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Review: Grim Shadows by Jenn Bennett

Review: Grim Shadows by Jenn Bennett
Grim Shadows
Series: Roaring Twenties #2
Author: Jenn Bennett
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Published on: June 3, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format: 352 pages, eARC
Provided by: Author
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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.


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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.


Roaring Twenties Series

My Review




Carmel Signature

Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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62 Comments

  1. Oooh. I loved Bitter Spirits. Glad to hear book 2 is just as good! :D

    • Was there every any doubt? This IS Jenn Bennett we’re talking about after all!

  2. 5 stars! I’m actually reading Bitter Spirits now, I’m on page 5 but I do love the idea of this series! I think that’s why I just recently watched a documentary regarding prohibition a month ago, my subconscious was preparing me for this series lol.

    I skimmed your review since I’m avoiding spoilers for the first but I also like that this book felt different from Bitter Spirits. I’m even more excited to get going now! Back to reading :)

    • Good luck picking a fav amongst the Magnusson brothers. I sure couldn’t. Hehe

  3. Gah, I know this will be a must read series for me. I have the first book and plan on getting the second tomorrow when it releases. I just love this era and your 5 star review cinches it for me. I know I most read this!
    Great review Carmel!

    • I can’t praise Jenn Bennett enough; I absolutely ADORE her writing style!

  4. I loved the first book in this series and I can’t wait to read this one!

    • The wait is almost over! I comes out tomorrow. :)

  5. Yay, yay, yay, yay!!!! I adored this one too Carmel! I completely agree with everything you said, I was sure Lowe would pale in comparison to Winter, but I loved him just as much. Hadley as well. Their HEA just made me happy, and now I cannot wait for Winter and Lowe’s sister’s story:)

    • I had similar thoughts going into this one. I was like there’s no way Bennett can top Winter, but she frequently proves me wrong and i’m ok with that. LOL

  6. I just finished my binge read of Jenn Bennett’s Arcadia Bell series last night (OMG how awesome is it!!!) So glad I have Roaring Twenties to look forward to now!!

    • That was fast! Are you taking a break, or diving straight into this series? ;)

  7. Ooh I need to add this series to my watch list. It sounds fun and unique. And it doesn’t hurt that the scenery is familiar :) Thanks for the review.

  8. “Jenn Bennett can do no wrong!” — This! I pre-order all of her stuff and the list of authors I do that with can fit on one hand.

    • YES! She’s one of my auto-buy, must stalk authors. LOL

  9. I couldn’t agree more Carmel and Bennett rocks. I too loved how different it was, and cannot wait for the next book.

    • So glad that you’re enjoying this series too Kimberly!

  10. I *still* haven’t read the first one but know I need to! I love the setting and time period for them plus, the gushing reviews (five paws? Woo-hoo!) just make me crave it. Yet, I’ve been slow to pick it up. Ooh, a fire giant and a griffin? Nice.

    • You’re only one book behind, so I won’t start bugging you. Yet. ;) But, this one releases tomorrow which will make you two behind…

  11. skimmed coz I’m read this in a couple of days! Exceeded your expectations, eh, I love that! I’m excited!!!!

    • This would be a great series to binge read, but I’m just too impatient to hold off for that long. LOL

  12. Yes! This sounds amazing, and another five stars. I’m drooling for this book, Carmel. I need to meet Lowe & Hadley, and I love that the focus involves the Egyptian artifact in this one. Great review & thanks for stopping by today :)

    • I gave 5-stars to both books; I honestly can’t pick a fav. I love them both equally, but for entirely different reasons.

  13. I’m SO excited to read this one! I loved the first book and I’m glad to hear this delivered as well!

    • Was there ever any doubt? Seriously! We need to stop underestimating Bennett cuz she clearly rules.

  14. I am itching to get a hold of this one. I really loved Bitter Spirits and I am glad this impressed you just as much. I think the archeologist angle sounds fun!

  15. i may not have been all gaga over her other series, but this one I am curious about

    • Here’s hoping that her Roaring Twenties will win you over.

