Friday, March 2, 2018

BOOK REVIEW for "Venom in the Skin (Deadly Trades, #1)" by Jessica Gunn

****(4) out of 5 Stars!


Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. No allies to call on.

I'm Ava Locke. I have three dozen problems. But remaining the anonymous champion of Midnight's fighting ring wasn't one of them - until tonight, when a change in the rules pitted me against a fellow Fire Circle Hunter, and I lost. Badly.

Without the champion title masking my identity, my location is now a blinking neon sign beckoning Veynix, the demon who slaughtered my entire team. And this time, he's leaving a new wave of victims on his path to me. But since the demon-fighting Fire Circle thinks I bargained for my life when the rest of my team was murdered, I'm fresh out of allies - except for the Hunter I fought in Midnight's ring.

For some reason, Mr. Tall-Dark-And-Handsome is on my side, despite clearly having a few skeletons in his own closet. But I'm not choosy because I can't do this alone. Not if I want any chance of stopping Veynix from taking more innocent lives. And saving my own.


Having been through the sagas of Ben Hallen, Krystin Blackwood and their team (in the Hunter Circles series), I was not at all surprised at the lack of support for Ava from the Fire Circle, but I was disappointed.  One would think that they would learn from their mistakes, most notably that all is not always as it seems, and that a unified response to evil is much better than individual scattered ones.  Alas, however, they made many of the same errors, isolating Ava and making her feel abandoned.  It is no wonder that she took matters into her own hands and tried to find a way out for herself and her friend Will.  

I didn't really enjoy the fight scenes, neither those at the fight club nor between the main protagonists and various assorted demons.  They were just a bit too brutal and bloody for my taste.  And the main demon antagonist in this tale is really sadistic and cruel.  

At least Ava did have Kian on her side through most of the battles.  He is a very intriguing character in his own right, with plenty of baggage in his closet.  It will be interesting to see what more we learn of him, and how things develop between these two characters and others as things progress in the story.

It was nice to see Ben, Krystin and some of the other characters from the Hunter Circles series make an appearance; as well as meet several new characters who seem as though they might play important roles at some point.    

I'm looking forward to this being another entertaining series in the Fire Circle field, as future volumes become available.  I also understand that there are two additional series set in this in this realm, that all have one large arch for this world.  I can't wait to see how the final product comes together!
I received a free eBook of this title from the author 
and have willingly provided and honest review.

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