If I Were You (Inside Out Trilogy #1) by Lisa Renee Jones
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Romance, Erotica
Release Date: September 13, 2012
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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.
We are almost to the gallery, and a knot has formed in my stomach at the prospect of an awkward goodbye, when he suddenly grabs me and pulls me into a small enclave of a deserted office rental. Before I can fully grasp what is happening, I am against the wall, hidden from the street and he is in front of me, enclosing me in the tiny space.
I blink up into his burning stare and I think I might combust. His scent, his warmth, his hard body, is all around me, but he is not touching me. I want him to touch me. He presses his hand to the concrete wall above my head when I want it on my body. “You don’t belong here, Sara.”
The words are unexpected, a hard punch in the chest. “What? I don’t understand.”
“This job is wrong for you.”
I shake my head. I don’t belong? Coming from Chris, an established artist, I feel inferior, rejected. “You asked me why I wasn’t following my heart. Why I wasn’t pursuing what I love. I am. That’s what I’m doing.”
“I didn’t think you’d do it in this place.”
This place. I don’t know what he’s telling me. Does he mean this gallery? This city? Has he judged me not worthy of his inner circle?
“Look, Sara.” He hesitates, and lifts his head to the sky, seeming to struggle for words before fixing me with a turbulent look.
“I’m trying to protect you here. This world you’ve strayed into is filled with dark, messed up, arrogant assholes who will play with your mind and use you until there is nothing else left for you to recognize in yourself.”
“Are you one of those dark, messed up, arrogant assholes?”
He stares down at me, and I barely recognize the hard lines of his face, the glint in his eyes, as belonging to the man I’ve just had lunch with. His gaze sweeps my lips, lingers, and the swell of response and longing in me is instant, overwhelming. He reaches up and strokes his thumb over my bottom lip.
Every nerve ending in my body responds and it’s all I can do not to touch him, to grab his hand, but something holds me back. I am lost in this man, in his stare, in some spellbinding, dark whirlwind of…what? Lust, desire, torment? Seconds tick eternally and so does the silence. I want to hold him, to stop whatever I sense is coming but I cannot.
“I’m worse.” He pushes off the wall, and is gone. He is gone. I am alone against the wall, aching with a fire that has nothing to do with the meal we shared. My lashes flutter, my fingers touch my lip where he touched me. He has warned me away from Mark, from the gallery, from him, and he has failed. I cannot turn away. I am here and I am going nowhere.
In 2003, award winning author Lisa Renee Jones sold her Austin, Texas based multi-state staffing agency and has since published over thirty novels and novellas across several genres. Her staffing agency LRJ Staffing was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by Dallas Women Magazine. In 1998 LRJ was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.
Her debuts with Blaze and Nocturne hit Bookscan's Top 100 list and her Blaze Hotzone trilogy made a showing on the list in 2011 also. With a new Blaze trilogy, a short story for Spice, the third book in her Zodius series published with Sourcebooks, as well as an rapidly growing indie following, 2012 will bring many new stories to her readers.