Thursday, December 26, 2013

Book Review: Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett

Bitter Spirits
By Jenn Bennett
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Source: Publisher
Summary: 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…

Review: Historical romances are always fun, but add in a little paranormal elements with ghosts and dark magic, and you get a story that's impossible to put down. 

It's the roaring 20s in California and Aida Palmer has been working as a spirit medium at a speakeasy, summoning the dead for countless guests a night. When Winter Magnusson, a notorious bootlegger, is cursed and starts being haunted by ghosts, he hunts down Aida to help him get rid of the nagging creatures. Once they meet, though, Winter finds himself wanting more than Aida's supernatural help. With an undeniable chemistry, the two grow close as they try to hunt down the people responsible for Winter's cursing. 

I've always thought the 1920s was an intriguing time period, and Bitter Spirits brings the world of speakeasies and bootlegging to life. I loved how Winter was a bootlegger and Aida worked in a speakeasy, so they had to not only worry about competition in their business, but also being caught by the police. Their lives were definitely not boring in such an exciting era. 

Moving onto the characters, I thought they were fantastic. Winter has scars, both internal and external, so he has a lot of trouble letting people in. Aida is used to being on her own and hates to rely on anyone but herself to get anywhere in life. That being said, both of them are insanely stubborn, yet absolutely perfect for each other. Their bickering was so much fun and the way they tried, and failed miserably, to deny their attraction to each other made their relationship even more compelling. 

Not only was there romance, but the mystery of who cursed Winter and who was destroying the lives of other bootleggers in the city added so much more intrigue to the novel. Ghosts are thrown at Winter left and right, and he has to watch his back constantly for whoever is trying to ruin him and kill the people he cares about. So much drama!

Needless to say, I really enjoyed this one. Every part of Bitter Spirits was phenomenal- the historical, the romance, and the mystery. I loved the characters and the chemistry they had. The relationship was far from perfect, but Aida and Winter not only learned more about each other but themselves as well. I definitely recommend this one to anyone who loves historical romances with a bit of paranormal to spice things up. You can't go wrong with some 1920s romance with a good haunting or two thrown in the mix!

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