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I Belong

Review: Grim Shadows by Jenn Bennett

Grim ShadowsTitle: Grim Shadows

Author: Jenn Bennett

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Roaring Twenties (Book #2)

Publication Date: June 3, 2014

Format: Paperback, 321 Pages

ISBN-10: 0425269582 (Berkley/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-0425269589 (Berkley/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Steph


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.

Quick & Dirty: A con man and his mark team up to find the pieces of an ancient amulet. As his feelings for her grow stronger, this con man’s life starts becoming increasingly complicated. Will he carry through with his plan, or will he let love win out?

Opening Sentence: Lowe Magnusson scanned the desolate Union Pacific depot lobby.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I had mixed feelings before starting this book. On one hand, I love Jenn Bennett’s Arcadia Bell series. On the other, the first book in this series fell slightly short of my expectations. Thankfully, this second book in the series fell more in line with what I love about the Arcadia Bell series, combining great characters with an interesting, fast paced plot and a very satisfying love story.

Lowe Magnusson has made a living as a con man, uncovering priceless artifacts and then making forgeries of them. He has recently found an infamous amulet at the perfect time, as he is desperately in need of money. His search for a buyer brings him in contact with Hadley, the daughter of a museum curator interested in buying the amulet. When Lowe meets with Hadley’s father, he is told that he’ll be paid extra if the additional pieces of the amulet can be found. These pieces used to be in Hadley’s father’s possession, but Hadley’s mother hid them when they became the cause of a rift between Hadley’s father and his business partner. Now, Hadley and Lowe must team up to find the additional pieces. Someone else is interested in obtaining the complete amulet though, and they have no qualms about killing in order to obtain them. Will Lowe and Hadley be able to find the rest of the amulet first?

Lowe and Hadley are perfect together. Their attraction is evident the very first time they meet, and the sexual tension builds up very nicely. There’s no quick hook up here, which is something I loved about this book. I love getting to watch a relationship develop throughout a book, and it’s done beautifully here. The reader gets a chance to truly connect to both Lowe and Hadley before their relationship is consummated.

On the subject of connecting to the characters, it was very easy for me to connect to both Lowe and Hadley. Their personalities come through so clearly; they seem like real people. There were many times I found myself chuckling as I read because the way Hadley thinks to herself just seemed so true to life, and very similar to how I tend to think to myself. While I may not have found similarities between myself and Lowe, I still found it extremely easy to connect to him as a character. He’s extremely charming (as con men tend to be), and it comes through very clearly throughout the book. They’re both just such great characters. It truly was a joy to spend time with them.

One of my problems with the first book in this series was that it took a long time for it to capture my interest. This is definitely not the case here. The story starts off with a bang, and it honestly never lets up. With a six-week-old baby at home, it takes a very special book to make me want to stay up and read when I could be sleeping, and yet, this book achieved that. There’s really no bigger praise I can give. My reaction to this book has me extremely excited to read the next installment. It should be a fun ride!

Notable Scene:

The barest of flushes colored her cheeks, but she didn’t look up from her task. “Are you here to make my life miserable?”

“I’m here to empty your father’s bank account. Making you miserable is a bonus.”

“I do believe that’s the first honest thing you’ve ever told me.”

“Don’t let it go to your head.”

“The only thing in my head right now is that cock,” she said, nodding toward the wall.

Lowe paused. “Pardon?”

“I’m in a hurry.”

Another pause. Lowe looked where she’d gestured. “You mean…the clock?”

“That’s what I said.” But it wasn’t, and her gaze flicked to his crotch – so fast he almost wasn’t sure he saw it until a furious strawberry blush spilled over her cheeks and neck.

“Th-that’s what I meant,” she stuttered, then whispered to herself, “Oh, God.”

Well, well, well. When was the last time he’d heard that from a woman’s mouth? Had he ever? Hadley Bacall, overflowing with desire for…clock.

Roaring Twenties Series:

1. Bitter Spirits

2. Grim Shadows

3. Grave Phantoms (May 5, 2015)


FTC Advisory: Berkley/Penguin provided me with a copy of Grim Shadows. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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