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Bitter Spirits

(Roaring Twenties #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  2,490 ratings  ·  519 reviews
It’s the roaring twenties, and San Francisco is a hotbed of illegal boozing, raw lust, and black magic. The fog-covered Bay Area can be an intoxicating scene, particularly when you specialize in spirits…

Aida Palmer performs a spirit medium show onstage at Chinatown’s illustrious Gris-Gris speakeasy. However, her ability to summon (and expel) the dead is more than just an a
Mass Market Paperback, 317 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Berkley Sensation
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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Winter is coming. And by winter is coming, I'm not making a reference to Game of Thrones.

I mean that Winter is about to jizz his pants.

Ooh, sexual excitement, you say? Not fucking likely. For a book so filled to the brim with people on the brink of sexual ecstasy, it was shockingly dull. I ate dinner while reading this book, and I was almost drowned by my enormous bowl of soup. Sex and eroticism should make me feel titillated. It should not make me laugh.
“Oh, Winter. Oh, God. Oh, Winter.”
Christina ~ Brunette Reader

4,5 Stars

San Francisco, 1927
It's a curse bringing bootlegger extraordinaire Winter Magnusson and Aida Palmer together while the flapper medium has her hands full performing séances on stage at the Gris-Gris club. Pesky ghosts have suddenly developed the habit of following the Swedish "businessman" around and Aida is the only one who has the power to break what has all the looks of a vengeful spell. Their unlikely partnership and past and present enemies will take them from high-class glitz t
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Meh. The sexy times were v fun but I couldn’t care less about the plot, which is a letdown because I was excited to scratch my 1920s itch. Although honestly I didn’t have the highest of expectations to begin with because I knew reading paranormal would be really hit or miss for me. Meh meh meh. How do u even write reviews
3.5 stars

This was a really cool, fresh, and different romance story. Set in 1920s during Prohibition our hero is a bootlegger and our heroine is a medium who can call forth ghosts, talk to them, and send them back to the veil. The details with world building and making me feel the time period and atmosphere were so good, it was the star of the show for me. (I may have a slight crush on Winter's wardrobe; suspenders, undershirts, and vests) It's set in San Francisco with Chinatown getting a lot o
Oh my goodness, I found a favorite new author in Jenn Bennett! If you want a cleverly written, sexy, addictive paranormal romance, look no further: Bitter Spirits is the story for you!

Aida Palmer works as a spirit medium for Gris Gris, a San Francisco speakeasy set in the 1920’s. Forced to fend for herself after the death of her parents, Aida is fortunate to have such a useful gift of channeling the dead. When she’s asked to send away a ghost following a rich bootlegger, Winter Magnusson, she c
ᴥ Irena ᴥ

If nothing else Bitter Spirits got me out of my first reading slump. It had a great opportunity to combine the historical (1920s San Francisco) setting with paranormal elements (ghosts, curses). It was overshadowed by the instant-everything regarding the two protagonists though. As soon as they see each other, they start drooling thinking about sex at the weirdest times (and I mean weirdest as in I almost died and such weirdest of times).

I like reading a romance/lust story as much as the nex
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
4.5 stars
You may or may not know that I avoid paranormal romance like the plague. I’ve stated on several occasions that it gives me severe allergies. But this is Jenn Bennett we’re talking about – I’d read just about anything if it had her name on it. And wow, did I make the right decision here.

As a huge fan of Bennett’s Arcadia Bell series, I went into this book hoping for unique characters and a well-built world. Witty, entertaining and hot as sin, Bitter Spirits was everything I’ve come to e
Rating: 4.5 Stars

I have a confession to make: Bitter Spirits is not my first encounter with Jenn Bennett. I picked up Bennett's Arcadia Bell Series a month or two ago and have been a goner for her work ever since. Needless to say, I have been holding out on you, my dear readers, for Jenn Bennett is not an author to lightly walk away from. In fact, hers is the only paranormal romance novel that's worked for me in the past few months. I've tried Jeanine Frost's Night Huntress Series (not bad, but
Jacob Proffitt
This was okay. Aida was interesting as a spirit medium in 1920s San Francisco and the setting makes that be a real thing. I liked how strong she was despite being tiny and that she stood up for herself even against Winter when needed. Which is no small thing as he's powerful and in more than just a physical way.

The relationship was just about the only thing keeping me engaged in the story, frankly. I liked their back and forth and really liked how well each complimented the other. Offsetting tha
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Someone has put a curse on notorious bootlegger Winter Magnusson. First he became a magnet for ghosts wandering around San Francisco. Now someone has poisoned him. He is sent to Aida Parker for help. Aida is a spirit medium who has a stage show in Chinatown. She banishes the ghost who is following him and assists in the removal of the poison. When Winter again has a ghost attack him, he and Aida work to discover who put the curse on him.

