This second installment in Stacey Kennedy's Frostbite series picks up a few weeks after the point which Supernaturally Kissed
left off. I had a hard time connecting with it right off the bat and I'm not 100% sure why. Maybe it's because everyone has settled in so much to the idea that Tess and Kipp are a couple now. For new readers, Tess is a woman who can see ghosts and Kipp is, well, a ghost. The problems with such a relationship are obvious. But Tess considers Kipp her man --and even calls him her lover-- despite the fact he's just a disembodied spirit.
Tess is part of the police force now, helping the department investigate cold cases. And again, I felt that disconnect. Yes, she proved herself in the last book, but there is no lingering doubts or skepticism or even discomfort from anybody about what she can do. It bothers me to see the ease in which everyone has come to accept her supernatural gifts --to say nothing of the boyfriend that no one else can see or hear.
Tess is working a cold case surrounding an apparent suicide, where the victim's sister is convinced there was more to it. Working with her is Dane, an FBI medium who is there to help her better understand her gift. It's obvious there is something dubious about him right off the bat. Kipp can't stand him... but with Dane's help, Tess learns there is much more to the supernatural world than she ever knew existed.
The author expands the paranormal scope of the world-building to include witches, demons, and perhaps even angels. But as much as that ups the ante, the real heart of the series is the relationship between Tess and Kipp. The two of them get put through the wringer here and it's when their angst kicks up that the story hits its stride.
I really enjoyed the second half of the book. Dane is a great love-to-hate character and I feel like there is much more to him beneath the surface. He's a total prick at times, but he gives voice to the concerns about Tess and Kipp's relationship that I thought were so noticeably absent from everyone else at the beginning. I don't like what he did, but I'm not willing to write him off, either. I found the new character Gretchen to be very interesting. And I liked the journey of personal growth that Tess goes on here. She has always considered her gift to be a curse and now she is learning that with it, she can make a real difference.
The climax of the romance arc is very good. Kennedy opens the door for a real possibility of an HEA at the same time she puts it in terrible jeopardy. And she leaves us with a great/ horrible/ wonderful/ terrible cliffhanger. I am anxiously looking forward to see what she does in the third book --and I pray we get some sex in the flesh. Fantasies can only sustain a girl for so long... 3 1/2 stars.*ARC provided by author for review