil too. She is finally understanding that Owen won’t leave her because she is an assassin. He really can live with that, and with her. He even gave her a key to his house, though it is much more fun to just break in. And so the tangled threads around her heart are closing in on her, defrosting it bit by bit, and making her feel for Owen in return. Not love, not yet. She doesn’t know if she is capable of it.
And then there is her little sister, Bria. Who doesn’t yet know that she is her sister Genevieve. But when she finds out Mab has asked Elektra to kill Bria as well, all bets are off. She will do anything she has to do, to keep her sister safe. Even if it means exposing herself as the Spider to her sister. And that is what happens. Can Bria accept that, accept her?
I liked this book, it is really fast paced and action filled. And some nice love scenes between Gin and Owen. Finn has his eye on Bria, and she seems to be attracted to him as well. So who knows what will grow out of it. I liked the developing story. Mab is getting hit hard by Gin, and now she has to defend her realm against the other badasses in town, looking to steal some of her action. She will need some time to recover before setting her goons on Bria again.
But what I do find irritating, is the constant repeating of things. The repeating of Gin’s lifestory, what happened in the previous books, is one thing, and I get that that is meant for new readers. It is more the smaller things. That Jo-Jo keeps telling Gin how strong she is, and Gin not believing it. The silverstone runes burned into her hands, how she feels when other Elementals use their magic, or when Jo-Jo heals her. It really is not necessary to mention that a few times.
But overall, a good story, a nice blend of the action and the mundane of Gin’s private life. I am looking forward to the rest of the series.