Review: Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep

, by Kt Clapsadl

Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep
Elemental Assassin #2

Curiosity is definitely going to get me dead one of these days. Probably real soon.

You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I’m retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren’t aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox. Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coalmining tycoon, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I’m a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn’t made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man . . . dead or alive.

Now that Gin has retired, she finds herself getting quite bored. So, it comes at no surprise when she agrees to help out an old friend of Fletcher's and his grandaughter. A dwarf wants their land and is willing to kill for it. She also gets herself mixed up in a bad way with the son of Mad Mab's top enforcer, which is a complete recipe for disaster. This leaves two people that just need killing, and no easy way to do it. If she isn't at the top of her game, she might just find it to be her last.

Donovan Caine's character is really starting to tick me off. His high handed morals are really absurd. Its so convenient for him to forget those precious morals when he wants her for a hot round of sex. Right after, however those moral miraculously reappear and he acts as if she is some plague he will catch. I could have accepted his morals if they weren't able to be conveniently forgotten. Gin deserves so much better than him. Yes, she is an assassin, but she only seems to kill those who deserve it. In my review of the last book I wrote that I thought the two of them would make a great couple. Now, however I take that back. I just cannot wait till he is out of her life for good, and she gets herself over him. He isn't worthy of her affections.

This book was much more emotional and personal than the last one. I think this is mostly due to her still being an emotional wreck over Fletcher's murder. Well, she is as much of an emotional wreck as an assassin really ever is. Any emotion at all could be considered a major display for her, as she learned long ago to bury everything. I really enjoyed seeing the glimpses into her past, and I hope to learn even more about the events in the past that made her who she is.

I loved this book, and I love where the series is going. Its great to see Gin slowly opening up and feeling some emotion rather than just being completely cold-hearted. I imagine we will eventually get to meet her baby sister, Bria, and I cannot wait to see what happens at that reunion. If you enjoyed the first book, you will only love this one that much more. The characters are absolutely awesome, Donovan excluded, and I cannot wait to read more of their story.


Buy now at Amazon:
Web of Lies (Elemental Assassin, Book 2)

Review: Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep

, by Kt Clapsadl

Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep
Elemental Assassin #1

"My name is Gin, and I kill people."

My name is Gin Blanco. They call me the Spider — the most feared assassin in the South (and a part-time cook at the Pork Pit BBQ joint.) As a Stone elemental, I can hear the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet and feel the vibrations of the soaring mountains above me, though I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

After a ruthless Air elemental double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way. I may look hot in a miniskirt, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble when irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine agrees to help. The last thing a coldhearted killer needs when she's battling a magic more powerful than her own is a sexy distraction ... especially when he wants her dead just as much as the enemy.

Meet Gin, a very accomplished assassin known as The Spider. She is very good at what she does, and she never misses. When she gets set up and her handler is brutally murdered she sets out on a vendetta for revenge. Her handler's son, Finn, while not an assassin himself, does lend a great amount of assistance. As Gin and Finn unravel a very tangled plot they get mixed up with Detective Caine. Gin is inexplicably drawn to him and would love nothing more than to claim him for her own. However, there is a slight wrench in that idea since she was the one who killed his partner and he vowed to seek justice. The three of them make for an interesting motley crew as they seek justice. Well, Caine seeks justice. Gin and Finn seek whoever is responsible to meet and untimely death, and Gin is just the gal to administer that sentence.

I love reading a book where the heroine is majorly flawed, or just even the "bad" good guy. Gin's character is awesome. Yes, she is an assassin, but she has rules that she never breaks, no kids, no pets, and no torture. It is never specifically stated in the book but it appears she only kills those who actually deserve it, no innocents. I also love how she refuses to use her "powers" when she is on a job as she considers it cheating. Heck, she doesn't even use guns because they are too easy. This really keeps her from being "corrupted" by power.

