Review – Whispers #1 by Carolyn Jewel

**Potential trigger warning – sexual abuse/assault**

Whispers 1 cover image.

Publisher: Self
Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: ARC from the author

The Whispers Collection is a series of erotic short stories, available singly or collected in one volume. I’ll start Collection No. 2 when all the stories on tap for Collection No. 1 are available. If you are offended by sexually explicit stories that play with consent, desire, shape-shifters, and safe boundaries, please do not read these. Seriously.

The stories that make up collection No. 1 are:
Inigo the Magician Contemporary. A demon delivers on an ice-cold revenge after a magician uses him and a human woman to satisfy his sexual perversions. Six months later, she’s not even close to recovered, he’s free and their first meeting is a volatile combination of minds, bodies, and the consequences of a promise made.

Demon Lover Historical. New Orleans, 1859. At nearly twenty-eight, Zoe remains at home to support her widowed father. She longs for something more in her life. David Nataniel is a dangerous man for a woman to know. He’s a client of her father’s and is often at the house, but Zoe believes she’s safe from his wickedness. She’s not.

My Goblin Boyfriend Contemporary. Tolkien as a user manual? The title should say it all, but in case it doesn’t, Violet finds out first-hand why goblins have a rep for mastery in the bedroom after she finds an injured goblin passed out on her porch. She does the right thing for everyone involved and nurses him back to health. He’s big, strong, definitely not-human, and not shy at all. Features goblin sex. Doh.

Constance Historical. In Edwardian-era America, Nathan reluctantly agrees to seduce and impregnate his good friend’s cousin. As he comes to know and like the woman, her tragic past changes him forever.

The Wild Contemporary. An unrepentant werewolf finds the woman of his dreams. She needs the kind of pain only he can deliver—As long as she’s willing to get Wild with him. Not for the faint of heart. Includes werewolf sex.
This blurb came from the author’s website.

I saw Jewel talking about this on twitter and responded to her request for reviewers. I have read several of her previous works in a variety of romance sub-genres and I tend to enjoy them. My favorites seem to have a hotter flavor than the others so I was extremely curious. I do recommend you read her introduction to the collection because these stories won’t be for everyone. These short stories are certainly darker and explore some concepts she has raised in other works but has taken to a new depth here.

“Inigo the Magician”: This story was about magic used to violate and harm instead of amaze, assumptions people make about others, what revenge really means, and the cost of making a promise. It was also about the importance of keeping your promises.

“Demon Lover”: An obsessed overprotective father, a woman who barely experienced life, and a man determined to have her. The narrator recounted her story but I felt it had potential for a HEA. Given that I wish I had a sense of how much time passed since the story started to really trust in my feelings.

“My Goblin Boyfriend”: My favorite of the collection. Jewel included a variety of stand out characters including a gossipy old woman who knew more than you thought, supernatural creatures, and an attraction that went beyond humanity…or did it define humanity.

“Constance”: This one about broke my heart. Extremely messed up family dynamics, a hope born out of love, the loyalty of friendship, and happiness for those who lived without hope of ever being happy.

“The Wild”: Probably the most brutal of all of the stories but it is about meeting needs and desires of everyone involved even if the end result might not have been completely expected.

This was an interesting mix of stories but certainly not for those who do not enjoy reading about rough sexual contact. My favorite was “My Goblin Boyfriend” and I would love to see Jewel expand into the world she created there. I think it has a lot of potential. The other stories ranged from intriguing to disturbing and all showcased exactly how much could be packed into a short story. I am curious to see what Jewel includes for her next collection.

I give Whispers a B

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