Review: Behind Closed Doors (Behind Closed Doors #1) by Lisa Renee Jones


Title: Behind Closed Doors
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year: Pocket Star 10/17/16
Length:   208 Pages
Series:  Behind Closed Doors #1


From New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones comes a brand new gripping and provocative novel that ties into her bestselling Careless Whispers and Inside Out series. You can enjoy this as a standalone, but fans of Careless Whispers and Inside Out will get an exciting glimpse of who Ella really is and some of the secrets she’s been hiding from everyone she knows.

Desperate to pay for law school, Skye tries her hand at auction hunting with her friend Ella, only to find a poker chip and a note leading to an offsite locker. The next thing she knows, Jason “Red Bull” Wise—a famous, millionaire poker player—is at her door, accusing her of blackmail. Innocent, she swears he’s wrong. He rolls the dice and believes her, impulsively inviting her along to Las Vegas. And remarkably, cautious Skye takes a risk, finding herself seduced by this dangerously alluring man, on his private jet, and finally living life to the fullest. But there is more than passion waiting for Skye and Jason in Vegas when blackmail takes a deadly turn.

My Thoughts

I don’t know about any of you guys who have already read the Inside Out series and the beginning of Ella’s story in Careless whispers but i think that this intro to another side of things, we get to see a completely different side of the story.  While this story isn’t truly about Ella, you get to see a tease of something that i’m sure no one really knew about and that’s got my interesting piqued.

So in this first installment to the series, we meet Skye who’s befriended Elle at a yoga class only recently, and has some how been sucked into the world of storage wars.  We knew from the main series that it was Ella’s thing especially since that’s how the journals were found to create the whole premise for the series, but now it’s interesting to see how it all began.

It’s this night that Ella finds the journals and Skye gets convinced to buy a unit that has nothing of true value except the beginning of a lot of questions and blackmail. Skye finds a key to a locker and in that locker is a poker chip worth a lot of money and that was tied to a potential theft and cheating scandal from the professional poker tournament.  Of course this leads to a sexy man, and that’s where this story goes – with that sexy man better know as Jason the poker player.

The journey that we go on is one of seeing how badly Skye needs control but how much she’s also drawn to Jason and all that he is.  There’s also her udnerlying lawyer bits that make her want to solve the mystery but of course it’s never that easy.  With Jason, he’s dealing with the fact that he’s being blackmailed, his family is in danger and he can’t seem tofind the woman that’s behind it all.

Throughout this story, we get to see the telltale signs of what Ms Jones does well, the story is really riveting so that you can’t help but want to see how the story progresses but there so much heat and steamy passion that if the story weren’t good enough, you have even more reason to stay invested.  There’s sex, there’s the potential for love, there’s trust and friendship and there’s tons of anxiety and fear.  We spend much of the story wondering who is behind the blackmail since it seems to extend past Stephanie – but it’s really a wonder as to who it’ll truly be.  (mind you, i figured out who was behind it a while back and i’m sure many of you will as well).

I can’t wait to see how Ella’s story and this series progress since there was a chapter here that shows us truly who Ella is. That she’s got connections in something dark and likely illegal.  How that gets her to Europe where we know that she disappears to is beyond me, but we know from a conversation with Skye that she’s on her way, so we’ll have to wait and see how that turns out.  personally i can’t wait.  Enjoy!

Review: Outside In (Insider #2) by Maria V Snyder


Title: Outside In
Author: Maria V Snyder
Publisher/Year: Harlequin 2/15/11
Length: 335
Series: Insider #2



A leader?

Okay, I did prove that there’s more to Inside than we knew.

That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion—between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled. Because of me, we’re free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again—while still touching base with Riley, of course. He’s the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learned that there’s outside and then there is Outside.

And something from Outside wants In.

My Thoughts

I love when we get a dystopian that’s a bit different from the others and this one is – at that.  While we get a lot of answers that were started from the first book of the series – there are still so many that are left unanswered.

When we left off from book 1, The ‘new rebellion’ had overthrown the Travas, they had established the Committee and the Uppers and Scrubs were now supposed to be working together.  Problem being of course that the Uppers felt like they didn’t have to work and the Scrubs felt like they shouldn’t have to continue to do EVERYTHING.   you can’t blame them right?

