Welcome to The Bookish Babe's stop on the Being Me Blog Tour! I am so excited to be taking part in the tour. My post includes reviews of If I Were You and Being Me, plus a giveaway for both books.
Series: Inside Out Trilogy #1
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: 3/13/13
Source: Received from publicist for review.
The steamy first installment in the Inside Out erotic romance trilogy by Lisa Renee Jones, in the bestselling tradition of Fifty Shades of Grey.
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.
WOW. If I Were You is a story that gripped me from the very first line. I found it to be mysterious, intriguing, and very sexy.
If I Were You is a delicious blend of gorgeous writing and intriguing story. And...I'm kind of hesitant to bring this up, but I want to point out that while the synopsis compares this series to another, don't let that dissuade you (for those who would find that comparison a negative). I found If I Were You to be completely it's own and so well done. It is erotic, both physically and mentally.
If I Were You is a bit of story-within-a-story. When Sara McMillan becomes obsessed with Rebecca's erotic journal entries, recounting her experiences with a man known as "He", she is led into a world of art and passion. As she becomes more involved, her life begins to parallel Rebecca's more and more. I could barely stand to put the book down, because as Sara becomes more wrapped up in Rebecca's life, I feel as if she will end up down the same path. It seems that this is inevitable, but who knows...
Though Rebecca's journals did lead her down this path, this is Sara's story. And while I, too, am dying with curiosity over where Rebecca is, I am even more curious about Sara and the two men who've become a force in her life. There's her boss, Mark. He's a hard guy to read, seems to want Sara to succeed, but there is definitely more going on. I wasn't sure what was going on with him, and at the end, I'm still not. The other man is Chris Merit, an artist. CHRIS! From the moment he entered the story with his humor, charm, and yes, mysterious vibe, I was hooked. Chris was so complex, wanting to be with Sara, and yet afraid she'll run away once she knows the real him. Like Sara, I was alternately puzzled and drawn in by this man with the many secrets. And no, I still haven't figured him out.
If I Were You practically took over my life from the moment I began. I wanted more of Rebecca's journals, to know what happened to her. I want to know Mark, and more importantly, Chris. These two have a strained dynamic, and I must know why. I want to know if these men are who they seem, if either know what happened to Rebecca. If either will lead her down that same road. If I Were You is a completely fascinating story, from beginning to end.
He's pushing me, testing me, trying to get me to break. Because I slid beneath his composure? Because he really believes I am out of my league? And maybe I am, but not tonight. Tonight, as the song has said, I am broken, and for the first time ever, I am not denying the truth of all of my cracks. I am living them. ~pg. 166
"You're corrupting me," I declare, "and I seem to like it."
I barely issue the challenge before he's pulling my mouth to his, and he is kissing me with unrestrained, burning passion. I taste the part of him I want to know, the part he's afraid of, and I burn to know more. Maybe he's right. Maybe I am playing with fire, but I cannot stop myself. Beyond reason, I will push him until he reveals everything. ~pg. 186
Series: Inside Out Trilogy #2
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: 6/11/13
The sexy second installment in the Inside Out erotic romance trilogy, following If I Were You—in the seductive tradition of Fifty Shades of Grey. Fascinated by the dark fantasies in the journals she’s discovered, and the two men who have now found a place in her life, Sara McMillan finds herself torn between her new life and her past. Now, more than ever, Sara identifies with the lost journal writer, Rebecca, and is certain that something sinister has happened.
In the arms of the sexy, tormented artist Chris Merit, Sara seeks answers about Rebecca and ends up discovering things about herself she never knew existed. Chris forces Sara to reconsider who she is and what she truly wants from life, but not before his dark desires threaten to tear them apart. Her boss, Mark Compton, offers her the shelter to understand just what those needs mean to her, and what they might have meant to Rebecca, but can she trust him to lead her to a final conclusion to Rebecca’s story?
Being Me continues the mysterious and intriguing story that began in If I Were You. It was a story that began with a journal, and followed Sara's immersion into Rebecca's world. There were questions, so many of them. Questions about Rebecca, Sara, Chris, Mark, and "He". I was hoping that at least some of these questions would be answered. Happily, many were.
My first thought upon finishing Being Me: I have a severe case of Emotional Whiplash. Mostly stemming from our heroine, Sara. Sara has a lot going on. She is doing her best to excel at her job, and to keep a professional relationship with Mark. There is her search for Rebecca, which let's face it, she is easily distracted from. But still, she does want to know what happened to Rebecca, and the effort is stepped up thanks for Chris, who also happens to be Sara's biggest source of angst.
These two...man, are they messed up. And it's not even Sara's and Chris's pasts that are causing the biggest complications, in my opinion. It is the ever-dreaded lack of communication between them. And while it is frustrating, it is realistic and understandable. These are two people who've dealt with betrayal and pain. This is their first go at a true and healthy relationship, so it's natural for mistakes to be made. I will admit that Sara's constant back-and-forth between feeling as if she should leave Chris and wanting to stay with him was frustrating at times. But still, I get it.
On the other hand, I did like the developing of their relationship. It was fast and intense, but these things cannot be helped when you have a man like Chris Merit. Just like in If I Were You, the uber-sexy Chris still fascinates and thrills me in Being Me. He is a man that almost becomes more intriguing the more he opens up. I love how he continually senses and confronts Sara's doubts about him and their relationship. It seems that everyone is warning Sara away from Chris, but personally I didn't doubt him. Even though he maintains some secrets, he gives off the vibe as being a good man. In this we also get more of the BDSM world that Mark and Chris are a part of . Now, it doesn't play a big role, and doesn't go into a lot of physical details. I was surprised by how little Chris seems to actually be into the lifestyle, and while he is interested in exploring aspects of the emotional side of the activities with Sara, he's not trying to push her into it. In fact, he's quite the opposite. But I will say that I was a little thrown by Chris's trigger in this story. I'm not saying that it's not believable, but it's just not what I would have expected to push him to the edge.
As far as "middle books" go, Being Me was very satisfying. The story moved forward in all aspects. Big questions were answered, which really surprised me with a third book coming . But, I think this will make for a great story moving ahead, and I cannot wait to see what is in store for these characters in Revealing Us.
"I know I said I'm not about white picket fences, and I'm not, and never will be, but I can't imagine being without you, either. What that means to me is that I need to go where you need me to go. And don't tell me you don't need anything but me. I wish that were true and it means a lot when you say it, but you have a way you deal with life, a place you go to escape. Everything from the painting, the club, the way you are in general, tells me that. I don't want someone else to be there when you need those things. I want it to be me. I want you to trust me not to run." ~pg.115
One winner will received If I Were You and Being Me.
Must be 18 years of age to enter.
Open to US and Canada.
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