This is the first book I've read by this author, but defini
Lisa Kay
Chinese Dragon Coins

★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I quite like Amy Landon’s narration of this one. I’ve heard her before and have had no complaints. She had nice pacing and inflection. I like that she does the male voices without trying too overly hard to do a gruff, masculine voice. For me, that can be just as annoying as a male reader using a falsetto for a female.

This is my first book by Jenn Bennett and I quite liked it. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but I liked it. She gets t

I loved it just as much, Winter's sexual past irked my safety conscious spirit but this remains a favorite of mine.

No cheating
H was married and after his accident he slept with prostitutes
h had a mild encounter with one of his former lovers( very mild)
h only had 2 lovers

This is one of a few books that I own in more than 1 version. I originally read it in 2017 and reread it frequently. I loved the concept of a paranormal historical romance set in the roaring 20's with a medium and a badass
Bitter Spirits
5 Stars

After becoming the target of a series of hauntings, bootlegger Winter Magnusson hires medium Aida Palmer to help him expel the spirits stalking him and discover the culprit behind the curse. As Winter and Aida work together, their mutual attraction grows but it seems that the ghosts of their pasts are more destructive than those affecting their present. Will they be able to heal past wounds and find a future together before it is too late?

Warning: This is historical PNR not
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
There are few periods in time that I have always been fascinated with and for whatever reason, the 20's just happens to be one of the few that I am, indeed, fascinated with.

It might be the changing of times, how women were finally coming out of their shells and fighting for what they wanted. It might be the fact that the world was on the cusp of a war, or it might just be the fabulous fashion sense, either way, I have always loved reading about it and watching movies that take place during that
Anna (Bobs Her Hair)
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: HR/PNR fans
4.25 stars

I love the Roaring 20's, San Francisco, and paranormal element the this story. The San Francisco setting added cultural diversity, which is not always found in historical romances. There was a mood to Bitter Spirits that I very much enjoyed.

It's 1929 and Prohibition has benefited bootlegger Winter Magnusson, who is very protective of his family. His dashing good looks are marred by a scar that has a story he doesn't discuss. Winter's scar is also something that makes old friends very
Danielle (Love at First Page)
Thanks to the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

4-4.5 stars



Jenn Bennett is one of my favorite author finds of last year. Her writing is quirky, fun, and entertaining, and she gives me my much desired dose of romance in every book. Up until Bitter Spirits, there's been just one couple in the Jenn Bennett world - Lon and Cady from her Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series. (Love them. Loooooooove them.) As if there was ever any doubt, Winter and Aida are every bit as comp
Initial Thoughts: 3.5 stars - I honestly thought that I would not finish this book. The first half was a little repetitive with the main characters constantly at odds with each other. I did like that it was set in San Francisco during Prohibition and it was nice to see the inclusion of Chinese characters. The plot did pick up for the second half and I found myself enjoying the book more. I think that the supporting cast of characters did it for me - Astrid, Bo, Greta, and Sook Yin.

The Review:
Sep 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aida Palmer can see ghosts and is freckled from head to toe. Winter Magnusson is a bootlegging mastermind and also a scarred giant. Together, they have the sex and also investigate secret gangs who use black magic?

1. The setting for this was pretty great: booze-y, flapper-ridden San Francisco, steeped in spiritualism and Chinatown. They drive fancy cars and ride streetcars and wear overcoats and wear tap pants! It was a fun romp.

2. Aida was an absolutely fine heroine. She's forthright but stil
Lynsey   (A Bookish Life)
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm going to keep this very brief because Janice already told you all you need to know and stole all the good words. But I just had to add my two-pence worth and say I loved it too! Me, me, I did, I did!

First of all—the era, the setting, the clothing, the language, the hints of magic, all layered together to make one deliciously sumptuous paranormal world unlike anything I've read before. I loved the 1920's details—they gave it such a unique flavour!

Second—you may or may not know that I have
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018
I was in desperate need of more of Jenn’s words, so I decided to give this one a try.

I love love loved Aida and Winter. She's sassy maybe a bit tired of being on her own and he's stoic and an absolute marshmallow on the inside. They’re both so stubborn and so alike that it was fun to read them pushing buttons and arguing. And JFC, the chemistry was insane.

Plot wise, it was interesting. I liked the mystery part, but really just wanted all Aida and Winter all the time. Thankfully, that’s what I
Mandi Schreiner
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Highly recommend this one.

