Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dual Review: If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones

If I Were You (Book #1 of Inside Out Trilogy)
Lisa Renee Jones
August 24, 2012
330 pages (paperback)
How it began…

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 expires.

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.


Laura's Review:

After being teased by the first chapter a month or two ago, I was extremely excited and anxious to finally be able to read this book. I was not disappointed at all! Author Lisa Renee Jones has managed to create a book that is not only a well written and engaging story, but does double duty as a super-hot and sexy romance novel as well. A great feat indeed! It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of her previous work, but If I Were You is, by far, my favorite of hers to date. I just loved it! From page one, it grabs your attention with an interesting and suspenseful storyline and in-your-face sexuality. I could not put it down! I was vacationing in Ireland when I read it, and I found myself wanting to stay in bed and read instead of going out to sight see. It's been compared to Fifty Shades of Grey with good reason - damaged and super-possessive male introduces (somewhat) innocent female into a whole new world beyond her imagination. He's super possessive and super protective (swoon!) and the sex is oh-so-very hot, and I have the feeling it's just going to get hotter in the upcoming books. For those tentative readers who are shying away from the BDSM books, this one would be a good one to start with because it's introduced and discussed without being overly graphic (yet?). I loved the mystery aspect and storage wars theme, and I learned a little about both art and wine while reading it - what more could you ask for in a book?! After having only read book one of a planned trilogy, I already can tell I'm going to like this series even more than the Fifty Shades one. I cannot wait for book two!

If I Were You: 4.5/5 stars
Cover: 4/5 stars
Audience Rating: R (explicit sexual content)

Tanya's Review:       
This is the first & only book I have read by Lisa Renee Jones and I need to remedy that fast.  This book had me from page one and I had a hard time putting this one down. Everything about this book made me want more. Every page I read I had more questions. What happened to the woman who wrote the journals? Who was the man in the journals that could make a woman do such things? Where can I find these men? Who  can you trust? I love a good mystery and when you mix in some smoking hot love scenes I am all for it. I felt that there really was not that much BDSM in this book, just a slight mention of it but I have a feeling we will be seeing some more of it in the next books. I enjoyed watching this somewhat shy woman go after her dreams and into this very different world than her ordinary teachers life. Our heroine has some choices to make and I am unsure of who she should trust as there are two very dominant powerful men that are having an interesting power struggle over her. I can not wait for book two in this series as when this one ended I was in shock and I really wanted just maybe another chapter to answer some of my questions.This is one read I am definitely telling fans of Fifty to read. 

  If I Were You :    4/5 stars                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
 Cover:      4/5 stars                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     ~~~~~Tanya~~~~~                               


  1. Fabulous reviews! This sounds like a very intriguing plot to begin with and then with both of you saying that it had you from the first page? I so have to read it! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Laura and Tanya. ;)

  2. Thanks for the reviews. How exciting to see Ireland, that must have been so much fun!