If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones (Inside Out Trilogy #1)

If I Were YouAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Erotic Romance

Publisher: Gallery Books

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki 

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.

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This book came to me when I was craving myself some angsty romance….a la Sylvia Day style…..You know, the Crossfire series? Reading the back cover copy of this sounded like something I needed to read….and oh my am I glad I did. If I Were You not only gave me the sexy, slam her up against a window of a high rise, times but it also gave me a story I could get into and a mystery to ponder.

Sara has just gotten stuck with an abandoned storage unit that her friend bought shortly before jet setting off to Europe with her mystery man. What Sara finds inside the unit stops her cold. Journals, erotic journals, of a faceless woman chronicling her descent into the Dom/submissive world. What would make someone pack up their life in a storage unit and then disappear? Not able to simply throw away this womans life, Sara sets out to track her down and in doing so ends up working at the same place she worked, a high end art gallery. Sara is trained in art but had been working as a school teacher and so the opportunity she is given seems tailor made for her and she jumps at the chance to live her dream, if only until the missing woman, Rebecca, comes back. Though Sara sees herself as a rather reserved quiet person she often has plenty of witty and snarky comments on hand when needed. I liked that about her and thought she progressed nicely from that quiet persona to somewhat of a wanton sex kitten who was going to get what she wanted by the end of the book.

She quickly becomes entangled with an artist, Chris, who sets her body aflame with needs she didn’t even know she possessed. He becomes a drug for her that she is desperate to have. These two have got some crazy smoldering chemistry that builds until there is nothing left to do but splinter into some of the best scenes I’ve read. They are completely wrong for each other. Both Sara and Chris harbor serious baggage and damaged psyches. Though Sara’s baggage is laid pretty clear from the get go (controlling father, stick up his ass fiance, dead mother) because the book is in her point of view, Chris is an enigma that we haven’t seen the full scope of even by the ending. He’s controlling, manipulative, hell bent on getting his way but his also shows true restraint and caring moments that are sigh worthy.

I really enjoyed the aspect of the missing woman, Rebecca. I’ve read a lot of erotic romance (snort, as if you guys didn’t know that) but I’ve never read one with a mystery twist thrown in quite as well as this one. I want to know what happened to this woman. I want to know who her Dom was and who he was sharing her with in the icy entry that spoke of possible blood play between the three. Which was, conveniently  her last entry. Sara’s (and technically at one point Rebecca’s) boss, Mark is an obvious candidate. He has this cold calculating demeanor and yet he manages to intrigue those around him as much as he terrifies them, Sara included. Readers do learn a few things about him throughout the book that I won’t go into that also point to him. But I wonder if Chris didn’t play a part as well. Chris and Mark have huge animosity between them that Sara is often in the middle of and it’s obvious that there is something more then meets the eye with them.

If I Were You is an excellent erotic romance that will leave readers begging for the next installment to come out. I am one of those readers…I need it, like yesterday. Lisa Renee Jones has a voice that puts the scene right into a readers head. Intense doesn’t even begin to describe what I thought about this book. It’s sexy, thoughtful, complex and you will speed read through it in an attempt to absorb it into your skin. Loved this book! LOVED!

I give If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones 5 stars! 

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