Wednesday, June 3, 2015

*Book Review* Grim Shadows by Jenn Bennett (Historical, Paranormal, Romance)

Series: Roaring Twenties # 2
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Released: June 3, 2014
Source: Library
Format: Paperback, 321 pages 
Genre: Historical, Paranormal, Romance


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.

Grim Shadows is the second novel in the Roaring Twenties series. The setting is 1928 San Francisco where Prohibition is still in full swing. Grim Shadows features curator Hadley Bacall and archaeologist Lowe Magnusson (Winter’s brother from Bitter Spirits). Since this is Jenn Bennett, there is the anti-hero in Lowe, and the heroine in Hadley, and some steamy sex scenes that I am sure will be warm even the coldest hearts.

Lowe is a Swedish immigrant who makes a living as an archaeologist. He's also a rake, a swindler, and a scoundrel who owes money to some nefarious people who like to break legs first, and ask questions later. Lowe finds a piece of an Egyptian amulet (djed) that supposedly opens a door to the land of the dead. Since he owes a whole lot of money, he wants to sell it to the highest bidder. Lowe finds a caller in Archie Bacall who wants Lowe to find the other pieces of the amulet that his wife hid somewhere in the city before she died. The amount of money offered is substantial, as well as the risk.  

Hadley carries a curse that shows themselves whenever she gets upset. She is also driven, smart, doesn't like to be touched, and wants to take over her father's position as head of the antiquities department at the de Young Museum once he retires. She also has a unique obsession for sexy lingerie while wearing drab clothing on the outside. She is sent by her father Archibald Bacall to negotiate with Lowe for the piece and ensure that it doesn't end up on someone else's hands.

After Lowe gets an offer of a coveted position at the museum, Hadley strikes a deal with Lowe to work together to unveil her mothers hidden clues. Finding the missing crossbars also comes with some really strange paranormal beings that pop up each time one of the bars is found. There's a whole lot of comparisons to Indiana Jones, The Mummy, and National Treasure which I don't necessarily mind.

Grim Shadows starts out with action, while twisting in a rather interesting villain who keeps things interesting. Bitter Spirits was a story deep into ghosts, while Grim Shadows takes on Egyptian myths, and curses. I must say, I saw the villain coming from California. But, there's nothing really wrong with that. I shall also say that I skipped over large chunks of the sex scenes which doesn't mean I didn't like the book, or the writing.

Apparently, younger sister Astrid Magnusson and Bo Yeung, Winter's second-in-command, will close out the Roaring Twenties trilogy with Grave Phantoms. They also show up in THIS story along with Winter and his very pregnant wife Aida Parker.  

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