Escaping Reality

Escaping Reality

4.5 124
by Lisa Renee Jones
     
 

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The first book in the sexy, suspenseful new The Secret Life of Amy Bensen series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones.

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

Overview

The first book in the sexy, suspenseful new The Secret Life of Amy Bensen series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones.

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?

Editorial Reviews

RT Book Review (Top Pick)
"Intoxicating, intense and deeply seductive."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781476793825
Publisher:
Gallery Books
Publication date:
05/05/2015
Series:
Secret Life of Amy Bensen Series , #1
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
199,198
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

Escaping Reality

  • ONE

    Amy

    MY NAME IS ALL THAT’S WRITTEN on the plain white envelope taped to the mirror. It wasn’t there when I entered the ladies’ room at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    The laughter and pleasure of tonight’s charity event evaporate as fear and dread slam into me, adrenaline shooting through my body. No. No. No. This can’t be happening—but it is.

    Suddenly the room begins to fade, and everything goes gray. It’s been years since I had a flashback, and I try to fight it, but I’m already right there in it. The scent of smoke burns my nose. The sound of blistering screams shreds my nerves. And all the pain and heartache, the loss of all I once had and will never have again, threatens to overwhelm me.

    Fighting the meltdown, I swallow hard and shove away the gut-wrenching memories. I can’t let this happen. Not here, in a public place. Not when I’m certain that danger is knocking on my door.

    On wobbly knees, clumsy in the four-inch black strappy heels that made me feel sexy only minutes ago, I step forward and press my palms to the counter. I can’t seem to make myself reach for the envelope, and my gaze goes to my image in the mirror—to the long, white-blond hair I’ve worn down tonight in honor of the heritage of my Swedish mother that I’m tired of denying. Gone, too, are the dark-rimmed glasses I’ve often used to hide the pale blue eyes my parents shared, making it too easy for me to see the empty shell of a person I’ve become. If this is what I am at twenty-four years old, what will I be like at thirty-four?

    Voices sound outside the door, and I yank the envelope from the mirror and rush into a stall. Two women enter the bathroom, and I tune out their gossip about some man they’ve been admiring at the party. Leaning against the wall, I open the sealed envelope to remove a plain white notecard, and a small key drops to the floor. Cursing my shaking hands, I bend down and scoop it up. For a moment, I can’t seem to stand up. I force myself to my feet and blink away the burning sensation in my eyes to read the few short sentences typed on the card.

    I’ve found you, and so can they. Go directly to JFK airport. Do not go home. Do not linger. Locker 111 will have everything you need.

    My heart thunders in my chest as I take in the signature: a triangle with some writing inside. The same symbol that was tattood on the arm of the stranger who saved my life and helped me start a new one—and who’d made sure I understood that seeing that symbol means that I’m in danger and I have to run.

    I squeeze my eyes shut, fighting a wave of emotion. Once again, my life is about to be turned upside down. Once again, I will lose everything—and while it’s so much less than before, it’s all I have. I crumple the note in my hand, desperate to make this all go away. After six years of hiding, I’d dared to believe I was safe—but that was a mistake. Deep down I’ve known that, ever since I left my job two months ago as a research assistant at the central library to work at the museum. Being here is treading water too close to the bridge.

    Straightening, I listen as the women leave and the room goes silent. Anger erupts inside me at the idea that my life is about to be stolen from me again. Inhaling, I tear the note into tiny pieces, flush them down the toilet, and shove the envelope into the trash. I want to throw away the key, too, but some part of me won’t let that happen.

    Unzipping my small black purse, I drop the key inside. I’m going to finish my party. And maybe I’m going to finish my life right here in New York City. The note didn’t say I’d been found; it only warned me that I could be found. I don’t want to run again. I need time to think, to process, and that is going to have to wait until after the party.

