Miss Frost Ices the Imp is the second novel in the Jayne Frost Mystery/Romance Series by Kristen Painter. The first book has been reviewed. Please read this before going any further.
This is another audiobook that I listened to with my 11-year-old son. Maybe I’d feel differently about it if I read it versus having it read to me, but my opinion of this is not a good one.
Jayne Frost is now the manager of the toy store in Nocturne Falls. She is casually dating both Cooper (the summer elf who is a firefighter, and also her ex-fiancé) and Grayson (an Irish vampire who works for the town).
She hired her friends, Juniper and Buttercup (winter elves, like Jayne) to be the day and night shift managers of the store.
Everything is going great until one day (and this is the first chapter of the story) she buys a beautiful box at a house foreclosure sale, and in the box is a mischievous little critter. Chaos ensues and it’s up to Jayne to catch the critter and put him back in the box.
If this was the entire story, it would be a fun book for kids. But this series is listed as “mystery/romance” and so it needs a little romance. That is the love triangle between Jayne and her two boyfriends. She basically decides she likes them both, can’t pick between them, and the men don’t seem to care. She describes both as “sexy” too many times, and all she does is kiss them.
Once again, I’m left confused about who the target audience is. The magical element leans towards kids, but the dating and kissing leans towards teens. The ages of the characters tells me it’s supposed to be for adults, but adults wouldn’t draw out the live triangle in this fashion, and they’d do a lot more than kissing. It’s poorly executed.
Pick a target audience and write to them. That is my piece of advice for the author. This could be a great story if it had a focus. It could do without the love triangle. Pick a boyfriend, and then fade to black. This way, the reader can use their imagination and the ‘romance’ doesn’t seem so cheesy, and it keeps it geared towards the younger audience… who don’t need to know the messy details of relationships, but are old enough to understand that things happen.
My other issue is the narrator. As I said, I had this read to me via Audible, and I cannot stand this narrator. Her voices aren’t consistent. Jayne goes back and forth between being a responsible adult, and an immature baby. She doesn’t sound like anyone people would be interested in, let alone two of the sexiest men in Nocturne Falls. When she narrates for the Irish vampire, she’s consistent at least – I’m not saying it’s a good accent, but it’s consistent. We always know when the Irish vampire is speaking.
Everyone else sounds the same. There is no distinguishing characteristics between Juniper, Buttercup, or Cooper.
I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to read a book and capture all the nuances. But there has to be a way to stay consistent for your main characters. Why does Jayne think in one voice and speak in two others? That doesn’t make sense.
Alright, my rant is over now. Here are the thoughts of my boy:
My favourite part of this story is when the imp used his sort of dark magic to make someone tell the truth. (Side note, I don’t actually remember this happening, but I did zone out a few times).
My favourite character is Grayson because of his Irish accent. I love Irish accents, even terrible ones.
I didn’t like the Imp’s name because it did not match his looks. (Side note, I removed a spoiler here since finding out the Imp’s name is a big part of the story. But imagine the Imp’s name was Plaid, and his skin colour was polka dot… it doesn’t make sense, and this sort of thing stands out to kids.)
If you’ve read Miss Frost Ices the Imp, or any other novel by Kristen Painter, let me know what you think over in the Facebook group.