I somehow skipped over the second in the series, but it turns out Ms. Estep is good enough at weaving pertinent details through the narrative that I did not find myself lost.

And that was good, because Venom is as fast paced in terms of action as the first book in the series, Spider’s Bite.

It opens with former-assassin-now-Pig Pit Barbecue-owner Gin Blanco being beaten up by giants in the employ of her nemesis, Eliot Slater and Mab Monroe.

Gin has to let them be …more I somehow skipped over the second in the series, but it turns out Ms. Estep is good enough at weaving pertinent details through the narrative that I did not find myself lost.

And that was good, because Venom is as fast paced in terms of action as the first book in the series, Spider’s Bite.

It opens with former-assassin-now-Pig Pit Barbecue-owner Gin Blanco being beaten up by giants in the employ of her nemesis, Eliot Slater and Mab Monroe.

Gin has to let them beat her up, and not tip her hand that she has elemental powers (stone and ice) because she is after Mab, the kingpin of Ashland, because Mab killed her family ‘lo these many years ago.

She’s also about to find out that because her vamp friend Roslyn helped her on a mission in the first book, she is now being stalked and abused by Eliot.

With the help of her foster brother, the womanizing and yet endearing Finn, her dwarf sister buddies who cook and heal for her, and an evergrowing cast of people beginning to care for her, Gin will take on Eliot Slater and Mab’s organization.

The cool thing about this episode, besides the interesting characters and pull-no-punches action, is that Gin’s presumed-dead little sister, Bria, comes to town. She is not only unaware that Gin is her sister, but as a cop, Gin must decide how much of her life she is willing to let Bria know. Especially since her romantic interest (also a cop) just left town because he couldn’t reconcile his own morals with his feelings for Gin.

All this makes for just as interesting emotional as well as physical tangles.

This Book’s Food Designation Rating: Crunchy Kettle chips with parmesan and garlic because of the way the action drives you to consume the book and the satisfying non-superficial flavors of the emotional relationships once you’re in the bag.

crossposted to Goodreads

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