NOTE: This review is for a book with mature content and sexy times!
Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett is a romance set in San Francisco during the Roaring Twenties (a period romance with a hint of paranormal). It tells the story of Aida Palmer, a travelling spirit medium, and Winter Magnusson, one of the Big Three bootleggers in town. If you are the least bit intrigued by the 1920s, read this book! It is the first in Bennett’s Roaring Twenties series, and woohoo because that means there is more vivid goodness to come!
The setting of this story blew me away. The Roaring Twenties invoke distinctive surroundings all on their own, but Bennett did a phenomenal job of following through and thoroughly drawing me into Aida’s world. Each of the senses were invoked and the picture in my mind’s eye was complete in every scene. My absolute favorite was Aida and Winter’s thunderstorm rendezvous.
This room was just as exquisite and decadent as the Palace’s, filled with heavy brocade draperies and beautiful furniture, and what might have been one of the finest views of the city if not for the storm.
Rain pounded on the balcony a few feet away. Cool wind carried scents of the city into the room–concrete and rust and brick–as they crawled onto the bed together.
I also really liked Winter and Aida. They weren’t endlessly complex or groundbreaking characters, but they were genuinely likable and a bit witty. Their personalities complemented each other and their romance progressed in a natural way. There were plenty of dramatic moments and some will-they-won’t-they, but all of it felt true to character and none of it felt contrived.
I had a great time reading this book and am looking forward to starting the next one in the series, Grim Shadows. I can also see myself reading this one again, probably the next time I really want to be whisked away…