AUTHOR: LISA RENEE JONES
Details: An Inside Out Story
Received from the author
Own / Kindle
Before I say anything else I have to point out the following. This novella is part of a series and it is very important that it is not read out of order. This book should not be read before “Being Me” since it is one big spoiler for things that are revealed in that story. If you have any doubts about the reading order please visit the Lisa Renee Jones’ website and have a look there or have a close look at the following graphic (which I found on the author's Facebook page):
I’m sure I read somewhere that Lisa Renee Jones is planning (already writing?) a full-length novel from Mark Comptom’s point of view. And, if I’m honest, I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. I wasn’t overly charmed by our Master from what I read in “If I Were You”, Rebecca’s Lost Journals and “Being Me” and wasn’t sure if there was anything the author could do to make me interested in his story.
Oh me of little faith. I should of course have known better. If all the previous Inside Out books and stories have proved anything, it is that Lisa Renee Jones writes wonderful stories around fascinating characters. The 40 pages in this way too short novella have made a convert out of me. I can’t wait to read more about this man, his past, his secrets and whether or not this woman he’s just met will be able to break through the walls he has so efficiently erected around his heart.
Mark Comptom, the Master, is not having an easy time of it. He’s made a few mistakes in the past. Mistakes for which he has paid a price but somebody else paid a much higher one, and now he is travelling to be with his mother who has been diagnosed with cancer. For a long time now Mark has been living his life convinced that he was in control; of himself, of his life and of those close to him. Now he finds himself wondering whether or not he still has that control; if he ever had it to begin with. He may no longer be sure who or what exactly he is but there is one thing Mark is very sure of; never again will he allow anybody to get close enough to him to put them at risk of being hurt by him.
Good intentions are all very well in theory; reality is often very different. When Mark meets Crystal Smith who works for Riptide in New York he finds himself dealing with reactions and emotions that are quite new to him.
Crystal Smith is the complete opposite of the sort of woman Mark usually finds himself attracted to; blond, assertive, independent and without a submissive bone in her body, she shouldn’t affect him at all. And yet:
“She’s everything I don’t like in a woman, and yet I can’t take my eyes of her.”
“Yes – starving. I’m starving. For her.”
And Crystal is able to see right through him. She recognises things in Mark others never see because he doesn’t allow them to be visible. Both of them know that they shouldn’t get too close because they are just too similar.
“I’m a control freak, she readily admits. You’re a control freak. We’d be like two bulls after the same red scarf.”
But sometimes knowing the right thing to do and doing it are two very different things:
“I’m lost in her, in kissing her, in touching her, and I can feel how lost she is, too.”
For once, Mark finds himself in an encounter that is not completely in his hands. It may be due to his defences being low because of all the pain and fear that have recently entered his life, but for once it would seem that our Master has found his match:
“She’s real to me in a way no one else has felt in too long.”
I can’t wait to see how this story is going to develop. Without a doubt there will be fireworks involved.