Grave Phantoms by Jenn Bennett

May 6th, 2015 Kimberly Review 58 Comments

6th May
Grave Phantoms by Jenn Bennett
Grave Phantoms
by Jenn Bennett
Series: Roaring Twenties #3
Genres: Historical, Paranormal Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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.

It is always bittersweet to say good-bye to a series/trilogy you have thoroughly enjoyed. Jenn Bennett’s Roaring Twenties trilogy is one I will miss. The final book Grave Phantoms has a friend to lovers’ romance with a forbidden twist that readers have been anxious for from the beginning. Add in the reappearance of a missing yacht and its strange inhabitants and you have the makings of a page-turner.

Astrid Magnusson, sister of Winter -a powerful bootlegger in San Francisco, is home from college break and eager to see Bo Yeung. He is her brother’s second in command and a dear friend. She had hoped her time away would cool the intense feelings she has for Bo, but time away has only intensified them. Bo Yeung knows Astrid is off limits and not just because she is his employer’s sister. The community and state forbid the type of things he is imagining.

We feel their connection as Bennet shares letters between them and we see them encounter each other after being separated. It was electrifying, but neither reacts afraid to cross that fragile line. Any chance of addressing those feelings is cast aside when a yacht crashes into the Magnusson pier. The yacht and its passengers were reported missing over a year ago. All have no memory of where they have been. When Astrid and Bo attempt to move the yacht, she has a strange vision that sets them on a course for danger.

The story behind the yacht was fascinating and I enjoyed the eerie details. Bennett has a creep-tastic imagination. However, unlike its predecessors, Grave Phantoms focused more on the romance and we did not get the strong details that I have come to love and expect from her novels. Bennett usually does an excellent job of blending and balancing the romantic aspect of her stories with the mystery/paranormal aspect but in this Grave Phantoms fell short. It ended up feeling choppy and as much as I enjoyed Bo and Astrid’s relationship development and the issues they faced I found myself craving the mystery and looking to skim.

Bennett does a wonderful job of bringing the Roaring Twenties to life from discrimination to bootlegging. Her characters are strong, outspoken and unique. I adore Bo and felt for him as he faced hateful discrimination for his skin color. I was proud at how he handled himself. Oh lord, and when he went to Winter to confess his relationship with Astrid I about cried. This was hands down the best scene in the book.

Grave Phantoms ends with an epilogue and I enjoyed the update but wish it had been longer and included Winter and Lowe more. I will truly miss this series despite my issues this last installment.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

58 Responses to “Grave Phantoms by Jenn Bennett”

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Sharon, I enjoyed my time in the Roaring Twenties

  1. Cyn

    I’m really excited for this series ender! I’m sorry to hear you didn’t love it has much as you hoped, but I’m happy to see there’s redeeming parts. I can’t wait to see Winter and Lowe, too! Thanks for the review, Kim!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      The trilogy is so worth reading despite needing more from the last book

  2. Lupdilup

    I didn’t read your review, I know you don’t give spoilers, but I want to go totally blind, I did see your rating, and I have prepared myself accordingly 🙂
    I’ll be back, hopefully soon!

  3. Braine Talk Supe

    Yup, I sorely missed the heavy paranormal elements here that was present in the previous books. Also I was hoping the “creatures” would be a nod to Bo’s culture and not pirates.

  4. Linnae

    I fell in love with the cover from Bitter Spirits last year and it was nominated in our cover contest. It didn’t reach the finals but it did receive an honorable mention. The twenties theme was intriguing and I think I may just have to look into this series beyond the covers.

    BTW – I took your earlier advice about audio books. My dh and I took a 5 day road trip last week and we listened to 2-1/2 audio books on the road. They made the driving fly by and I really enjoyed the experience.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh I am so glad the audio experience went well, and yes it makes driving long distance quite pleasant. I agree on the cover of Bitter Spirits.

