Thursday, August 29, 2013

Inside Out Trilogy by Lisa Renee Jones (If I Were You, Being Me, & Revealing Us)

Title: The Inside Out Trilogy:
                If I Were You
                Being Me
                Revealing Us
Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Gallery Books

Author Website:

My Thoughts:

The Inside Out Trilogy, by Lisa Renee Jones, consists of the novels If I Were You, Being Me, and Revealing Us.  The trilogy reminded me in a way of Sylvia Day's Crossfire Series and the Fifty Shades Trilogy by EL James.  There is a little BDSM involved as well as graphic sexual scenes.  However, I feel that Jones' trilogy should not just be categorized in the erotic romance genre.  It could also be placed in the mystery/suspense category which easily makes it stand out from among it's peers.  The story being told is fresh and new, with surprises around every corner. 

Lisa Renee Jones is no stranger to writing books and her well written trilogy proves that.  After publishing over 30 novels, Jones is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.  In an exciting development for her and lovers of the Inside Out Trilogy, the STARZ Network has optioned Jones' trilogy to be made into a television series.

The Inside Out Trilogy revolves around Sara, a high school English teacher whose real passion is Art.  Out of the blue Ella, her best friend, runs off to Paris to elope as summer vacation starts.  Ella leaves Sara with a key to a storage unit she bought to flip that needs cleaned out before the summer is over.  The unit is not only filled with beautiful paintings, but Sara also finds herself drawn to the owner's personal journals.  Sara is stunned that Rebecca, the owner, would leave such priceless artwork and personal mementos to be sold to the highest bidder.  

Sara quickly immerses herself into the life of Rebecca and finds herself captivated by the sexual secrets found in the journals.  After reading about Rebecca's thoughts, feelings, and sexual escapades, Sara has a sinking feeling that something horrible has happened to the young woman.  Putting her detective hat on leads Sara to Allure Gallery, a premier art gallery that Rebecca last worked at.  With the sole purpose of finding Rebecca and giving her a chance to claim her personal effects, Sara goes to Allure.  However, what Sara doesn't realize is that by entering Allure, her safe and predictable world will never be the same.

After speaking to Rebecca's former boss, Mark, Sara is shocked when he offers her Rebecca's position at Allure.  There is something about Mark that makes Sara wonder if he is the man in Rebecca's journals.  Jumping at the chance to be around art during her summer break and hoping to find clues of Rebecca's whereabouts, Sara accepts the job.  Sara soon meets and falls for renowned artist Chris Merit, a dark and dangerous man full of secrets.  If I Were You, Being Me, and Revealing Us revolves around both the tumultuous relationship Sara and Chris embark upon and several mysteries that come to light.

I really enjoyed Lisa Renee Jones' Inside Out Trilogy.  It is well written with authentic three dimensional characters.  Chris and Sara's relationship was addicting to me and full of romance, passion, and angst.  I quickly finished each book to find out what the next novel would bring for these two dark and secretive lovers.  I also loved the various mysteries throughout the three novels.  The mysteries keep on coming, from Rebecca's disappearance and secret lover, to Chris and Sara's complicated past, and also Ella's elopement and then vanishment.  Jones' definitely kept me guessing and the suspense never went away, all of the way to the last page!     
I without a doubt recommend Lisa Renee Jones' If I Were You, Being Me, and Revealing Us.  I was lucky enough to get an Advanced Readers Copy of Revealing Us; the actual book will be released on September 10th.  If you love romance or mystery this trilogy is most definitely for you, don't miss out on the love story of Chris and Sara.  I look forward to seeing their romance come to life on the STARZ network!        

Lisa Renee Jones

I have been provided a complimentary copy of The Inside Out Trilogy for the purpose of review.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Great Divide by Janet Goss

Title: The Great Divide
Author: Janet Goss

Publisher: Penguin
(NAL Trade)

Published Date: July 2, 2013

Buy on Amazon: Paperback & Kindle  

Author Website:



For the past ten years, Vera Van Loon has been beating the city heat at her friend’s idyllic lakeside guest cabin. There, she’s Aunt Loony to Kit Garrett’s teenagers, a kayaker instead of a straphanger—and a million miles away from the complications of “real” life in Manhattan.

