If I Were You (Inside Out Series Book 1)
Lisa Renee Jones
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The New York Times bestselling INSIDE OUT series now in development for TV with acclaimed producer, Suzanne Todd!
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.
cannot focus on what Ava is saying. There is only Chris. Nine The bells on the coffee shop door chime, but I barely hear them. I’m still looking at Chris, and he’s still looking at me. His eyes are warm, and I am warmer. I’ve known plenty of good-looking men, but this one affects me beyond good looks, he sets every nerve I own to tingling. “He comes here almost every day,” Ava whispers, and my gaze jerks to hers. I glance beyond her and see her employee has returned. “You mean Chris Merit?” I
Diego, it seems, is planning a trip to Paris and is seeking advice about where to stay and what to do, which Chris is graciously offering. I am taken aback by the way Chris, a famous millionaire artist, acts as if he isn’t those things at all. Our waiter, the real one, not Diego, appears with our food, and Diego excuses himself to allow us to be served. “Sorry about that,” Chris says. “He’s been off every time I’ve been by since I got back from Paris three weeks ago.” He motions to my plate.
a moment. “Everything. I’m starving.” It’s nearly three and we haven’t eaten since early morning. A waiter appears and Chris arches a brow at me. “Ready?” “I am. Cobb salad for me.” Chris hands both of our menus to the waiter. “Burger for me. Well done. And bring us a bottle of the recommended wine selection—the Robert Craig zinfandel.” The waiter gives a small bow. “Coming right up, Mr. Merit.” “No beer for you?” I ask when the waiter departs. “It’s never good to mix alcohol, and I have a
me. I entered the restaurant to find her at the same table Chris and I had occupied the prior week. “Sara!” She pushes to her feet, looking petite and lovely in a black pantsuit, her long dark hair cascading over her shoulders. I am wrapped in a hug, and I surmise she’s a hugger like I am. I feel a friendship despite barely knowing her. We settle into our seats, and Maria appears at our table. “Welcome back, Señora Sara. I see we didn’t scare you off with the hot peppers.” “No. That was
double glass doors, which are lined in shiny silver for the black-tie affair. Artsy swirls of red letters, displayed above the entry, spell ALLURE. Nerves flutter in my stomach, though I can’t say why. I love the contemporary art Allure specializes in, love their mix of local new artists who I can discover, as well as the established names whose work I already appreciate. My nerves are ridiculous. I’m uncomfortable in this world, but then, this isn’t my world. It’s Rebecca’s, and Rebecca is the