**This is book 1 in the INSIDE OUT series, previously published with a different cover. The INSIDE OUT series, is currently in development for
If I Were You (
1) Special Edition Paperback bk
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From New York Times Best Selling author Lisa Renee Jones, a story with the heat of 50 Shades and the mystery of Pretty Little Liars. Now in development for cable TV with acclaimed producer Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland w/Johnny Depp)
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
Soon, I was standing
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
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
“I’ll come around to get you,” Chris says with a touch on my arm. He doesn’t wait for a reply, climbing out of the vehicle and disappearing from full view.
I am both charmed and embarrassed at the prospect he believes the extra wine has made me a helpless lush. Worse, it wouldn’t be an assumption completely without merit, and this night is exactly why I never let myself lose control. It always backfires.
I unsnap the seat belt about the same moment Chris appears at my door. Holding my skirt down, I slide my legs to the ground, all too aware of his scorching gaze on my legs.
His hand appears in front of me, and I hold my breath, preparing for the impact of his touch, as I press my palm to his. He pulls me to my feet, onto the sidewalk beneath an awning, his hand settling possessively on my hip. The rich sensation of desire spreads through my limbs. I have never in my life reacted to a man this intensely.
Behind me, I hear the car door shut, and the engine rev, before the 911 pulls away. “This doesn’t look like a place that serves pizza,” I comment, but I am not looking at the building. It is
“Two blocks down,” he explains. “We can walk there if you want, or we can go upstairs to my apartment.”
Chris lives here, at least when he’s in the States. The implications of our location are clear.
His long fingers curl around my neck, under my hair, and he lowers his mouth to my ear. “Be warned, Sara. I’m no saint. If I take you upstairs, I’m going to strip you naked and fuck you the way I’ve wanted to since the moment we first met.”
The shockingly bold words ripple through me, and I am instantly aroused, squeezing my thighs together. He has wanted to fuck me since we first met. I want him to fuck me. I want to fuck him. Yes. Fuck. I want to give myself permission to forget good, proper behavior and fuck and be fucked. Wild, hot, uncontrollable passion, with no worries during and regrets in the aftermath. I’ve never let myself feel those things. When in my life have I ever experienced such a thing? When has any man ever made me think I could?
I press against his chest and lean back, my eyes seeking his. “If you’re trying to scare me off, it’s not working.”
“Not yet,” he says,
“Not at all,” I counter.
He doesn’t immediately respond, and his expression is a mask of hard lines, his jaw set, tense. Slowly, his fingers slide from my neck to caress a path down my arm until his fingers lace
Anticipation sizzles through me as we walk toward the automatic doors to be greeted by a man in a dark suit with an earpiece and
“Evening, Mr. Merit,” he says, and glances at me. “Evening, miss.”
“Evening, Jacob,” Chris replies. “Pizza
“Not unless he’s a delivery woman, sir,” Jacob comments, and I get the sense these two are familiar beyond the casual exchange.
I lift a tentative hand at Jacob. “Hi.”
“Ma’am,” he replies, and there is a slight shift in his gaze I’m certain he doesn’t intend for me to notice, but I do. I read it as
The elevator is right off the
My hands settle on his hard chest, inside the
My breasts are heavy, my nipples aching. “I don’t know what you mean,”
“Yes. You do. Second thoughts, Sara?”
I scold myself for being so transparent. “Do you want me to have second thoughts?”
“No. What I want is to take you to my apartment and make you come and then do it all over again.”
His lips curve into a smile, his eyes dancing with gold specks of pure fire. “Then you can feed me.”
The bell dings, and the doors begin to open. Chris
Chris releases my hand, our eyes lock, and I read the silent message in his. Enter by choice, without pressure. On some level I sense that once I enter his apartment, the decision to do so is going to change me. He is going to change me in some profound way I cannot begin to comprehend fully. I think he might know this, and I wonder why he would be so certain, what is etched with such clarity to him beneath the surface.
He has misplaced doubts of me
My chin lifts, and I cut my gaze from Chris’s and exit the elevator.
My heels touch the pale perfection of glossy hardwood floors, and I stop and stare at the breathtaking sight before me. Beyond the expensive leather furniture adorning a sunken living room with a massive fireplace in the left corner is a spectacular sight. There is a floor-to-ceiling window, a live pictorial of our city, spanning the entire length of the room.
Spellbound, I walk forward, enchanted by the twinkling night lights and the haze surrounding the distant Golden Gate Bridge. I barely remember going down the few steps to the living area, or what the furniture I pass looks like. I drop my purse on the coffee table and stop at the window, resting my hands on the cool surface.
We are above the city, untouchable, in a palace in the sky. How amazing it must be to live here and wake up to this view every day. Lights twinkling, almost as if they are talking to one another, laughing at me as they creep open a door to the hollow place inside me I’ve rejected only moments
I swallow hard as the song “Broken” from the band Lifehouse fills the room, because Chris doesn’t know how personality is to me. I’m falling apart. I’m barely breathing. I’m barely holding on to you.
