One Night Stand: If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones


If I Were You: Inside Out Trilogy (Volume 1) by Lisa Renee Jones
Erotica / Suspense
Gallery Books (September 13, 2012)

Rating: A
Heat: Hot

Heroine: Sarah McMillan – Art Lover, School Teacher 
Hero: Chris Merit – Famous Artist, Painter 
Setting: California, USA



This book is incredible. I loved it. If I Were You made my pulse pound, my insides clench, and left me breathless. Lisa Renee Jones writes a dark and edgy erotica that hit all my buttons just right.

Sarah McMillan is a high school teacher on summer break. Her friend Ella has run off to elope with her boyfriend and, before she leaves, she gives Sarah a key to a storage unit she bought from an auction and tells her to do as she wishes with the things inside. This storage unit contains journals written by a woman named Rebecca. Sarah reads these journals and finds herself obsessed with finding this woman to make sure she is okay and to give her back her things. Driven to find this woman, Sarah thrusts herself into Rebecca's life by working at her old job in an art gallery.

Sarah is a beautiful, bold, and independent woman but she is hiding from herself and her dreams. Sarah loves art, and it's her dream to work in an art gallery, but she took a teaching job because it’s a stable income. After reading the highly emotional and erotic journals, Sarah discovers things about herself. She has long denied herself her dreams and desires. I love how Sarah has a lot of character growth in this story by taking risks and believing in herself. Even though she comes from money, she doesn’t let money and power seduce her. She stays true to herself and wants to make it on her own.

As we follow Sarah's journey in this new life, the world she has entered is full of mystery and suspense. The journal gives us insight to the type of man Rebecca is writing about – controlling, possessive, dominating. Rebecca craves and needs him. He has introduced her to sexual pleasure that is addictive. The more Sarah reads these journals, the more obsessed she becomes with this woman's life. Deep down Sarah wants to know what it's like to be this woman and to feel alive with such passion. I was just as mesmerized by the journals as Sarah was. I was always second guessing everything and suspicious of all the men Sarah meets, thinking they were the man in the journals. I wanted answers just as much as Sarah.

Mark Compton is Sarah's new boss at the art gallery where she is hired after Rebecca goes missing. From the moment I met Mark, I immediately assumed he is the man from the journals. But is it really him? He is rich, powerful, intimidating, sexy, and cunning. There is a predatory feel to him. He has given Sarah hope that she can fulfill her dream of being a part of the art world by demanding her to go above and beyond what she already knows. There is an underlying feeling that there is a lot more to Mark than just an Alpha male. It felt like he was dominating her into submission. He has this way about him that makes you want to do his bidding, so I knew immediately that Mark wanted more from Sarah than just to give her an opportunity to follow her dream.

Then Sarah meets one of her favorite artists at her first art gallery event. And once again, my suspicions grew. Is Chris the man from the journals? Chris Merit is every woman's sexual fantasy with his rugged good looks, biker boots, and black leather jacket. He is a panty dropping sexy man that made me pant with excitement every time he walked onto the pages. Not only is he drop-dead sexy but he's educated, rich, and a genius with a paintbrush.

The French rolls off his tongue with such sexiness my throat goes dry and I feel tingly all over. “I have no idea what you just said.”

I said that I speak Spanish, French, and Italian.” He leans closer, and his eyes find mine. “And then I said that I would very much like to paint you. Pose for me, Sarah.

The sexual chemistry between these two is highly intoxicating and explosive. The affair comes fast and hard. I enjoyed the easy way these two fit together naturally with their fun and flirty banter. They made each other feel alive. There is a scene when they first get together at Chris' home that is smoking hot. I wanted to be a fly on the window. But where there is lightness between them, there is also darkness. Underneath the surface, Chris has a dominating nature. He has the need to be in control. This alarms Sarah at first but, to her surprise, finds it erotic and sexy and wants to be controlled by this man. These two are broken and damaged people who are extremely guarded and closed off. In a short amount of time, they find themselves revealing things about themselves that are extremely painful and private. But Chris has a secret he is unwilling to divulge and Sarah wants all of Chris, even the darkest part of him. She claims she will never run from him, even though he warns her over and over that she will. So when this secret is revealed, will Sarah be able to handle it? Will she stay?

Ah, my pretty little school teacher. I'm beginning to wonder, who's corrupting who?”

I am no more corrupting him than he is truly at my mercy, while I most definitely am at his. In fact, I'm not sure he ever could be at my mercy and there's a part of me that feels I will never know this man until he is. The desire to show him I can handle whatever he throws at me is a seed taking root.

I can't compare this story to 50 Shades, since I never made it past the second chapter. Nor do I see the comparison to Basic Instinct. For me, it is its own book. The author has created a sensual and mysterious story that has consumed my thoughts ever since I've finished it. I was completely absorbed by Sarah's thoughts, feelings, desires, suspicions, and angst. The ending is gripping and heart pounding. I couldn't put the book down to even eat! I had to find out what happened and damn if the author left us hanging! I'm in desperate need to read the next book to get the answers to my questions - which means I will be stalking the author trying to find out when the next book will be released. Hopefully it's soon because I'm dying here.

Thoughts While Reading:

53.0% - "Whoah...that was hot..."


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