The sixth book in the Elemental Assassin series, published February 28, 2012.
When killing people is your job, there's no such thing as a vacation.
Then again, how often does an assassin live long enough to enjoy her retirement? In this line of work, you either get lucky or you get dead. And since I destroyed my nemesis Mab Monroe a few weeks ago, all of Ashland's lowlifes are gunning to make a name for themselves by taking out the lethal Spider - me, Gin Blanco. So I'm leaving behind my beloved barbecue joint and heading south with my baby sister, Bria, to cool my heels in a swanky beach town. Call it a weekend of fun in the sun. But when a powerful vampire with deadly elemental magic threatens an old friend of Bria's, it looks like I'll have to dig my silverstone knives out of my suitcase after all. Complicating matters further is the reappearance of Detective Donovan Caine, my old lover. But Donovan is the least of my problems. Because this time, the danger is hot on my trail, and not even my elemental Ice and Stone magic may be enough to save me from getting buried in the sand - permanently.
After killing Mab Monroe in the previous book, Gin thought it would be all over. But she was wrong. Every would-be-assassin who wants to make a name for himself, is now out for her. She is getting so tired of being attacked every single day, she finally accepts Finn’s proposal of going on vacation. It will give her a chance to become closer to her sister Bria. Gin is still feeling very guilty that Mab kidnapped Bria and tortured her, even though Gin rescued her in time. She promised to keep Bria safe, and she could not keep that promise. The fact that Bria is a police officer, and usually totally capable of protecting herself and others, doesn’t seem to be important. And of course Bria is not without strong Ice magic herself.
And so Bria and Gin set out to the place where Bria grew up, called Blue Marsh, a small city on an island near the coast of Georgia – South Carolina. Bria is very excited to meet up with her best friend again, who recently got engaged. Gin is feeling a bit jealous of the relationship the two women have, but she loves Bria and wants to do whatever she can to make her happy. Bria borrowed one of Finn’s latest cars, a beautiful old timer convertible. The boys will meet them there the next day.
After doing the tourist thing, Bria takes Gin to her friend Callie Reyes’ place, a small but busy restaurant called The Sea Breeze. The food is delicious, but things get a bit awkward when Bria hasn’t told Callie about Gin yet. And then some punks enter the restaurant, starting to cause trouble. And of course Gin cannot stand by and let innocents get hurt, especially if one of those is her sister! So she takes care of the problem, her style. And before the dust has settled, the next nasty surprise appears. Callie’s new fiancé is non other than her previous crush, Detective Donovan Caine. As it happens, Bria and Donovan know each other as well, as they swapped jobs a while ago, when Donovan wanted to leave Ashland and Gin, and Bria wanted to find her sister. To see him again is a real shock to Gin, even though she truly loves Owen and is happy with him. After all, Owen accepts who and what she is, something the moral loving Detective never could do. But apparently Donovan is not over Gin either.
After telling what happens, Donovan tells Gin, again, he doesn’t need her “help”, he and the law will sort this problem out.
Apparently some very old and powerful vampire is buying up pieces of the island to build a new huge resort and casino, and he needs Cassie’s place. Everyone who stands in his way ends up hurt, or dead. Cassie and Donovan don’t seem to understand the danger he proposes, or that he really with go to such lengths, but unfortunately, Gin knows different. And so she will not be unprepared. Those goons won’t stay in prison for long, and they will want revenge on her, and on Bria. And she is correct. Later that night, four of them enter their hotelsuite, bend on rape and murder. They did not count on meeting the Spider and her knifes though, and this time, Gin does not hold back. Before long, they are death, with Bria taking out the last one of them with her Ice magic. They cannot stay in the Resort any longer, but luckily Gin is always prepared, and has already rented a house somewhere else on the island.
So after taking care of the bodies, they leave. Unfortunately, the car has been smashed and slashed up, but they are still able to drive it. Finn will be furious over this! He sure loves his car collection.
And so, after telling the boys what happened, and where they can find them the next day, the meet for a late breakfast back at Callie’s place, and tell them what happened as well. Of course, Donovan already had an idea, when he was called in when four bodies where found in the hotel’s pool earlier this morning. Gin offers Callie to take care of the problem, or at least to warn the vampire off. But this time, Gin might be more cocky than she should be, as the vampire is way more powerful and devious as she thinks he is!
Another great story by Jennifer Estep. Gin is really eaten with guilt about her sister being tortured by Mab Monroe, and Bria is also not opening up to Gin. The honest cop, and the assassin, they will have to come to terms with each other. And when they did open up to each other, told what they were feeling, it was a great scene.
Of course, Bria sees from close up that the good guys don’t always win, and that the law is not always the answer, when the villain is above the law, or has bought the law. And when Gin steps up to the plate with Callie, without hesitation, or asking, it really makes her see Gin in a different light. And she will help in whatever way she can. And when Donovan gets on his high moral horse again, she sees things in him, she dislikes. Things she is guilty of herself as well.
Owen was very great in this book. He was not all that happy that Gin did not tell him, Donovan was here, but he did understand. And Gin has chosen for Owen, not Donovan. They spend some romantic time on the beach together, talking, and making love. Owen just has her back, and does not question her motives, he is there for her.
Lucky for Gin, Sophia and Jojo have come over from Ashland as well. Finn called them when he heard about the trouble they ran into. Finn and Bria are a hot couple together, and it is fun to see how the tough Bria likes how Finn treats her.
The book has a lot of action, but it is also more emotional, as Gin comes clear on her feelings for Bria, Owen and Donovan. I loved the ending of the book, and how they spend some time having a real vacation together, when everything was over.
I am, as usual, looking forward to the next book in this series, which keeps getting better and better.