Kiss of Venom
Author: Jennifer Estep
Rating: B+, 3.5 Stars
What I’m Talking About:
Taking place shortly after the events in the previous book, Deadly Sting, Kiss of Venom is told from the first person POV of Owen Grayson, the once lover of heroine Gin Blanco. It was very different reading the story from Owen’s perspective, when for so long we only “hear” what Gin thinks. But this was a much-needed story for those fans of the series who are “team Owen.”
The novella immediately lets the reader in on Owen’s true feelings about Gin killing his once love, Selina Debouis (Widow’s Web) and the subsequent actions and events (Deadly Sting). And WOW is Owen consumed with guilt. So much so that it dragged on for chapter after chapter! And I *almost* wanted to forgive him for his behavior towards Gin in those prior two stories. It was valuable insight, even if it did go on a bit long.
But this is Ashland and life doesn’t stay calm for long. Owen and newly reunited BFF Phillip Kincaid work to foil an assassination attempt on Gin. It was wonderful to watch Owen and Phillip working together to bring down the bad guys. I enjoyed their banter and easy-going nature – even through Owen’s guilt. I am so glad these two have rekindled their friendship.
Finally, in the finale of the story, I enjoy Owen’s self-reflection. He experiences an important revelation, and I look forward to seeing how it plays out in the upcoming title, Heart of Venom. The time he spends working in his forge is wonderfully described – something we don’t see usually. It was fascinating to read how he uses his magic and body to shape the metal.
Overall Kiss of Venom is an enjoyable novella – definitely a must read for Elemental Assassin fans. It is a wonderful insight into Owen’s mind and heart. While I enjoyed learning about his true inner feelings, after a few chapters it did start to drag and become repetitive. I missed the quick-natured action found in the series, but the action scenes with Owen and Phillip were fantastic. And in the end, I am so thankful that Ms. Estep wrote this novella so that we could all see the truth behind Owen’s actions and inactions.
3.5 stars: Liked it – recommend (B+)
About the Book:
The New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin series continues with a new e-novella—from the hero’s point of view! Owen Grayson is bound and determined to get Gin back…if her enemies don’t get her first.When you have a history of dating an assassin, a night out on the town can turn deadly—fast. Owen Grayson is still wracked with guilt over the end of his love affair with Gin Blanco, and there aren’t enough gin and tonics in all of Ashland to ease his heartache. But when Gin happens to show up at the same nightclub, he isn’t the only one hoping to get her alone. Some shadowy figures will do anything to take down the Spider, Gin’s assassin alter ego, and Owen will do anything to protect her. This could be the way to win her back, or at least give her a night off from fighting for her life—if Owen can survive…
Release Date: July 22, 2013
Publisher: Pocket Star
Series: Elemental Assassin #8.5
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Novella
Book Source: Purchased with my own funds
Kiss of Venom (Book 8.5)