May 12, 2011

Review: Stolen Dreams by Stacey Kennedy

Stolen Dreams
Author: Stacey Kennedy
Series: The Lingering Spirit, Book 1
ISBN: 0011197897
Purchase Information:
Amazon | Barenes & Noble | Smashwords

*Novel provided by the author via Book Lovin' Bitches eBook Tours

For more information please visit Stacey Kennedy''s website.

Tess Jennings has the ability to see and talk to spirits. On a daily basis, they harass and annoy her to save their souls. Sometimes she helps, other times she ignores them, but one ghost will give her no choice. Kipp McGowan, a cop with the Memphis Police Department, uses his ghostly charms to gain her attention and forces her to expose herself to his partner.

As she’s pulled into the five year old cold case of Hannah Reid she wants no part of, she finds herself in more than one precarious situation. But that’s the least of her worries?Tess begins to have a serious problem on her hands. Kipp might be dead, but he’s drop-dead gorgeous and she’s beginning to forget that he’s a ghost.

Murder and corruption has brought Tess and Kipp together. But as her feelings for Kipp deepen, she suspects she just signed herself up for a one-way ticket to the nut house, and can only hope, straitjackets come in a size four.

Stolen Dreams, the first novel in the Lingering Spirit series by Stacey Kennedy, was nothing like I had been expecting and all the better for it! Truly I was impressed by not only the story, but by the characters themselves and the deep emotional appeal that ran throughout the novel. While the synopsis definitely intrigued me, I was in no way prepared for this addictive, wonderful story which I can now highly recommend to lovers of Paranormal Romance.

What drew me in to this novel was definitely the first rate characterization of not only the main characters Tess and Kipp, but the secondary ones as well. Tess is definitely someone you can sympathize with, a woman trying to make her way in the world by throwing herself in to her job ignoring the things in her life that she doesn't want to cope with. It's perfectly understandable and makes her highly relatable to readers. Kipp is likewise a highly endearing and likable character who is utterly charming and oozes sex appeal. As he becomes insinuated in Tess's life, it becomes even more tragic that they aren't able to actually connect on a physical level. But, that just makes the romance between them all the more potent as the emotional aspect is spiked creating a bond that really tugs at the reader's heart. The secondary characters are likewise well developed with wonderful personalities that I really loves seeing explored. The group dynamic between all involved was really surprisingly wonderful considering one of the main characters was a ghost and therefore not able to directly interact with the other characters. Also adding to my surprise was the fact that they seemed to take Tess's ability at face value after a bit of understandable skepticism, yet another thing that I really enjoyed.

And like this realistic skepticism the world isn't supernatural in nature either, instead one much like our own making it instantly real and accessible to readers. I think this fact sort of made me love the characters and their various situations all the more as they struggled with their thoughts and emotions. It served as a wonderful backdrop for a very practical police mystery as the characters go in search of the killer of Hannah Reid in a very unpractical manner. But, I also loved that fact that Kennedy actually captured something more realistic to detective work showing that things aren't like on television. It's a gruelling process full of hard work and dead ends. But, ultimately I loved her twist of Tess being able to question the dead as a nice way of 'owning' her own brand of police work.

The writing style is fluid, insightful and highly emotional all aspects that really serve to draw you in to the story and the characters' lives. Kennedy manages to bring forth a well thought out premise with some wonderful romance as well as a thrilling mystery, though I was able to guess who the killer was pretty easily. Not exactly a deterrent especially considering I was far more interested in the mounting tension between Tess and Kipp and the tragedy that was sure to come. Of course, I have my own theories on Kipp's odd ghostly behavior, especially paired with the fact that no one out and out says that he's dead. Just gone. While I don't want to spoil the end for potential readers, I will say that the ending is a cliff hanger, but I have my very definite ideas about what's to come in terms of Kipp's lingering spirit.

Overall, this was a wonderful, engrossing read that really sucks you in to the story. The characterization was quite frankly some of the best that I've come across with some highly insightful and emotional aspects that definitely appealed to me. I honestly can't wait to see what comes next in this series and can safely say I will definitely be looking in to more of Stacey Kennedy's wonderful work.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Scars

Advisory: Some graphic sexual content

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of the Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours and a copy was provided to me by the author. although payment may have been received by Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review nor was there an obligation to write a positive one. all opinions expressed here are entirely mine and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. this disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 

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