Series: Inside Out #1
Published by: Gallery Books on September 13, 2012
Genre: Contemporary, Erotica, Romance
Buy on Amazon • Goodreads
When Sara McMillan finds a stack of journals in a storage unit, she’s shocked and enthralled by the erotic life the writer led. Unable to stop reading, she vicariously lives out dark fantasies through Rebecca, the writer—until the terrifying final entry. Certain something sinister has happened, Sara sets out to discover the facts, immersing herself in Rebecca’s life. Soon she’s working at the art gallery Rebecca worked at and meeting Rebecca’s friends. Finding herself drawn to two dangerously sexy men, the manager of the gallery and a famed artist, Sara realizes she’s going down the same path Rebecca took. But with the promise of her dark needs being met by a man with confident good looks and a desire for control, she’s not sure anything else matters. Just the burn for more.
If I Were You didn’t go the way I hoped AT ALL. I wanted the slow unraveling of the story in the journals, a mystery, intensity, sex, danger, a fight for your life! What I got instead was:
- Disappointment, because we only got to read like 2 journal entries. I thought we’d slowly read through the journals to uncover the story, but instead the story begins with Sara reading the last entry.
- Sara is concerned about Rebecca and sets out to find her.
- Almost immediately after immersing herself into Rebecca’s life at the art gallery, Sara meets an artist. Suddenly Rebecca’s whole story is ignored. We get nothing about Rebecca for like 60% of the book while Sara is busy having sex with this artist guy.
- At the end, Sara is like, “Oh yeah, Rebecca!” and turns her attention back to that for all of 2 seconds, before the story is cut off in the middle (to create a “cliffhanger”).
I’m going to talk about the end first because I’m just so fucking pissed. I won’t reveal any spoilers, I’ll just say that it ends on a “cliffhanger”. But it’s not a cliffhanger. I consider a cliffhanger to be something that happens at the end of a complete story that has you desperately wanting more. But If I Were You is NOT a complete story! The book ends before anything has actually ever happened.
There is sort of a “big reveal” at the end (something before the cliffhanger), but it was hardly a big reveal.. it was obvious ALL ALONG! View Spoiler » [Sara learns that Chris is into some kinky BDSM stuff. SHOCKER! Really? How is this a HUGE SURPRISE to Sara, when she makes note of his obsession with control and dominance throughout the entire book? Their sex scenes are all about him ordering her around and exercising his dominance over her. She knows this and acknowledges it. So why is it then a huge surprise to find out he’s a member of some kinky BDSM club? That’s the next logical step. « Hide Spoiler]
But mostly I was just severely disappointed that the book practically ended in the middle of a sentence. By the end, we still know absolutely nothing about Rebecca or where she is. The book just… ends. That is NOT the way to end the first book in a series. That does not a cliffhanger make.
Also, on a side note, I really didn’t like Chris. I thought I liked him at first, but over time he actually became two different characters. He had one personality (the laid back, artistic type), and then a totally different personality (the domineering control freak). I felt like they didn’t go together. They made Chris seem like two completely different people (and not in an interesting way, but in a “this character doesn’t seem like a realistic person” way). I’m all about characters having secret sides to themselves, but in this case it just didn’t work.
Here’s how I wanted the book to go:
Sara starts out reading the journals one by one. As she’s reading them, she starts immersing herself in Rebecca’s life (like getting a job at the gallery she works at). She starts a relationship with a handsome, rich guy and cue lots of sex. But as she continues reading the journals, she realizes that the man described in the journals sounds an awful lot like the man she’s with now. She slowly starts to get terrified, but doesn’t know how to get out and make a clean break. She does a bit of digging and all clues lead to something sinister happening to Rebecca. Did this guy kill her? Is she next? Danger, mystery, sex, and a hot but terrifying relationship that she doesn’t know how to escape from without becoming the next victim.
Unfortunately that’s not how this book went AT ALL.
- This book has ZERO plot progression. Nothing happens.
- I didn’t like Chris because his character felt unrealistic. It’s like he had a split personality.
- The mystery around Rebecca goes NOWHERE. It’s completely ignored for over half the book.
- The “big shocker” wasn’t a shocker at all.
- The book ends practically in the middle of the book. It’s not a cliffhanger, it’s just a bad ending.