I mentioned recently that being approved to read this novella was serendipitous, since I'd just happened to hear a fantastic interview that Lisa Renee Jones gave on the DBSA podcast, produced by Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and Jane from Dear Author. I found her so knowledgeable, not only about the writing part of being an author but also the business planning and the marketing part, the two areas where writers feel like they don't know what they're doing and have to really step out of their shell to do well. She made me realize how little I know about an industry that I want to be a part of.
I found His Secrets via NetGalley and I was intrigued by the blurb (okay also the book cover) so I requested it. Also it is a novella and I don't know why I torture myself with novellas-- they're never enough-- but they do tend to be short and sometimes I need a little hit in between 442 page books.
His Secrets drops us after book three in the Inside Out series, a series I have never even heard of, let alone read. Let me say that this is not really a stand alone novella. There are so many details inferred from previous books that I was quite confused and tried hard to muddle my way through. To un-confuse myself, I purchased books one, two and three, so I can re-read the novella and know what the author is talking about.
The gist, as I can grab it is that Chris and his newly engaged fiancee Sara have escaped to Paris, but not purely for pleasure. Chris has taken her to his former home, a place where dark corners bring bad memories, something about a woman named Amber and a murder. The story opens with Chris completing a painting of Sara, replete with a dragon tatoo that matches his. I find Jones' writing to be beautiful and sensual, fraught with utterances like, "The painting isn't about you getting covered in tats.... it's about you being covered in me." Deep. I liked that line.
As this is an erotic romance, there is use of sex toys (nipple clamps) and Chris is called away to a club where it appears people enjoy being whipped. A BDSM club, it sounds like. These are usually details I skip over in BDSM books-- they seem to be part of the overall story in this series.
This novella is from Chris's POV which I've found to be a great change of pace. There's a definite difference in how men and women dissect a situation. Men are action oriented and straightforward-- this is happening, here's how I feel about it. Women are introspective, looking for meaning in every word, turn of phrase, expression. I get bogged down in looking for the meaning in everything.
I'm sure if i'd been following along, the characters of Amber and Tristan and Isabel would have meant more to me. The story that unfolded, however, was well written, with danger and excitement and emotion building to a crescendo. For not knowing what was going on, I was for sure interested in the story that was there, how these characters relate to each other, why are they important to the story-- Chris' story in particular.
I'm sure I'll enjoy this foray into Chris' mind after I finish the first three books.