This spicy contemporary romance blends mystery and eroticism in a fascinating story that does a very nice job of presenting a different side of the man who is at times irritating and domineering, yet occasionally gives glimpses of a deeply devoted and caring person. Events have been escalating over the course of the series, with multiple unexpected twists, and this story continues that tradition. I wasn't entirely pleased to learn about yet another traumatic event that shaped Mark's life, as I felt that it was a little bit too conveniently revealed, but I thought that the rest of the story showed the evolution of a man being sorely tested. Crystal's background and support system is also explored, and it is delightful to see her expertise and ability to meet Mark on his own turf, even if it is frustrating to watch their clashes and inconsistent interactions that explode into sensual explorations of uncharted territory. I was very relieved to have SOME resolution of various threads, and I think that this is a great addition to the series, but I believe that this cannot be read as a stand-alone, so that one should at least read the previous novels in the series, but the novellas will flesh out the interactions between these two powerhouse characters and enhance enjoyment of the series. This was an entertaining addition to an intriguing series.
“I Belong to You” by Lisa Renee Jones is part of the sensual and mysterious ‘Inside Out’ series that details the lives of a group of people who are tied together by a love of art and the mysterious disappearance of a woman who worked for an art gallery owned by Mark Compton. Mark's life is spiraling out of control, which is anathema to the Dominant who is used to rigidly manipulating everything and everyone in his life, until he has to deal with Crystal Smith. Crystal has become indispensable to Mark's mother, Dana, but she is unwilling to cede the control that Mark demands, even as she is inexorably drawn to his complex personality. Can Mark cope with the murder investigation that threatens to destroy all that he has built, be the supportive son that his seriously ill mother needs, and find a way to establish a meaningful relationship with the woman he is afraid to enmesh in the dangerous waters swirling around him? Perhaps if he has a woman who is strong enough to be everything he needs, but only if she can survive the crucible she is faced with.
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.