Title: If I Were You
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Publication Date: August 24, 2012
Source: Net Galley
Summary (from Goodreads):
How it began…
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 expires.
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.
I just recently joined Net Galley, and was browsing the books when I came across If I Were You. The words Fifty Shades of Grey… caught my attention and it was the reason that I almost didn’t click the more information button. I’m sure for most bloggers finding a book that claimed to be like Fifty would be a huge turn on. I’m not one of those bloggers. I am not a Fifty Shades fan. But the little bit of summary that showed did intrigue me, so I clicked to read the rest and was immediately hooked. I wanted to know more. But still I held off requesting because of the fear that it would indeed be like Fifty.
Finally, after two days being unable to stop thinking about the book with the captivating summary, I sucked up my reservation and requested it. You know what I found out? This book is nothing like Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s SO much better.
There’s actually a plot, unlike Fifty where there is no story line at all. The sex is hot, yet they’re not going at it every three pages. The characters aren’t annoying and controlling in an eat-or-I’ll-force-feed-you kind of way. There are no inner goddess ramblings. The female character isn’t going from virgin to sub in a snap, and it’s well written – something the book it claims to be like is not.
Sarah is a strong character. She knows what she wants and doesn’t let anyone tell her different when it comes to her life – now. There was a time when she let other people call the shots and do things she didn’t want to do but she grew up. She’s walked away from wealth and privilege to find herself and be her own person.
How can you not love Chris? While there may be similarities to Christian in the way he feels he’s fucked up, that’s where it ends. He’s not thrusting bondage disclosure papers at Sarah and demanding things from her, not controlling her life - in fact, he ends up supporting her and her decisions when it comes to her work. Yes, he’s closed off and guarded but he’s also gentle and loving.
But there’s a deeper story than just the two of them. There’s the plot: Rebecca. A woman Sarah fears is in trouble and is trying to find. What happened to Rebecca? I need to know! And who really is the man she’s writing about in the journal? Is it really Mark (who by the way I do not like and think is creepy)? Is it possible it is Chris? I keep thinking there has to be a connection that will tie them all together and I can’t get enough. My imagination is running away with me with all the possibilities where Jones may take this story and then I’m left hanging! Ack! How will I last not know what happens until the squeal is released?!
I’m sure by claiming to be like Fifty Shades of Grey, Jones felt like she was complimenting her book. I think by making the comparison the author is putting her book down for the simple fact her work is superior to that of James’s. If it’s a competition between the two of them for best new BDSM book, this is the one that should be taking the world by storm. Please, Ms. Jones, stop comparing your book to the drivel of Fifty. You’re better than that.