    Decision made, I exit the stall, cutting my eyes away from the mirror. I don’t want to see myself right now, when I have no idea who “I” am or will be tomorrow. In the numb zone I’ve used as a survival tool before, almost as many times as I’ve tried to find the meaning of that symbol on the note, I follow the soft hum of orchestral music, entering a room with a high, oval ceiling decorated with magnificent murals. I tell myself to get lost in the crush of patrons in business attire and waiters offering champagne and finger foods, but I don’t. I simply stand there, mourning the new life I’ve just begun, and that I know is now gone. My “zone” has failed me.

    “Amy, where have you been?”

    Chloe Monroe, the only person I’ve let myself consider a friend in years, steps in front of me, a frown on her heart shaped face. From the dark brown curls bouncing around her shoulders to her outgoing personality and fun, flirty attitude, she is my polar opposite, and I love that about her. Now I will lose her. Now I will lose me, again.

    “Well,” she prods when I don’t reply quickly enough, shoving her hands onto her hips, “where have you been?”

    “The ladies’ room. There was a line.” I hate how easily the lie comes to me, how it defines me. A lie is all I am.

    Chloe’s brow furrows. “Hmmm. There wasn’t one when I was there. I guess I got lucky.” She waves off the thought. “Sabrina’s freaking out over some donation paperwork she can’t find and says she needs you. I thought you were doing research—when did you start handling donor paperwork?”

    “Last week, when she got overwhelmed,” I say, and perk up at the idea that my new boss needs me. I need to be needed, even if it’s just for tonight. “Where is she?”

    “By the front desk.” She laces her arm through mine and pulls me forward. “And I’m tagging along with you. I have a sixty-year-old admirer who’s bordering on stalker. I need to escape before he hunts me down.”

    Her light words go deep. I’m the one being hunted. I’d thought I was safe—but I’m not, and neither is anyone around me. I’ve lived that firsthand. I felt that heartache and loss and while being alone sucks, losing someone you care about is far worse.

    I stop dead in my tracks and pull Chloe around to face me. “Tell Sabrina I’m getting the forms and will be right there.”

    “Oh. Okay. Sure.” Chloe lets go of my arm, and for a moment I fight the urge to hug her. That would make her seem important to me, and someone could be watching. I turn away and rush for a doorway, feeling sick to my stomach that I’ll never see her again.

    I finally exit at the side of the building into the muggy August evening and head for a line of cabs, consciously not rushing or looking around me. I’ve learned ways to avoid attention. Going to work for a place with a direct link to the world I’d left behind wasn’t one of them, and now I’m paying for that luxury.

    “JFK airport,” I say as I slide into the back of a cab and rub the back of my neck at a familiar prickling sensation. A feeling I’d felt often my first year on my own, when I’d been certain danger waited for me around every corner. Hunted. I’m being hunted. All the denial I own won’t change my ­reality.

    THE RIDE TO the airport is thirty minutes, and it takes me another fifteen to figure out what the location of locker 111 is once I’m inside the terminal. I pull it open and see a carry-on roller suitcase and a smaller brown leather tote bag with a large yellow envelope sticking up from inside it. Having no desire to be watched while I explore what’s been left for me, I gather up the bags and head for a ladies’ room.

    Once again in a stall, I pull down the baby-changing table and check the contents of the envelope on top. There is a file folder, a bank card, a cell phone, a passport, a notecard, and another small, sealed envelope. I reach for the note first.

    There is cash in the bank account, and the PIN is 1850. I’ll add more as you need it until you get fully settled. You’ll find a new Social Security card, driver’s license, and passport as well. You have a complete history to memorize, and a résumé and job history that will check out if looked into. Throw out your cell phone. The new one is registered under your new name and address. There’s a plane ticket and the keys to an apartment. Toss all identification and don’t use your bank account or credit cards. Be smart. Don’t link yourself to your past. Stay away from museums this time.

    A new name. That’s what stands out to me. I’m getting another new name. No. No. No. My heart races at the idea. I don’t want another new name. Once again, I’m losing part of myself. After living a lie for years, I’m losing the only part of my fake identity I’d really accepted as me.

