Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett
Series: Roaring Twenties #1
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Published by Berkley Sensation on January 7, 2014
*This book may be unsuitable for readers under 18 years of age due to one or more of the following: strong sexual content, language, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
A sexy throwback supernatural adventure!
I was already a total fan of Jenn Bennett’s writing when I picked up BITTER SPIRITS, her Arcadia Bell series holds a special place in my heart. I didn’t expect to fall in love so quickly with a new set of characters but that’s the beauty of her story telling…it only gets better!
Aida Palmer is a spirit medium who can summon the dead and help them cross over. She earns a living by using her talents performing private seances and shows in speakeasys around the county. Her latest gig brings her back to her hometown of San Francisco during the era of Prohibition, to the Gris-Gris speakeasy. It’s there she meets the handsome bootlegging Winter Magnusson who’s been hexed by a powerful dark magic and is in dire need of her services. Aida’s bewitching ways captivate Winter and his charm has her wanting to get closer. Soon this infamous bootlegger and feisty medium venture to the supernatural underbelly of San Francisco’s Chinatown in order to find the one behind Winston’s curse and confronting the ghosts from their pasts.
BITTER SPIRITS is another Jenn Bennett gem with plenty of suspense, phenomenal characters and smexiness set in one of the most glamourous eras, the 1920s. I’m a huge fan of TV shows that take place during the Prohibition Era like Boardwalk Empire and Mob City, I love the allure of glamour and danger…and BITTER SPIRITS delivers all that with an exciting paranormal twist! Aida and Winter’s sexy banter left me hanging onto every word and the intriguing mystery made me pull an all-nighter. I was magically transported back in time, enjoyed every minute of it and didn’t want it to end!
Aida instantly became a favorite leading lady for me, she’s pretty modern for a woman in the 1920′s has a feistiness to her that’s endearing. Aida is smart, funny, independent and I love that although she has some emotional baggage she never let’s it define her or stop her from accomplishing her goals. As much as Aida tries to resist Winter’s charms she finds herself flirting and engaging in some sexy banter with him while still staying professional, she definitely has more willpower than most women in her situation (myself included)!
Aida and Winter are two very similar and down to earth characters. Winter’s scars are a small clue into his haunted past. He’s a wealthy businessman who’s made most of his money through the family business of bootlegging and labeled somewhat of a rogue in society, but there’s more to him than meets the eye. Winter exudes confidence, has plenty of charm and is not lacking in the sense of humor department, he’s definitely a suave alpha male without all the unnecessary brooding. Aida brings out the best in him and he does the same for her.
I can’t help but thank Jenn Bennett for introducing us to a leading couple that are not physically flawless, it’s quite refreshing in this genre. Aida and Winter’s romance evolves over time despite their intense attraction, which makes their relationship that much better. Both Aida and Winter keep their hearts guarded due to their pasts and it’s great to wonder if a HEA is in store for them as you turn the pages. All of the flirting and sexual tension between them is fun to read and paves the way for some surprisingly racy love scenes as the two go from friends to lovers. Ms. Bennett pulls out all the stops with the smexiness in this book and I couldn’t love her more for it!
We’re introduced to an array of supporting characters on Aida and Winter’s adventure who are just as entertaining as our protagonists. Velma, the owner of Gris-Gris who hired Aida has some magical powers of her own and still remains a mystery. Winter’s right hand man Bo has plenty of connections on the streets of Chinatown and is a loyal friend and then there’s also Astrid, Winter’s baby sister who steals the scenes with her playfulness and snark. And what mystery is complete without a few crime boss villains to keep the suspense going? Oh yeah..we have those too.
The short version is BITTER SPIRITS rocked my world! It’s an enthralling read laced with magic, mayhem and a sweet romance. Jenn Bennett captures the essence of the time spectacularly with rich details and imagery for a stellar paranormal romance debut. I can’t get enough of this author’s easygoing and familiar voice, she really brings her world and characters to life with her writing. This is a must read for lovers of historical romance, fans of mystery and those who like a little supernatural mixed in. Winter Magnusson is officially my latest book boyfriend and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for him, Aida and the rest of the Magnusson family!