Grim Shadows by Jenn Bennett
Series: Roaring Twenties #2
Published by Berkley Sensation
Published on: June 3, 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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It’s the Roaring Twenties in foggy San Francisco. Prohibition is on, inhibitions are low, and dark magic is rolling into town…
Archaeologist Lowe Magnusson is packing something everyone wants. The djed amulet, a priceless Egyptian artifact, will fetch Lowe a hefty paycheck from one of San Francisco’s wealthiest. But when the handsome Swede runs into his patron’s uptight daughter, what he once considered easy money becomes maddeningly complicated…
Cursed with deadly spirits as her constant companions, curator Hadley Bacall must keep calm to hold her dangerous specters at bay and prevent them from lashing out at anything—or anyone. Trouble is, Lowe is driving her crazy, but her father needs the artifact he’s transporting. While Hadley can feel the amulet’s power, she can’t fathom the destruction—or the desire—it’s about to stir up.
Let me just start this review by saying that Jenn Bennett can do no wrong! Her Urban Fantasy series is among my top 5 in its genre, and now she’s also landed a spot on my Paranormal Romance list with ROARING TWENTIES. The first installment introduced readers to bootlegging and speakeasies; now it’s GRIM SHADOWS’ turn to bring forgery and treasure hunting to life. Once again I loved absolutely everything about this book! Bennett’s writing immediately sucks you right in, and then her characters and universe keep you hooked until the very last page.
I loved how different this novel was compared to BITTER SPIRITS; the 1920’s feel remains at the forefront, and the story still revolves around the Magnusson family, but there were more paranormal elements in this installment and the plot focused on mystery rather than danger—although, there was a bit of the latter as well. I enjoyed experiencing the thrill of the hunt through both an archaeologist’s POV, and that of an academic; putting the pieces of the djed amulet puzzle together alongside the protagonists was exciting, and uncovering the real truth behind it all was even more thrilling. Then of course there are the supernatural goodies like the Mori, fire giant, AND griffin—yes folks, this book has it all!
At first, I thought there was no way that the younger Magnusson brother was going to be able to compete with Winter, but of course leave it to Bennett to make me feel like a hussy! Lowe’s a con man, a liar and a player so it’s easy to discount him; however he’s just so gosh darned charming with his sexy Swedish accent, way with words and handsome bod. It’s hard to believe a single thing that comes out of this man’s mouth, but he somehow manages to make deceit look hot. Hadley’s his polar opposite with her funeral-like fashion sense, uptight personality and touching phobia. I liked how the author made her character professional yet racy at the same time; if Bacall’s patrons only knew what she has on underneath her drab attire! I loved her insistence on being treated like a man, and her ability to control the Mori made her someone not to be underestimated.
It’s hard to make a romance evolve from two strangers to happily-ever-after in one book, and have it be believable, but once again this author makes the feat look easy. I liked how Hadley and Lowe challenged each other on an intellectual level, and their opposing personalities made their dialogue incredibly entertaining to read. Bacall’s fear of touch has resulted in a practically non-existent sex life, so when she finally unleashes her inner goddess the result is explosive! Slow burn romance, infectious chemistry, and squelching romp sessions—Jenn Bennett really can do it all! Her writing always packs one heck of a punch, whether we’re talking action or passion, and a lot of the time the two go hand-in-hand anyway.
GRIM SHADOWS exceeded my expectations with more paranormal, more ROARING TWENTIES, and more romance; if I could live off Bennett’s books and the hot Magnusson brothers, I would. 5+ stars.