Monday, August 27, 2012

Unwrapping Romance: Review of IF I WERE YOU by Lisa Renee Jones

I've been reading paranormals written by Lisa Renee Jones for some time after discovering her quite by chance so when she first started talking about this new trilogy that she claims is FIFTY SHADES OF GREY meets BASIC INSTINCT, I knew I had to give it a try. I was fortunate enough to get an eARC of IF I WERE YOU, book one in the Inside Out trilogy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unscripted review. Boy, am I so glad!!

Blurb for IF I WERE YOU:

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.

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This is Sara McMillan's story and when you read IF I WERE YOU, you will walk in her shoes in a way that will entice you, entrance you and capture you like no other story.

Tempted by a mysterious journal left by her neighbor and friend, Ella, Sara opens it and begins to read. She soon finds herself caught up in the erotic writings of a woman named Rebecca who is a complete mystery to her except for what she experiences through the woman's words. After being given free reign over the contents of a storage locker filled with Rebecca's possessions and even more journals, Sara embarks on a mission to discover who Rebecca is, where she has gone and what caused her to leave everything she owned in storage locker that has now been auctioned off to strangers.

As Sara steps into the shoes of Rebecca by being hired to take over the woman's job at an art gallery, we step into this new, exciting world of art, wine, expensive things, wealthy people and something far darker and possibly much more sinister. Lisa Renee Jones has chosen to write this extraordinary and suspenseful erotic romance in first person present and it works so magnificently well that you soon feel as if what you're reading is actually happening to you or wishing it was anyway. 

IF I WERE YOU by Lisa Renee Jones is the first book in the Inside Out Trilogy. Lisa refers to it as FIFTY SHADES OF GREY meets BASIC INSTINCT and it's easy to see the connection to the first, although it's a hundred times better, but I began to wonder where the latter came in until I reached the last chapter. I'm not going to tell you anymore except to say that it is a cliffhanger. It's a cliffhanger that will have leaping from your chair and begging for more. It's one of the best cliffhangers I've ever read in a series.

Reading IF I WERE YOU by Lisa Renee Jones is not just a great read, it's a great experience. It's rich with sensation, emotion, and when Sara begins to fall in love with Chris, you begin to fall in love with Chris as well. By the way, Chris Merit makes Christian Grey look like a nobody when it comes to romancing with wealth. Grey may have an appeal to some but I think every woman who reads IF I WERE YOU will be wishing for a Chris Merit to sweep her off her feet. Don't get me wrong, he's a tortured broken hero but he's nowhere near as screwed up as Christian Grey and so much more believable and endearing. Sara has her demons to deal with also but she's so much more relatable that when she's hurt, angry, or confused - so are you. As the reader, you become Sara McMillan. IF I WERE YOU is a masterpiece of characterization, emotions, and most of all uses the magic of words to transport you into your own imagination so thoroughly that you feel you are living the book rather than just reading it.

I highly recommend to anyone who loves great story-telling, great romance, mystery, falling in love, and delighting in imaginative and intellectual sensuality that acts on the brain like foreplay - read IF I WERE YOU by Lisa Renee Jones. I can't wait to read book two - BEING ME.  Thank you Lisa!

Happy Reading Everyone!

IF I WERE YOU by Lisa Renee Jones, self-published and available now in print and ebook formats.


Btw - be sure to stopy by on Wednesday when Lisa will join me to talk about herself and her books plus I do believe she's got a Giveaway. See you then.  : )

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