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My name is Jen. I read too much. I drive my husband crazy. I share books with my friends and we spend too much time talking about them. I enjoy Urban Fantasy & Romance (mostly PR & Historicals.) I’m also a mother of two and work full-time as a tv news Executive Producer.
Deadly Sting - Jennifer Estep I still love you, Jennifer Estep. And I still love the Elemental Assassin series. But Owen... I feel like my longstanding and overwhelming love for Owen Grayson has suffered irreparable damage with this book. Which makes me both a little bit angry --and sad.

The following will contain spoilers for anyone who has not already read Widow's Web.

As the story begins, Owen and Gin are still apart, as he deals with the fact that she killed his ex-fiance. Nevermind the fact that Selina tried to kill his sister. Nevermind the fact that she was going to kill Gin and was obsessed with the idea of getting him back. Oh yeah --and let's not forget her big evil plan to kill all those folks with her big revenge plot. But still, he's off "thinking about things." For three months now. Gin is hurting (which I hate) but she is trying to soldier on.

Finn gets the bright idea to drag Gin to a huge party to showcase all of Mab Monroe's treasures at an art museum. He even talks her into getting a fancy new dress. But nothing is ever simple for Gin. First of all, Owen is there. With a date. Then the party turns into a huge hold-up as a group of giants plot to steal Mab's fortune for themselves. And Gin must find a way to take them all down before any harm comes to her loved ones who have been taken hostage. Kind of like Die Hard. In a red dress.

As always, the action was great. I love that Jennifer Estep is always coming up with new ways for Gin to kill people. While many of the last books focused on her ice magic, this book was more focused on the stone. There were tons of cool fight sequences and big stuff with Jonah MacAllister. Plus --a great setup for where the series is likely headed next.

If you're anything like me, however, what you really care about is what's happening with Owen. Sadly, this was the only part of the story that I didn't enjoy. Owen was one of my favorite characters in a series filled with amazing characters. He came around on the heels of weenie-toad Donovan Caine, who made Gin feel damaged and unworthy --and he loved her for who she is. He accepted her. And now, HE is making Gin feel small. And alone. He is indecisive. He is a wuss. And a stupid-head. And honestly, no matter what happens in future books, I question whether I can ever see him the same way again. Scratch that. I know I can't.... which really stinks.

Where do they end up? You'll have to read the book, of course. I will tell you, though, that it is not a fun ride. At least, it wasn't for me.

This all leaves me with mixed feelings at the end of the book. The parts that weren't about Owen were everything I have come to love about the series. I liked the plot, the villain, and the growing overall arc. But the romance.... fail.

*ARC Provided by Pocket Books