3.5 stars: Liked it a lot - recommend (B+)
Tess is a little different from the rest of us - she sees and communicates with ghosts. She usually ignores their plight, or if she stops to listen, she tries to send them on their way to the “other side” quickly. That process has always worked for her until she meets Kipp - he is different from any ghost she’s met before. He remembers his life and acts like a “normal person.” Kipp implores Tess to help him catch the man who killed him while he was tracking down the killer of a young girl.
Right from the start, Kipp reminded me of Patrick Swayze’s character in the movie Ghost - bothering Tess until she acknowledged him and did his bidding. It didn’t hinder the story, but rather made me chuckle.
I will tell you right up front that I spent a lot of time during the first half of so of this book trying to figure out how Kipp and Tess could have a happy ending. First, I thought maybe he wasn’t really dead like Reese Witherspoon’s character in the movie Just like Heaven. Then I wondered if she would die too. Or *gulp* would there not be a happy ending? I just couldn’t see how it could possibly end well.... with him a ghost and her, well, not. Let me reassure you that this concern is addressed AND once the story got rolling, I was so engrossed that I didn’t really care.
I loved how my emotions were tugged around in this book. For example, several times my heart raced with Tess’s frustration when she tried to explain the truth to Kipp’s partners. I was waiting for one of them to put her in the looney bin.
I did get annoyed that Kipp and his best friend and former partner, Zach, didn’t have a problem putting Tess in potentially dangerous situations. For as “protective” as they are supposed to be, time and time again they pushed her into doing things that had the potential to kill her. I was especially upset with one scene when the partners pushed Tess into dressing like a slut and had her attempt to pick up a man who could have been Kipp’s killer. Not cool. And Tess could be a pushover. She shouldn’t have allowed herself to do some of these things - like go undercover at the bar.
As I mentioned, this book really held some great emotional components. Kipp and Tess had some very touching scenes - I was especially impacted by Kipp’s words when he told Tess that dying was worth it to meet her (sounds corny when I write it, but it was very touching). There was constant tension in the book caused by the threat that Kipp would *poof* off to heaven - or whatever the afterlife brings - once the mystery of his murder is solved.
As the story approached its climax, I got very anxious something bad was going to happen to Tess. She was “alone” in the woods at the site of a buried body... come on! I was screaming at her for leaving the officers and at the police for letting her go. Although it was pretty obvious who the “bad guy” was, it was still suspenseful and once again, my heart was racing.
At the conclusion, when Tess spoke to a parent of a murdered girl, I was in tears. What a gift to receive - parting words from beyond. And I liked how the author portrayed her parents - they accepted Tess’s gift without judgement.
Overall, Supernaturally Kissed was predictable at times, but a sweet and suspenseful story. Although not a true “HEA,” Ms. Kennedy left hope for the future, and she has written the start of what I predict will be an exciting series. Although I was fixated on how it would conclude, I am glad it wasn’t a cliched ending.