TBR Challenge Review: Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett

Format: mass market
Pub Date: January 2014
Publisher: Berkley Sensation (Penguin Random)
Length: 317 pages
FTC: Received for free at RT15

After last month's outlandishly early scheduling of my TBR Challenge post, I should have known I would fail at being punctual this month. This time, it was me going on vacation and forgetting the darn book at home. Oh well. The theme for the challenge was Lovely RITA, and I was so happy to find one right at the top of the TBR pile from RT back in May.  Bitter Spirits is up for a RITA this month at the RWA conference.

Although this is a paranormal historical romance, I think the "woo woo" stuff would get a pass from some with paranormal fatigue. There are no werewolves or vampires here. There are, as the name hints, some ghosts and spirits. There is also some Chinese mysticism, some seance-y stuff, and other more common paranormal elements. But it is shapeshifter and vamp free.

I've been pretty excited to try this series because it is something fairly outside of the norm in terms of historical romance. It's set in San Francisco which is so very rare. If you can find a US set historical, they're usually New York or Texas. It takes place during Prohibition (yay!) and has all of that jazz age cool going for it. The hero, a bootlegger,  is first generation American from a Swedish family and the heroine is an independent woman making a living as a stage medium. Everything about this book is fresh and appealed to me.