This song, this place with the words, and I am raw and exposed, as if cut and bleeding. Who was I kidding with the refusal to hide anymore? This is why I’ve hidden. The past begins to pulse to life within me, and I am seconds from remembering why I feel this way. I refuse to process the lyrics and shove them aside. I don’t want to remember. I can’t go there. I squeeze my eyes shut, trying to seal those old wounds, desperate to feel anything but their presence.
Suddenly, Chris is behind me, caressing my jacket from my shoulders. His touch is a welcome sensation, and when his arm slides around me, his body framing mine from behind, I am desperate to feel anything but what this song, no doubt aided by the wine, stirs inside me.
I lean into him and hard muscle absorbs me. There is a strength to Chris, a silent confidence I envy, and it calls to the woman in me.
His fingers, those talented, famous fingers, brush my hair away from my
As if he senses my need for more—more something, anything, just more—he turns me around to face him, and his fingers tangle almost roughly into my hair.
“I am not the guy you take home to Mom and Dad, Sara.” His mouth is next to mine, his clean male scent all around me. “You need to know that right now. You need to know that won’t change.”
But the song does change, and this time to another track on what must be a Lifehouse CD. “Nerve Damage” begins to play. I see through your clothes, your nerve damage shows. Trying not to feel
I laugh bitterly at the words, and Chris pulls back to study me. And I am not blind to what I see in the depths of his green eyes, what I’ve missed until now but sensed. He is as damaged as I am. We have too many of the wrong things in common to be more than
I curve my fingers on the light stubble of his jaw, the rasp on my skin welcome, and I have no idea why I admit what I have never said out loud. “My mother is dead, and I hate my father, so don’t worry. You’re safe from family day and so am I. All I want is here and now, this piece of time. And please save the pillow talk for someone who wants it. Contrary to what you seem to think, I’m no delicate rose.”
A stunned look flashes on his face an instant before I press my lips to his. The answering
His tongue plays wickedly with mine, and I meet him stroke for stroke, arching into him, telling him I am here and present and I’m going nowhere. In reply to my silent declaration, his hand cups my ass and he pulls me solidly against his erection. Arching into him, I welcome the intimate connection, burn for the moment he will be inside me. My hand presses between us and I stroke the hard line of his shaft.
Chris tears his mouth from mine, pressing me hard against the window, and I know I’ve threatened his control. Me. Little schoolteacher Sara McMillan. Our eyes lock, hot flames dancing
Some part of me realizes the window behind me is glass, and all things glass can break. He knows this, too, it’s in the dark glint of his eyes, and he wants me to worry about it. He’s pushing me, testing me, trying to get me to break. Because I slid beneath his composure? Because he really believes I am out of my league? And maybe I am, but not tonight. Tonight, as the song has said, I am broken, and for the first
I lift my chin and let him see my answering rebellion. His fingers curl at the top of my silk blouse and in a sharp pull, material rips and the buttons all the way down pop and clamor in all directions. I gasp, in unfamiliar territory, and burning alive with the ache I have for this man.
He turns me to the window, and my
“Hands over your head,” he orders, pressing my palms to the glass above me, his body shadowing mine. “Stay like that.”
My pulse jumps wildly and adrenaline surges. I’ve been ordered around during sex, but in a clinical, bend over and give me what I want kind of
When he seems satisfied I’ll comply with his orders, Chris slowly caresses a path down my arms, and then up and down my sides, brushing the curves of my breasts. He’s in no hurry, but I am. I
His hands are suddenly gone, and I
Chris captures my hands and forces them back to the glass above me, his breath warm by my ear, his hard body framing mine. “Move them again and I’ll stop what I’m doing, no matter how good it might feel.”
I quiver inside at the erotic command, surprised again by how enticed I am by this game we are playing. “Just remember,” I warn, still panting, still burning for his touch. “Payback is hell.”
His teeth scrape my shoulder. “Looking forward to it, baby,” he rasps. “More than you can possibly know.”
For More information on The INSIDE OUT series page including: buy links, and excerpts for the additional books in this series.
Visit Lisa’s website here: http://bit.ly/1fWXnem
About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT SERIES, and is now in development by Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland) for cable TV. In addition, her Tall, Dark and Deadly series and The Secret Life of Amy Bensen series, both spent several months
on a combination of the NY Times and USA Today lists.
Watch the video on casting for the INSIDE TV Show HERE
Since beginning her publishing career in 2007, Lisa has published more than 40 books translated around the world. Booklist says that Jones suspense truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann.
Prior to publishing, Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that 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.
Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at on her website and she is active on twitter and
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INSIDE OUT prize basket (full set of SIGNED INSIDE OUT books)
20 Chris Merit and Tote Bag sets