NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
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.
When I first started reading this book, I didn’t realize what those first pages were. I sighed and thought sarcastically ‘Great, starts right in with the sex’.
I continued reading and I was pleasantly surprised to find I had read just a journal entry that becomes our mystery. Ms. Jones weaves a complicated tale around a school teacher Sara McMillian and the Art World of San Francisco.
Everyone has secrets and some are best left hidden. The journal, it turns out was found in a storage locker owned via an auction by her neighbor. Who elopes and gives the key and the contents to Sara. Additional journals induce Sara to attempt finding the owner. Instead she finds a summer job at an Art Gallery, replacing Rebecca, (the owner of the locker). One that may lead to a permanent job in what she is passionate about, art.
In the process she meets Chris Merit an acclaimed artist with plenty of secrets of his own and one she admires. What ensues is a very hot, very complicated relationship.
Is the Gallery manager Mark a major player in the disappearance of Rebecca? Is she really on an extended vacation or is she truly missing and in danger?
The storage unit is a key player in the book, and her ownership of it has the suspense rising.
One of my favorite exchanges in the book is between Mark and Sara, after a wine tasting event.
“Chris made us both a lot of money tonight. Making money is not a terminating offense. Now, using Chris to manipulate me for money would be, but you wouldn’t do that, now would you?”
“No”, I say, and dare to go where I would normally never go, but then nothing is normal about the past few days. “And I don’t want to be a part of the ‘who’s got the bigger sword?’ contest you two have going on, either. I don’t do cockfights. I just want to do my job and do it well.”
Although this is a cliffhanger which would normally have me cursing the author, I think I need a new thesaurus to describe my reactions to this book. Hot, sexy, mysterious, suspenseful, all seem inadequate.
5 Contented Purrs for Lisa!
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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series. Suzanne Todd (producer of Alice in Wonderland) on the INSIDE OUT series: Lisa has created a beautiful, complicated, and sensual world that is filled with intrigue and suspense. Sara’s character is strong, flawed, complex, and sexy – a modern girl we all can identify with.
In addition to the success of Lisa’s INSIDE OUT series, she has published many successful titles. The TALL, DARK AND DEADLY series and THE SECRET LIFE OF AMY BENSEN series, both spent several months on a combination of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling lists. Lisa is presently working on a dark, edgy new series, Dirty Money, for St. Martin’s Press.
Prior to publishing Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by the Dallas Women’s Magazine. In 1998 Lisa was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.
Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at all the links below.