So, on top of all that, while Logan’s been trying to work through the network, there have been a series of problems – explosions, sabotage they’ve discovered, and they don’t know who’s responsible.  If that weren’t enough, the computer system has also been compromised – taken over by the Controllers – and when you learn who the Controllers are, you’ll find that it’s something that while semi-unexpected – it’s something quite expected.

The biggest bits to this story really are about trust and developing relationships.  I for one wanted to see something good happen for Riley and Trella, since they seem to be well suited for each other.  It’s never easy and after a few things happen, i think that there may ultimately be no hope for them.  Then there’s Trella and her ‘mom’ – she doesn’t want to go down the path of finding out for certain yet there’s really no reason to think otherwise.  There’s so much resentment there that i spend much of the book wondering what it’s going to take to get them on the same side.

Then there are all the others – Logan, Anne-Jade, Jacy, Hank and some newer folks.  You really don’t know who to trust, and when to trust them down the line.  That’s one of the great things about this story.  Just when you get comfortable thinking that they are going down the right path, catastrophe hits, and you realize that you’ve been trusting the wrong folks.

I don’t want to give anything away – but when we learn what’s driving the Controllers, all bets are off.  The questions that are left in my mind though are

1) what caused everyone to be put into the Cube

2) where are they going and why

3) since it’s so far away, will anyone survive?

Since i don’t think that there’s another installment to this series – these are all things that i’ll have to ponder which i’m fine with, it just would have been nice to have some of those answers.  anyhow – it was nice to find a new series like this and i hope that if you haven’t read it yet, that you pick it up.  Enjoy!

Review: Inside Out (Insiders #1) by Maria V Snyder


Title: Inside Out
Author: Maria V Snyder
Publisher/Year: Harlequin 4/1/10
Length: 227
Series: Insider #1


Keep Your Head Down.

Don’t Get Noticed.

Or Else.

I’m Trella. I’m a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I’ve got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

My Thoughts

I have to say that when you have a synopsis like what’s above, it leaves you to assume that you’ll exceed expectations on what you read.  That’s the case here since i didn’t have much to go on aside from this being a dystopia and there’s a rebellion looming.

I’ve come to have an appreciation for stories like this that have their societies in an enclosed space  – with divisions and routines all in place to ‘keep order’ and to make sure that people don’t question what they’ve been told and to just do it unless they want to be expunged (or recycled as they say in this one).  In this series, we get that same thing – with the Scrubs – the general pop so to speak all living on the lower levels of the space – working the maintenance and menial jobs to keep things functioning.  Trella’s job is to clean the ducts since she’s small enough and can do it – and the ducts need to ensure that clean air is cycling and the heat is working properly etc.  Of course – with all that time to herself, she’s going to think about things a little more, and even gets a nickname of ‘queen of the pipes’ which leads her down a path of the unknown since it’s gotten her recognized.

Along with Trella, we meet Cog – who’s her best friend/brother type whom she’s grown up with.  He’s protective of her and really just wants to help sort things out to make their life as best as possible.  He’s the one that introduces Trella to Broken Man who’s a prophet of sorts and that’s where things go awry.  See – there’s this thing called ‘The Gateway’ which is supposed to be a way out of The Inside and Broken man seems to think that Trella is the one that can help them find it and get out.  It’s because of this request that life as they all knew it changes.

Trella meets Riley who’s an Upper and who becomes a character that i really like and can’t wait to get to know more about.  he’s not your typical Upper in the sense that he follows the rules and has this air of entitlement as Trella assumed.  He not only helps her when he doesn’t have to but he sees things in her that others don’t and that of course leads to the hopes of a romance in my eyes.

Throughout this story we see a plan form – with Trella and the others trying to figure out how to evade security to find locked files and passwords and allies to get to The Gateway – all the while wondering who they can trust – if they can trust anyone  – and what that’ll inevitably mean.  No one knows if the Gateway is even real – and what’s on the outside and i think that’s the twist that we all really want to learn while reading.

