Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review: Grim Shadows

GRIM SHADOWS
Roaring Twenties #2
Jenn Bennett
Adult Paranormal/Historical Romance
325 pages
Berkley Sensation
Available June 3rd
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
It’s the Roaring Twenties in foggy San Francisco. Prohibition is on, inhibitions are low, and dark magic is rolling into town…

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.


MY THOUGHTS
Grim Shadows is yet another story in which Ms. Bennett’s ability to write perfectly matched couples shines, the individual strength of both Hadley and Lowe extraordinarily high, but the two of them together prove to be nothing short of combustible. What’s perhaps most satisfying about Ms. Bennett’s romantic pairs is their ability to communicate, and though Lowe is a self-proclaimed liar and is upfront with Hadley on some things while keeping others to himself, their willingness to talk things out allows us to enjoy this story without fear of a massive blowup. That’s not to say their isn’t a climactic relationship moment because their certainly is, but through their highs and lows we know the two of them will use their words and their trust in one another to sort everything out.

Hadley is a striking combination of driven scholar and vulnerable woman, relatively alone in a field dominated by men with a tough outer shell in place as a result, but underneath her quick wit and sharp mind is a fear of being touched stemming from an incident in her youth. While her touch phobia can be debilitating and embarrassing for her at times, she’s perfectly honest about it with Lowe, explaining herself early on in their relationship before bruised pride and hurt feelings on his side can cripple something she wants desperately.

For Lowe's part, he is equally candid with pieces of himself he hasn’t shared with anyone else, taking care with Hadley when her emotional fragility makes itself known, but also humorously battling her will with his own when the shadows of her past remain firmly in the background. He does withhold some hugely significant pieces of information regarding his role in their Egyptian artifact treasure hunt, but it’s hard to work up too much irritation at him when his charm and his clear affection for Hadley dance so beautifully across the pages. The sparks between them are given the utmost care and a great deal of time to grow into full-fledged flames thanks to Hadley’s aforementioned phobia, but when her fear can douse them no longer the two of them thoroughly impress with the incendiary nature of their chemistry.

Overall, Grim Shadows is a thoroughly enjoyable follow up to Bitter Spirits, delighting once again with another member of the Magnusson family and ensuring this is a series that easily stays on our list of favorites.

Rating: 4/5
 

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This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

34 comments:

  1. Oh this comes out soon! YAY! I'm so glad you loved this one, I'm definitely going to pick up a copy when it's out!

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    1. I'm a big fan of this series Candace!

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  2. Oh I read this one a few days ago and I really liked it as well. I love how Hadley was trying to be strong and do what she wanted and how Lowe was changing when he was with her. Great review!

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    1. YAY! So glad you enjoyed it too:)

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  3. Sounds interesting. Did her fragility get frustrating? The word fragile makes me think weak. But I'm hoping her driven scholar side balances that out.

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    1. Not for me. It wasn't the kind of fragility where you want to tell her to grow a backbone, she was just vulnerable at times which I really liked:)

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  4. I have to agree with you about the relationships that Jenn writes. They are always a step above everything else. I think that, at this point, I pretty much take the quality of her characters and stories for granted, which isn't something I can say about many authors. She is very reliable and I can't wait to read this.

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    1. Yes! I need to read more by her immediately:)

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  5. I guess I should read book 1 ;)

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  6. OH! I didn't realize book 2 in this series was coming so soon! This makes me happy, Jenny.

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    1. I really enjoy this series Amanda, I think you will as well. I read this one a little while ago, but I think Lowe and Winter's sister is next and I cannot wait for her story!

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  7. Yay, I'm so glad this sequel is just as good as Bitter Spirits! I absolutely loved that installment and Bennett's writing and characterization is constantly so rich and engaging that I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on this. Lovely review, Jenny!

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    1. I hope you like this one as much as I did Keertana!

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  8. LOWE! Why you hold back info? Bad boy! This couple sounds deliciously adorable. And, while I still need to read #1, this one is also added to my list.

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    1. Silly boys:) I think you'll enjoy this series Mary, they're fun books with really great characters and romances.

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  9. I still need to read the first one---DARN IT!

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  10. Oh so each book features a different couple?
    I need to give this series a try because the couples sound so complex and mature. It also seems like the author doesn't rely on unnecessary drama to progress her relationships which I always look forward to. Lowe and Hadley sound like they are really well-developed and I can imagine how intense and full of chemistry their relationship must be. I'm curious about Hadley's touch phobia and can't wait to see how they overcome her fears together.
    Lovely review, Jenny!

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    1. Yes! Right now the first two books feature brothers Winter and Lowe, and I think their sister is the next book. I'm not sure if there will be more than 3 in this series and if so, who the next set of characters will be, but I've got my fingers crossed we get more than 3 in this world!

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  11. Well, glad to hear you enjoyed this one so much! Sounds like this would totally be my kind of romance, so I'll be keeping this one on my radar!

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    1. Yay! I hope you give this series a try one day Pili:)

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  12. It seems like Egypt and archaeology was a "thing" from like 1910-the 20s...or am I crazy? This sounds fresh and interesting.

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    1. I feel that way too Pam! Apparently Egypt was of great interest to us during that time period:)

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  13. I like the sound of Hadley! Too often I find that we're given waffling, less than honest heroines, so to hear that she has a sense of maturity and honesty about her is so refreshing. I love the sound of the dynamic between this couple, too - definitely something I can get onboard for! Lovely review, Jenny!

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    1. That's what I like so much about Jenn's characters (that I've read thus far) - they're good with the communication and honesty is a big part of the relationships, even if it comes in stages.

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  14. I picked up the first book because of your amazing review on it Jenny and I just know I will be getting this one too. Fabulous review!!

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    1. WOO HOO! I quite enjoyed Lowe and Hadley Ali!

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  15. I'm glad you liked this one, Jenny. I've read sub par reviews for this one and it made me worried since I really enjoyed the first book. Now I'm much more relaxed about picking this one up.

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    1. I really enjoyed this one Rummanah. Yes, Lowe kept a few things from Hadley I wish he had been more upfront about, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed the two of them together:)

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  16. I am glad you liked this one, Jenny. I am itching to pick it up, I really enjoyed the first one. I am anxious to meet a new couple and hopefully catch up with my fav couple from the last book.

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  17. Alright, you have convince me. I need to read this.

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  18. Oh my gosh, Jenny - I need to read book one FAST! I love the sound of this series, and did not realize it was going to focus on the Magnusson family. I love that each one is going to focus an a new couple. And did you say Egytpian artifact/treasure hunt? Squee! :)

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  19. I love her writing and haven't gotten this series... YET. I'm so going to have to devour all of her writing especially since her last series is over. So glad you enjoyed this one. Sounds like she makes the characters good like the Arcadia Bell series. Can't wait to pick this one up!!

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