Monday, November 23, 2015

Review: Denial by Lisa Renee Jones

by Lisa Renee Jones
Series:  Careless Whispers #1
Pub. Date:  Nov. 24, 2015
Publisher:  Gallery Books
Pages:  336
Format:  eARC
Source:  NetGalley

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

Book one in the CARELESS WHISPERS series. This is a standalone spin-off of the INSIDE OUT series (soon to be a TV show) that follows Ella Ferguson, Sara McMillan's best friend.

Ella Ferguson awakes alone in Italy, unsure of who she is, and a gorgeous man has claimed her as his own. He’s tall, dark, and sexy, with money and power, the kind of man who makes a girl want to be possessed. And he does possess her, whispering wicked wonderful promises to her, stealing her trust and her heart. Soon though, the past finds her, yanking her from a cocoon of passion and safety. Everything is not how it seems. The truth will shatter her world, but it can set her free, if it doesn't destroy her first.

I am a big fan of Lisa Renee Jones. I have liked all of her books that I have read. The problem being that she is so prolific that I haven't been able to read all the books I want. Plus, every series looks better than the last, so its like getting distracted by something shiny! Needless to say, I have started the Inside Out series, but I have yet to finish it. Something I will be remedying over the next few months. So at least I knew who Ella was, but I wasn't privy to all the clues/hints as to her whereabouts from the original series.

We know from If I Were You that Ella, who was best friends with Sara, kinda disappeared with a new guy she had been seeing. So we start off in Denial as Ella has just woken up in the hospital with amnesia, and she opened her eyes up to the absolutely beautiful Kayden Wilkes. Ella is alone in a foreign country where she doesn't speak the language and has no idea how she got there or why. She doesn't know who to trust, but feels an instinctive connection to Kayden. Ella's brain is protecting her from something, but can she really trust Kayden to help her figure it out?

Kayden is the leader of The Underground in Italy and France. The Underground is in the business of finding and acquiring things for its clients, and not every acquisition is safe and legal. So Kayden is a bit of a dangerous dude, but he is also one of those great broken broody alpha males. We don't really know much of his back story, but a few things trickle out here and there. I would have really loved to have a dual POV in this series so we could get inside Kayden's head from time to time.

So I liked Ella and Kayden together. Something in their souls seems to recognize each other, and they have what seems to be an inexplicable draw. But obviously all is not as it seems and there is going to be some drama and secrets that unfold. I felt confused at times when I was reading this first installment of the series. That could be a consequence of our heroine being confused and not knowing who she was, but I found myself having to go back and re-read sections. There was a lot of hot and cold between Ella and Kayden, so I didn't always understand what the relationship dynamics were. The story was driven mostly by Ella's inner monologue, and when your heroine has amnesia, it is understandable that things are somewhat muddy. I also kept getting interrupted as I was reading so that prevented me from establishing a good connection to the story. I know I am going to have to re-read this book when the rest of the series comes out, so it will be interesting to see how my thoughts change at that point.

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Careless Whispers