If only she didn’t have to alternate weekends with one of the Garretts’ relatives, everything would be perfect—until she discovers the truth: “Uncle” Cyrus is hardly the man she thought he was. He’s just her type, wildly appealing—and a worthy Scrabble opponent. All of a sudden, everything is perfect…until Labor Day. Because Cyrus prefers the rural life, and Vera could never give up New York.

Back in town, a chance encounter with a seductive local convinces her she’s where she belongs—but Cyrus has other ideas. With choices, and crises, coming from all directions, it’s time for Vera to make a life-or-life decision that will be anything but a day at the beach.

My Thoughts:

The Great Divide, by Janet Goss, is an exceptionally written contemporary chick lit novel.  The Great Divide is definitely a 'win' in my eyes!  Goss' novel centers around Vera, a calligrapher and artist in Manhattan who makes a living writing calligraphy on wedding envelopes, place cards, and other materials for high maintenance New York Socialites.  Vera is also single and has no plans of ever having children; being around her best friend Izzy's little boy is more than enough for her.  

Every summer weekend for the last decade Vera has driven out to the Poconos to be with her June-September best friend, Kit, and her family.  However, Vera is informed that this summer things will be different.  She is very unhappy that she has to split weekends at the lake with Cyrus, the best friend of Kit's hubby.  After being clued in by Kit's children, Vera realizes that 'Uncle' Cyrus just might be her soul mate, or at least be a fun summer fling.  Against Kit's wishes, Vera and Cyrus finally meet and sparks fly.  Excited for the possibility of the best summer of her life, Vera happily leaves her regular life every Friday that is composed of a family mystery that she just might be blowing out of proportion, crazy neighbors, and her September-June BFF Izzy.

Some of my favorite parts of The Great Divide had to do with Vera and Cyrus' interactions with the lake teenagers.  In the book, Goss describes Uncle Cyrus and Aunt 'Loony' as America's aunt and uncle.  They are most definitely the 'cool' adults and gladly embrace that role.  Between evening beer pong and middle of the night escapades with a rouge bear, their time in the Poconos is never dull and full of memories.

While much of The Great Divide focuses on Vera's weekends at the lake, her 'normal' life in Manhattan is also in the spotlight and progressing forward.  Vera recently moved into a coveted apartment that her father turned over to her. Here her busy life gets busier as she finds her weekdays filled with new people and situations.  Taking the problem son of her building's board president under her wings, Vera's evenings are filled unexpectedly with pot smoke, impromptu ballet recitals, and movie making.

Janet Goss' The Great Divide is a fun read that will leave you smiling both in shock and happiness.  I really enjoyed witnessing the personal journey Vera took from when the book first began until it ended.  The Great Divide is the perfect beach read, nothing too deep yet extremely entertaining!  Definitely a book that I will recommend to friends!        

Janet Goss
The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of the book, The Great Divide, for the purpose of review.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Andrea at the Center by J.P. Kansas

Title: Andrea at the Center
Author: J.P. Kansas

Pink Flamingo Publications

Published Date: February 8, 2013 (Revised Print)

Buy on Amazon: Paperback & Kindle


Young and beautiful Andrea is, without warning, whisked away to a secret location, where a mysterious group devotes itself to the pursuit of sexual enlightenment through the use of many sensual techniques. Gradually, she's introduced to the ways of the Center by the people that gladly occupy it. Her sense of self and her understanding of sexuality are profoundly challenged, leading her to a new understanding of herself and the deepest sexual satisfaction.
My Thoughts:

J.P. Kansas' novel, Andrea at the Center, is definitely not for the faint of heart as it is classified in the erotica genre.  In the novel Andrea is kidnapped while jogging.  When she awakes she finds herself in a castle like place with many other people, both male and female.  She soon learns that some of the people are there voluntarily while others were taken like herself.  Confused and scared, Andrea is told that she will not be harmed and will be returned to her normal life once she lets herself 'become what you are.'   

The Center is a place for various types of sexual exploration.  The people there are given jobs where they earn money and then can purchase commodities while on their sexual journey.  Deciding that she will go along with everything until she can escape or is allowed to go back home, Andrea starts to open herself up to the teachings of the Center.  Here she meets all kinds of people, both that she likes and is fearful of.    

