Bitter Spirits: A Roaring Twenties Novel by Jenn Bennett

Genre: Paranormal romance with a hefty dose of mystery

Winter Magnusson, top bootlegger in San Francisco, has been cursed. A friend points him toward Aida Palmer, spirit medium, for help. Though Aida is on her own in the world, she's a good girl, just looking to get to by. Winter has "bad boy" written all over him and is completely intrigued by Aida. For all his toughness, he falls for her and woos her with a charming gentleness. But his curse pulls Aida into trouble too and he's determined to protect her. Off they go on their adventure and tracking down clues to the bad guy. 

I've read enough paranormal novels that I'm always craving something different. The time period that this novel is set in is just that. Plus, Winter is of Swedish descent, another novelty in this type of book. Or at least it hit the right spot for me. I loved it when he'd slip into his native tongue. Plus, Bennett's writing style is just right to grip a reader and pull her in for a fabulous escape.

I read this book about a week before the second novel in the series was released. I've already gobbled up the second one too. I think I'm in for a long wait for the third. Being a series reader is a lesson in patience!

The Mark of the Tala: The Twelve Kingdoms

Genre: Adult romantic fantasy

I'm a big fan of Jeffe Kennedy, and I had my eye on this book from the moment I learned of it. This is a new series about three sisters. The first book is about the middle sister, who hides in the shadows of her to-be-queen older sister and beautiful younger sister. But Andi is the one who carries the mark of the Tala…the mark of her people's enemy…a mark she inherited from her mother. Because her mother died when Andi was five, she doesn't know about her heritage. Enter the hero…Rayfe, a Tala who's been waiting for Andi for a long time and is eager to teach Andi about her powers. 

The story is very much an adventure, which I love. The romance is steamy and there are explicit scenes. It's written in first person, which is not my favorite, but I definitely loved Andi's voice. In fact, I'm sad that the second book will be in the youngest sister's voice. I want more Andi! 

The book doesn't end on a huge cliffhanger. It's more that the story is unresolved. Be prepared  to wait a long time for closure. The second book comes out at the end of 2014 and the third book is scheduled for June 2015. Word to the wise: if you don't want to know what happens at the end of this book, do NOT read the blurb for the second book before you finish this one.

I hope this series goes beyond the trilogy. There are some great characters in this book that I'd  love to see in their own books…especially Dafne!

(Dear Jeffe Kennedy,

Would you please write Dafne's story?

Thank you very much,

Anise Rae)