Are you ready?ed. H thinks Skye is behind it.
Are you ready
From New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones comes a brand new gripping and provocative novel that ties into her bestselling Careless Whispers and Inside Out series. You can enjoy this as a standalone, but fans of Careless Whispers and Inside Out will get an exciting glimpse of who Ella really is and some of the secrets she's been hiding from everyone she knows.
Desperate to pay for law school, Skye tries her hand at auction hunting with her friend Ella, only to find a poker chip and a note leading to an offsite locker. The next thing she knows, Jason “Red Bull” Wise—a famous, millionaire poker player—is at her door, accusing her of blackmail. Innocent, she swears he’s wrong. He rolls the dice and believes her, impulsively inviting her along to Las Vegas. And remarkably, cautious Skye takes a risk, finding herself seduced by this dangerously alluring man, on his private jet, and finally living life to the fullest. But there is more than passion waiting for Skye and Jason in Vegas when blackmail takes a deadly turn.
Behind Closed Doors by Lisa Renee Jones
Reviewed by Amy W.
As an avid reader of the Inside Out series, I was excited to see that author Lisa Renee Jones had created another set of characters in Behind Closed Doors.
This story is described as a stand-alone, with characters overlapping in both the Inside Out and Careless Whisper series. The author also notes in the reader welcome that this story is a "fun departure from my normal dark and gritty writing."
Since I got thoroughly wrapped up in the Inside Out series and suffered a major book hangover after each installment, I was eager to see what a "lighter" story would look like from this author.
The story has two key elements that immediately captured my attention. First, the main action at the beginning centers around an abandoned storage unit purchased by Skye. Fans of Storage Wars will enjoy the parallels. Second, Jason is a professional high stakes poker player. The tournament provides plenty of action and intrigue.
Although this can definitely be read as a standalone, there is a cameo appearance by Ella, which bridges the gap between the Inside Out series and the Careless Whispers series. This definitely creates an interest to read more from this author because inquiring minds want to know more about Ella.
The chemistry between Skye and Jason is solid. While the heat doesn't quite approach the nuclear mode from the Inside Out series, this story easily holds its own.
Add in drama in the form of a stalker and there is plenty of excitement to go around.
EXCERPT from BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
For the first time in many years, I’m not thinking about the elevator I’m inside. “Very clearly,” I dare, and maybe it’s because this is Vegas, or one weekend that I’m not sure is just one weekend. I dare because there’s something about Jason that lets me be me.
His eyes darken, approval in their depths. “And here I thought you’d be blushing.”
“Not at all.”
“Well, I am the one who kissed you first.”
“Also a good surprise.” He leans in and presses his cheek to mine. “How many ways can I fuck you, Skye?”
My nipples tighten; my breasts feel heavy. “You tell me.”
The elevator dings and he leans back to look at me. “How about I show you?”
He doesn’t wait for an answer, lacing his fingers with mine and leading me into the hallway, and in an instant, his arm is back around me. It’s now a familiar gesture, a welcome one, and I try to figure out why I like it so very much—just as I do the easy way he touches me. I’d say that’s because I haven’t exactly been letting anyone touch me, but it’s not. It’s Jason. It’s the warm, wonderful, sexy, playful, erotic way every moment lights up when I’m with him, and I’m not going to overthink this. I’m just going to enjoy what could be one weekend with this man. I’m going to enjoy the way he plays his cards. Wholly focused on him and nothing else.
We reach the door, and the swipe of the key card seems to go in slow motion, my heart thundering in my chest. He opens the door but pauses with it cracked, and somehow I’m standing beside him and we’re staring at each other, a charge between us, worlds of questions with it. Will we, are we, could we?
He pulls me in front of him, his big, hard body framing mine, his hands on my belly, his lips near my ear. “When you walk in that door, I’m going to lick, kiss, and touch ever part of you possible. I’m also going to answer every question I just saw in your eyes.”
I all but melt at Jason’s erotic promises, and when he opens the door, I’m quick to enter the apartment. He is on my heels, the door shutting, locking, and the instant I’ve turned to face him, I’m against the wall—and while it is hard, his body, intimately aligned with mine, is harder. His fingers tangle in my hair, his mouth lingering above mine for several hot pulses before he is kissing me, passionately, deeply. Tasting me like I’m his next breath, his tongue licking into my mouth, caressing, seducing.
