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For some reason that I can no longer recall I never took to Jenn Bennett's Arcadia Bell series but am very glad I took a punt on this new series by the author. Set in the 1920's in San Francisco this is a delightful light romp. I liked both leads and enjoyed very much the development of their relationship, from their instant attraction through to their eventual hook up. There are two reasons I am unable to give the book 5 stars. One is the ghost aspect, whilst it was inventive I thought it underused, other than the first two instances Aida only uses her powers actively twice and we never get much of an explanation regarding her powers. The second was the late addition of her dead brother's influence over her actions - this seemed to be thrown in at the last moment as a device to keep the couple apart for a bit longer and never really worked for me. If you are looking for a light amusing escapist paranormal romance read - then this is the perfect book for you
I am a huge fan of Jenn Bennett's and was very interested in how I would find this as it is paranormal romance whereas her Arcadia Bell series is urban fantasy which is more my thing. However this totally blew me away. Regardless of genre or plot Ms Bennett's writing is just sublime. Within the first page I was drawn into this tale, centring on Aida Palmer and her abilities as a trance medium, someone who can see ghosts and call spirits into herself. She aids Winter Magnusson in a spot of supernatural trouble and from the moment he enters the page I was hooked. Their chemistry is immediate and the page practically sizzles. I loved the time period in which this was set and how the allowances for this were made with the romance between these two. The drama and the mystery were also intriguing and I didn't see what was coming until it happened. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys romance regardless of genre, it is a truly beautiful book.
Die Serie spielt in den Zwanziger Jahren in den USA während der Prohibition, als Gauner um die Vorherrschaft im illegalen Alkohol-Handel kämpften.
Der mächtige Winter Magnusson hat sein Alkoholschmuggelgeschäft von seinem verstorbenen Vater übernommen und gehört zu den Top-Playern. Als er durch Magie vergiftet wird, sucht er die Hilfe der Geist-Seherin Aida Palmers. Aida lebt von ihrer seltenen Gabe und tritt auf Bühnen auf. Während sie ihm hilft, wird immer deutlicher, dass ein Feind eine Machtübernahme versucht. Fasziniert voneinander, kommen die Beiden sich immer näher.
Die Geschichte ist gut und mit Herz geschrieben, die Autorin schafft es, eine Charakterentwicklung zu liefern, welche uns den Kriminellen Winter immer sympathischer macht, man ihm die Daumen hält, dass er sein Leben und seine Liebe in den Griff bekommt. Insgesamt eine amüsante Geschichte, aber mit wenigen Höhepunkten und etwas flach.
Can't help but feel that the author must have a wonderful time writing the type of books she has. You just see it in her choices of genres. I like this series immensely. Not enough in this era to go around.
I loved that Bitter Spirits was set in 1920's San Francisco during prohibition; throw in some magic, ghosts, a spitfire heroine, and a giant of a hero and this has long been a favorite of mine. I loved Winter and his bristly personality and his resistance to falling for Aida. He's immediately attracted to her and he also wants to protect her from whoever is targeting him, but he's not interested in another failed relationship. A tragic accident has also left Winter filled with guilt as well as physically scarred. A large facial scar combined with his hulking size makes Winter an intimidating figure and he doesn't have the best view of himself as husband material. Winter has a bit of a temper and he doesn't play games but at his core he's a really sweet protector. Aida is also a fantastic character and a I loved her spark and her independence. She's been on her own for a while, traveling around the country using her skills as a medium. Aida's a bit of a wandering soul and I laughed every time she held her own against Winter. He might love feisty women but he's also not totally sure how to handle one that doesn't always jump to his commands. I also really enjoyed how Aida begins to show Winter that he's not monster he believes his outside reflects. Aida brings a level of compassion and caring to Winter's life that wasn't there before.
I was very excited for Bitter Spirits! The 1920s! San Francisco! A spirit medium! Bootlegging! It sounded awesome, so I have no clue what happened. But I just did not connect with this book at all. It's like I was reading without really reading. I felt nothing except the occasional annoyance. It started off fine. Winter has been cursed to draw ghosts to him, so he hires Aida to get rid of them. Of course, he has to figure out who is doing this to him and why, and he keeps Aida close since she can banish spirits. Plus he's attracted to her, obviously.
Bitter Spirits was okay. I really should have loved it, but I just didn't. I was annoyed with Winter and Aida in the beginning, because he's constantly talking about her freckles. He's never seen so many freckles! And he's always hard in her presence. Then she's always going on and on about how she's never seen such a big man! He's so tall and huge and imposing! Like, I get it. She's covered in freckles and he's a large man. No need to remind me 30 times per chapter! I did like that Winter wasn't this super gorgeous man though. He has a pretty bad scar across his face and one eye is permanently dilated.
Bitter Spirits just left me underwhelmed. I was just reading to get through it, it felt like. The mystery didn't engage me. The booze raids didn't excite me. The romance wasn't as steamy as I hoped despite all of the sex. The ghosts weren't interesting, since Aida got rid of them before they could do anything. If they were even able to do anything. I just didn't care.
“A fun romp” describes this book best. Lots of sexy times, fast-paced storytelling, the Rip Roaring ‘20s as a backdrop, and a relationship that sizzles make this a book to go for if you’re looking for a light, fun read.
You definitely don’t have to worry about being bored with this tale! Creepy ghosts, revenge, bootlegging turf wars, shoot-ups, and fires make this a story sure to drag in the readers. I liked how the author drew in so many elements of the roaring time period and setting to create a suspenseful background story for her romance.
I loved all the supernatural stuff. Vengeful ghosts and a lead that can see them are always going to grab my attention; they’re a special weakness of mine. The added bonus of the Chinese mythology and mysticism only made the underlying paranormal tale of turf wars and revenge all the more intriguing.
Now let’s chat about that romance. To me, this is the best part of the whole book. Winter and Aida play off each other so well, even from the very beginning. They click right away, literally seeming to ooze sexual compatibility and emotional resonance. I mean seriously, if a man matching Winter’s description walked in my front door, I’d be oozing pheromones also.
My only wince-worthy item of consideration on the relationship front is the over-usage of the whole miscommunication/assumption trope. Both leads are prone to assuming the other’s thoughts and acting on those assumptions. More than once I wanted to sit them both down in a room and lock the door, only letting them out after they’ve fully communicated all their thoughts. This romance trope is one that irritates me the most, so big ding for me personally against this relationship.
This was a promising beginning to the trilogy. I’ve since gotten and bulldozed my way through books 2 and 3. If the author ever chooses to explore more in the series, sign me up! I love the characters, their relationship, and the background storyline and setting. While it has a big ding on the miscommunication/assumption front, I’d still recommend this book to lovers of historical romance. As I said, it’s a great romp!!