by Lisa Renee Jones
Series: Inside Out #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Fiction
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
In the bestselling style of Fifty Shades of Grey, Lisa Renee Jones delivers sexy thrills and heart-pounding sensuality with a tantalizing page-turner in which the eyes of a high school English teacher are opened to a world she never knew existed, and she finds a passionate craving within that she never knew she possessed. The journal comes to Sara McMillan by chance, when she inherits the key to an abandoned storage locker belonging to a woman named Rebecca. Sara can’t resist peeking at the entries inside . . . and finds a scintillating account of Rebecca’s affair with an unnamed lover, a relationship drenched in ecstasy and wrapped in dark secrets. Obsessed with discovering Rebecca’s destiny after the entries come to an abrupt end, Sara does more than observe the players in the woman’s life; she immerses herself in the high-stakes art gallery world Rebecca inhabited—and is magnetically drawn to two men. Which one seduced Rebecca with his masterful and commanding touch and brought her fantasies to exquisite life? On a daringly erotic escapade, Sara follows Rebecca’s path to fulfill her own hidden longings. But after she tastes the forbidden pleasures Rebecca savored, will Sara be helpless to escape the same submissive fate?
If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones is the first book in her Inside Out contemporary romance series. With darker sexual elements and comparisons to Fifty Shades (which I have not read), I was unsure, but so many of my friends loved this series, so I settled in.To my surprise I devoured this in only two sittings. It ends with a cliffhanger consider yourself warned.
Sara McMillian is a high school teacher who through a series of circumstances, inherits an abandoned storage unit once owned by a woman named Rebecca. Inside she finds journals that contain a scintillating account of her affair with a dominant male. Curious, she wants to know more and digs through the boxes. She discovers Rebecca worked in the art world at a famous museum. Sara becomes obsessed with discovering what happened to Rebecca when she learns she went on leave and never returned. She buys tickets to the museum and finds herself swept up in the world of art and the men who work there.
Jones spins a captivating tale as she drew me into the story, introducing strong, complicated characters and a mystery surrounding Rebecca. The tale is sexually heated, and Jones knows how to create these erotic, sensual scenes but the book was tamer then I expected and the sex while detailed did not steal the stage. Sara’s discovery, sexual awakening and pursuit of a passion once thought lost to her kept me engaged.
I loved Jones’ take on the dominant and submissive relationship in If I Were You. It has a much more realistic approach. One scene opened the door to other areas of exploration but none of the characters participated. It left the door open for situations that are more adventurous in future novels.
The men she meets at the museum are strong, dominant and wealthy. Mark owns the museum and pushes Sara to pursue her dreams even as he hints at controlling her. Chris is an artist she has long admired who wants to possess her even as he warns her away. Sara is pushed from her comfort zone but is also thrilled. As Jones peels back her layers, she reveals a strong and confident woman.
While Sara does spend time with one of the men, and gets closer to finding what happened to Rebecca, If I Were You ends with things on edge between them and Sara in danger. Of course now I need more!
“You shouldn’t walk away from something that intrigues you”
“I can feel this man in every part of my body and he has not even touched me.”
“Great. I’m with the hottest man I’ve ever known and raccoons have crawled through my hair and settled under my eyes.”
“My boss is dictating my preventive hangover care, and I just used the word swords in reference to his obvious cockfight with the man I just made out with in a public hallway. I am truly in an alternate universe.”
I am very picky with my NA reads, and there are only about three of those books which I have been able to enjoy. And although this one does sound very heated, I don’t think it is the kind of one for me. But great review nonetheless!
This is adult and leans towards erotic Olivia, so nope probably not for you 🙂
I’m glad you enjoyed If I Were You. I really liked it myself – the suspense element was really well done, I thought. I’ve not completed the series (you just reminded me to add it to my list) but I’ve read #2 and it was a great read, too.
Oh I am glad you liked book two, I plan to read that next 🙂
Like you, I haven’t braved the 50 shades world and really have no intentions of doing so. Not really a fan of erotica although I have read books that ended up in that genre. I won’t be reading this one, but I am glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Years ago, (like twenty) I tried them and found they had no plot and were all sex scenes and high hair. I revisited them last year and was truly pleased..most have a wonderful plot and while the sex is more detailed there is substance. The genre has truly evolved. .
oh my, it sounds like there was a story outside of the sexual tension and a mystery, thats pretty awesome 😀 glad you loved this one
Yes..it was fully developed and not just all smexy time 🙂
I am always a bit wary of books that say they are similar to books I didn’t enjoy, but this series does sound delicious! I really want to find out what those entries and how it puts Sara in danger!
Ya know Sarah 9 times out of 10 the pubs get it wrong with those if you like tags..I have not read the other series and can only speak for this book and I enjoyed myself.
Faye la Patata
Holy shiz, steam and sex and passion with men who love and work with art? You already caught my attention, lady – I just added this to my TBR! 😀
I hope you enjoy it Faye!