The sexual tension between Gin and Caine was amazing. It felt so real, and I was rooting for some "action" between them the entire book. I think his character was a really nice balance to Gin's. His morals are so ideal, its amazing. I think as the series goes on both of them will begin to wear off on the other. He will harden and she will soften. Well, that is as long as the two continue to be around each other. I hope they do, because if he can get past his hangups, they would make an awesome couple.

I absolutely loved this book. Its a dark and gritty urban fantasy that will leave you begging for more as soon as you finish it. I cannot believe I didn't read it sooner. This is truly an amazing book that will make you root for the "bad" guy. I cannot wait to dive right into the next one!


Buy now at Amazon:
Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin, Book 1)

Review: As Lie the Dead by Kelly Meding

, by Kt Clapsadl

As Lie the Dead by Kelly Meding
Dreg City #2

Evangeline Stone, a rogue bounty hunter, never asked for a world divided between darkness and light . . .

. . . or the power to die and live again in someone else’s borrowed body. After a murder plot meant to take her out leaves an entire race of shapeshifters nearly extinct, Evy is gnawed by guilt. So when one of the few survivors of the slaughter enlists her aid, she feels duty-bound to help—even though protecting a frail, pregnant shifter is the last thing Evy needs, especially with the world going to hell around her.

Amid weres, Halfies, gremlins, vamps—and increasingly outgunned humans—a war for supremacy is brewing. With shifters demanding justice, her superiors desperate to control her, and an assassin on her trail, Evy discovers a horrifying conspiracy. And she may be the only person in the world who can stop it—unless, of course, her own side gets her first.

This book picks up right where the last book ended. Poor Evy doesn't even get a second to breathe before she is pitted into another race against the clock. The shape shifting clans want retribution for the Olkins massicure, and they have chosen the handler that led the raid as the head they want on a stick. That handler was one of the very few people that tried to help Evy out in the last book, so she can't just sit by and allow them to murder him. She vows to find the Brass who is ultimately responsible since they gave the order. The only problem is that no one knows who they are. Meanwhile she also has to protect the last three remaining Olkins, one of which being very very pregnant.

Evy is still struggling to come to terms with her new identity. She is afraid to fully embrace her new self as she knows that is truly shutting the door on her old one forever. She knows she can never get who she was back, but it doesn't make it any easier to let go. This made the relationship between Evy and Wyatt really strained. Her new feelings for him terrify her and she just cannot seem to bring herself to express them. I really look forward to the two of them being able to work through the difficulties that will face them, and make a great couple. How could she possibly find anyone better than the man that literally gave up everything for her.

Phineas made for an interesting character addition. There is a lot of depth to him, and it seems we have only scratched the surface. I loved how he was so manipulative yet loyal and trustworthy at the same time. Those attributes usually cannot go together, but somehow he pulls it off perfectly. I hope he is in the future books as he added to the already great cast of characters and made the book even better.

I really enjoyed this book, however, I hope the next book slows down just a little, or at least has a little more downtime between the two books. This book winds up an insane time line of about a week, and pretty soon Evy won't be able to function at all if this pace keeps up. Hopefully, she will get some rest and be ready to kick butt and take names for the next book.


Buy now at Amazon:
As Lie the Dead (Dreg City, Book 2)

Halloween at The Haven

, by Kt Clapsadl

I just wanted to let you guys know about a month long event I am super excited about. Paranormal Haven is having a great Halloween event. As of right now 25 authors are participating. There will all kinds of guest posts and giveaways! Don't forget to check this out, you won't want to miss it!

Halloween at the Haven

Waiting on Wednesday (10)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights an upcoming release we are greatly anticipating.

My pick this week:

Darkest Mercy - Wicked Lovely #5
by Melissa Marr
Publication Date:February 22, 2011
Amazon Pre-Order: Darkest Mercy

The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey.

Aislinn tends the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life.

Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the faery courts, and in the final conflict, some will win…and some will lose everything.


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Review: Three Days to Dead by Kelly Meding

, by Kt Clapsadl

Three Days to Dead by Kelly Meding
Dreg City #1

They’ll never see her coming. . . .

