Tess Jennings, now a member of the Memphis Police Department, is on her first cold case. The suspected suicide of Lizbeth Knapp ten years ago isn’t a theory her family accepts—they believe she was murdered.
But the case is only one of Tess’s worries. Ghosts are talking, and word of her abilities rapidly spreads. A dark ghost is terrifying the spirits of Memphis, and she must force the entity to cross over.
Tess doesn’t have to do this alone. Not only does she have her ghost-lover, Kipp McGowen, but the department has brought in a medium. Dane Wolfe might answer all her questions, but he also brings a world of trouble. Will Tess finally have all she’s ever wanted, or will everything she’s vowed to protect be ripped away?
What I’m talking about:
**NOTE: I’m trying my new “hidden spoilers” button in this review. I have been told it pretty much always works – however if you are reading this via an RSS Feed Reader it will NOT work and the spoiler text will appear. HOWEVER, I have noted in all caps where the spoiler text begins and ends, so you can still read this review without the spoilers. Thanks!**
After getting to know all about Tess and her “ghost whispering” abilities in the first Frostbite book, Supernaturally Kissed, Ms. Kennedy jumps right into the thick of things in Demonically Tempted. Tess is now working for the Memphis Police Department with her ghostly, police officer boyfriend, Kipp, in tow. She has stepped into Kipp’s job, working along side of his best friend and partner, Zach. They are investigating cold cases, and the current case is a creepy apparent suicide. The team visits the old farmhouse where the dead girl’s sister still lives, yet Tess cannot find her ghost. What they do hear is a tale of darkness and strange behavior.
Meanwhile, in present day, Tess’s abilities are now making the circles among ghosts – who knew that they would chat it up in the afterlife? They fear a dark presence and want Tess to make it go away. Why she didn’t see the connection between the cold case and this evil spirit is beyond me. But… she doesn’t and she agrees to help these ghosts.
Enter Dane – apparent ghost expert who works for the FBI. Tess’s boss, Max, has hired Dane to work with Tess on her abilities. And much to Tess’s chagrin, Dane’s an arrogant jerk that constantly makes her feel stupid. Dane recognizes that this darkness is a demon and knows just the right person to help the team, Gretchen – a witch.
First of all, I really like how this story starts out… it jumps right into things with no need for a big backstory about Tess and Kipp or her powers. We are right in the heart of the story from the beginning, and this grabs the reader and pulls them in quickly. Overall the demonic story line, while briefly skirting a “horror” line with the possession concerns, brings several new aspects of Tess’s abilities and widens the known mythology extensively. And it was done in a way that isn’t “telling” the reader what is going on, but rather “shows” the reader more about this exciting world.
As for the characters – let me start with newcomer, Dane. He is painted in a fairly negative light. I really didn’t like him, and I credit the author with successfully portraying him to be such an ass. Kipp does NOT like Dane – and is constantly telling Tess he has a feeling Dane is hiding something. Tess continually attributes Kipp’s feelings as jealousy. I have to say after a while I got annoyed that Tess would not accept Kipp’s “gut feeling.”
It turns out that Dane is up to something – but not as nefarious as I thought at first. He wants to protect Tess because he’s seen what happens to others when they let their special abilities rule their lives. I did not like how he approached Tess. But again, I’m sure that’s what I’m supposed to feel and it is the author’s intension, so kudos to Ms. Kennedy. But I felt he could have gone about his purpose a different way and achieved better results.
As for our main couple… I still adore Tess and Kipp. Although we don’t have as much time for relationship building in this story, they are still an exciting pair to read. The author did find a way to insert a few sexy scenes which don’t detract from the overall story line. Although I’m not at all happy about something that happens at the end of the book-not that it happened but rather the timing of the event (read about it below in the spoiler section), I am very excited to see what is in store for the couple.
I felt Tess could be a little dense and whiny at times, but I love that she stood her ground with Dane and that she took on the demon. Over the course of this book, she learns to believe in herself and the supernatural world surrounding her. With Kipp, I felt he was a bit too angry; however he was rightfully so. There is a scene in which Kipp “goes off the deep end” over something Dane does, and I felt it was way too dramatic for his character. But then later we find out all is not as it seems. I like that!
*********NOTE: SPOILER TEXT STARTS HERE*********
Okay so here is my issue with this book. We find out that Kipp is actually in a coma. If you read my review of the first book, Supernaturally Kissed I specifically said that I thought that would happen, just like Reese Witherspoon’s character in the movie Just like Heaven. But no… he was … dead. Yet, in the final scenes of Demonically Tempted, we are told that Kipp has been in a coma this entire time. Wait… what? And NO ONE bothered to mention that to Tess? No one asked if she wanted to see him? Ms. Kennedy has her characters do a little side stepping and get around this, but not to my satisfaction. It was like finding out Luke and Leia are brother and sister in Return of the Jedi after seeing them kiss pretty passionately in Empire Strikes Back. To me it was poor continuity and I felt cheated. Kipp’s best friend and coworkers would have brought it up well before the end of this book.
With that said, I will forgive this and move on because I really do like these characters a lot and look forward to finding out what will happen next!
*********SPOILER TEXT ENDS HERE*********
So in the end I was a bit conflicted over this book. I like Tess and Kipp, and the new supporting characters are an excellent addition. I am very happy that we learned so much more about the supernatural world. But, I did have some issues with the book… The biggest being what happens near then end of the book (in the spoiler section). It was just very hard for me to accept. But with that said, I am interested to know who the “others” (with special abilities) are and where Tess is headed. I have a strong desire to keep reading this series and seeing it to the end. And so I am highly anticipating Mystically Bound (Book 3) coming in Fall 2012.