Review: Heart of Venom by Jennifer Estep

Posted August 23, 2013 by Jennifer in Book Review | | 2 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Heart of Venom by Jennifer EstepHeart of Venom by Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin #9
Published by Pocket Books on August 27, 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eARC
Amazon | Audio | Goodreads

When a terror from the past threatens Gin’s friend and body-disposer, Sophia, Gin will stop at nothing to protect her, even if it means walking straight into a killer’s trap. Meanwhile, the rocky romance between Gin and Owen reaches a turning point—can they reunite and rekindle their love? Or will the things Gin has been forced to do in her line of work as the deadly assassin the Spider keep them apart forever? Assuming, that is, she survives long enough to find out…

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Heart of Venom is a bloody fast pace ride through the backwoods of Ashland with a heroine that shows no signs of slowing down.

I’m a HUGE fan of the Elemental Assassin series. I love how we are 9 books into the series and Estep still manages to deliver great storylines. Books 1-5 has one story arc about Gin’s past and the person that was responsible for the death of Gin’s family.

The second half of the series has more wiggle room for other storylines and we are slowing building to what could be another arc with a new evil on the rise. But before we get there we take a side trip to deal with a story that has been building for a while about one of the beloved secondary characters, Sophia Deveraux.

I have always wanted more info on Sophia’s history. Estep has teased us here and there about how she got her ruined voice. Now we finally get the whole story on Sophia and it gives Gin’s back story a run for it’s money.

Several years ago a brother and sister, Bonnie and Clyde act kidnapped Sophia after the brother, Harley Grimes became obsessed with her. The part did horrible things to Sophia, leaving her with the ruined voice. All those years ago Jo Jo went to a little known assassin called The Tin Man. That’s right Gin’s foster father and mentor, Fletcher is the one that rescued Sophia. Now with Fletcher out of the way Grimes thinks it’s safe to take Sophia again.

Heart of Venom follows Gin trying to save Sophia after Grimes grabs her during a  by a person a girls’ day at Jo Jo’s salon. Gin is always cool and collected when it comes to being The Spider. But she loses it all when Sophia is taken.  She tries to run off with guns knives ablazing until her friends make her see that it would be suicide to go up on Grimes’ mountain alone.

“Grimes might be a bad, bad guy, but I happen to be a bad, bad bitch.”

Gin gets unexpected  backup from Owen, her estranged lover. Gin agrees to let Owen come along with her. leaving the rest of the group to protect an injured Jo Jo. But it’s not just Gin and Owen to the rescue, they pick up an guide for the mountain hike. And of course Gin and Owen get a little time for an heart to heart between all the killing. ( I highly recommend you read the short story, Kiss of Venom that’s told through Owen’s POV which takes place after Deadly Sting and Heart of Venom).

As Gin and her small crew make their way up the mountain we get flashbacks about Fletcher (I love these) like it other books in the series, along with flashbacks on how Gin and Sophia interacted in the early stages of their friendship.

Heart of Venom is fully charged with emotion and adrenaline. Gin really is a one woman killing machine and I loved every bloody moment of it.


“Even my socks squished with blood….. Please, …. step up and die.”

About Jennifer Estep

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books and the Black Blade young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. Dark Heart of Magic, the second book in the series, will be released on Oct. 27.

She is also the author of the Bigtime paranormal romance series and Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. For more information on her books, visit Jennifer’s website at

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Owner/Blogger at The Book Nympho
I coexist with my husband of 15 years, our 11-year-old son and two chilled cats in the Deep South.

After 17 years I've finally finished my BA in English (no I do not want to be a teacher). Before majoring in English I would not have touched anything labeled "classic", but I have enjoyed a few along the way in my college career.

While I hated to read growing up, I am now an avid book reader and audiobook listener. I love rejecting reality one book at a time. I only read fiction within my favorite (at least to date) genres which include: most romance (paranormal, contemporary, D/s, BDSM, M/M)Urban Fantasy, and a few YA (mostly PNR or UF from favorite adult authors, but I'm slowly stepping out of my comfort zone after enjoying a few contemporary YA novels in adolescent literature class I took).
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