When Evangeline Stone wakes up naked and bruised on a cold slab at the morgue—in a stranger’s body, with no memory of who she is and how she got there—her troubles are only just beginning. Before that night she and the two other members of her Triad were the city’s star bounty hunters, mercilessly cleansing the city of the murderous creatures living in the shadows, from vampires to shape-shifters to trolls. Then something terrible happened that not only cost all three of them their lives but also convinced the city’s other Hunters that Evy was a traitor—and she can’t even remember what it was.

Now she’s a fugitive, piecing together her memory, trying to deal some serious justice—and discovering that she has only three days to solve her own murder before the reincarnation spell wears off. Because in three days Evy will die again—but this time there’s no second chance. . . .

Imagine waking up on a table at the morgue about to cut open for an autopsy, with no knowledge of how you got there. To make matters worse, when you look at your reflection, it isn't you. All this and more happens to Evy after a series of unfortunate events. She tracks down her handler, Wyatt and finds out the spell to reanimate her body will only last 3 days, after that its lights out for good. She scrambles around trying to figure out who set her up and quickly finds out things are not as they seem. She must unravel the plot quickly before time runs out because there is much more at stake than just her life.

It seems everyone is gunning for Evy. The only person she even remotely thinks she can trust is Wyatt. However, things are a little complicated there since he is head over heels in love with her. She slept with him in her old body when she thought she was going to die. She did die of course, but then she was brought back. If she had expected to live, she never would have slept with him, as she only lived for the hunt. However, her host's memories is causing her to have conflicting emotions. Throughout the entire book she struggles to sort out what she is really feeling and what feelings belong to the remnants of the body she is inhabiting.

I loved Evy's character. Shes very strong and her will is amazing. She was thrust into an impossible situation but never once thought to just give in and accept things. Never once did she accept her immanent death. While it was slightly frustrating, I admired her for not allowing things to really get physical with Wyatt. She just couldn't bear to indulge in her feelings for him when she knew more than likely he would lose her again. That took a lot of willpower. 

This book is extremely suspenseful, fast paced, and filled with action. Once it started, it just didn't stop. Meding's debut novel is an impressive addition to the Urban Fantasy genre. I look forward to reading more from this series, as Evy is a flawed but intriguing character, and will have a lot to cope with.


Buy now at Amazon:
Three Days to Dead


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Teaser Tuesday (10)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser is from As Lie the Dead by Kelly Meding. The teaser comes from 99% of the way in according to my kindle. (Sorry, no page number, that's one of the very few downsides to the kindle)

 "No, I'm not a cop. My name is Evangeline Stone, and two weeks ago I died. "


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It's Monday! What are you Reading? (10)

, by Kt Clapsadl

It's Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Journey, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

Here's what I read this week:

Demon Hunts (Walker Papers, Book 5)Wicked GameBad to the BoneBring On the Night (WVMP, Book 3)Slow Hands (Harlequin Blaze)Three Days to Dead 

Demon Hunts by C.E. Murphy (Review)
Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready (Review)
Bad to the Bone by Jeri Smith-Ready (Review)
Bring on the Night by Jeri Smith-Ready (Review)
Slow Hands by Leslie Kelly
Three Days to Dead by Kelly Meding (Review to come this week)

I finished up the last of the Walker Papers series, as well as the WVMP radio series. I loved both! I also started Kelly Meding's Dreg City series, and read a romance novel just for fun. It was a pretty good week.

