Review: Grave Phantoms by Jenn Bennett

Posted May 4, 2015 by Carmel in Carmel, Paranormal Romance, Reviews / 17 Comments

Review: Grave Phantoms by Jenn Bennett
Grave Phantoms by Jenn Bennett
Series: Roaring Twenties #3
Published by Berkley Sensation
Published on: May 5, 2015
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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From the author of Grim Shadows and Bitter Spirits comes the new Roaring Twenties novel in the series hailed as “Boardwalk Empire meets Ghost Hunters, but so much better” (Molly Harper, national bestselling author of the Jane Jameson series).

Feisty flapper Astrid Magnusson is home from college and yearning for the one thing that’s always been off limits: Bo Yeung, her notorious bootlegging brother’s second-in-command. Unfortunately her dream of an easy reunion proves difficult after a violent storm sends a mysterious yacht crashing into the Magnussons’ docks. What’s worse, the boat disappeared a year ago, and the survivors are acting strangely…

Bo has worked with the Magnusson family for years, doing whatever is needed, including keeping his boss’s younger sister out of trouble—and his hands to himself. Of course, that isn’t so easy after Astrid has a haunting vision about the yacht’s disappearance, plunging them into an underground world of old money and dark magic. Danger will drive them closer together, but surviving their own forbidden feelings could be the bigger risk.

Romance Re-rereadable Tear Jerker

This is the second time in as many years that I’ve had to bid adieu to one of Jenn Bennett’s series, and I really hate goodbyes. GRAVE PHANTOMS had a different vibe to it than the two previous installments because the final Magnusson sibling is younger, female, and the romance had a friends turned lovers spin to it. The plot wasn’t quite as strong as books 1 & 2 with somewhat choppy writing, and a discernible separation between Astrid & Bo’s relationship, and the ghost yacht story line rather than a blended narrative.

To an outsider, the Roaring Twenties era appears to be a fun adventure, that is if you’re a white American, however for people like Yeung, it’s anything but. I liked how the author succeeded in capturing the prejudice of this period, and how it added a level of taboo-ness to the love story. Witnessing the general population’s treatment of Bo, and immigrants as a whole, through his eyes as well as via Astrid, someone who cares deeply for him, was humanizing, and I thought that the two characters’ reactions were very genuine.

I loved how madly independent both of the protagonists were; Miss Magnusson with her refusal to live in her brothers’ shadow, and Yeung’s unwillingness to accept hand-outs. It was great seeing these two finally take steps towards achieving their happily-ever-after, and strangely it wasn’t their moving reunion that caused me to reach for a tissue, although that too was a close call. Instead, it was Bo’s heart-to-heart with Winter; his second-in-command envisioned the worst when he declared his intentions, but family by choice is no small thing.

The artefact decoding facet of this tale was in a lot of ways similar to GRIM SHADOWS; however it wasn’t quite as detailed as Lowe’s novel, or as entertaining. Pirates aboard a ghost yacht sound exciting, and yet the parts didn’t fit as cleanly together as they could have which made Bennett’s last hurrah rather tame in comparison to ROARING TWENTIES # 1 & 2. I wish that the epilogue had been slightly longer, and had encompassed all of the Magnusson clan to a larger extent as opposed to being mostly about Astrid & Bo.

GRAVE PHANTOMS was a fitting conclusion to this trilogy.

Roaring Twenties Series

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My Review

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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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17 responses to “Review: Grave Phantoms by Jenn Bennett

  1. I want to read these too !
    Once in a supermarket, I fell upon a little black boy, he wasn’t 2 year-old yet, crying all alone in the alley of the supermarket. A customer, an older woman, was talking to him but didn’t seem to want to approach him. He was clearly lost and upset. As soon as this older woman saw me taking interest in the little boy, she practically fled and let me alone with him, she didn’t want to deal with him !
    I couldn’t leave the boy there, so I took his hand and led him to the place where the supermarket employees could make an announcement in a microphone and tell his parents where he was. In this alley, walking hand in hand with that little black boy (I’m red haired and green-eyed), I felt the look of the people, clearly wondering how a white woman like me could dare have a black son, you felt the judgement, and I think it was the first day in my life I really felt how racism could be like. All I saw was a little lost boy I wanted to help, I’ve never been able to forget this.
    Red Iza recently posted…The Sunday post #45 : Blog break, time out, hiatus, whatever, is beginning now !

  2. Saying goodbye is hard for me too, and even more so when it’s one of Jenn’s. I had a hard time with the last Cady book since I didn’t want it to be the last, and this will be even harder. I’m glad Jenn delved deper into the prejudices during that time, and I was rooting for this couple from book one.

  3. I skimmed through this review because I still have one more book before getting to this one and want to be totally surprised (I know you usually write spoiler free reviews but you know..) but I’m so glad you enjoyed it…Jenn’s first series was a bittersweet ending for me and I think this will be the same..I could read these books forever! 🙂
    Lori recently posted…{Book Promo} Demon’s Vengeance: The Complete Final Asylum Tales by Jocelynn Drake

  4. Although I’ve not yet read this series, I’m really happy to hear that it ends strong – even if it’s not as good as the previous books. Jenn Bennett is an author that I want to see succeed, you know? I’m also glad to see that there wasn’t any white-washing on the cover for this one (which can sometimes be an issue in publishing).
    Danya recently posted…Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge