Jan 10, 2014

Posted by in Reviews | 8 Comments

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

bitterspirits5 star

Paranormal Romance
January 7 2014
Mass Market Paperback
400 pages
Received from publisher

Yummy Man – Winter Magnusson
Kick Ass Chick – Aida Palmer

From Goodreads –
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…


Bitter Spirits is the first book in Jenn Bennett’s new Roaring Twenties paranormal romance series.  As the name suggests, this series is set in the 1920’s.  Now most of you know by now that I don’t read many historical romance books as I have trouble clicking with them.  Makes no sense but there it is.  But apparently I have no trouble clicking with the 20’s because holy cow, this book was awesome.

Bitter Spirits tells the tale of Aida, a spirit medium and Winter, the perfect sort of alpha hero.

Let’s start with Aida.

I really found her character to be endearing.  She is strong, smart and sassy and won’t take lip from anyone.  I loved her spunk.  I thought it was fun that she is described as full of freckles.  You don’t see that often in romance books, but this little detail made Aida even more accessible to me.  She’s just awesome.

Now let’s talk about Winter.  OMG did I ever love him!  He is alpha to the bone but he is my new favorite sort of macho man.  He is bossy but not an absolute arse.  I love how he is around Aida.  And I love how lost he gets when he realizes it’s love.  There is just something about an alpha man in love – it’s just too cute and ‘awww’ worthy.  I love how he woos Aida.  I love how he treats his sister and his employees.  I love everything about him and think he is one of the yummiest men I have ever read.

I love how Jenn wrote their romance.  Its progression is so natural.  These are two people who are incredibly attracted to each other but are trying to fight it. Okay, scratch that.  Winter is not trying to fight it but he is not thinking love and commitment either.  Aida just wants to be left alone…or does she???  And let’s talk about the sexy times.  I read erotica – not often, but I do – and I found the lovin’ in this book to be even hotter than some of what I’ve read from that genre.  Oh my goodness, they are so hot!  I am not saying that Jenn wrote super x-rated porn-worthy scenes.  The truth is, when you look at those scenes at face value, they don’t seem all that steamy but there is something about the way they are written.  The chemistry between the characters.  And also the time period adds to it.  It’s the 1920’s so flings aren’t considered proper.  So add in a bit of that ‘naughtiness’  to Aida and Winter’s love scenes and you have fireworks!

The world Jenn writes is fantastic.  Then again, it’s not a real surprise since Jenn’s world in her Arcadia Bell series is one of the most unique and interesting out there.  Jenn brought prohibition into her story and it really adds an extra level of excitement.  It also help completely submerge you into the era she has written in.  This is a paranormal romance but not in your usual ‘vampire and weres’ sense.  It focuses on the supernatural and magic.  Totally cool.  I liked witnessing Aida calling on spirits.  It never felt hokey or silly.

The story is great fun.  Winter hires Aida to rid a ghost who is following him.  The kicker being he shouldn’t be able to see ghosts to begin with!  And the ghosts that follow him are mean and unlike ghosts Aida usually sees.  So it all becomes a mystery.  And quite suspenseful.  Why are the ghosts the way they are?  Why can Winter spot them?  What do they want with him?  And I did not see who the ultimate bad guy was until it was revealed.  Great story, great mystery, great adventure.

There are plenty of secondary characters in this book and they are all well done.  To note would be Winter’s sister, Astrid.  She is just a teenager but I like her already.  We also meet and see quite a bit of Bo, Winter’s assistant.  He is awesome and I am liking the idea of him having his own book someday.  But next up in the series is Lowe, Winter’s brother. He is only mentioned in the book.  What do we know?  HE’s an archeologist.  That’s pretty much it.  So I can’t wait to meet him and whoever his lady ends up being.  His book is called Grim Shadows and it’s due to release June 3rd 2014.

Overall, I really really enjoyed Bitter Spirits.  It’s a new and fresh spin on paranormal romance, filled with wonderful characters and an exciting story.  Jenn proves once again that her writing talent knows no bounds.  This is definitely a book worth checking out.

5 stars

Books in the Roaring Twenties series –
Bitter Spirits
Grim Shadows (June 2014)


  1. I’m loving what I’m hearing about this new book/series. I think I neeeeed to get this. lol. So glad to hear you loved it so. Thank you!

  2. I swear I keep saying this on every review of this book I find, “I NEED TO READ THIS NOW”! Haha! But seriously, I got the book in hand, ready to go. So most definitely. I can’t wait to meet this Winter guy! Yummy! =)

  3. Lizzie Dee says:

    Sounds great! Like you, I can’t usually get into historical. But the paranormal aspect of this makes it sound worth it.

  4. Glad to hear you liked this. I haven’t read beyond book 1 in her other series, but I liked it with some reservations. I would love to read more from this author, but I also have the problem of not clicking with historicals. I thought the romance in Kindling the Moon was one of the strongest aspects in Bennett’s writing so it’s intriguing to see she’s written an actual romance.

  5. Great review Julie, I so loved this book!

  6. This is the third or fourth review that I’ve seen for this book and it’s official – I’M DYING TO READ IT!! I’m really frustrated because I have a long line of books I’ve been planning to read, but I may just have to reorganize and grab this one instead. Great review!

  7. I so loved this one, it was different and so interesting. I loved Winter ans Aida, and I’m such a fan of the world. Great review Julie!

  8. Melissa – Yes, I believe you neeeed to get this too 😉

    Mariya – I hope you love Winter as much as the rest of us who have met him already 🙂

    Lizzie – You should be okay with this one 🙂

    sara – She is great at writing rapport between her characters and yes, it translates perfectly into straight up romance.

    aurian – 🙂

    Berlz – Funny how seeing a few good reviews in a row makes one NEED a book lol. Make sure it’s at the top of your reading pile 😉

    melliane – 🙂

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