Thursday, April 24, 2014

If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones

Title: If I Were You
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
My Rating: A

Genre: Erotic Romance 
Series: Inside Out #1
Main Characters: Sara and Chris
Release Date: September 2012
Publisher: Gallery Books
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
When Sara McMillan finds a stack of journals in a storage unit, she’s shocked and enthralled by the erotic life the writer led. Unable to stop reading, she vicariously lives out dark fantasies through Rebecca, the writer—until the terrifying final entry.

Certain something sinister has happened, Sara sets out to discover the facts, immersing herself in Rebecca’s life. Soon she’s working at the art gallery Rebecca worked at and meeting Rebecca’s friends. Finding herself drawn to two dangerously sexy men, the manager of the gallery and a famed artist, Sara realizes she’s going down the same path Rebecca took. But with the promise of her dark needs being met by a man with confident good looks and a desire for control, she’s not sure anything else matters. Just the burn for more.

My Review:
My review for Rebecca's Journals went up last week and in it I explained that I read all her journals first before I read this book or any of the others in the series. As a result, I was already fully emotionally engaged with the gallery and the overall premise  (Rebecca's disappearance) before this book even began. But this book is not really about Rebecca. This story is about Sara and her obsession with Rebecca, her life, and what happened to her...and I loved it. And I did love Sara.

Sara is a school teacher with an art degree, which is her first love, but it's not easy making a living off art. But when she finds Rebecca's journals, she wants to return them to her and ends up at the gallery where Rebecca worked. Through a twist of fate...and the fact that she really knows her art...Sara ends up with Rebecca's job. This leads her on a journey of discovery about herself and who she truly is. She sees way too many similarities between herself and the missing Rebecca. The thing I love about Sara is that she sees those similarities and knows they are flaws so she sets out to change them. She starts out as a fairly meek character who, throughout the series, grows and changes so much. (and yes, when I wrote this review, I had already devoured the entire series.)

Then there's Chris. *sigh* I do love him. It's interesting because at the beginning he was this super-confident, super-sexy character who was very sure of himself. And I know that I'm getting ahead in my reviews here, but his character arc over the series seemed to go the complete opposite direction as Sara's. By getting involved with and loving her, he became vulnerable and it definitely weakened him to a certain extent. But I do love the two of them together. I think his character "seems" weaker just because love makes him more vulnerable. He's opened to be hurt and "knows" that's going to happen. He constantly pushes Sara away because of that. He's hiding secrets that he thinks will turn her against him. 

This is an erotic series, but it definitely has a thread of suspense running through it. What happened to Rebecca? Both Chris and Sara are hiding things....what are they hiding? It made for a great read and I definitely got sucked into these character's a big way.  I finished Rebecca's journals on a Friday....then spent the next Saturday and Sunday devouring Bks 1-3 and the novella following #3. Such an amazing series. 


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