When you hear the term “paranormal romance” what are the first words that pop into your mind? For the most part I think it’s safe to say that vampires and werewolves would be at the top of almost everyone’s lists. Vampires have become so prevalent that this writer’s block soap “smells like regurgitated ideas and probably a vampire.” Ouch. For the record, I still very much enjoy vampires. Throw in demons, witches, shapeshifters, Valkyries, and Olympians and you’ve covered a healthy portion of the genre. (See H&H’s posts on all-things supernatural creatures here and here.)
The last thing that comes to mind for me is the human element. Most paranormal series are built around a common supernatural creature or mythology. Jenn Bennett’s Roaring Twenties series breaks that mold. The three-book series centers around a family. A human family. And each book has a different paranormal element.
A member of the Magnusson family is featured in each of the books. Winter is the head of the family and the family business of bootlegging. The series is set in Prohibition-era San Francisco, so bootlegging is a lucrative business and the Magnussons have the biggest house in the best neighborhood to prove it. Lowe Magnusson is an archaeologist and con man, but mostly rakish con man. And Astrid is the kid sister who’s heading off to college soon. The Magnusson name opens doors in San Francisco but they’re begrudgingly accepted into San Francisco’s high society— new money and wealth gained from illegal activity gets the occasional raised eyebrow or nose in the air. Those hang-ups tend to disappear for San Francisco’s finest when it’s time to throw a party.