Fangirl Fridays – Inside Out Series by Lisa Renee Jones

Have you ever read one of Lisa Renee Jones’s books? Her stories are a blend of drama, suspense, and dark erotica.

Escaping Reality (The Secret Life of Amy Benson #1) was my first experience with LRJ’s books. The heroine, Amy, was on the run, her life in mortal danger, and I was running with her, unable to figure out whom to trust, who was friend, and who was foe.

That series made me look for more from this author. Next, I picked up If I Were You, the first installment in the Inside Out series. After the jump, I’ll share my take on this story of dark desires and intrigues.

The story follows Sara McMillan, a high school teacher on summer break. Sara is asked by her neighbor, Ella, to clear out a recently purchased storage unit, while Ella goes to Paris to elope with a man she barely knows.

Sara finds a mysterious diary inside that storage unit, a journal written by a woman named Rebecca. Almost reluctantly she begins reading Rebecca’s journals, delving into that woman’s life, compelled to read every intimate detail of the other woman’s secrets — her dark, erotic, and tortured emotions. Rebecca pours out her heart, writing about descending into a controlling relationship with a sexy, dangerous dom. Sara is utterly affected.
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.
Soon enough, Sara feels she has to find out what happened to Rebecca, starting with taking Rebecca’s job at a prestigious art gallery. This is a dream job for Sara, who lives and breathes art. Sara finds herself in a world that is very different from her school teaching. She meets two alpha men; both will have quite an influence on her life.
I follow his lead, searching beyond the glass to the activity on the street, thinking about how black and white I’ve let life become, when I want to live in color.

The first man is her boss, Mark, the gallery manager. Mark is good looking, rich, sexy, sophisticated, very arrogant, and dominant. Sara hopes Mark will deliver some clues as to Rebecca’s whereabouts.
He is, without doubt, classically handsome by anyone’s standards, but there is something row and sexual about this man, something almost predatory about him.
The other man is Chris Merit, a brilliant, famous, and very private artist, whose works are on display at the gallery. Sara is overwhelmed to meet him there.
My gaze shoots upward to find Chris Merit at eye level and for a rare moment in time, I can’t find the words to ramble with my nerves. While I’d felt comfortable with him inside the gallery, I am dumbstruck now that I know who he is. He is Brilliant. He is also incredibly good looking, and squatting down on the ground with me, which somehow feels wrong.
Dreams about the content of Rebecca’s diaries, plus working at Rebecca’s job and with the people who knew Rebecca, make Sara question herself and everyone and everything around her. She finds herself rooted deeply in Rebecca’s world.
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.
At one time Sara almost “forgets” Rebecca while she is submerged in her own tangled life, but soon Rebecca and her mysterious disappearance rise up again.

The story is intense and haunting. Sometimes I was so worried for Sara, I had to stop reading. Almost every turn of the page left me raw and restless, and not only because of the suspense. There are a lot of steamy sex scenes in this book, as in all LRJ books. Some are so HOT — you’d better be careful where you read them!

I’m not going to tell you much more, just that Sara has her own dark secrets, and so do Mark and Chris.

The second book in the Inside Out trilogy is Being Me, again a story full of mystery and intrigues. I love Sara’s inner growth, HER opening up her biggest wound. I love the blooming steamy romance, the intensity, and the conflicts of the characters.
What does it mean that he’s bound me in real life and on canvas?

The third book is Revealing Us. It follows our heroes to Paris in search of Sara’s neighbor Ella, who has mysteriously disappeared. I found this book less intense than the other two, but still hot and enthralling.

From Goodreads: You’ve discovered Rebecca’s secrets. You’ve discovered Sara’s secrets. Now Sara will discover “his” deepest, darkest secrets ... but will those secrets bind them together — or tear them apart?
He is one big, dark storm cloud ready to burst, and I prepare myself for the downpour, complete with plenty of lightning and thunder.
All of Lisa Renee Jones’s books combine suspense, mystery, power games, art, wine, sex, beautiful women, and gorgeous alpha males — a winning combination, in my opinion, for a delicious read.

In addition to the trilogy, the Inside Out series includes four volumes of Rebecca’s lost journals (books #1.1–1.4). Then it continues after the trilogy with these additional stories:

#3.1 His Secrets (Chris POV novella)
#3.2 Rebecca’s Lost Journals
#3.3 The Master Undone
#3.4 My Hunger (Mark POV novellas)
#4 No In Between
#4.5 My Control (Mark & Crystal novella)
#5 I Belong to You (Mark & Crystal novel)
#6 All of Me (Sara POV novella)

Ella’s story is not resolved in the Inside Out series. After setting the main story in motion in book 1 by pointing Sara toward the storage unit, Ella elopes with her boyfriend to Paris, disappears, and Sara tries to find her without success. However, there is an Ella spinoff series called Careless Whispers that I just finished reading, and Ella’s story is as compelling as Sara’s!

If you like stories where emotions run high, that keep you on the edge of your seat and then leave you hot and bothered, these Lisa Renee Jones books — and, in fact, any of her books — are for you!

This Wench rates the Inside Out series:


  1. After watching "Inside Out" on losmovies agreed that "Inside Out" is the perfect Pixar Animation movie for any family on a night out. It was both imaginative and relatable for both children and adults. I never thought "Inside Out" would be this enjoyable, but I was able to experience every emotion of "Joy", "Disgust", "Anger", "Fear", and "Sadness" for each and every moment of this film. At the end of the night, I was pleasantly unsatisfied because I wanted to watch the movie again and again. Parents, if you're looking for a fun filled movie night with your children, this movie will not only please them, but you as well.
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