Title: What If I Never
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year: Julie Patra Publishing 10/19/21
Length: 200 Pages
Series: Necklace Trilogy #1
Allison Wright is delivered a package meant for a different Allison—a unique, expensive necklace. Determined to right the confusion, she seeks out the proper recipient, a journey that takes her to the doorstep of Tyler Hawk, a good looking, recluse billionaire who deals with fine collectibles such as the necklace. She also learns that Allison, his employee, quit her job registering and restoring his vast assortment of collectibles. Ironically, Allison is home to care for her sick mother, on leave from her job at Riptide, the world renowned auction house and her love of such things has her jumping at the opportunity. Soon, she is spending every waking moment immersed in the job the other Allison left behind.
As Allison begins diving into the job for Tyler, secrets about the other Allison begin to surface that have her concerned for her safety. And as she starts hunting for answers, her path crosses with the enigmatic famous author who has a business endeavor with her boss. Dash Black is a man who is dark and edgy, intense and yet quiet. Funny and yet somehow reserved. He draws her in, sets her pulse racing, and her body on fire. She knows there’s a dangerous edge to him, but she can’t seem to care. She’s addicted to everything he is and she simply can’t turn away, no matter what the cost. As Allison is drawn into the life and mystery of the other Allison, a mystery demands answers and passion burns hot. Allison will travel a path that leads to shocking truths and a side of herself she never knew existed.
I LOVED this introduction to a new trilogy by our amazing author Lisa Renee Jones. It has Inside Out vibes ALL OVER THE PLACE. that series was based on a girl who found diaries of a woman who went missing, who worked at Riptide and we watched how all that unfolded throughout the extended series. This story is similar that it’s based on the discovery of an item that was meant for someone else, for a woman who’s gone missing, and we get more Riptide vibes throughout this as well.
We start off with Allison (Allie) Wright – our leading lady who works for Riptide in NYC, but who’s on leave right now in Nashville taking care of her mother who’s been fighting cancer. She’s in remission now, but Allie’s not ready to believe that things are better. Allie is working at a museum while she’s on leave and she receives a package one day that turns out to be this expensive necklace with the note ‘Forgive Me’ enclosed – leading her to believe that it’s from her father or her ex. Then she realizes that she’s not the intended Allison W to receive this and that instead it was supposed to go to the legal office of Hawk Legal down the street to an Allison W there. When she goes to return it, she learns that Allison has abruptly left work and no one knows where she is and when she’s coming back.
The story from here takes a similar mysterious tone but we are engrossed just the same.
Enter a few leading men into this story. Tyler Hawk, the partner that hires Allison to jump into Allison’s role to lead up an auction that was left in the lurch, ironically something that our Allie is able to do with skill and expertise. Tyler is just like Mark Compton, the owner of Riptide, so Allie’s able to handle him, but we get dark feelings about him. He’s got arrogance for sure but there’s something more, something darker underneath the surface with him that we haven’t quite gotten to yet.
Then there’s Dash Black – an incredibly successful author that Allie has actually edited before, but at the same time, a man who’s powerful, sexy and has something unknown about him as well. For this guy, we get Chris Merit vibes. Chris was the love interest from Inside Out – a wildly successful author who has his own dark past and history that took several books to uncover.
There’s chemistry between Allie and Dash and we see them dance around it for some time. He brings something out in her that she’s never allowed anyone to do – he makes her drop her walls, but likely because they know that there’s an expiration date since she’s going back to New York soon.
Tyler is a wild card – we don’t know his overt intentions but we can begin to see that there’s something more that he’s either hiding or is going to share with us soon. He has a connection to the missing Allison – and one that no one really speaks of, aside from Dash towards the end of this story. It’s not unexpected, but there’s more that even Tyler was unaware about and that’s what makes us wonder.
The heat and chemistry that Dash and Allie share at some point becomes to much to avoid and we watch how they explode together – there’s a connection that is so heated and powerful that you want to hope that they are salvation for one another. We know that Allie’s past is haunted – there are enough teases about that to gives us inclinations of what it could be but we’re never able to learn the truth. We know Dash has suffered his own share of despair and pain, death over and over again that he feels that he’s without salvation and redemption. There’s something about this unexpected pairing that makes you want to hope for the best, but we also know that they are likely self destructive so there’s really no hope …not yet.
We have a roller coaster that’s a mix of some of the sexiest scenes that we’ve read by our author in any books, and then there are the explosive fights that put us off one another completely. There’s anger and fear, and then there’s a cliff that we’re about to jump off. Dash goes to a fight club to work out his anger, Tyler brings Allie there to save him an it doesn’t work. She goes home (to the house that Tyler’s given her mind you) and while she’s there, in the wine cellar looking for something to soothe her broken heart, she realizes someone is in the house…and she has no signal to call 911. That’s where we are left off and now I don’t know that it’s fair that I have to wait until December for book 2. SAD….but this was an amazing read that I could NOT put down. so on that note, you guys have to read it too and enjoy!