Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep (Review)

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Title: Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep
Published: May 25th 2010 by Pocket Books
Page Count: 400
Where’d I Get It: Purchase
Rating: 3 stars (Maybe like 2.5. I’m not sure.)

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

I’m Gin Blanco.

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.

 

The short story, Web of Death, in between this book and the other one felt, for lack of a better way to describe it, as though that was supposed to be the beginning of this novel and the author scrapped it, but instead of throwing it away, just kept it as a little extra something something. I’m fine with that, I suppose, considering how the plot for this book played out.

Gin’s now in charge of the Pork Pit, and with it all the problems that having an establishment in not quite the bad part of town brings with it. She gets on the bad side of Mab Monroe’s lawyer when his troublemaking son tries to steal from her and she takes matters into her own hands. Granted, that’s just the small time plot for this book, leading into the main dish, but also potentially causing issues in later books, considering how she dealt with the problem.

The main thing Gin is dealing with is Fletcher’s legacy and his former best friend, who is being worked over by a coal mining dwarf businessman. The threats go too far when they’re centered at the man’s granddaughter, and Gin steps in, offers to deal with the coal miner, Tobias Dawson.

This is where everything gets a little far fetched. Donavon Caine is still around as the love interest, and Gin is still pining for him. They end up boning in the rain this time, but only after Gin somehow convinced the squeaky clean cop to break into Dawson’s mining operations. No, the cop hasn’t changed his view on Gin, though he was holding out hope once she said she was retired that things could be different. Nope, he’s still the lamest excuse for a romantic interest I’ve seen.

The one thing the romance scenes have going for them is they do make an effort to have safe sex, which is not something regularly seen in, well, most media. So, kudos for that, keeping expectations on safety first and proving that that can also be attractive and sexy.

Oh! And Gin gets a new love interest! His name is Owen and he also has super special colored eyes. This time they’re violet. I know that because the prose told me probably about seven times and he’s only in like three chapters. I don’t know where that romance is going, if anywhere, but anyone is better than Donavan Caine.

Okay, off of boners and back to the plot for a minute. I found the entire premise a little far-fetched. And this is coming from an urban fantasy novel. It’s pretty hard to get far-fetched at that point, but this book felt that way to me. A lot of the plot was just meh and totally undeserving of Gin’s time or attention. The entire thing where some big money mogul is going to bully someone off their family’s land? I get that Ashland is supposed to be like an urban fantasy, contemporary wild west where the law is corrupt and you make your own way, but man, it was hard to swallow this time around.

Then there was a whole chunk of plot where Gin had to pretend to be a prostitute to get close to Tobias Dawson to kill him. None of that went the right way and she both somehow hid a body on the super dangerous Mab Monroe’s property, didn’t lose her blonde wig after getting punched unconscious and drug around (I bet it’s also a lace front fantasy. Someone, please get me those magic wigs for cosplaying, thanks.) and didn’t get immediately murdered by either Mab Monroe or Tobias Dawson. Like, none of that logically makes sense, but I guess I’ll give it to her? I don’t know. It was just like waaaaaaaaay too out there.

Then the final showdown between Tobias Dawson. I get that that’s where the author wanted it to be, but why would he bring her there? Why would he just allow her to mess everything up? He didn’t seem that dumb. I don’t know, this final showdown was way less intense or interesting than the previous one with Alexis.

Whatever. So, this book was a little weird and not a very strong showing overall for either Gin or plot. But, I’m still in love with Gin and Jessie says that it really picks up soon. So, I’ll give everyone the benefit of the doubt and just place this weird plot back in the hole Gin so conveniently made for it with her special stone magic.

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