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Publisher's Summary

"When killing people is your job, there’s no such thing as a vacation. Then again, how often does an assassin live long enough to enjoy her retirement? In this line of work, you either get lucky or you get dead. And since I destroyed my nemesis, Mab Monroe, a few weeks ago, all of Ashland’s lowlifes are gunning to make a name for themselves by taking out the lethal Spider—me, Gin Blanco.
"So I’m leaving behind my beloved barbecue joint and heading south with my baby sister, Bria, to cool my heels in a swanky beach town. Call it a weekend of fun in the sun. But when a powerful vampire with deadly elemental magic threatens an old friend of Bria’s, it looks like I’ll have to dig my silverstone knives out of my suitcase after all.
"Complicating matters further is the reappearance of Detective Donovan Caine, my old lover. But Donovan is the least of my problems. Because this time, the danger is hot on my trail, and not even my elemental Ice and Stone magic may be enough to save me from getting buried in the sand—permanently."
©2012 Jennifer Estep (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Gin Blanco is one of the most intriguing heroines on the scene.... If you have not gotten on the Gin bandwagon yet, do so today!” ( RT Book Reviews)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By RabidReads on 12-23-12

I hope that there’s no end in sight to this series

After having voraciously devoured all of the previous Elemental Assassin books I was curious and a bit apprehensive to uncover Estep’s “post Mab Monroe” game plan. Gin’s quest for vengeance has all but consumed this series’ storyline up until now so I was anxious to see what the pacing of By a Thread would be like without this driving force. And I have to hand it to Jennifer; this installment was just as mesmerizing as its predecessors.

Up until this novel I was willing to give Bria the benefit of the doubt; like Gin, she had a tough start in life. But that’s where the similarities between the two sisters end. After the initial ugliness, Coolidge had a pretty typical upbringing with normal things like friends, a happy childhood and the chance to pick her own path in life. In the early chapters of this book she came across as a female version of Donovan Cain. I seriously wanted to reach into the pages and b*tch slap her. The way Bria handled the introductions between her best friend, Callie, and Gin was awful. I’m still reeling from the insult. She might as well have ripped Blanco’s heart right out of her chest and stomped on it. Her pretty little speech towards the end was a step in the right direction but Bria still has a long way to go in order to earn my forgiveness, let alone Gin’s.

The breakneck action that this series is renowned for was just as riveting as ever but for me, it was the emotional elements that really stood out. Estep demonstrated that not only can she entertain her readers but she can also provide an enriching experience as well. Between her sister’s catty behaviour, Donovan Cain rearing his ugly head and Owen’s jealousy, it’s a wonder that Gin even has the time to kill anyone in this book. I loved the one fingered salute Blanco gives her ex towards the end of the story. This novel is worth reading for this scene alone. Anyone and everyone who’s ever been scorned by a lover will appreciate the karma behind their encounter.

I was impressed with Estep’s ability to breathe new life into her Elemental Assassin mold by switching up the big bad, changing locals and adding new characters into the mix. The backbone that I have loved since day one is still there but change is good and Jennifer does a phenomenal job of revamping her series. As usual, Lauren Fortgang’s narration was flawless and remains a key ingredient in my overall enjoyment of these books.

I sincerely hope that there’s no end in sight to this series because I will keep on reading it for as long as Jennifer Estep keeps on writing it. By a Thread seamlessly blends the old with the new and steers the Elemental Assassin world in a promising new direction.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Readers Confession on 07-25-13

This series just doesn't slow down.

After six books in the Elemental Assassins series, I’m still enjoying these books. Although I will say I was annoyed several times in this book and I’ll tell you why in a minute, good before the bad. Thank you Jesus or Jennifer Estep really that this book had hardly any repetition in it. Hallelujah! There was minimal recap of roles, relationships of people, etc which was a MAJOR plus in my mind.

By a Thread starts with Gin heading on vacation. She drives down with Bria so they can hopefully spend some time together and bond. Bria droves me nuts. Right from the beginning she was being judgmental of Gin. Gin is by far an innocent, but she tries to do right. Bria still has issues with the fact that Gin is an assassin and it shows in every conversation that they have.

During an interesting (insert sarcasm) introduction to Bria’s childhood best friend, Gin’s hackles start raising when she’s threatened in her own restaurant. Then, surprise surprise! There is a surprise guest that I wasn’t expecting AT ALL. Many more mixes feelings about seeing this person again. My most prominent feeling was definitely annoyance though.
Even though Gin had a hard time in her final showdown with Mab, Mab never really out smarted Gin. Gin was out smarted and repeatedly tested in this installment. It wasn’t an easy win for her and honestly it was good to read about her getting out of a really sticky situation. She was in new territory, there was no one shaky in their boots at the thought of “The Spider”. She had to work for this one.

Owen was phenomenal in this book. So sweet and understanding of Gin and what she needed to do. When I think about him wielding his hammer, I always think of Thor! Yum! I’m nervous about reading the next book though. I’ve been hearing that Owen problems are on the horizon and I it figures that he was so perfect in this one. Have to enjoy this Gin and Owen bliss while it lasts.

At the end of this one Gin receives an interesting proposition and even though I completely agree with her final decision, it was real nice that she received the opportunity. When you get to the end, you’ll know what I mean.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Sally Goddard on 08-01-17

very enjoyable

loved the narration and the love struggles going on while killing, really enjoyed the listen.

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2 out of 5 stars
By Ozzymandias on 01-05-16

This one's a dud!

The Good

Strong female characters are always welcome for me.

The stupidity of her ex is classic and realistic for some men that think they can get away with that sort of treatment. But this was too heavily emphasised in the story. Raking over old ground.

The Bad

Every male character either wants to rape her, kill her, or be her boy friend. Its just too much!

Not only is there nothing new in this story in the series but it is not even entertaining as a story in and of itself.

The story is too lurid! Too many sexually explicit scenes for my liking.

Poor prose style, there's little of technical merit here. Quite clunky writing.

The Narrator

Too slow and too nasal - which grates after a while.


I decided to revisit this series after quite some time and was disappointed with this particular book. I will download a previous book in the series and see if it is as bad as this one. It is possible that my taste has changed since I last listened to them or maybe this one is a dud.

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