5bat! Review: Bitter Spirits (Roaring Twenties #1) by Jenn Bennett

January 9, 2014 Review 4

5bat! Review: Bitter Spirits (Roaring Twenties #1) by Jenn BennettBitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett
Series: Roaring Twenties #1
Published by Berkley on January 7, 2014
Genres: Historical, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
Source: Author
Excerpt: Excerpt
Sexual Content: Sex scenes.
Reviewed by: Julia
5 Stars

First in a new romance series: It’s the roaring twenties, and San Francisco is a hotbed of illegal boozing, raw lust, and black magic. The fog-covered Bay Area can be an intoxicating scene, particularly when you specialize in spirits…

Aida Palmer performs a spirit medium show onstage at Chinatown’s illustrious Gris-Gris speakeasy. However, her ability to summon (and expel) the dead is more than just an act.

Winter Magnusson is a notorious bootlegger who’s more comfortable with guns than ghosts—unfortunately for him, he’s the recent target of a malevolent hex that renders him a magnet for hauntings. After Aida’s supernatural assistance is enlisted to banish the ghosts, her spirit-chilled aura heats up as the charming bootlegger casts a different sort of spell on her...

On the hunt for the curseworker responsible for the hex, Aida and Winter become drunk on passion. And the closer they become, the more they realize they have ghosts of their own to exorcise…

A perfect balance between romance, period fiction, and ghost story, Jenn Bennett's BITTER SPIRITS is the flapper romance I've been waiting for. Fans of the Arcadia Bell series already know Bennett can generate some heat, but dial it up to eleven for this lovely, ghostly romance filled with fashion, passion, and bootlegging.

There are few historical, paranormal romances that feel credible enough to work for me, a fact thrown in sharp relief by the solid characterizations in BITTER SPIRITS.  Aida Palmer is independent, performing on stage and supporting herself, but also cognisant of the dangers around her.  Regardless of time period, Aida feels like a single woman on her own, strong and savvy about the risks worth taking.  From the first chapter, the sexual curiosity between our tiny, freckled heroine and the imposing hero is palpable and contagious. The 20's creates a unique social setting where there is both the possibility of a sexual relationship but the societal constraints that may prevent it, and I loved every moment of their courtship dance.  Reading along as these two face danger, solve mysteries, and negotiate the chemistry between them was ridiculously satisfying.

While Aida's paranormal abilities given her a spotlight on stage and a meet-cute with Winter, she is so grounded in reality the ghosts could fade away to the background without destabilizing her character.  A sizzling historical romance with just the right blend of ghostly danger, BITTER SPIRITS is a must read for fans of period and paranormal romance alike.  I put down this book ready to jump right into the next installment, thank goodness GRIM SHADOWS is coming out this June.

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4 Responses to “5bat! Review: Bitter Spirits (Roaring Twenties #1) by Jenn Bennett”

  1. SarahClare

    Oh! I’ve seen this book while lurking around the halls of Goodreads. And after your vote of confidence, I can’t wait to get my hands on it! 😀

    • Julia

      I was surprised to see Bennett’s name on something so different, but that is clearly just lack of imagination on my part. She rocks the romance.

  2. Jenny

    I just started this book last night. I’m not very far along yet, but the opening chapter really hooks you.