I'm just going to let you know that over the coming weeks I'm reviewing this entire series, so stay tuned. I'm one book in and already hooked.
If I Were You - Lisa Renee Jones
How it all started…
One day I was a high school teacher on summer break, leading a relatively uneventful but happy life. Or so I told myself. Later, I’d question that, as I would question pretty much everything I knew about me, my relationships, and my desires. It all began when my neighbor thrust a key to a storage unit at me. She’d bought it to make extra money after watching some storage auction show. Now she was on her way to the airport to elope with a man she barely knew, and she needed me to clear out the unit before the lease expired.
Soon, I was standing inside a small room that held the intimate details of another woman’s life, feeling uncomfortable, as if I was invading her privacy. Why had she let these items so neatly packed, possessions that she clearly cared about deeply, be lost at an auction? Driven to find out by some unnamed force, I began to dig, to discover this woman’s life, and yes, read her journals—-dark, erotic journals that I had no business reading. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I read on obsessively, living out fantasies through her words that I’d never dare experience on my own, compelled by the three men in her life, none of whom had names. I read onward until the last terrifying dark entry left me certain that something had happened to this woman. I had to find her and be sure she was okay.
Before long, I was taking her job for the summer at the art gallery, living her life, and she was nowhere to be found. I was becoming someone I didn’t know. I was becoming her.
The dark, passion it becomes…
Now, I am working at a prestigious gallery, where I have always dreamed of being, and I’ve been delivered to the doorstep of several men, all of which I envision as one I’ve read about in the journal. But there is one man that will call to me, that will awaken me in ways I never believed possible. That man is the ruggedly sexy artist, Chris Merit, who wants to paint me. He is rich and famous, and dark in ways I shouldn’t find intriguing, but I do. I so do. I don’t understand why his dark side appeals to me, but the attraction between us is rich with velvety promises of satisfaction. Chris is dark, and so are his desires, but I cannot turn away. He is damaged beneath his confident good looks and need for control, and in some way, I feel he needs me. I need him.
All I know for certain is that he knows me like I don’t even know me, and he says I know him. Still, I keep asking myself — do I know him? Did he know her, the journal writer, and where is she? And why doesn’t it seem to matter anymore? There is just him and me, and the burn for more.
I'm putting it out there- I'm in love with Chris. The fixer in me says this is what I need in my life and I can't even feel ashamed for it. The entire premise of this is kind of fascinating, it feels a little Fifty Shades but it's not as in your face. Maybe it will be later on, but right now I feel like we're just dipping our toes into the water. I can already tell this is going to be a Chris versus Mark series and I'm going to be rooting for one over the other just like I did when it was Dawson versus Pacey in Dawson's Creek. So if you were a fan of that show, this is going to be just like it but mix in some really steamy sex scenes, BDSM, art, and intrigue. Because at this point, we don't know who the man is in Rebecca's journals but Sara is determined to find out.
What does bug me is that for as smart as Sara is she doesn't see the trap she's clearly walking right into. I don't have a good feeling of Mark, and Chris knows why she shouldn't spend time with Mark but she literally cannot help herself. I feel like she's shooting herself in the foot and yet, I'm not looking away.
The sex scenes are steamy, you wish you had a Chris in your life and at the very least, you wish your husband rode motorcycles, wore leather, had tattoos and pushed you up against the glass of a high rise apartment. You wish all of that and more. His bizarre mood changes aren't a turn off, they end up being a turn on, and like Sara, you have no idea why. No, that's not true. You know it's because you want to be a man fixer as well and it presents a challenge. Except Sara doesn't want to be in a relationship because of her own past (which I want to know more about) so again, she's walking into a sticky situation and she doesn't even see it coming.
Bring on book two! (We end on a MASSIVE cliffhanger so if you are reading these, just do yourself a favor and have the next few books lined up!)