Kansas quickly delves into the world of erotica.  Kansas has included in her novel pretty much every type of eroticism there is.  Fetishism, multiple partners, BDSM, LBGT and much more.  The novel was very eye-opening for me and I was 'squinting' at many scenes.  Please be aware that Andrea at the Center is not an erotic romance novel, so if you are looking for a lovey-dovey romance this is definitely not for you.  Instead, Andrea is on a journey of self-discovery and awakening, both sexual and personal.

If you enjoy the erotica genre then I definitely challenge you to read J.P. Kansas' Andrea at the Center.  In it you will find yourself going along with Andrea on her journey.  Be ready for some very eye opening and graphic scenes!  

The author has provided me a complimentary copy of her book, Andrea at the Center, for the purpose of review.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Magenta Man by Jodi Cardin

Title: The Magenta Man
Author: Jodi Cardin

Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing

Published Date: November 26, 2012

Buy on Amazon: Paperback

Author Website:


What will be the consequences when a thirty-eight-year-old wife and mother of three seeks to fulfill her secret sexual desires in the arms of a man she'd had a crush on twenty years ago? The Magenta Man explores the consequences of Katie Duncan's ultimate betrayal during the year she spent on the planning committee for her high school reunion with hunky Mark Sabatino. Although happily married to Glen for 15 years, she struggles with her intimate relations with him-at least in comparison to the ideal lover her co-workers have dubbed The Magenta Man. Reunited at the out-of-town planning committee meetings, Katie and Mark soon realize these getaway weekends have much more to offer than merely planning a reunion as they selfishly indulge in a variety of guilty pleasures, unleashing and feeding their hidden desires. Yet, in the end, the devastating fallout causes tempers to flare, strains relationships to the near breaking point, and tests tender psyches, resulting in a dénouement of infinite compassion and divine forgiveness.
My Thoughts:

The Magenta Man, by Jodi Cardin, is a contemporary novel revolving around the character of Katie Duncan.  Katie has it all, a devoted husband who loves her more than anything, three great children, a fulfilling job, and great friends.  However, after listening to the sexual adventures of her girlfriends, Katie begins to become dissatisfied with the sexual relationship she has with her husband, Glen.  Both virgins on their wedding night, Katie and Glen have an active, albeit vanilla, sex life.  Katie feels it is getting stale and wants to bring a little color into the bedroom.  However, instead of sitting down and discussing what is 'missing' with Glen, Katie allows herself to stray from her husband at the slightest temptation.

Looking for a little excitement in her life, Glen encourages Katie to sign up to serve on her twenty year high school reunion committee.  Due to the fact that she lives in a different state than her hometown, once a month Katie must drive home and stay the weekend in a hotel for the meetings.  Glen thinks this is a great way for Katie to have some personal time away from the kids and relax.  Little does he know that Katie quickly gets reacquainted with Mark, her high school crush, who also stays at the hotel during each monthly weekend meeting.  Thus begins a hot and heavy affair between Katie and Mark that carries on until the night of their high school reunion.  Of course Glen and Mark's wife find out eventually what their spouses have been up to and everything in Katie's perfect world gets turned upside down.  

I did not connect very well with Katie.  In the beginning of The Magenta Man she seems like a great wife, mother, and friend; however she makes some very selfish decisions without thinking of her husband or children.  It would have been one thing if Mark and Katie tried to stay away from each other and fought their attraction every month and then finally gave in.  However, this is not the case.  On the night of the very first meeting, Katie and Mark start their affair without much thought other than pleasing each other.  Instead of feeling guilty or ashamed afterwards, they look forward to meeting once a month to continue their affair.

It was hard for me to understand Katie's need to stray from her husband.  Had he been abusive, neglectful, mean, a liar, or a cheater it would have made more sense.  However, Glen has been nothing but faithful and loving to Katie throughout their fifteen year marriage.  He truly was the 'perfect' husband.  She says how happy she is, yet as soon as Mark enters the picture she forgets all of that and morphs into a different person.  Katie didn't really even seem to feel guilty afterward, instead she went out lingerie shopping and became giddy at the thought of choosing knockout outfits to impress her lover.  It was almost like Katie was leading two different lives:  at home she was the perfect wife and mother.  She mentioned several times how happy she was in her marriage and how much she loved Glen.  However, in the same token she looked forward to planning her weekends with Mark and escaping her life.

