Grave Phantoms by Jenn Bennett (Roaring Twenties #3)

Grave Phantoms by Jenn BennettAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Berkley

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

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 he 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.

I have enjoyed each of the books in the Roaring Twenties series and this last edition is no exception. The characters Ms. Bennett creates are engaging and fun, with a story that is full of magic, mystery and romance. The Magnusson family is an intriguing bunch and each of the siblings have a unique story to tell.

Astrid Magnusson is coming home from college on break. She is excited and anxious to be home, she actually is not sure she wants to return to school but will need extra courage to tell her brother Winter her plans. She also wants to see Bo, her brother’s right hand man who she has secretly had a crush on for several years. She wants him to realize she is no longer the young girl she used to be, she is all grown up.

Bo Yueng has worked for Winter since he was a teen and has worked his way up in the company. He knows Astrid has grown up and has tried to keep their relationship platonic, yet the attraction is there, simmering under the surface. When a long lost ship crashes into the Magnusson’s boat yard strange things begin to happen, people who have been gone for a year appear, Astrid picks up a turquoise token and has visions and an unusual man starts to stalk them across San Francisco.

Ms. Bennett writes such interesting stories, the plots are engaging and the characters have depth and intelligence. I will miss this family but know that soon she will write another wonderful series that I will glom onto.

We met Astrid in the first two books, but she was always going off somewhere with friends or shopping. I was excited to finally read her own story. I love her passion for life and enjoyed how she goes into a situation full throttle. And she wants Bo with everything she has, but knows the prejudice of the times and does worry, the scene where she is talking to the Chinese doctor’s wife is amazing and so full of heart and I had to laugh when the wife suddenly answers Bo in perfect English, as Astrid quickly recounts her one-sided conversation.

I have liked Bo from the beginning, he is a perfect hero, wants to protect her but realizes Astrid is a strong woman who makes her own choices and they are wonderful together. The “friends to lover’s” trope is one of my favorite and this one is done well. And the fact that they practically grew up together makes the banter and conversations that much more fun, they know each other very well. And when they finally let their feelings take over, the chemistry is apparent.

The pace is fast, starting from the beginning and not letting up as the two race across San Francisco to solve a mystery with magic and death. I also enjoyed how the author infused the Chinese and American culture of San Francisco in the 1920’s, there is a lot of prejudice and hate, but also people with vision and hope. I enjoyed seeing the Magnusson family with all their quirks and look forward to more from this author.

I give Grave Phantoms by Jenn Bennett 4.25 stars!

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