Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Early Review + Promo + Giveaway: Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep

Bitter Bite
Release Date: February 23, 2016
Publisher: Pocket Books
ISBN:   1501111272
ISBN13: 9781501111273
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Publisher
Which is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship?

It’s not easy being queen bee of an underworld abuzz with crooks and killers. Wielding my potent Ice and Stone elemental magic will only get me so far—my real secret is my tight-knit makeshift family, a motley crew of cops and criminals, dwarves and playboys. My foster brother Finnegan Lane is my right-hand man, but when his suddenly not-dead relative comes back into the picture, I’m the one on the outside looking in.

It’s funny how life works: one minute your best friend is rock-steady, and the next he’s doe-eyed and buying into this whole loving-relative routine to the point of ignoring you. I’d like to be happy for Finn, I really would. But all of my instincts are telling me that beneath the syrupy sweet demeanor and old-fashioned charm, this sudden interloper is planning something. The whole shtick leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. This person might have avoided the grave once, but I’ll put anyone who hurts Finn in the ground—for good.

BITTER BITE was surprisingly hard to read. Finn has always been loyally by Gin's side and BITTER BITE pulls them apart.

Finn, Finn, Finn, oh how you disappointed me in BITTER BITE. I can totally understand his mommy issues and that he really wanted to believe his mother was everything he dreamed a mother would be, but I never thought he would pick a stranger over Gin. On top of feeling horrible for Gin, I thought Bria got the short end of the stick too. I mean who wants to hang out with their boyfriend's evil mother, having to pretend she is the best thing in the world because the person you love can't see through her crap?

As for Gin, she takes in all of the events in BITTER BITE like only Gin can. She is loyal, ruthless and willing to do anything she can to take care of those that she loves. She has faced some evil foes in her time, but I truly enjoy watching her take down all the new ones that throw themselves in her path.

I have come to the realization that I probably won't ever dislike an Elemental Assassin book. I love the characters, I love the world and I look forward to seeing how Estep ends the series when the ending happens to come—even though that will be a sad day.

I gave it 4/5 stars

* This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


My shovel hit something hard and metal. I stopped and breathed in, hoping to smell the stench of decades-old decay. But the cold, crisp scent of the snow mixed with the rich, dark earth, creating a pleasant perfume. No decay, no death, and most likely, no body.
I cleared off the rest of the dirt, revealing the top of the casket. A rune had been carved into the lid—jagged icicles fitted together to form a heart. My stomach knotted up with tension. Fletcher had inked that same rune onto Deirdre’s file. This was definitely the right grave.
I was already standing in the pit that I’d dug, and I scraped away a few more chunks of earth so that I could crouch down beside the top half of the casket. The metal lid was locked, but that was easy enough to fix. I set down my shovel, pulled off my black gloves, and held up my hands, reaching for my Ice magic. The matching scars embedded deep in my palms—each one a small circle surrounded by eight thin rays—pulsed with the cold, silver light of my power. My spider runes, the symbols for patience.
When I had generated enough magic, I reached down, wrapped my hands around the casket lid locks, and blasted them with my Ice power. After coating the locks with two inches of elemental Ice, I sent out another surge of power, cracking away the cold crystals. At the same time, I reached for my Stone magic, hardening my skin. Under my magical assault, the locks shattered, and my Stone-hardened skin kept the flying bits of metal from cutting my hands. I dusted away the remains of the locks and the Ice, took hold of the casket lid, dug my feet into the dirt, and lifted it.
The lid was heavy, and the metal didn’t want to open, not after all the years spent peacefully resting in the ground. It creaked and groaned in protest, but I managed to hoist the lid up a couple of inches. I grabbed my shovel and slid it into the opening, using it as a lever to lift up the lid the rest of the way.
Dirt rained down all around me, mixing with the snowflakes, and I wrinkled my nose to hold back a sneeze. I wedged the length of the shovel in between the lid and the edge of the casket, so that it would stay open. Then I wiped the sweat off my forehead, put my hands on my knees to catch my breath, and looked down.
Just as I expected, snow-white silk lined the inside of the casket, with a small square matching pillow positioned at the very top, where a person’s head would rest. But something decidedly unexpected was situated next to the pillow, nestled in the middle of the pristine fabric.
A box.
It was about the size of a small suitcase and made out of silverstone, a sturdy metal that had the unique property of absorbing and storing magic. The box’s gray surface gleamed like a freshly minted coin, and it looked as clean and untouched as the rest of the white silk.
I frowned. I’d expected the casket to be completely empty. Or for there to be a decaying body inside; if I had been extremely lucky, Deirdre would have been in there, dead after all.
So why was there a box in it instead? And who had put it here?


Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA Today 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. Bitter Bite, the 14th book in the series, will be released on Feb. 23.

Jennifer also writes the Black Blade young adult urban fantasy series. She is also the author of the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series and the Bigtime paranormal romance series.

Find Jennifer and her books

Giveaway #1: US/Canada Only

Giveaway #2: Tour Wide
There is a tour-wide giveaway for a complete set of the Elemental Assassin series, a $25 Amazon gift card, and 3 signed copies of BITTER BITE. Series & gift card are open to US/Canada; signed copies are US only.
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