Escaping RealitySeries: The Secret Life of Amy Bensen #1
by Lisa Renee Jones
Published by Gallery Books, Simon & Schuster on May 5th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
His touch spirals through me, warm and sweet, wicked and hot. I shouldn’t trust him. I shouldn’t tell him my secrets. But how do I not when he is the reason I breathe? He is what I need.
At the young age of eighteen, tragedy and a dark secret force Lara to flee all she has known and loved to start a new life. Now years later, with a new identity as Amy, she’s finally dared to believe she is forgotten—even if she cannot forget. But just when she lets her guard down, the ghosts of her past are quick to punish her, forcing her back on the run.
On a plane, struggling to face the devastation of losing everything again and starting over, Amy meets Liam Stone, a darkly entrancing billionaire recluse, who is also a brilliant, and famous, prodigy architect. A man who knows what he wants and goes after it. And what he wants is Amy. Refusing to take “no” as an answer, he sweeps her into a passionate affair, pushing her to her erotic limits. He wants to possess her. He makes her want to be possessed. Liam demands everything from her, accepting nothing less. But what if she is too devastated by tragedy to know when he wants more than she should give?
Escaping Reality, book one in the Secret Life of Amy Bensen series, was originally written back in 2013. I actually remember it coming out and a bunch of my friends liking it. I noticed that it was being re-released this past summer to coincide with Ms. Jones adding to the series in the fall. So the greedy little reader that I am, I snapped it up for review so I can see for myself what all the hype is about Ms. Jones’ writing.
I’ve got to admit, Ms. Jones can write a suspenseful, intriguing, red-hot romantic story. I absolutely loved her writing! Maybe it was because I had no expectations going into this story but I was surprised by how much plot there was to this romance. That’s what I get for not reading or remembering the synopsis, right? But I found myself quickly hooked and turning pages like a fiend trying to find out who is out to get Amy and who is protecting her.
Amy was eighteen years old when she lost her entire family to a tragedy and has been on the run ever since. She’s been able to elude who she assumes are “bad guys” out to get her with the help of an anonymous “handler” who gives her money and a new identity when the bad guys get close to her. It’s during one of her escapes that she meets Liam Stone. Despite having to live with no connections to anyone and stay under the radar, Liam inspires Amy to live and want to be free.
I loved the character of Liam because he was so different than typical rich billionaire you see written constantly. Liam came by money by sheer accident and talent and his backstory is interesting all on its own. You add in how the money and his talent affects his everyday life and I could instantly see why Liam was so attracted (addicted?) to Amy.
So here’s the part where you wonder, why not 5 stars?
I am not a fan of major storylines being spread across two books. I would not have normally picked up this book to read after seeing all the reviews warning of the dreaded CLIFFHANGER ending. There are two reasons why I was okay reading this book. One, I didn’t see the cliffhanger reviews so I didn’t know (oops). And two, after coming down off the ceiling when I finished this book, I saw that book two was out and ready for me…
Infinite PossibilitiesSeries: The Secret Life of Amy Bensen #2
by Lisa Renee Jones
Published by Gallery Books, Simon & Schuster on July 7th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Secrets and Lies. They are everywhere: haunting her, tormenting her. In the midst of it all, he’d been her escape, her passion. The only person she’d trusted in six years. And then he’d made her doubt that trust, wounding her deeply. But she is ready to fight and not just for survival. She is fighting for the truth and she won’t stop until she has it, not even for…him.
I count myself as a Lisa Renee Jones fan now but I just have to watch what I read of hers and when. Either I make sure her book is a standalone or I look to see if all the books in her series are out and available. Otherwise, temper tantrums will be thrown and I don’t do them pretty. Nope, I just don’t.
Book two in the Secret Life of Amy Bensen series picks up right where book one ended. I was very happy to see that the plot moved along a tiny bit quicker in this book than it did in Escaping Reality. Infinite Possibilities is the perfect title for this book because Amy is working on getting her life back and be able to be a part of the world that’s right out in front of her.
Amy is still looking for someone to trust explicitly and she isn’t sure if it’s Liam yet. After ten years of trusting no one, it’s a hard habit to break but Liam is doing everything in his power to make Amy his. Amy is slowly starting to figure out some of the puzzle pieces but I wish she figured them out faster. There was still a lot of action, mystery, and (hello!) romance. But it isn’t until very close to the end of the book that Amy really understands what is going on and who is messing with her life. I sort of knew before then but I hated waiting through two whole books to confirm my suspicions!
Same great Ms. Jones writing, same exciting plot. My only grief with the book (any book that does this) is that Amy wasn’t getting smarter about her decisions until the end. And even then, she still took stupid risks and rationalized risks as not really serious. She needed to do more sharing and less trying to do things on her own. I was getting frustrated for some of the characters!
But the pace of the plot and some of the new, added elements made up for Amy’s lack of common sense. Oh, and there’s a big sweetheart named Liam who I wouldn’t kick out of bed for eating crackers. I’d take him any day of the week.
Either way, if you read the first book, you are definitely going to want to read the second book.