Review: If I Were You (Inside Out #1) By Lisa Renee Jones

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Title:  If I Were You
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  Gallery Books  3/12/13
Length:  340 pages
Series: Inside Out #1

Overview

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. . . .

In the bestselling style of Fifty Shades of Grey, Lisa Renee Jones delivers sexy thrills and heart-pounding sensuality with a tantalizing page-turner in which the eyes of a high school English teacher are opened to a world she never knew existed, and she finds a passionate craving within that she never knew she possessed.

The journal comes to Sara McMillan by chance, when she inherits the key to an abandoned storage locker belonging to a woman named Rebecca. Sara can’t resist peeking at the entries in the journal . . . and she finds a scintillating account of Rebecca’s affair with an unnamed lover, a relationship drenched in ecstasy and wrapped in dark secrets.

Obsessed with discovering Rebecca’s destiny after the entries come to an abrupt end, Sara does more than observe the players in the woman’s life; she immerses herself in the high-stakes art gallery world Rebecca inhabited—and is magnetically drawn to two men. Which one seduced Rebecca with his masterful and commanding touch and brought her fantasies to exquisite life? On a daringly erotic escapade, Sara follows Rebecca’s path to fulfill her own hidden longings. But after she tastes the forbidden pleasures Rebecca savored, will Sara be helpless to escape the same submissive fate?

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book and let me tell you why.  We’re introduced to Sara who’s a school teacher and loves what she does.  It’s summer break and she’s trying to figure out how to fill her time.  At the same time we meet Ella, her neighbor and close friend who has gotten into the Storage Wars type deal where she buys storage units and sells things for profit.  She’s just bought a unit that has all of the belongings of a girl including personal journals that detail a very dark and ‘naughty’ time.  The story opens up with Sara reading through one of the journals that Ella has accidentally left in her apartment, and Sara gets the sense that things aren’t necessarily what they seem, but of course since they are so erotic and BDSM in nature, she’s not sure where to go with it.

The decision is made for her somewhat when Ella runs off to elope with her Rich boyfriend and has entrusted the unit to Sara to sell and do with it what she wants. (i.e. keep the money which is a good thing since it IS summer break and teachers get no paychecks).  Anyhow, What sara finds is that she can’t quite shake the sense that things aren’t what they seem and she sets off on a journey to uncover the truth.

This journey takes her to places that i’m really happy that they went.  We find that Sara has a passion for Art and that’s the same passion that Rebecca (the owner of the journals) had.  Sara basically steps into Rebecca’s shoes in the gallery that she worked at to try to figure out where Rebecca is and what happened.  In this journey, Sara finds herself in a place where she has an unbelievably attractive and dominating boss – Mark who’s more a master than anything else.  (actually he is a master, and owns a private BDSM club).  She feels strangely drawn to Mark and wants to please him, but challenges him in her own way.  She also has this sense though that he’s the man in the journals that Rebecca talks about and that makes her quite uneasy and second guesses everything that he’s doing.

\She also meets Chris – a successful and incredibly sexy artist that she also has an immediate connection with.  This connection in her mind is a good one and although she sees that Chris is the dominating type, she has more of a sexual chemistry that she acts upon and thus our story takes us on their roller coaster.

What you get in this first installment of the trilogy is a steamy roller coaster of emotions, anxiety, and you really never know who to trust.  I think one of the best features of this story is that you REALLY don’t have any idea who you’re supposed to trust, and you don’t know what the outcome is going to be.  i Pride myself on being able to figure out things pretty quickly, and i still have no idea who’s the good guy, who’s the bad guy and what’s going on.  The character development is great as well – we get a tease of what’s in both Sara and Chris’ history and it really does leave you wanting more.  I haven’t quite figured either one out yet since there has to be much more than what appears to be on the surface.

So my questions

1) What’s going to happen with Sara and Chris

2) what’s the deal with Mark?

3) Where is Rebecca

4) Where is Ella

5) Who’s hiding what, and why, and what does that mean?

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