Review: Intimate Whispers by Dee Carney

Intimate WhispersWhispers from the dead are everywhere because their greatest desire is to be heard.

Sabrina Turner has found only one way to stop the curse she was born with—allowing an incubus to worship her body in exchange for halting the voices drowning her sanity. Every time she succumbs, it’s still an act of desperation. Yet she’s not sure if she wants to be rid of the bittersweet release.

All Jason Raines wants in this world is to communicate one last time with his deceased brother. When he discovers his seductive neighbor speaks to the dead, it’s another reason to get close to her. Visions and cryptic dreams Sabrina experiences are messages for him, he’s sure of it. Whatever her price, he’ll pay it. When a reluctant Sabrina opens the doorway to the other side, though, he discovers the cost may be higher than he first thought.

Her urgent search for freedom. His crucial need for absolution. A burning love between them offers their only hope in salvation from intimate whispers.

First Impressions: I’ve read contemporary titles by Dee Carney and really enjoyed them but this is my first paranormal romance by her. What I enjoyed about Ms. Carney’s contemporaries is the almost instant likability of the heroes and heroines I experienced and how I was ready for their romances early on the stories. I supposed I went into this one with the same expectations, however it was clear early on, that it was going to take a while for me to warm up to the heroine.

The Heroine: Sabrina hears the voices of spirits who call out to her. They are drawn to her in masses to the point where it’s debilitating and she experiences mental breakdowns. The only relief she gets is in allowing a certain spirit to have sex with her. It’s as though he marks her as his own this way and it temporarily keeps the other spirits away. Emotionally she is resentful of having to give herself over to this spirit in order to stay sane, but physically her body welcomes the pleasure he brings her.

The Hero: Jason is Sabrina’s neighbor and a pretty nice guy. He comes upon Sabrina during one of breakdowns and escorts her home. He believes she’s suffering from mental illness and just wants to help her out and make sure she’s safe. But then Sabrina says something in the midst of her fog that captures his attention. Something that only his dead brother would know. And now he can’t just walk away.

What worked: This story was a little darker and scarier than I expected. I wasn’t hiding behind the couch while reading but I admit the incubus who uses and takes advantage of Sabrina was definitely evil and villainous. I suppose I must read too much paranormal romance because I half expected his identity and back story to be revealed and he would to turn out to be an okay guy(spirit). But no, he was horrible until the end as should have been.

What didn’t work: Sabrina was abrasive and cold and clung to defensiveness a little too long. I won’t say this totally didn’t work for me, since I get where she is coming from. She’s scared and has to depend on a spirit she views as evil for her own sanity. But I really had a hard time keeping that in mind when the hero was so nice to her.

Also, I had a hard time with the sexual relations between Sabrina and the incubus. What bothered me was the conflict between her feeling forced and hating it, yet her body craving the pleasure he gives her. I had a hard time understanding how feeling desperate and blackmailed into the act can lead to good sex, paranormal style or not.

Final conclusion: Overall, I liked the premise of the story and enjoyed reading it. While I didn’t love everything about it, I appreciate that the story didn’t go exactly how I expected it to.

Rating: C
Intimate Whispers by Dee Carney
October 7th 2011 by Ellora’s Cave
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  1. says

    Great review, Sophia. This one sounds a little creepy. I think I’d struggle with accepting her desiring, but hating, the spirit she’s forced to have sex with.

      • says

        Yes, that makes total sense. I’m impressed that the author didn’t feel the need to turn the incubus into a good guy at the end. So many authors do that, that it’s no wonder you were expecting it. I would have expected it too.