Here is my list for the upcoming week:

As Lie the Dead by Kelly Meding
Alpha by Rachel Vincent
Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep
Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep
Venom by Jennifer Estep

I will be completely unavailable on Tuesday as I will be reading Alpha!!!! I have been waiting for this book for so long! I'm going to hang a major do not disturb sign to tell my kiddos to be quiet so I can read. Hehe. Just kidding.. well mostly ;)


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Review: Bring on the Night by Jeri Smith-Ready

, by Kt Clapsadl

Bring on the Night by Jeri Smith-Ready
WVMP Radio #2

Recovering con artist Ciara Griffin seems to finally have it all. A steady job at WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock 'n' Roll. A loving relationship with the idiosyncratic but eternally hot DJ Shane McAllister. A vampire dog who never needs shots or a pooper-scooper. And after nine years, it looks as if she might actually finish her bachelor's degree!
But fate has other plans for Ciara. First she must fulfill her Faustian bargain with the Control, the paranormal paramilitary agency that does its best to keep vampires in line. Turns out the Control wants her for something other than her (nonexistent) ability to kick undead ass. Her anti-holy blood, perhaps?
Ciara's suspicions are confirmed when she's assigned to a special-ops division known as the Immanence Corps, run by the Control's oldest vampire and filled with humans who claim to have special powers. To a confirmed skeptic like Ciara, it sounds like a freak fest. But when a mysterious, fatal virus spreads through Sherwood—and corpses begin to rise from their graves—Ciara will not only get a crash course in zombie-killing, but will be forced to put her faith, and her life itself, in the hands of magic.

This book is set about three years after the last book with Ciara training for her position in the control. Much to her chagrin, she is stationed with the Immanence Corps, a group filled of vampires and humans with special abilities. However, before she can get officially "signed" in, a insanely virus starts sweeping her campus. At first the doctors think its chicken pox, but when it starts killing people within hours of the onset of symptoms they quickly realize this virus is something more. Long story short, Ciara is one of the few at a major risk. Some major events happen that start a tailspin that will leave everyone forever change.

I'm having a hard time talking about this book without spoiling anything, it just really was that eventful. The book at its core is really mostly about belief and faith. As we know from the previous books, Shane has it and Ciara has the absolute opposite. It is her utter lack of faith that allows her blood to heal vampires from holy wounds. Due to the events in this book, her lack of faith is challenged, and for the first time in her life she finds herself wanting to believe in something.

The characters in this series will just grip you and make you care so much for them. Each one's personality is completely unique and I found myself loving each and every one of them despite their quirks. In this book, we get a closer look at the DJs and who they really are. I also loved the progression in Shane and Ciara's relationship. It took leaps forward, and well, backwards as well. Everything between them feels so real, and I really enjoyed seeing them together. The road between them will still be long and I'm sure filled with potholes, but I think it will be a journey worth spending.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I read it in just one setting, I just couldn't put it down. After the events of this book, I can only imagine where the next book will lead. I really love the new direction things are taking, and I cannot recommend this series any more highly.


Buy now at Amazon:
Bring On the Night (WVMP, Book 3)

Follow Friday & Book Blogger Hop (10)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Book Blogger HopOn fridays I participate in both Follow Friday and the Book Blogger Hop.

Follow Fridays is hosted by Parajunkee's View, and is just Fridays.

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books, and runs Friday to Monday. There are new rules for the hop, so make sure to check out Crazy for Books for the details.

This week's hop question is:  

When you write reviews, do you write them as you are reading or wait until you have read the entire book?

I definitely wait until I've finished the book. I read first and foremost for enjoyment. When I've finished the book I will usually skim back through it as I'm writing my review to remember any key parts that I want to include. I just don't read with the idea of a review in mind because I want to get sucked into the book completely.

This week's question from Parajunkee:

My question for you guys, what is your high fashion book? --- translation --- best book cover ever.

Hmm, thats a really hard question. I don't think I can narrow it down to just one, so I'll post some of my favorites here (In alphabetical order, not by order of preference. Hehe, I'm so indecisive):

Stolen: A NovelBone Crossed (Mercy Thompson)Untamed (House of Night)City of Bones (Mortal Instruments)Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Book 1)Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, Book 4)Pale DemonThe Host: A NovelDarkfever (Fever Series, Book 1)Coyote Dreams (The Walker Papers, Book 3)Shift (The Shifters, Book 5)Blood Lines (The World of the Lupi, Book 3)

Well, there you have it, my top 12 favorite covers ;)


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