  5. Lindy

    I’m glad that you enjoyed this story overall, despite a few issues. I love the roaring twenties, and reading stories that take place during a fascinating time in history. Plus, a creeptastic story is always fun. While it’s great that the author focused on the romance, I can see where a story needs more than that. Great Review Kim 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I hope you read this series -she brings the roaring twenties to life!!

  6. Sophia Rose

    I had similar reactions and I saw that a couple other reviewers did too when it came to the dual storyline.

    Always hard to say good-bye to an enjoyable series.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was hard saying good-bye and yeah she usually balances the different threads

  7. Angela Adams

    A unique setting…there aren’t many romance novels taking place in the 1920s. Thanks for the post!

  8. Katherine

    I can’t wait to start this series and I’m glad to know that it ends strong. My TBR is large enough that I’m always a hesitant to read the first book in a series when the later books start getting bad reviews. This sounds like great summer reading.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Totally worth the read ..I loved the setting, mysteries and characters. Wonderful author 🙂

  9. Melissa (Books and Things)

    I have not read this trilogy but now will devour them all. I so enjoy her writing and this one sounds like it is on par with everything else I’ve read by her. So can’t wait to read these!!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yay..enjoy. I like this author too Melissa

  10. Lily

    Reading your review and everyone’s comments everyone seems to enjoy this series and something romance lovers could enjoy. Lovely review!

  11. Ramona

    I love friend-to-lover romances! The progression is so natural and affects the reader that much deeper. And I like the sound of Astrid. Can this be read as a standalone or do I have to begin with the first book? As lovely a review as ever, Kimba, thank you.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I think you actually could, although the build up to the romance began in book one.

  12. Heidi

    I was so excited for this one to be released, but so far all the reviews I have read are like yours. People like it, but they aren’t loving it and the Epilogue just doesn’t work for them. I am a bit disappointed. I think I might hold off for a bit.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Both left me wanting more, although I am not sorry I read it

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It’s ok, I love the speakeasies and dress 🙂

  13. Melliane

    I like this series and I have this one but I still need to read it, I’m a little late there! Curious to see my feeling about it.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I look forward to your thoughts on it 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ooo loved book two and despite wanting more balance in the final book this series really rocked.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I hope you do, they are wonderful from the mysteries to the world

  14. Paij Slater

    I have had the first one my TBR pile for a little while, but now that I know it doesn’t end with a little bow I don’t know. If a series doesn’t end well it can ruin the whole thing for me…

    • kimbacaffeinate

      No Paij you need to read this series..I loved it overall, I just wanted more.

  15. Lanie

    Sounds like fun, this era always has the swanky clothes and old mob guys;)!

  16. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    We’ve been waiting for these two for such a long time, and I have a feeling theirs was the most difficult story, which is probably why it focused more on the romance. i understand why it bothered you and it’s likely that I would be annoyed a time or two, but I have to read it anyway. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh yes to skip it would be sad. I really enjoyed this series

  17. kindlemom1

    I absolutely adored the first book and really liked how we get glimpses of the attraction between these two. I’m a little sad it wasn’t a bit more though but that won’t stop me from reading this (and book two!).
    Great review Kim!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      The romance was good, and worth the wait, I just wanted more balance with the mystery

  18. Nick

    I bought the first book recently and I’m looking forward to reading it, Kim. It’s a shame that this book wasn’t as good, but I understand where you’re coming from. I would want more of the mystery too especially if it sounds so interesting.
    Lovely review! 🙂 I hope I’ll love the previous books as much as you did.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh I am glad I really enjoyed this series Nick

  19. Lauren

    I’ve been wanting to try this series for a long time now, and I’m glad to hear you still have a lot of love for the series despite issues with the last book. Can’t wait to give it a try!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Overall the series was rewarding Lauren and I totally recommend it.

  20. Renee

    oh this sounds wonderful. I haven’t read this author yet but she is on my list!!!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      The series has been really good..I love the mystery, suspense and paranormal woo-woo

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I really enjoyed the series Jennifer 🙂