Friday, November 4, 2011

Intimate Whispers by Dee Carney

TITLE: Intimate Whispers
AUTHOR: Dee Carney
PUBLISHER: Ellora’s Cave
LENGTH: Novel (roughly 52k)
GENRE: Paranormal erotic romance
COST: $5.95

Sabrina Turner hears dead people, but it’s not a gift by any means. They bombard her at the worst times, driving her mad as she’s incapable of tuning them out. The only way for her to banish them for a while is by allowing another spirit to have his way with her, giving her body to him for hours until the world is silent again. Another attack leaves her in a fugue state at her local grocery store, where her neighbor Jason sees her and takes her home. When she says something to him only his dead brother would know, he’s driven to find out how and why. The truth will bring them together, but the reality of what she has to do just to survive the voice just might drive them apart…

I meant to get this done and reviewed before Halloween, but the holiday ran away from me. It would have been appropriate, given its slightly creepy tones.

Sabrina Turner hears dead people, and the only way she can get a temporary reprieve from the madness it creates in her is to have sex with one of those same spirits. She refers to it as Him, and considers him her savior. After she gives him what he wants, she gets some peace and quiet for a while. During her attacks, she loses time, forgetting where she is, who she is. It’s during one of these that her neighbor Jason finds her at the grocery store. He volunteers to take her home, but just before she shuts the door in his face, she says something only his dead brother would say. Unable to shake the questions it’s raised, he goes back to her apartment and demands answers. The only reason she gives him a hint of what she’s like is because he played the nice guy and helped her get home when he didn’t have to. They try another technique to make contact with his brother, but that doesn’t help much either. Jason is trying to forget about the whole incident when the ER contacts him and asks for his aid in getting Sabrina home. She’s had another attack. Thus sparks a series of events that will bring them closer together. The only problem is, both of them are holding back secrets, afraid of what the other might think.

I liked the premise of the book, the twist on the ghost whisperer theme with the heroine being plagued by the voices to the point of madness. The attacks are described well, coming to life even as Sabrina is driven mad by them. Much of that is helped by the author opting to occasionally show the attacks from Jason’s POV. He brings a poignancy to what is going on with Sabrina that her perspective lacks.

Sabrina’s perspective is where the book falters for me. Her characterization is solid enough, but the more I got to know her, the less I liked her. I found her attitude toward Jason bitchier than what was called for, and her behavior often callous in regards to his feelings. I understand her point about how she doesn’t have the space in her life to worry about anybody but herself, but that wasn’t enough for me to explain away how cold she was. In fact, even after she warmed up to Jason, I still found her personality a little off-putting. I didn’t start liking her more until very nearly the end.

On the other hand, Jason was a darling. He came across as caring and sincere, a little on the earnest side, and I found his self-honesty about how he’d never considered dating a black woman endearing. His chemistry with Sabrina was off the charts, too, a fact I could easily recognize even if I didn’t like her very much. He was more patient with her than I imagine most men would’ve been, and the fact that he sticks around through so much is testimony to his wonderful nature.

I did find the resolution easy and kind of obvious, but I appreciate the fact that the ending doesn’t sugarcoat other problems by giving them an easy out. Sabrina and Jason still have things to fight against when the story draws to a close, but then again, so do real life couples. This one might not be a definite keeper, but it does make me curious about the author’s other work. I like that she takes some risks and isn’t afraid of being true to human nature. It’s worth it to find out if that’s prevalent in other titles, too.


8/10 – The erotic elements work best in this, though the prose is solid throughout


8/10 – He was the heart of this, his caring nature sold me from the start


4/10 – I understood her but for the bulk of the story, I really didn’t like her for being so bitchy

Entertainment value

7/10 – I liked it for Jason and for where it dared to go, but would’ve liked it more if I cared about Sabrina a little

World building

7/10 – Aspects of her talent were handled really well, but I wanted more into her past and why/how she had this gift in order to better understand it



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