The Bibliophile Babe
So sounds much better than 50 Shades! I find the D/s lifestyle fascinating, and I’ve heard rave reviews for this one. I need to pick it up!
I can’t compare them, but I do think this was well done, and a lot of bloggers I respect loved these.
I’ve not read this author, but I do read erotica on occasion. I do like the ones that are a little more on the darker side. I, like you, have not read 50 Shades either, but I’ve read many books that are on the list of “If you liked 50, you’ll like…”
I am glad I tired it, and found this to be well done. I liked the added mystery and discovery.
Great review, Kimberly. I loved this book and can’t remember why I never continued with the series. I had plans to, but I guess other books pushed the series down on my list, as usual. I never really thought a comparison to 50 was accurate for this book. It’s kind of like all the thrillers out there being compared to Gone Girl. I’ll be eagerly watching for your thoughts on the rest of the books in the series.
I have not read 50, so have no idea of how it compares, but agree I take those comparisons with a grain of salt. I am planning to continue and will be sure to share my thoughts
Melissa (Books and Things)
Yea, comparing it to 50 Shades to a lot of us rapid readers is not good. I haven’t read that one either b/c of how much bloggers I trust hated that book. Plus, I’ve read some excerpts and no… just no. So glad to see that this one is so much better written. I’m actually more critical of these kinds of books but you have me curious about this one. I might have to read this one to find out for myself!
Right…I haven’t read 50 but a lot of folks loved them. The only reason I tried this was because so many bloggers I trust loved it when they first came out. Now S&S bought the rights
I’ve seen these and kept them in mind, but not read any reviews. You do entice me to grab it, Kimberly. 😉
Glad I could entice you. I was pleased.
I have read most the series, great character development and great twists. I am yet to read the last 2 books, I should make time for it sometime this fall. I just wish they stop changing the cover (this is probably the 4th book cover for this series) 🙂
It was originally self-published and now has been picked up by Simon & Schuster in paperback
I’ve read a couple of her books and I like how she writes erotica and submissives.
I agree I like how she did this one 🙂
Glad you devoured this in two sittings! You must have liked it. 😉 Still not sure if this author is for me or not but I guess I’ll never know until I try her right?
Exactly, I gave up on the genre in the 80’s because the stories had no substance but we’ve come a long way since then.
OK I need this book ASAP. I have been loving books like this lately and have read the popular ones like 50 Shades and the crossfire series so it’s good to find more books like them.
I hope you love it Megan 🙂
Sounds like potentially good entertainment, though not my cup of tea 🙂 Wishing you a lovely weekend, Kimba.
While I could not read a steady diet of this, it was fun and I was surprised by the depth.
I didn’t really like 50 shades and I don’t really like controlling men, but I’ve heard such praise about L.R. Jones, and your review on top of that… I’m willing to try 😉
I hear you on both counts. I do think this was more realistic of the dom/sub relationship.
Ah cliffhangers and book one in trilogy’s. Yeah Its kind of why I like having all books in those kinds of trilogies right in front of my greedy hands/eyes/ears. 🙂
Thanks for the great review Kim and since I was a HUGE 50 shades fan this is definitely going on my pile. I have been warned!
Hope you like it Debbie.
I loved this one when it first came out. At the time the next book was even out yet, and that cliffhanger drove me crazy!
Honestly I wasn’t expecting it so it shocked me.
I cannot remember if I have tried her works yet
I don’t remember you reviewing it..
I must admit that the “In the bestselling style of Fifty Shades of Grey…” in the synopsis put me right off until I read your review. I don’t read a lot of erotica, but I occasionally dabble, so thank you for putting this on my radar 🙂
I didn’t read 50, but like you I dabble 🙂
I’ve successfully avoided this series and here you are drawing me in with this review:) Nice!
I have avoided 50 Shades .LOL If it hadn’t been for bloggers I trust I probably would have skipped it, but I am glad 🙂
Oooo this definitely sounds like a winner Kim! Seeing as cliffhangers cause me a great deal of stress though, I think I’ll wait until all the books are out so I can binge read. That’s been working well for me lately!
Sounds like a plan to me Jenny. TGIF!
I liked her writing when I read her other series but the commitment to the cliffhanger books is killing me!! I’ve been weighing my devotion to the story vs. putting up with a cliffhanger these days 😉
I’m glad you gave this author a try!!! YAY!!!
This was my first, yeah the cliffy was a big one too, but thankfully they are re-releasing them quickly
Was this republished? I’ve had it on my wishlist for awhile, but it has a different cover. I really should read it. I know a lot of people love this author.
Yes, they are all being released in paperback by Simon and Schuster.
Lover Of Romance
I have seen how many others really like this author and have been thinking about trying her out. I don’t read much erotic romance, because I feel most of the time it lacks emotional depth but this one sounds like it does have some of that.
Years ago I found that to be true, but recently I have begun picking them up and these have substance and emotional depth.
I’m not that much into erotica I confess but I’m glad to see you had a good time with this one. I know about the author but I didn’t know about this book or I don’t think so.
I was nervous, but this had a good storyline Melliane 🙂