  16. Booyah, the 20s. Gotta say, I’m not big on romance-heavy books, but this one has the archaeology angle going for it though so that’s a huge plus…not to mention you giving it 5 friggin’ stars!!! I may put this one on the wishlist – though, can you tell me if dialogue is convincing? I know the 1920s feel is at the forefront (score!) but how the characters talk/act in these period novels really make a huge difference for me too.

    • Bennett researches her worlds well; I’m no expert on the 20’s, but I was satisfied with the dialogue, and the other period elements.

  17. I love her Arcadia Bell series so much and still haven’t picked up this one. Yes, there is something wrong with me. I see that you loved this one as well… and for all the reasons I loved her last series. I NEED to pick up the series. :)

  18. Awesome review! 5 stars for book #2 is terrific and it inspired me to go move Bitter Spirits to the top of my stack. I’ve been meaning to read it but you know how easily things can get buried. I’m excited that you saved it!

    • I’ve had horrible luck with sequels lately, but this book was definitely not one of them.

  19. I totally started giggling when you described Lowe :P And I cannot seem to stop :P

    I absolutely adored the first book and the world Jenn created (like she could ever let me down) and am glad to see you enjoyed the sequel! :)

    Lovely review, Carmel! :D

    • Lowe is such a flawed hero, but I think that made me love him even more.

  20. Oh wow. This sounds like an all-around FANTASTIC novel. I’ve heard great things about the first book, and it looks like the series is living up to the hype. I really need to get to reading these books!! Lovely review, Carmel!

    • Everything you’ve heard about this series is true. It’s freaking awesome!

  21. THis sounds amazing! I love treasure hunting and paranormal romance. =)

  22. Great review Carmel, this sounds like an interesting read. I haven’t heard of the series or author before, but I am definitely curious now. I love how an author is able to tie characters together as well as this one has.

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    • I’m glad I was able to bring Jenn Bennett’s books to your attention; hers should definitely NOT be missed!

  23. Oh my goodness, Carmel! There are so many things I love about this review — it’s like a supernatural Christmas!! How do I not know this author?? Thank you so much for putting this series on my radar! Fun and fabulous review! I’m adding this one immediately!

  24. Yay! I’m glad you enjoyed this book as well, it’s was a fun read and I loved discovering more about Hadley and Lowe. Plus the mix is pretty good! I can’t wait for more. Great review!

    • We’ve been spoiled with two installments within 6 months, but now the waiting begins…

  25. Both Winter and Bennett sound like some men I would love to read about and drool over.

    • You mean Lowe, Bennett is the author, but yes. AGREED!

  26. Hi!! I just signed up to follow your blog! It looks amazing! I have not read any Jenn Bennett but your review is inspiring me to!!

    • Welcome! If you like PNR, this series is the way to go.

  27. Omigosh, my oldest daughter and I were just talking about how cool it would be to read a book set in the 20’s. I hadn’t heard of this series but I WILL be checking it out as well as the author’s other books. She can do no wrong? That’s some high praise, Carmel. ;)

  28. Oh goodness…I’m feeling like I want to be made to feel like a hussy right now *wink* Where is that husband of mine! This series does sound like fun – I love the roaring twenties but I haven’t ever really clicked with PNR. So you’d say these first two are really stellar then in the genre?

    • These definitely aren’t your typical PNR. Give one a try. What do you have to lose? :P

  29. Ack! I still have the first to read. I’ve not tried her at all before but dang top 5? Okay definitely gonna have to get to book one real quick.

    • In case you haven’t figured it out yet… I’m a total Jenn Bennett fan girl. LOL

  30. Winter was more my kind of guy than Lowe, but Hadley was an awesome female lead. I wasn’t in love with Grim Shadows as much as I was with Bitter Spirits, sadly. It was still a good book though, and I’m looking forward to some more Roaring Twenties books (: I hope their sister (forgot her name), gets a book too

    • Lowe took longer to grow on my than Winter did, but by the end I loved them both. I think their sister’s book is up next, so you’re in luck!

  31. I really need to grab a copy of the first book, it sounds like this series has all the elements I tend to find myself enjoying.

    A lovely review.

    • Thanks Sharon! I don’t think I’ve ever given one of Bennett’s books less than 4 stars. LOVE HER!

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