If I were You by Lisa Renee Jones ~ Reviewed by Nina

 

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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.

  

I know I am a bit late coming to the party, but I have just read If I were You, book one in the Inside Out series by Lisa Renee Jones and I absolutely loved it! I have had this book on my TBR list for some time and after meeting LRJ back in May I decided to scoot it up and see what all the rave is about. I can totally see now why this book is such a huge hit and even in development for a cable series.

If I were You has such an interesting plot….our heroine Sara comes into possession of some journals of a girl who is thought to be out of the country, but after reading them Sara believes maybe something bad has happened to her. So being the sleuth that she thinks she is, Sara starts doing her own investigating and in the process lands Rebecca’s (the girl who might be missing or might be on some long, exciting vacation) old job in an art gallery.

Let me briefly tell you why this book worked so well for me and it was really quite simple….I really liked Sara. Like a lot. I thought she was strong and level headed. She is extremely bright and educated. She knows right from wrong. She has pride in herself and is confident in a way that one can appreciate and you would seek her out to be your friend.  Finally, she has lived through some hard times but isn’t whiny about them and she is not your typical virgin heroine that I keep reading about.

The other thing I really liked about If I were You was Chris Merit. Wow. What an amazing character. He was broody and honest and confused and hot and a tiger in bed and exudes the confidence of a guy you want to be in the presence of….or lay under….or straddle….or even kneel for. Chris is artsy, but that oh so cool type with his tattoo, scruffy hair, leather jacket and sexy 911 Porsche.

I thought LRJ did an amazing job in her description of the art world and she painted the scenery of San Francisco and the wine country brilliantly and very vividly. I was captivated with this story and loved the struggle that Sara had with Chris and even her sexy, yet dominating boss Mark. The use of Rebecca’s journals sprinkled throughout the book was an added bonus as well because let me tell you Rebecca’s words on a page are kinky kinky!

As the story closes out, we learn of Chris and Mark’s secrets….or actually we learn of their sexual proclivities. How will Sara deal with the news??? I am diving now into book two, Being Me to find out. I am so excited to get more of Chris and Sara’s journey (in and out of the bedroom) and to see what new things are on the horizon for Mark and hopefully news on Rebecca.  A 5 star read for me!

 

 

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT SERIES, and is now in development by Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland) for cable TV. In addition, her Tall, Dark and Deadly series and The Secret Life of Amy Bensen series, both spent several months on a combination of the NY Times and USA Today lists.

 

Website: http://www.lisareneejones.com

 

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