If I Were You (Inside Out #1) by Lisa Renee Jones
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, all of 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.
From the Author
Reading order: Book 1: IF I WERE YOU, BEING ME, Revealing Us, No In Between,I Belong to You, All of Me
Novellas in the series that add to the series but do not have to be read to enjoy the books:
His Secrets, Rebecca’s Lost Journals, Master Undone, My Control
Review If I Were You (Inside Out #1) by Lisa Renee Jones Audio Book by
Of course, you can imagine I was really excited to get to this book considering the “Fifty Shades” was hinted at in regards to the genre, and mood of this audio book. This one’s a totally different story, but yep I can definitely see it in some ways. The misunderstood millionaire (and emotionally damaged) hero, and the “normal” girl possibly getting in over her head. Not *quite* to that intensity and emotion, at least not yet since Fifty Shades, to me, was an emotionally deep and addicting love story right from the start.
As I mentioned in a previous post:
“…enjoyed it very much – 4 stars, didn’t make me squee, but I don’t think it was supposed to . There’s so much more coming…”
You’ll see what I mean, with this story. This one has the potential to get there (there are still two more audio books to come), but while listening this audio book, I found myself more often on the outside looking in. Because of the course of events and the eerie storyline, I felt a number of things, but never one thing in delightful excess (other than constant trepidation). My friend Sandra and I were discussing this very thing:
Sandra: “If I Were You” is blowing my mind right now. Ugh you can’t trust any of the characters in this audio book!
Maryse’s Book Blog: Ack! But I love *spoiler* ! I’m almost 40% in
Sandra: I know but something is telling me not to trust *spoiler* …and then what about *spoiler*? … So much suspense..
Yep… I was constantly looking over the heroine’s shoulder, so I never really… let go, ya know? Lots of worry (always wondering who could be the bad guy). Excited at times, nervous, and yes, one of the “potential heroes” absolutely had myfull attention, but while the reader was allowed to indulge in a few intense and certainly steamy romantic interludes, we weren’t drowning in it, emotionally. And I like to do that. I hesitated using the word “drowning” because it gives off a negative feel, but when a story is good, and the writing captures me, drowning in it, is exactly what I want to do.
Well, thinking back on it, a couple of times, I was almost *there*. A few scenes that had me slightly stunned and completely emotionally involved (generally the parts where the hero took a 180 – and he does, in both good, and bad, directions), and this is why I think this has the potential to really hook it’s claws into me.
So what’s it about?
Sara inherits an abandoned “storage unit” full of a woman’s stuff (think Storage Wars). What captures Sara however is a set of private journals chronicling this woman’s BDSM relationship with a Dom, and her intense attachment to him, and obvious fear of him.
Unpredictable. Exciting. I barely remember where it all went wrong. How it took such a dark turn.
Sara begins to suspect something has happened to her (“Rebecca”) for her to have abandoned her life in a storage unit and essentially gone missing. Could it be foul play, or is she living the life of her dreams somewhere?
I have to invade her privacy and dig through her things to find a way to contact her, a way to return what was left of her life. If she’s alive, I think grimly to myself.
When she begins to privately investigate matters, she finds herself at this woman’s work (a prestigious museum), poses as a friend looking for her, is told she is on an extended vacation, and in turn is temporarily offered her position at that same museum (it goes down much better than that! LOL! But you get the gist – Sara is an art major and an enthusiast and knows her stuff!)
The boss “Mark” rich, debonair/sexy, arrogant and obviously domineering, has her raising an eyebrow.
He is, without a doubt, classically handsome by anyone’s standards, but there is something raw and sexual about this man, something almost predatory about him.
And then she meets “Chris”. A famous yet extremely private artist. Wealthy, yes, but so down to earth. So different from Michael.
“You shouldn’t walk away from something that intrigues you.”
As she gets to know these men, and finds herself entrenched in Rebecca’s world, she questions… everything. With good reason (but I’ll let you discover those reasons for yourself). Some intriguing twists and revelations come to light. Oh and don’t forget the steam. Plenty here to keep you entertained and to keep you guessing.
And —> I’m feeling a lot of those “MINE” vibes when it comes to these two alphas… but what exactly are they claiming?
Let the games begin!
He has warned me away from Mark, from the gallery, from him and he has failed. I cannot turn away. I am here and I am going nowhere.
Yep… me too! I am so in!