I am really digging urban fantasy these days. My favorites have a kick-ass heroine, usually a counter-culture “hero” that had a tragic past event and currently has a hard time getting close to anyone. The books are about their adventures and the hero’s gathering of a family, friends and hopefully a romantic interest as the series progresses. One of my favorites is the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep. Estep’s hero is Gin Blanco, a woman with a sucky childhood, has some elemental magic (stone & ice magics) and who works as an assassin named the Spider. Or rather, she did. She has retired but is having a rather hard time of it because jobs keep coming her way, unfortunately, they are pro bono.
So Gin is nice. She may have some pretty harsh rules she has to live by to survive, but she feels responsible for certain things and she helps her friends out. She also has some issues from her childhood. Someone killed her family when she was young and she has some revenge to dish out. The book story arcs are generally a job and the overarching series story arc is about figuring out who killed her family and then how to get her revenge. There is a little romance with some angst, but not that much. There is a lot of violence, she was an assassin after all and this alternative world is filled with hit men, giants, dwarves, the mob, vampires and other characters with elemental powers. Oh yea, there are some plain old humans as well.
I have only read the first 3 books in the series, so I need to get cracking since the 7th book was just recently released! If you like that type of thing, urban fantasy that is, I recommend this series. The first book is called Spider’s Bite.