The hero and heroine are so adorable - super sexy. Hero is a big massive guy - heroine is little and freckled. There is such great flirting and courtship.

The overall story really drew me in.

I hesitated to read this because set in the 20's and has ghosts and for some reason that didn't appeal to me but I was a dumb dumb!!! Great setting - ghosts play in well to the story and truly a great, sexy romance.
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
Posted at Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks

Bitter Spirits is the first book in Jenn Bennett’s new Roaring Twenties paranormal romance series. As the name suggests, this series is set in the 1920’s. Now most of you know by now that I don’t read many historical romance books as I have trouble clicking with them. Makes no sense but there it is. But apparently I have no trouble clicking with the 20’s because holy cow, this book was awesome.

Bitter Spirits tells the tale of Aida, a spirit medium and Win
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mon avis en Français

My English review

I was anxious to read this new novel by Jenn Bennett! If you follow me, you know I’m a big fan of her Arcadia Bell series, and I was curious to read a new series by her hand. This time, she also completely changes the framework, not an urban fantasy series, but this time a paranormal romance one. But what a romance! This all placed during the twenties. And I confess that I love stories from this period, everything is always really fascinating.

Aida is a young
Bitter Spirits is book 1 in Jenn Bennett’s new Roaring Twenties series. The best way for me to describe this book is TECHNICOLOR. This great mystery adventure has vibrant writing, witty dialogue, nail-chewing suspense, and features one of the most beautiful cities in the world, San Francisco. I love this setting. It captures the rich history and energy of the San Francisco I know and the one I imagine from the 1920’s.

The characters jump off the page. Aida can see dead people. Actually, she
Well, this was a surprise. A couple of negative reviews and low ratings threw me off a bit, so I didn't expect to like this book.
But I did. It was fun, exciting, cute, with a smart heroine and a badass, but sweet hero. And it has ghosts. Set in the late 1920s in San Francisco. What more could you want?
Bitter Spirits checks all the boxes above and it's just a great read for romance lovers.
Originally posted at

Welcome to the roaring twenties. Illegal booze, speakeasies, and sexual/economic freedom made for golden times as the world prospered after Word War One. Gangsters and G-Men battled in the streets as the public turns a blind eye to the law of prohibition.

Aida Palmer, a beautifully freckled hot tempered spirit medium, works at the popular nightclub, the Gris-Gris, where she entertains crowds with her gifts. Aida is not a fraud or charla
Rashika (is tired)
**This review has also been posted on Tangled in Pages

Jenn may have made me give up my first born child but this book was worth it. Anything Jenn writes is worth it. This woman knows what she is doing. She has yet to disappoint me (TOUCH WOOD). When I started this book, I knew without a doubt I would love it and love it I did.

When I heard that Jenn was writing a series that took place in the 20s I was ecstatic. The 20’s are one of my favorite time periods and to know that one of my favorite auth
Carmel (Rabid Reads)
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

Jenn Bennett’s urban fantasy series is already on my auto-buy list so when Bitter Spirits landed on my to-read pile I couldn’t resist opening it to see if her romance measured up to her action. And, it most certainly does! This author’s ability to write stunning characters, magical universes and gripping plot lines transcends genres. I loved everything about this novel from the setting, to the love story to the oh-so satisfying ending. This is going to be a hard act to fo
My review cross-posted from Wit and Sin:

Aida Palmer makes her living as a spirit medium performing in speakeasies, but unlike many others, her performance is genuine. When her boss asks for her assistance freeing bootlegger Winter Magnusson from a haunting, Aida has no idea that the simple task will ultimately change her world forever. For the hex put on Winter is just the beginning, and he needs Aida’s help banishing the ghosts an unknown enemy keeps sen
Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)

You may be shocked to know that Bitter Spirits, the first in the Roaring Twenties series is my first book by Jenn Bennett. My first reaction after finishing this book was, how on earth have I missed out on Bennett’s work in the past?

BITTER SPIRITS follows the likes of Kristen Callihan and Bec McMaster as she takes paranormal elements and places them into historical settings. The big difference between Bennett’s book is the time frame in which she chose to set her scene – it’s San Francisco a
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Jenn Bennett is the author of over a dozen books, including the young adult titles: ALEX, APPROXIMATELY; STARRY EYES; SERIOUS MOONLIGHT; and THE LADY ROGUE. She also writes romance and fantasy for adults. Her books have earned multiple starred reviews, been Goodreads Choice Award nominees, and have been included on annual Best Book lists for both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. She lives near Atlant ...more

Other books in the series

Roaring Twenties (3 books)
  • Grim Shadows (Roaring Twenties, #2)
  • Grave Phantoms (Roaring Twenties, #3)

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