AUTHOR: LISA RENEE JONES
Details: Inside Out Trilogy no. 2
Received from the author/publisher
Own / Kindle
“Fascinated by the dark fantasies in the journals she’s discovered, and the two men who have now found a place in her life, Sara McMillan finds herself torn between her new life and her past. Now, more than ever, Sara identifies with the missing journal writer, Rebecca, and is certain that something sinister has happened.
In the arms of the sexy, tormented artist Chris Merit, Sara seeks answers about Rebecca and ends up discovering things about herself she never knew existed. Chris forces Sara to reconsider who she is and what she truly wants from life, but his dark desires threaten to tear them apart. Her boss, Mark Compton, offers her the shelter to understand just what those needs mean to her, and what they might have meant to Rebecca—but can she trust him to lead her to a final conclusion to Rebecca’s story?”
This story starts exactly where “If I Were You” ended. Sara is on her own in the storage unit, looking for new clues as to where the missing Rebecca might be when the lights go out and she hears sounds she can’t identify as well as footsteps getting closer… And so the reader is immediately back in the middle tension that pushes the Inside Out story along. And boy, is there a lot of tension; there is the continuing mystery of where Rebecca is and what may have happened to her, the added worry about Sara’s friend and colleague Ella who can’t be reached and, of course, Sara’s difficult relationship with the two dominant men in her life: Chris, her lover and Mark, her boss.
If I’m honest I have to admit that at times all that tension was almost a bit too much. I mean, I did love all the individual story-lines. I was intrigued with the mystery surrounding Rebecca and fascinated by the push and pull between Sara and Chris.
“Sara, he murmurs when I answer, and my name is a soft rasp of silky male perfection that radiates through me and settles in the deep hollow of my soul only he seems to fill.”
The added mystery involving Ella failed to convince me in this book, but I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that this particular thread will come into full bloom in “Revealing Us”, the third book.
Sara and Chris; if it is possible for two people to fully belong together yet at the same time be completely wrong for each other, than it is these two characters. Stories about characters who refuse to share their secrets with each other yet profess to need and love each other always tend to upset me, simply because I can’t imagine wanting to be with anyone I didn’t trust enough to share my past with or didn’t trust me enough to share theirs. If ever there was a red flag when it comes to relationships…
“…Chris, a man I know will consume me, perhaps destroy me, but right now he feels as if he is saving me.”
On the other hand, I can’t deny that their wish to be together despite their better judgment telling them to stay apart, regardless of the emotional risks involved did make this story almost unputdownable. And since Chris and Sara seem to end every single conflict between them in a sexual way, the constant tension between them did make this a scorcher of a read.
“Because if you want me to fuck you, I’ll fuck you until you can’t remember your damn name and you never forget mine.”
It is not as if these two don’t feel a pressing need to be together. They both want to believe that the other is all they need. That they can overcome past issues and future difficulties through the strength of their feelings for each other.
“If I need to get lost, I’ll get lost in you.” (Chris)
But time and again life throws obstacles in their way, showing them that no matter how much they love each other and regardless of how desperately they want and need to be together, it is quite possible that love may not be enough.
“I’ve always known we were two puzzle pieces that fit together in a hollow that is our pain.”
But what if those hollows are just too big?
When Sara is forced into a situation where she has to share her shameful past with Chris she finds the disclosure doesn’t send him running. With Chris she thinks she can be herself and still be good enough:
“I don’t try to be someone else with Chris, as I have with other men in my life. I’m rediscovering myself, or perhaps finding myself for the first time every.”
But her hope that he will in turn open up to her and allow her to share his pain and secrets, is not fulfilled. Chris remains convinced that she won’t be able to deal with all that he has been and still is. Whether or not Sara will ever be able to convince him that she can, remains to be seen.
But, while the future of the relationship between these two is still open-ended, some other mysteries are solved in this book. We do find out who Rebecca’s mysterious Master is and what has happened to her. Of course that is something I can’t reveal here without spoiling the story but I will say it came as a bit of a shock to me. We also find out more about Sara’s past and get a much better insight into who Chris is. All of this was very satisfying and although there were one or two shocking surprises, it all made perfect sense in the context of the story so far.
Overall I have to say that I greatly enjoyed reading this book. Yes, I did get a bit exasperated with Sara switching from being convinced she could handle Chris and their relationship because she loves him to being sure that they could never be together because of all the dark secrets, about every other page, but that continued tension was also one of the reasons I kept on turning the pages. This book is one, endless, emotional roller-coaster sweeping the reader up on a ride filled with highs and lows that will keep them engrossed until the very last page and then leave them begging for more.
So now there is one more installment in Rebecca’s Lost Journals – “The Master Undone” - to look forward to in August and the final book in the trilogy – “Revealing Us” – coming out in September. And although I’m grateful that I won’t have to wait a year for the conclusion of this story and can’t wait to see how all of this will end, a small part of me is sorry that this particular reading journey will end within about three months.