Review: Grim Shadows by Jenn Bennett

Posted June 2, 2014 by Carmel in Carmel, Paranormal Romance, Reviews / 62 Comments

Review: Grim Shadows by Jenn Bennett
Grim Shadows by Jenn Bennett
Series: Roaring Twenties #2
Published by Berkley Sensation
Published on: June 3, 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: 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

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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 responses to “Review: Grim Shadows by Jenn Bennett

  1. 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 🙂

  2. 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!

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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 🙂

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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. 🙂

  9. 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!

  10. I totally started giggling when you described Lowe 😛 And I cannot seem to stop 😛

    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! 😀

  11. 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!

  12. Naomi  

    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

  13. Michele

    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!

  14. 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!

  15. bookwormbrandee  

    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. 😉

  16. 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?

  17. 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.

  18. 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