Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Review: Grave Phantoms by Jenn Bennett

Grave Phantoms (Roaring Twenties #3) by Jenn Bennett
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publication date: May 5th 2015
My rating:  4 stars 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository 

From the author of Grim Shadows and Bitter Spirits comes the new Roaring Twenties novel in the series hailed as “Boardwalk Empire meets Ghost Hunters, but so much better” (Molly Harper, national bestselling author of the Jane Jameson series).

Feisty flapper Astrid Magnusson is home from college and yearning for the one thing that’s always been off limits: Bo Yeung, her notorious bootlegging brother’s second-in-command. Unfortunately her dream of an easy reunion proves difficult after a violent storm sends a mysterious yacht crashing into the Magnussons’ docks. What’s worse, the boat disappeared a year ago, and the survivors are acting strangely…

Bo has worked with the Magnusson family for years, doing whatever is needed, including keeping his boss’s younger sister out of trouble—and his hands to himself. Of course, that isn’t so easy after Astrid has a haunting vision about the yacht’s disappearance, plunging them into an underground world of old money and dark magic. Danger will drive them closer together, but surviving their own forbidden feelings could be the bigger risk.

My Thoughts:
Supernatural evil, danger and a forbidden romance combined to make Grave Phantoms a thrilling read.  I’ve been eagerly awaiting Astrid and Bo’s story, since we’ve seen hints of their attraction in the previous books, and I was not disappointed!

Astrid, the baby sister in the Magnusson clan has been in love with Bo Yeung, her brother’s right hand man in the family’s bootlegging business, for years.  Now back home on winter break, Astrid is determined to do something about it, make Bo realize she’s a woman and not Winter Magnusson’s kid sister.  Little does she know that Bo returns her feelings, even if he feels their romance is impossible.

Winter, the Magnusson’s patriarch, took Bo under his wing, sponsored his education, gave him a place to live, and made him his right hand man, but that doesn’t mean he’ll approve of Bo for his little sister Astrid. Bo is of Asian descent and back in the 1920s when prejudices were running high, anything romantic with Astrid is near impossible and taboo. 

All this is put to the side when a mysterious yacht crashes into the Magnusson dock, and they find out its none other than the Plumed Serpent which has been missing for a year. Astrid climbs aboard with Bo and launches them straight into danger when she touches and absorbs the energy of an ancient idol. Now Bo and Astrid must solve this evil puzzle if they want any future, let alone a future together.

Normally a forbidden romance puts me on edge because I’m on pins and needles worrying when the romance will be discovered, but there was too much action, danger, and sexy times to fret about any of that.  Plus, Bo and Astrid were determined to make things work whatever the cost so there was never any despairing that they wouldn’t be together. I loved the pluck and courage of Astrid. Bo was amazing, protective, and a sexy surprise behind doors *wink, wink*! I loved his take charge attitude, and boy-oh-boy can Ms. Bennett write some HOT scenes!

I was completely immersed in this story and the Roaring Twenties that Jenn Bennett so cleverly recreated. Although I’m no expert in the time period, it felt authentically portrayed. (Check out Jenn’s Pinterest board as well as mine with character picks and the look of San Francisco in the 1920’s). “Seeing” the previous couples, Winter and Aida with their baby Karin and Lowe and Hadley still so madly love was a treat, but even more so was the amazing epilogue set years in the future!  If you haven’t picked this exciting and super sexy series you are definitely missing out!  

Connect with Jenn Bennett:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


  1. Glad you really liked this one. It sounds quite good, and full of romance and adventure!

  2. I have this series to binge read this summer and I can't wait, Rachel. I love that this book features a character of Asian descent. Their romance sounds really hot and I can't wait to see the surprise that is Bo! ;)
    And the historical setting sounds like it was beautifully done.
    Wonderful review, Rachel. You've certainly piqued my interest! :)

  3. YEAH RACHEL!!!!! I agree completely, I love that once the decision to be together was made, the two of them went full steam ahead and never looked back. Definitely took away some of the forbidden romance nerves, just as you said! So good:)

  4. I just love that they were determined to be together from the start, Rachel. I adored these two in the previous books and I simply can't wait to read their story. I'm sure Jenn handled it beautifully.

  5. Ah, the amazing 1920-s... I didn't know about this series (shame, shame on me!), and I'm very glad to add it to my list. I adore tales set in that period and it would seem that this particular one is also very well done. Yay! Thanks, Rachel :)

  6. I am so glad to read your review. I have read a couple of other reviews that weren't completely in love with this one, but the last two reviews I read are glowing. I love this series. Sorry it is over.

  7. Yay to forbidden romances, I find them fascinating, even my younger brother does too. Anyway, this series is news to me but I do want to try it now - adding it to my TBR. Thank you for the helpful review Rachel <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

  8. Great review, Rachel! I love this series so much (and really, anything Jenn writes). Forbidden romances make me nervous too, but it worked *so* well here. I was aching for them, but at the same time loved how they were determined not to give up. I will miss these characters dearly!

  9. You had me at forbidden romance. :)

  10. UM WHAT?! THE LOVE INTEREST IS OF ASIAN DESCENT?! O_O Wow. This actually really amazes me because you rarely get a male ASIAN love interest, especially a historical set in the USA. Will definitely check this out!

    Faye at The Social Potato

  11. Love that cover and you can't go wrong with the roaring twenties. Its an interesting time period. Great review. I love forbidden romances!!!

  12. I have been meaning to try this series again. I read the first in series and it didn't appeal to me. I really thought that I would like it. I have read a lot of good reviews and they synopsis sounded so great. I have to wonder if it was a timing things. Great review.
    Suzi Q., The Book Dame

  13. I love these books that are exploring different time periods (other than Victorian, for example). I haven't read the first in this series but I *think* it's on my shelf...I need to pick it up, since this third one sounds great.


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