Title: If I Were You
Series: Inside Out Book 1
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
When Sara McMillan finds a stack of journals in a storage unit, she’s shocked and enthralled by the erotic life the writer led. Unable to stop reading, she vicariously lives out dark fantasies through Rebecca, the writer—until the terrifying final entry.
Certain something sinister has happened, Sara sets out to discover the facts, immersing herself in Rebecca’s life. Soon she’s working at the art gallery Rebecca worked at and meeting Rebecca’s friends. Finding herself drawn to two dangerously sexy men, the manager of the gallery and a famed artist, Sara realizes she’s going down the same path Rebecca took. But with the promise of her dark needs being met by a man with confident good looks and a desire for control, she’s not sure anything else matters. Just the burn for more.
My intentions with the Inside Out series were to read If I Were You, then review it, then read Being Me and review it for an upcoming tour date. Well, that didn’t happen. I read the first book, and couldn’t even look at another book until I finished Being Me. I can totally see what is so captivating about this series that has everyone on edge waiting for the next installment.
This book starts with a journal entry. It’s dark and scintillating. It spoke to me right away, and I knew I would be up all night reading and losing myself in Sara McMillan’s world. Sara is a teacher, and she’s calm and pretty prim for the most part. You might even say a bit paranoid and jumpy, which will all be explained during the series. So one day, her neighbor, Ella, shows up and says she is going on a honeymoon with her new beau-turn-husband and gives Sara the keys to a storage unit which has these journals in it. The journals are written by Rebecca and they depict her BDSM lifestyle, or rather, her descent into it.
It’s not long before Sara, and I, are engrossed in what Rebecca has to say. The journals take on this dark and eerie tone. Rebecca is a bit lost, caught up in this situation that is bigger than herself. She doesn’t know how to get out, but when she is with her Master, she doesn’t really want to. She begins to crave his touch, his voice, his command – no matter the cost to her.
And then, the moment I know I will die remembering. The moment when the steel of a blade touched my lips. The moment that he promised there was pleasure in pain…
Sara puts herself on this journey to find Rebecca. At first I was kind of asking myself, “Why in the hell would she do that? Is she nuts?” Like seriously, this is just someone’s journals from a storage unit. Sexy journals from a dark history do not always mean something nefarious have happened. But it wasn’t long before I was swept up in the mistery. I felt a bit Single White Female myself, about it. So when Sara immerses herself in the life that was Rebecca’s, I’m happy to go for the ride. Especially when she meets famed artist, Chris Merit.
Chris. Oh-my-god. Seriously, the man is sex personified. To me he felt like a modern James Dean with a dangerous and dark edge. Every time he was on a page, I couldn’t read fast enough. He was dark and mysterious, lustful, cryptic… all the things that keep me turning pages. And when he and Sara begin to associate more and more, and things begin to become erotic between them I was completely lost. Just call me a die hard Chris Merit fan. I am not sure there is anything he could do wrong. Ahem…
This story is fascinating. Sara gets a job at Allure, which is Rebecca’s place of employment. She even takes over Rebecca’s office. It seems she is on her way to following in her footsteps. There are so many instances where I think “Oh, that guy is the Master” or “Oh, that guy has obviously done something malicious” and “What the heck has happened here??” This book just kept me guessing and guessing, page after page, all the while ramping up the mystery, suspense, romance, and lust. I was in bookie heaven, I tell ya. Lisa Renee Jones has wrote such a compelling book here that I am now on the hunt to read more of her books. She has built such a crazy and dark world, so delicately and fabulous, I feel like an addict. I need more. The characters seem normal, this guy or that woman, they’re just being them…right? Or is there something more sinister going on? Is everyone in on it? By the time If I Were You ends, I am in a tailspin of “oh my god, I have to read Being Me right now” that time is of no consequence.
I have my theories, which I am keeping to myself. I don’t want to spoil it for you. But if you like romantic suspense with some naughty and sinister thrown in, you will definitely want to read this book. And read it now, because there are already two full length novels out, plus Rebecca’s journals are available for kindle. In August there is a novella length book coming out, and the third book in this series comes out in September.
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author LISA RENEE JONES is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT SERIES which has sold to more than twelve countries for translation with negotiations in process for more, and has now been optioned by STARZ Network for a cable television show, to be produced by Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland).
Since beginning her publishing career in 2007, Lisa has published more than 30 books with publishers such as Simon and Schuster, Avon, Kensington, Harlequin, NAL, Berkley and Elloras Cave, as well as crafting a successful indie career. Booklist says that Jones suspense truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann.
Prior to publishing, Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by Dallas Women Magazine. In 1998 LRJ was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.
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