Series: Inside Out #5
Published by: Gallery Books
on November 18, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Suspense
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Being that person, that man is how I define myself, how I allow the rest of the world to define me as well. And now, with a terrible loss shredding me inside out and someone trying to destroy my family to punish me, control is more important than ever. It is everything. It is what I need. It is all I need. Or maybe I just need…her.
Absolute perfection. Ms. Jones constantly amazes me with how she stays so true to her characters. Mark’s story made my heart swell with sadness, happiness, and pride. Beautiful, riveting, emotional, and passionate, I Belong To You is just another example of how Lisa Renee Jones’ INSIDE OUT Series is, and always will be, one of the best series I have ever read. It was an absolute divine treat to have a full Inside Out novel for my favorite character in the series, Mark Compton. With the novellas that preceded I BELONG TO YOU, we only get a small taste of what Mark and Crystal are really about. With this book, it has been BLOWN OUT OF THE WATER, everything comes together in the best possible way. You learn just how perfect Mark and Crystal are for each other, how strong they are for one another, and how far they are willing to go to be together.
Ms. Jones puts it well when she says that in I BELONG TO YOU, we learn who the man is beneath the MASTER. All the questions and concerns you had about Mr. Compton, well look no further, you have hit the jackpot with this book!
Secrets, lies, and deception is the theme of this book, as well as, freedom, all-consuming love, and the strength of letting go of your control. Emotion after emotion was pulled from me during this read and this entire series. I love diving into the minds of these characters and I love the perfection that is Lisa Renee Jones’ writing style. She can do no wrong in my book, and is, and always will be, the queen of romantic suspense with an edge. If you want a powerful, emotional, suspenseful read, than look no further, the INSIDE OUT Series has got to be one of the best series out there and these books and characters will forever be embedded into my heart. Bravo Lisa and thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving Mark a voice and a beautiful and perfect soul mate.
Crystal’s eyes meet mine, and I know she’s seen what I feel. My ability to hide my emotions has gone to shit, along with my ability to deny they exist—at least where she’s concerned. I have that sense of connection with her. It’s a vulnerable moment, and I find myself fighting the rawness of the emotions it stirs. My cock thickens, the need for sex and release—my way of coping with what I don’t want to exist—hitting me hard and fast.
“We’re leaving at nine, instead of eight thirty,” I say, walking past her to the shower. After stripping down, I open the door to turn on the water and don’t wait for it to warm. Stepping forward, I let the cold water wash over me and turn my back to Crystal, pressing my hands on the wall.
Her voice whispers over my nerve endings and my body doesn’t seem to care how cold the water is. I want her. “Not now, Ms. Smith.” I grab her shampoo and soap my hair, the damn flowery scent surrounding me. I rinse it off but it’s too late; the scent is all over me. I wipe water from my face, smooth my hair back, and turn to the damn wall again, smelling roses and jasmine mixed together. Rebecca. Crystal. Confusion.
The door opens, telling me Crystal has ignored my dismissal, but what’s new? I cut her a hard look over my shoulder. “What part of ‘not now’ do you not understand?” I ask, my eyes traveling her naked body, her tight little pink nipples, and I growl low in my throat with the thickening of my cock, turning away to let my head fall forward.
“Oh dear God,” she gasps, “the water is freezing.” In a moment the cold becomes warm, like my blood.
“Go away, Ms.—”
“Crystal,” she corrects as she ducks under my arms to rest on the wall in front of me, her hands settling on my chest and turning my warm blood to hot.
Grinding my teeth, I compel myself not to touch her. “Damn it, woman. Don’t you get it? I fuck when I’m in a bad place. That’s what I do. I fuck, and I need to fuckyou right now.”
She wraps her arms around me, my erection pressing against her hip, and it’s torture, absolute torture, not to touch her. “Then fuck me,” she whispers.
“What part of ‘we don’t have a condom’ have you forgotten?”
“I’m on the pill.”
“And you didn’t tell me last night,” I say, part a demand for explanation and part accusation.
“You told me you always use condoms. I knew that made you safe for me, but I wasn’t sure you’d think it made me safe for you.”
“How many partners?”
She blinks. “Partners? Oh. Partners. One without a condom, and I lived with him for over a year. He was clean. I made sure of it, and just to be clear, I’d never go without a condom for a one-night stand. Or even several, like we were. But now you’re—”
“Moving in with you,” I say, wrapping my fingers around her neck, pulling her mouth a breath from mine. “That means you belong to me now.”
“No,” she says. “It means—”
My mouth slants over hers, cutting off her words, my tongue pressing past her lips, delving deeply, possessiveness rising in me so intense that it’s a living, breathing thing. I hate the man she lived with. I deepen the kiss, wild hunger rising inside me, driven by darkness and the self-blame that I’ve lived with for ten years. What am I doing with Crystal? What the fuck am I doing?
I turn her into a corner, my hands on her shoulders, and step back enough to loosen her grip around my waist. “You should get me the hell out of your life, before I destroy you like I did Rebecca. Tell me to leave.”
She laughs without humor. “Like you’d listen?”
“Damn it, tell me to leave, Crystal,” I demand.
“Your staying or leaving doesn’t impact the premise of your demand, which seems to be that I have no control over myself. That’s wrong. I decide who destroys me, not you, Mark Compton.”
“You think Rebecca didn’t say that?”
“Apparently being a Master has confused you, or made you a little too arrogant for your own good. I have a mind of my own.”
“That’s what she said.”
Her hands go to my arms. “And she left you, Mark. That’s not a woman who lost her backbone or her own mind. She wasn’t too weak to survive you and whatever you think you did to her.”
I tangle my fingers in her now damp hair. “You don’t know everything. You were right when you said I’m an asshole. I am.” I turn her to the wall and lean in close. “You want me to stay?”
“Are you sure?
“Yes. I want you to stay.”
“Then you need to know who and what I am. I’m going to spank you and it’s not going to be gentle. And in the future I will flog you, clamp you, and torment you in ways that you have never dreamed of. Still want me to stay?”
“Do you want me to stay?” I ask, rubbing her backside to get the blood flow where I want it.
“Yes. I do.”
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