A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review at Romancing Rakes for the Love of Romance.
This review will contain spoilers for IF I WERE YOU and BEING ME, the previous two books in the INSIDE OUT series. REVEALING US should not be considered a stand-alone book.
If you’ve already read all the previous entries in Lisa Renee Jones’ gripping INSIDE OUT series - two full length books and five novellas at last count - you already know what happened to Rebecca, who her Master is/was, and how the delayed revelation of that secret nearly led to Sara being murdered by the woman who wanted Rebecca’s Master for herself. REVEALING US picks up right where we saw Sara last: sitting forlornly on the bed of her missing friend Ella, still recovering from both the attack on her life and the ultimatum Chris gave her before walking out the door. Chris is leaving for Paris that very night and he wants Sara to go with him. The implication is that if she chooses to stay, their relationship is over. But is going away with Chris the right decision? Sara may have been nearly killed only hours before, but she knows that she can’t let Chris go, and decides to join him on the late night flight.
Despite Chris’ assurances that their life in Paris will be wonderful, Sara finds herself in a place where she can’t speak the language, doesn’t like the food and keeps being confronted by various women still angry at being discarded by Chris in the not too distant past. It’s no wonder that Sara worries that she’s made a terrible mistake and that Chris will soon tire of her as he has with every other woman. But ever since she’s started trying to find out what happened after her friend Ella left to be married in Paris, Sara has also had the unsettling feeling that she’s being watched. When the hunt for Ella collides with the remaining secrets in Chris’ past, it’s Sara that gets caught in the crossfire, and there’s no guarantee that she or her relationship with Chris will survive.
I’m a huge fan of Lisa Renee Jones’ INSIDE OUT series and was impatiently awaiting this concluding book in what was originally announced as a trilogy. When the trilogy officially became a pentalogy (two more full length books will appear in the series after this one), I was concerned that Chris and Sara’s happy ending would be postponed even further. But the author reassured readers that although more was to come, this third book would still give them closure as a couple. Not only does REVEALING US provide a satisfying culmination for Chris and Sara, it also sheds new light on what may have happened to Ella, with plenty of details to keep us guessing until the fourth book arrives.
Nearly all of REVEALING US takes place in Paris, and although I missed Mark’s presence, it was a good way to focus the story on Chris and Sara without all the chaos of the previous events and the ongoing police investigation taking away from their story. Living with Chris in Paris, Sara had to deal with the full force of his day-to-day life as a famous artist in a way she’d never experienced back in San Francisco. Here she was just his latest girlfriend, and one that apparently nobody expected to stick around for long. It didn’t help that Chris had left so many disgruntled women in his past, and apparently every one of them wanted a piece of her. It got to where I pretty much expected someone to show up and threaten Sara every time she went to the ladies’ room alone.
The best part of REVEALING US is that Chris and Sara did begin to talk more and get to know each other better in a way that would help them handle all the obstacles put in their path during the course of this story. They both learned to trust each other in a way neither had in the previous two books, which had the added benefit of making their intimate moments even more emotionally compelling.
The problem for me in this story was when Sara kept ignoring Chris’ warnings to keep herself safe, constantly rushing headlong into yet another situation that put her in danger. All the while Chris kept saying there was one more big secret to reveal but insisting on waiting until the time was right to tell her. I was worried that the time might never be right if Sara managed to get herself arrested, kidnapped or worse before that could happen. I didn’t expect Sara to just agree to everything Chris wanted (despite their intermittent Dom/sub sexual interplay) but she seemed to lack common sense in a few key situations where I considered her exceptionally fortunate to have survived her poor choices.
This may make it sound like I did not enjoy this book, but that is far from the truth. I devoured REVEALING US in one long uninterrupted read where I simply could not put the book down and had to keep turning each page to find out what was going to happen next. I cheered when Sara followed Chris to Paris, I swooned when their trust and love for each other grew stronger and deeper, and I yelled when events (and evil ex-girlfriends) threatened to tear them apart. I loved the way Chris and Sara finally got to their happy ending (at least for this entry in the series) and I can’t wait to see what Lisa Renee Jones is going to do in the next book to bring Mark back into the story and show us what’s happened to Ella. If the next book is anything like REVEALING US, it’s going to be a heck of a ride.
“I can’t believe I’m going to say this out loud.” I draw a breath and force my chin up. “Right or wrong, I needed her to know I could and would protect what is mine.”
Seconds tick by before he softly asks, “Which is what, Sara?”
The husky quality to his voice gives me courage. “You,” I whisper. “I needed her to know you belong to me now.”