Review: Mystically Bound by Stacey Kennedy

Posted February 7, 2013 by Jen in 4 stars, Paranormal Romance, Rating A, Urban Fantasy Tags: , , ,

Mystically Bound
Author: Stacey Kennedy 
Release Date: Jan. 31, 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Frostbite #3
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance
Format(s): e-book
Book Source: Author
About the book:
Tess Jennings’ life is in chaos. Her ghost lover, Kipp McGowen, vanished into the Netherworld without a trace. Now, she finds herself in White Castle, Louisiana, surrounded by the Animus—a secret society of the supernaturally gifted. To make matters 
worse, they present her with an offer she cannot refuse. 
If she helps solve the murder of their Grand Master, they will assist her in saving Kipp. Soon, Tess will land herself lost in another mystery she doesn’t want. But she will have to trust her enemies to gain what she most desires—a life with Kipp. 
Only problem? People are hiding secrets and dark pasts. Tess will soon discover that nothing is as it seems. She might want to save Kipp from his ghostly state, but someone has decided it’s better for her to join him…
What Im talking about:
*Note this review contains a big spoiler from the end of the second book, Demonically Tempted.
After learning that her ghostly boyfriend has crossed over to the Netherworld, yet his body is still very much alive and in a coma, Tess takes the advice of her new best buddy, Gretchen the witch, and seeks help to save Kipp. The pair travel to White Castle, Louisiana to get aid from the mysterious magical group the Animus. Once they arrive, Tess is told that they would teach her how to “cross over” to find Kipp, but first she must promise via a blood bond to help discover who killed their Grand Master, Alexander. It isn’t until after the unbreakable vow with Wayde (the new Grand Master) is in place that Tess discovers that Alexander’s son-in-law is none other than Dane… the man responsible for making Tess’ life miserable and partially responsible for sending Kipp to the Netherworld. 

Mystically Bound, the third foray into Ms. Kennedy’s Frostbite series, is the strongest story and my favorite to date. Tess has come along way since we first met her in Supernaturally Kissed. She has learned to accept her “gift” of communicating with the deceased and has gained confidence in herself from her recent experiences. Having developed a close-knit bond with Kipp’s police force partners, she’s learned to trust in others as well. She’s become strong but remains caring. She stands up for herself without turning a blind eye to those that need help. She’s still Tess but with an extra coating of toughness now. The growth of her character helps to create a better story.

The mystery of who killed Alexander is intriguing. Although Tess has no emotional investment in helping Alexander, I found myself drawn to his plight and wanting her to help. However, it’s not the walk in the park that previous mysteries have been for Tess. Alexander is not a normal ghost, and he cannot talk to Tess because magic was used in his death. This creates unique situations for Tess – and some down right fun as Alexander attempts to use charades to communicate.

The whodunit kept me guessing throughout the book, and I will warn you – there is a cliff-hanger ending, with many questions left unresolved. (Luckily we only have to wait a couple months for the final chapter in the series!) Every character was a suspect in my eyes. The story had me guessing until the end – well, I’m still guessing! It made for an incredibly fast and exciting read. And although I enjoyed all of the new characters and even learning more about Dane, I was suspicious of every action taken and comment made.

What I loved so much about the first two books in the Frostbite series is the connection between Kipp and Tess – one so powerful that even death doesn’t deter it. I was worried with Kipp out of the picture, that magic would be missing. But fear not! Kipp resurfaces, and the pair find their way to one another again. And WOW! it was one helluva smokin’ reunion. But beyond their physical connection, the two deepen their emotional bond. One thing that upset me in the second book was how easily the pair seemed to fall apart – that Kipp took off and that Tess believed the worst. The couple discuss the entire situation openly and honestly, which helped this reader get back on the bandwagon. 

Overall, Mystically Bound is an outstanding, entertaining story! The book is well written with compelling and cohesive story lines. The mystery of what happened to Alexander is fascinating, especially since it appears to be tied to Tess and Kipp. With everything that has occurred thus far, this mystery appears to be multifaceted and complex. I wish I had more now but honestly, I am good with the ending, especially knowing the rest is coming soon.

My Rating:
Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)

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