Book: If I Were You (Inside Out trilogy, book one) by Lisa Renee Jones, Simon & Schuster Audio, March. 12, 2013
Book Info: Romance, Audiobook received for review from Simon & Schuster Audio. Running time: 9 hrs, 31 mins. Read by: Grace Grant. Also available in PB, 352 pages from Gallery Books.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
If I Were You begins with Rebecca’s journal entry as she recounts where her dangerous romance went astray. The journal winds up in Sara’s hands through a storage auction. Sara becomes obsessed with Rebecca’s life and goes on a quest to find her, fearing she is in danger. Following the clues, Sara winds up at an art gallery and accepts a summer job as Rebecca’s replacement. Now Sara meets two men, one of whom may be the man described in Rebecca’s journals. Is she one step closer to finding Rebecca or will she also lose herself in this new world?
If I Were You is the first book in the Inside Out trilogy, and it was recently optioned as a TV series by Starz. The official book synopsis compares the story to Fifty Shades of Grey, but I wouldn’t let that scare you off. It is an erotic suspense story with an intriguing mystery. The main character Sara is a high school English teacher who loves art, and she’s an innocent to this erotic new world she finds through Rebecca’s journals. It is intense and exciting, and the mystery element takes it up a notch from your average erotic romance.
There are two men that Sara meets through her new art/Rebecca connections- could one of them be the man described in Rebecca’s journals? Mark Compton is the art gallery manager who hires Sara for the summer. He is controlling and arrogant and on the surface seems like a likely candidate for the mystery journal guy. Then we meet Chris Merit, famous artist and bad-boy type. Chris and Mark don’t get along and push each other’s buttons in their pursuit of Sara. It is unclear to the reader if either of them can be trusted and each new clue leads you down a different path.
Grace Grant (Beautiful Bastard narrator) reads the audiobook. Grant is one of my favorite Romance narrators so I knew I was in good hands. Grant has a clear voice and is very good at creating different voices for the characters. The book is in Sara’s POV and Grant captures her personality well. She also uses different voices for Mark and Chris and made it easy to tell them apart. She’s comfortable with the romantic scenes, as well as the everyday art gallery scenes. I zipped through this audiobook eager to solve the mystery. I wouldn’t mind if it was a little longer and provided a little more closure.
This is a very fast read that hooks you with the mystery and wondering if Sara is in danger now that she’s assuming Rebecca’s life. The author does a great job making Sara/Rebecca’s world enticing and introducing interesting characters that you want to learn more about. But, let me warn you that you don’t get any answers in this first installment. There is a big old cliffhanger at the end that sets up the next book. I quickly jumped over to goodreads to see when I could get the sequel in my hands. Thankfully there’s not too long to wait. The next book, Being Me, is out in June, with the final installment, Revealing Us, out in September. Rebecca’s Lost Journals is also available now; maybe it provides more clues about Rebecca’s whereabouts.