Rating: 4.5 stars
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PsyCop Victor Bayne is settling in with his new work partner, Roger Burke, and his new boyfriend, Jacob Marks. After Jacob’s apartment was the site of a giant incubus expulsion, Jacob has been living temporarily with Victor, and the guys have definitely been getting more serious together. And so far things seem to be ok with the new partner as well. Roger is a little over enthusiastic and squeaky clean, but he’s friendly and brings coffee, so that is good enough for Victor.
However, something is definitely wonky with Victor’s psychic abilities. Being a level 5 medium means that Victor sees ghosts all the time on a normal day. But suddenly things seem to be amped up like crazy and he is seeing them everywhere. And not only an increased number, but these spirits are much more aggressive, reaching out for Victor and totally freaking him out. On top of that, somehow Victor keeps harming Jacob in his sleep, cutting Xs into his skin without being aware of it. With his friend Lisa still in California at her psychic training center, Victor has no idea where to turn for help. He needs to figure out what is causing his abilities to go so out of whack before he chases Jacob away and goes crazy himself.
This second book in Jordan Castillo Price’s amazing PsyCops series is a nice transition from the first book, Among the Living. It is unclear exactly how much time has passed, but enough that Vic and Jacob have definitely progressed in their relationship and Vic has been assigned a new partner. Among the Living introduces us to the world of psychics and the PsyCops program, but focuses primarily on a case Vic and Jacob are working on together and solving that mystery. In Criss Cross, the focus shifts much more internally as the conflict surrounds Vic specifically and what is going on with his abilities and why. This story isn’t quite as flashy as the first in terms of introducing this cool new world, but it does give us a chance to get to know more about Vic’s abilities, meet some new characters, and sets the stage for future books in the series. I actually like this one better for the chance to really get to know the characters more in depth.
We also get more development of the relationship between Victor and Jacob. I do wish we hadn’t missed that transition where they go from fooling around to more serious together, as that happens between books. But here we see not only the growing sexual connection between them, but also the emotional one as well. Jacob continues to be a rock for Victor: solid, dependable, and confident. Even when Victor is actually harming Jacob with his strange behavior, Jacob is determined to stick it out and help him. We can really see these guys building a strong foundation together and they continue to be one of my favorite couples.
So there is not much more I can tell you here without giving away the secrets of this story. As I mentioned in my review for Among the Living, I am doing a reread of this series in anticipation of starting the newest book. It is one of my all time favorite series, and reading this book totally reminds me why. Castillo Price manages to combine so many elements here: hot and sexy romance, exciting investigations, fascinating world building, and a great relationship. I am off to continue with the rest of the series, but I will tell you guys don’t hesitate to check these out. It is a fabulous series and I can’t wait to reread them all.