Sensations roll through me, a moan with them, my fingers closing around his shirt, holding on to him, silently asking for more. But instead he tears his mouth from mine, gazing down at me, his expression unreadable. “You had me from the moment I met you,” he says. “That’s my answer to what you wanted to know in the hallway. And no one has ever done that to me.”
“Of course they have. I know they have.”
“Have I wanted to fuck a woman when I first met her? Of course. But fucking a woman isn’t something that requires a morning after. I made sure we had one. More than one.”
makes you want more, and that can easily become an emotional firecracker, better avoided. “You’re a weekend kind of guy, Jason.”
“Yes,” he says. “I am.”
“Then I don’t understand. What does that mean?”
“I’ll let you know when I figure it out,” he says, and while the reply has me reeling, so does his mouth that’s now on me, this kiss hard, fast, intense, and drugging, his hands going beneath my shirt and pushing it upward. “I need you naked,” he orders, his fingers finding my bra and deftly unsnapping it.
“I need you naked,” I reply, sounding breathless—feeling it, too.
“Ladies first,” he says, pulling my top over my head and tossing it, my bra gone just as fast. And then his hands are at my waist, his eyes lowering to my breasts, lingering on my nipples that pucker and ache in response, before he is looking at me again, smoldering embers and fire in those green, green eyes. “You’re beautiful,” he declares.
His words, low and rough, manage to be both sandpaper and silk, sliding along my nerve endings, a caress I feel in every part of me, inside and out. And I do not know what it is about this moment, but as I look at him, as he looks at me, it is perhaps the most erotic moment I’ve ever shared with a man. There’s something happening between us, something he is doing to me that I have never experienced, but oh, I want to. Badly. Intensely. Completely.
My hands slide under his shirt, his warm, muscular body beneath my palms. “Please take this off,” I say, pushing it upward.
He drags it over his head, tossing it away, exposing an all-black tattoo covering most of his right shoulder, opposite the red bull I’d seen once before. My hand goes to it, fingers tracing the intricate design of skulls, an ace of spades, and roses. And I have the craziest thought that, like our attraction to one another, these are pieces of a puzzle that do not fit, and yet somehow fit perfectly, beautifully.
My gaze lifts and I find him watching me, unreadable, when I myself don’t even try to hide what I feel. Why would I? This is a weekend. He just said that himself. He’s a weekend kind of guy, and waking up with him a few mornings won’t change that fact. “I’ve never been with a man who had a tattoo,” I admit. “I’ve never been with anyone like you.”
“Is that good or bad?”
Good, I think. Really, damn good, but instead, I repeat my thoughts from earlier. “What we think we want isn’t always what we need.” And what I need right now is this man.
He cups my face, staring down at me, his eyes sharp, penetrating, as if he can see my soul, and I have nowhere to hide. “I don’t want to be like anyone else you’ve been with, but I have to be honest. You make me greedy. I have you half naked. I could be inside you right now, and already that isn’t enough. I don’t want to just fuck you, Skye.” He steps farther into me, pressing my hands to the wall, his cheek back against mine, his breath teasing my cheek. “I want all of you. Even the parts that create your fear of that elevator.”
I feel myself shut down instantly, my lashes lowering, my chest suddenly tight, emotions assailing me—they are always assailing me with this man. “She’s not available.”
He leans back to look at me. “And yet she’s the person I’m with right now. She’s the one who just withdrew and shut down.”
“You did.” His thumb brushes my cheek. “And it’s okay. You don’t know me enough to trust me, but I want to work on that.”
“We have two days, Jason. I think we should just get naked and—”
He brushes his lips over mine and presses my hands to the wall. “I want you to hold your hands there. They’re not tied up. You’re free to move, but if you do, I’ll stop what I’m doing. My control. Your pleasure. Your choice.”
“If my hands are against the wall, I can’t touch you.”
His lips curve. “And I want you to touch me, baby, but when I tell you to touch me.”
“I already don’t like this.”
“You will. I promise. But if there’s anything I do that you don’t like, just tell me. I’ll listen. And I’ll lick you someplace else. Or kiss you a whole new way. As long as I get to kiss you and lick you, I’m a happy man.”