The characters are believable and really likeable – aside from the Travas (the security), there’s really no one that you can’t like here and you want to root for everyone to succeed.  There’s the hint of romance without the expected love triangle, and that’s something that’s so welcome in a YA dystopia.  The one thing that made me sad was an unexpected death of sorts – that was one that i didn’t want to see happen and i’m still in denial about – but we’ll see what happens in the next installment.  anyhow – a good intro to the series and you should check it out.  Enjoy!

ARC Review: No In Between (Inside Out #4) by Lisa Renee Jones


Title: No In Between
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year: Gallery Books. 8/19/14
Length: 202 Pages
Series: Inside Out #4


“Chris and I have faced our demons and bared our souls to one another in Paris. Now that we are back home in San Francisco, I want to believe that nothing can tear us apart. Not Ava’s accusations against me to the police, or Chris’s fear that he will destroy me as he feels he did Amber. And not Mark, who was once too intimately a part of our lives, and who I can see crumbling inside out. He believes he is invincible, just as I want to believe Chris and I are invincible. We have to be invincible. We need each other too much for any other ending.”

My Thoughts

LOVED!!!!  Courtesy of NetGalley i was able to get my hands on a copy of this book just before it comes out and i’m sooo happy  – yet so sad that it means that i’m going to have to wait even longer for the journey to continue.  What i’ve loved about this series is something that continues to come to us in this fourth installment, there’s so much anxiety, fear and sexual tension that you can’t help but read through it REALLY quickly.

We left off the journey with Sara and Chris when they are finally able to make their way back to the US from Paris, and things are just heating up in the case against Ava, in the hopes of finding what happened to Rebecca.  We also had the luxury of getting Mark’s POV installment when he’s gone home in between all of this to be at his mother’s bedside while she’s going through her own cancer battle, so nerves are fried for just about everyone involved.

This story takes us on a roller coaster of trying to understand everyone’s motivation for blaming each other, and all the while seeing Chris try his best to protect Sara from what he is and what may still come at her.  What these folks don’t know is what it will take to keep them together when everything’s still trying to tear them apart.

Sara and Chris’ chemistry is still immense – you feel it in EVERY scene that they are in together – and you can see that their love is more than just a sexual tie that they have to each other.  They continue to declare that they are each other’s everything, yet there’s so much darkness in both of their pasts and their future is so uncertain that the question arises on what is enough to keep them together.

We also continue to see the dynamic that Mark brings to the table, since Sara continues to feel the air change and shift when he walks into a room, and that’s something that always kept Chris on edge and i think will continue to do so.

What we get in the final chapters is really exciting – you see verdicts come in, you question the role that EVERYONE plays – and you really wonder what’s happened to Rebecca and who was responsible.  The blame game is going all around, and honestly, i still don’t know who’s to blame.  Ava, Mark, Ryan, Ricco or someone else entirely. The other bit is the still unresolved disappearance of Ella, Sara’s best friend, so the story definitely continues.

I’m still in the mindset that Rebecca is alive and i hope that she is, but that really then begs the question of what has she been doing and with whom.  So the story continues….

At least our lovely author keeps things hot and i do mean hot – we get steamy encounters in every twist and turn and you know that fear leads to great dominance which is what Ms. Jones does well.  I can’t wait for the next installment due out in September I believe…..

ARC Review: My Hunger (Inside Out #3.2) by Lisa Renee Jones


Title: My Hunger
Author:  Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  Pocket Star 7/7/14
Length:  53 Pages
Series: Inside Out #3.2


Devastated by Rebecca’s death, Mark is facing the chaos of the press and the police investigation alone, his reputation, his business, and even his freedom under threat. When a family emergency sends him back east to New York, he puts Crystal—who’s as capable as she is challenging—in charge of his San Francisco art gallery. A Master, all about control, right now he feels that he has none. With his secret sex club and his relationships of the past in the spotlight, Mark finds sanctuary in the one place he promised he would never be again—but cannot seem to resist. Crystal’s arms.

My Thoughts

It’s been a while since i’ve been with this story so i was worried that i wouldn’t quite be up to speed – but nope, the way that this novella is told – you have nothing to worry about.  The interesting thing about this story is that we began to see things unravel for Mark in the previous story – when he flew to his mom’s bedside for her cancer treatment.  That was immediately after Ava tried to kill Sara and well, things couldn’t go worse since that’s all at the same time as his gallery is under scrutiny because of some counterfeiting done by someone who worked for him.

