Thursday, February 19, 2015

Review: If I Were You (Inside Out Series) by Lisa Renee Jones

Title:  If I Were You
Author:  Lisa Renee Jones
Series:  Inside Out #1
Pub Date:  Sept. 13, 2012
Publisher:  Gallery Books
Pages:  357

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sultry Scale: 4 of 5 Flames

How it all started…
One day I was a high school teacher on summer break, leading a relatively uneventful but happy life. Or so I told myself. Later, I’d question that, as I would question pretty much everything I knew about me, my relationships, and my desires. It all began when my neighbor thrust a key to a storage unit at me. She’d bought it to make extra money after watching some storage auction show. Now she was on her way to the airport to elope with a man she barely knew, and she needed me to clear out the unit before the lease expired.

Soon, I was standing inside a small room that held the intimate details of another woman’s life, feeling uncomfortable, as if I was invading her privacy. Why had she let these items so neatly packed, possessions that she clearly cared about deeply, be lost at an auction? Driven to find out by some unnamed force, I began to dig, to discover this woman’s life, and yes, read her journals—-dark, erotic journals that I had no business reading. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I read on obsessively, living out fantasies through her words that I’d never dare experience on my own, compelled by the three men in her life, none of whom had names. I read onward until the last terrifying dark entry left me certain that something had happened to this woman. I had to find her and be sure she was okay.

Before long, I was taking her job for the summer at the art gallery, living her life, and she was nowhere to be found. I was becoming someone I didn’t know. I was becoming her.

The dark, passion it becomes…

Now, I am working at a prestigious gallery, where I have always dreamed of being, and I’ve been delivered to the doorstep of several men, allof which I envision as one I’ve read about in the journal. But there is one man that will call to me, that will awaken me in ways I never believed possible. That man is the ruggedly sexy artist, Chris Merit, who wants to paint me. He is rich and famous, and dark in ways I shouldn’t find intriguing, but I do. I so do. I don’t understand why his dark side appeals to me, but the attraction between us is rich with velvety promises of satisfaction. Chris is dark, and so are his desires, but I cannot turn away. He is damaged beneath his confident good looks and need for control, and in some way, I feel he needs me. I need him.

All I know for certain is that he knows me like I don’t even know me, and he says I know him. Still, I keep asking myself — do I know him? Did he know her, the journal writer, and where is she? And why doesn’t it seem to matter anymore? There is just him and me, and the burn for more.

Nooooooooo! You cant end it there! (The sound that just woke my dogs from a dead sleep at 2am.)

It's funny how you forget certain aspects of a book as time passes. I first read this book in 2012. Between then and now, I had forgotten about that huge ass cliffhanger. That suprises me given it was the reason I put the series on hold in the first place. Let me clarify, I didn't postpone reading because I didn't like the books. No, I liked the first book so much that I knew I would not be patient enough to wait any significant length of time between releases.

So now that the series is complete, I am excited to embark on this journey again. And this time, I am taking my bookclub (the Chicklits) with me! We will be discussing this book at our meeting in a few days.

This book has it all. We have the mystery angle with the missing Rebecca, and possibly Ella. We have a budding romance, steamy sex and tortured hero(ine) with Chris and Sara. We get some hints at BDSM from Rebecca's journals. We have villians yet to be officially identified. Daddy issues and dead mothers. A sexual awakening. A brooding alpha male. A handsome domineering boss. Art and wine and opera. Drama! I mean what else can she pack in here? It was great and I'm happy to finally be reading the story.

I have yet to form a clear picture of Sara... probably because I am casting myself in the role (as usual). I've had a few ideas for Chris and Mark... what do you think?
Chris Hemsworth as Chris Merit
Eric Dane as Mark

View all my reviews