Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett – a Review
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
Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett is the first book in her new Roaring Twenties series. As you can tell from the series title, this takes place in San Francisco, during the prohibition era. We meet our heroine, Aida, who works in a speakeasy, as a medium. Aida can summon the dead or send them away. It is because of this ability, she meet our hero, Winter, who is a hulk of a man, & in trouble. Aida’s boss, Velma, has magic ability, and calls in Aida to help Winter, who is being besieged by ghosts, as well as having been poisoned by magic. Between the two of them, they manage to help Winter; but not before Aida begins to feel the attraction to this huge, scarred, but otherwise gorgeous man.
Winter, who is a bootlegger and rich, can’t get Aida out of his head, and in short time the two of them find themselves in a hot, steamy relationship, which both agree will be with no commitments. Though their attraction to each other was strong, both have their own private issues and the romance was a nice slow to build. The first half of the book was mostly the attraction between them, which they acted on quite often, with off the wall sexual chemistry. The other side of the story was the paranormal storyline of who was using magic to hurt Winter, which eventually affects Aida too. Once the danger escalates, with both Winter and Aida getting hurt along the way, they both work together to try to resolve these attacks.
The unlikely couple of sweet, but independent Aida; and Winter, the gorgeous hunk, whom most people were afraid of, was the main part of the story. It was fun to watch them together, the witty comments between them, and their sexual scenes, which created sparks throughout. Each were totally in denial about their true feelings, due to their past issues. Aida, having lost her family at a young age, was totally alone and survived on her measly salary as a spirit medium. Winter, lost his mother, father and wife to a tragic car accident years before; not to mention being in a loveless marriage, makes him avoid any kind of relationship.
The second half of the book was very exciting, with the non stop action, danger and the race to survive the magical curse aiming to destroy them. The mystery was tense, but also a bit confusing trying to understand the Chinese unrest, and bootlegger war. Bennett kept us on our toes, and it wasn’t until the very end did we discover who was indeed behind the mystery. Despite all the mystery, action and danger, it is the romance between Aida and Winter that made this book fun to read. It was a different type of romance, though very hot, it had it humor that made it so enjoyable. Jenn Bennett’s writing style is very nice. If you want a hot, steamy romance; a fun flirty couple, and a tense, action filled mystery, with a paranormal twist; then Bitter Spirits is perfect for you.
Reviewed by Barb
Copy provided by Publisher