All in all, you know that it’s going to be explosive given that the master – the Master’s Master doesn’t like to be out of control at all.

So – where we go with this story is on the week or so journey where Mark is trying to sort out his life -professionally and personally – and Crystal – the manager of his NY gallery and close confidante to his mom seems to get under his skin.  What makes it really good as a reader is that through the first 3 installments of the series – we’ve learned that Mark is VERY much a master or dom – he does not like the idea of his partner being anything other than submissive and Crystal is definitely not a sub….not one submissive bone in her body.

It makes for some great scening though since we see that the dynamic between the two is hot, continuously so, and it’s a power struggle for Mark to both get what he wants and give Crystal what she wants – while still trying to keep each other at arms length.

The only downfall i think is that it was way too short – but that’s always my issue with novellas.  they are teasers – meant to keep us a float while we’re waiting for more – yet it always leaves us really wanting.  A good problem to have coming from one of my favorite authors…so i hope you guys get a chance to continue the story with these folks and we’ll get the next full installment soon i hope!

Review: Revealing Us (Inside Out #3) by Lisa Renee Jones


Title:  Revealing Us
Author:  Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  Gallery Books 9/10/13
Length:  320 Pages
Series: Inside Out #3


No in-between…

He has become her life, her heart, her very soul. But he is dark and damaged, and his secrets are many. Sara will risk everything for him. He, in turn, will dare to expose his deepest needs, his most erotic desires. And in the fury of passion he will reveal all that torments him, all that he can never escape. To love him, Sara must embrace the darkest part of him, and become his shelter in a storm that will be his ultimate salvation.

My Thoughts

WOW!  This is exactly what i was hoping for in the next installment and Ms. Jones has not let us down!  From what we’ve learned of Chris and Sara’s relationship, it’s nothing short of heated and passionate and all consuming.  When we last left these 2 off, Sara barely escaped being killed by Ava who’s gone a bit bat-s**t crazy, and Chris is yet again afraid that he won’t be able to protect her from everything.  the trouble too is that this all went down at Mark’s house and that means there’s angst and a divide since Chris and Mark don’t have warm fuzzy feelings towards one another.

Chris needs to go back to paris, and he’s basically given Sara an ultimatum to follow him or be done.  She is smart to make the choice to get her butt to the airport and on the plane to see where things fall out with Chris.  Chris is both relieved and uncertain that she’s decided to come, and that just sets us up for the roller coaster that we will encounter in this third book.

Upon arrival in the airport when things seem like they could be looking up, Sara is pick-pocketed and loses her ID/passport and everything.  That’s just a pre-cursor of all that will happen.  Not only is this the first bad thing in a string of issues, they finally arrive at ‘their home’ when they fall into their own passions to be interrupted by Amber – the woman who created Chris’ amazing dragon tattoo and a woman who’s still in love with him.  Not a fun thing for Sara at all to have to deal with.  That’s just the start of things to come.

Where this story takes us is exactly like i’ve said before, a roller coaster.  Sara is still trying to find out where Ella is, and finds out that it’s potentially even worse than she ever imagined.  Then she learns along the way that there’s even more strife in her own personal future since she’s now a suspect in Rebecca’s murder/disappearance because Ava is trying to use that angle as her defense.  Meaning that Sara can’t get her passport back, and may have to stand trial back in the States.

The nice thing that we get in this installment though is that there’s now a potential supporting character budding romance that i’m hoping we’ll get to see play out.  Rey is Chris’ security / Sara’s bodyguard and Chantal is Sara’s french Tutor (and friend of Chris’ godmother).  there definitely seems to be some chemistry there and i think that it helped add a bit of lightness to the story when this book was really deep and stressful.

I LOVED it and i’m so happy to see that this isn’t a trilogy but a series.  I have to get it out of my head that all boks that i read will be a trilogy because in my mind i have expectations on how things will end up and then spend much of the story trying to figure out when things will get tied up.  I now can’t wait to see what happens next, especially with the epilogue that Ms. Jones included – it was EXACTLY what i was hoping for and a very good teaser.