Lisa Renee Jones
My Control (Inside Out)
Pocket Star / September 8, 2014 / $.99 digital
I have lost the man I once was, letting guilt and heartache define who I am. Darkness has controlled me, and one woman has seen what no one else has seen in me, what I do not wish to exist. I'm consumed with my hunger for her and my need for her has driven me to the edge of sanity, but no more.
She's about to find out that the Master has returned.
My Control is the third novella of Mark Compton's story in the Inside Out series by Lisa Renee Jones. Mark is a dark, enigmatic character with plenty of secrets. He is also the star of Rebecca’s journals, and his guilt over her disappearance has increased tenfold now that his ex-playmate, Ava, has confessed to killing Rebecca. He is also dealing with his mother suffering with cancer and with the police investigation resulting from not only Ava’s impulsive behavior but from Sara investigating Rebecca’s disappearance in the first place. And then, of course, there is Crystal. Crystal, who runs point at Riptide, and who has gone toe-to-toe with Mark. She is no one’s submissive and while she cares about Mark, they have to balance their incredible chemistry with Mark’s needs. Jones takes us through one of the most challenging parts of any romance: the courtship.
Mark is incredibly attracted to Crystal. The biggest problem is that he doesn’t want to be. But between his mother’s cancer and Ava’s antics, he needs Crystal; she has flown to be by his side for business and for what will undoubtedly end in pleasure. Since the novella is told from both points of view, we hear from Crystal as well as Mark. She has the same problem, which is no surprise, since she is as dominant as he is. She doesn’t want to be attracted to Mark either, but she is compelled by him. She sees through the Dom to the man inside of him, and we know that Mark has rarely had that benefit afforded him.
When the novella opens, Crystal is at Mark’s side. He is wracked with guilt as he scours the news for any information regarding the search for Rebecca. Mark can’t cope with wanting Crystal so badly considering how much he loved Rebecca and yet pushed her away. His relationship with Rebecca was a failed courtship and if it’s possible, his feelings for Crystal are stronger. Despite Rebecca’s absence, Jones does an excellent job of making her as vivid a character as any of the other players. The ghost of Rebecca’s presence is probably even more daunting to overcome as she isn’t there to fight for herself.
The push/pull of Crystal and Mark’s courtship is rooted in Mark’s need to dominate and protect, and her ability to call him out when he puts himself too far over the edge. Crystal has already told Mark that she will never be his sub, so Mark finds himself in unchartered territory. Does he have what it takes to take Crystal on as she is? Does he even deserve to after the way he let Rebecca slip through his fingers, especially when it is highly likely that Rebecca was killed because of Ava’s jealousy? However, Crystal isn’t going to let Mark wallow in guilt. She is going to be by his side and be the equal partner he needs. As many times as he has tried to pull his Dom tricks on her, she isn’t having it, and Mark knows it. He just has to keep her alive long enough to see things through.
There is a lot more to tell in the Inside Out series, and certainly more to hear from Mark and Crystal. This rich world of BDSM, power players, and secrets could be mined for many sexy stories, and Jones has done an ace job of it so far. We will just have to wait with baited breath for the next entry in the series to see where Mark and Crystal end up!
Learn more about or pre-order a copy of My Control by Lisa Renee Jones, available September 8, 2014:
Nicole Leapheart's alter ego is Miss Boxy Frown, and she posts book reviews and TV recaps at missboxyfrown.blogspot.com. She reads and watches everything from romance to sci-fi, but enjoys it even more if some smut is involved. And tattoos.