Jodi Cardin did a great job writing The Magenta Man.  It is a very entertaining and thought provoking novel with characters that are flawed just as real people are.  I went through many emotions while reading The Magenta Man: happiness, shock, anger, annoyance, and sadness.  If you are looking for a great read then pick up Cardin's novel and enjoy!

Jodi Cardin has provided me with a complimentary copy of her book, The Magenta Man, for the purpose of review.

Monday, August 5, 2013

As You Were by Samantha Summers

Title: As You Were
Author: Samantha Summers

Publisher: Samantha Summers

Published Date: December 12, 2012

Buy on Amazon: Paperback & Kindle  

Author Website:



For every choice, there is a consequence.

Ronnie and Kalen are finally together, living their life in secret under the radar of the people who want Kalen dead. But when a visit from an old friend sends Kalen away on a rescue mission, Ronnie finds herself plunged back into the world of Project Five Fifteen quicker than she ever thought possible.

It’s fast becoming clear The Agency will never give up their hunt for the boys, and a betrayal closer to home starts a chain reaction that will change everything. Now, caught in a deadly web of lies and deceit, Ronnie is forced to question who she can trust; even the person she once trusted most.

As enemies close in, Kalen’s past threatens to destroy the happiness they sacrificed so much for, and it’s only a matter of time before the ultimate choice must be made…

My Thoughts:

As You Were, by Samantha Summers, is the second book in her phenomenal Project Five Fifteen trilogy.  Picking up two months after First Light ends, As You Were follows Kalen and Ronnie as they hide from the people trying to kill him.  I read First Light in November of 2012 and absolutely fell in love with the characters and storyline (my review of First Light can be found at  I was a little worried that As You Were would not live up to the first novel, but that concern was for nothing.  If anything, Summers' second book was packed with even more action, suspense, and romance!

As soon as I starting reading As You Were I was pulled into the world of the Project Five Fifteen boys.  This is definitely a book that is hard to put down.  For those wanting a little background information, Project Five Fifteen was a small and very secretive branch of the United States government that trained orphaned young boys to be thoughtless killing machines.  Once trained, the children in Project Five Fifteen were sent overseas as spies, mercenaries, and given other dangerous assignments from the US government.  

The boys did not question their assignments or superiors until Kalen discovered that once you turned sixteen you were killed.  The government thought the boys were too far gone to be integrated into society and the children of Project Five Fifteen decided to take their chances and escape to avoid death.  Kalen, Denver, Nash, Laith, and Ace were five of the boys that stuck together as they fled and became a family of drifters on the run.  They never stayed in one place for long, until Kalen met and fell in love with Ronnie in First Light.

I can not say enough about how great a book As You Were is.  In the beginning of this second novel the boys have split up after the craziness of the Laith ambush.  Ronnie and Kalen ran off together and while constantly watching their backs, they enjoy their time together.  However, everything changes when Ace finds them and informs them that Nash has gone missing.  What follows is a fast-paced, suspense-filled novel that has the boys and Ronnie fighting for everything they know and love.

I really love Ace and Ronnie's brother/sister relationship.  Ace is such an innocent boy, even after being trained as an assassin.  In As You Were Ace's feelings for Ronnie begin to transform into something more, however she does a good job at not leading him on.  Ronnie has very deep and sincere feelings for Ace and protects him and his secrets from the other boys, sometimes when she shouldn't.  I would love to see Ace find a nice girl in the upcoming third novel, Becoming.

The end of Samantha Summers' As You Were definitely threw me for a loop.  There were a couple of big shockers that I did NOT see coming!  The ending of Summers' second novel definitely has me impatient for her third and final novel in the trilogy that will come out in October, Becoming.  If it is ANYTHING like the first two books, Becoming will be a superb read!  If you haven't discovered the boys of Project Five Fifteen yet then I definitely recommend that you pick up the first book and join the growing fan base!   You will NOT be disappointed!   
Samantha Summers

Samantha Summers has provided me with a complimentary copy of her book, As You Were, for the purpose of review.