    I grab the passport and flip it open, and my hand trembles at the sight of the current photo. How did this stranger I met only one time get a picture this recent? I’d once considered him my guardian angel, but I’m freaked out by this. Has he been watching me all this time? I shiver at the idea.

    My only comfort is that my first name won’t change. I’m now Amy Bensen, rather than Amy Reynolds. I’m still Amy. It’s the one piece of good news in all of this and I cling to it, using it to stave off the meltdown I feel coming. I just have to hold it together until I get on the plane. Then I can sink into my seat and think myself into my numb zone, which I can’t seem to find right now.

    Flipping open the folder, I find an airline ticket. I’m going to Denver, and I leave in an hour. I’ve never been anywhere but Texas and New York. All I know about Denver is it’s big, it’s cold, and it’s the next place I will pretend is home, when in reality I have no home. The thought makes my chest pinch, but the fear of what might await me if I don’t run pushes me past it.

    I turn off my cell phone so it won’t ping and stuff it, with everything but my new ID and plane ticket, back into the envelope. I have my own money in the bank, and I’m not about to get rid of my identification and access to that resource. Besides, the idea of using a bank card that allows me to be tracked bothers me. I’ll be visiting the bank tomorrow and removing any cash I can get my hands on. When I’d been eighteen, naive and alone, I’d blindly trusted the stranger who’d rescued me. I might have to trust him now, too, but it won’t be blindly.

    Making my way to check-in, I fumble through using the kiosk and then make a beeline to security. A few minutes later I’m on the other side of the metal detectors, and I stop at a store to buy random things I might need. All is going well until I arrive at my gate and hear my new name paged from the desk.

    “I’m so sorry, Ms. Bensen,” the fortysomething gate agent begins. “We had an administrative error, and seats were double-booked. We—”

    “I have to be on this flight,” I say in a whispered hiss, my heart in my throat. “I have to be on this flight.”

    “I can get you a voucher and the first flight tomorrow.”

    “No.Tonight. Give someone else a bigger voucher to get me a seat.”

    “I—”

    “Talk to a supervisor,” I insist. Avoiding attention means I’m usually not a pushy person, but I have no death wish. I am alive, and plan to stay that way.

    She purses her lips, but finally she turns away and makes a path toward a man in uniform. Their heads dip low and he glances at me before the woman returns. “We have you on standby, and we’ll try to get you on.”

    “How likely is it you’ll get me on?”

    “We’re going to try.”

    “Try how hard?”

    Her lips purse again. “Very.”

    I let out a sigh of relief. “Thank you. And I’m sorry. I have a . . . crisis of sorts. I really have to get to my destination.” There is a thread of desperation to my voice that I can’t contain.

    Her expression softens. “I understand, and I am sorry this happened,” she assures me. “We are trying to make this right. And so you don’t panic, please know that we have to get everyone boarded before we make any passenger changes. You’ll likely be the last on the plane.”

    “Thanks,” I say, feeling awkward. “I’ll just go wait.” Flustered, I turn away from the counter and head to the window, where I set my bags on the floor beside me. Leaning back against the steel handrail on the glass, I position myself to see everyone around me to be sure I’m prepared for any problem before it’s upon me. And that’s when the room falls away, when my gaze collides with his.

    He’s sitting in a seat facing me, one row between us, his features handsomely carved, his dark hair a thick, rumpled finger temptation. He’s dressed in faded jeans and a dark blue T-shirt, but he could just as easily be wearing a finely fitted suit and tie. He’s older than me, maybe thirty, but there’s a worldliness, a sense of control and confidence, about him that reaches beyond years. He is money, power, and sex, and while I cannot make out the color of his eyes, I don’t need to. All that matters is that he is one hundred percent focused on me, and me on him. A moment ago I was alone in a crowd, and suddenly, I’m with him. As if the space between us is nothing. I tell myself to look away, that everyone is a potential threat, but I just . . . can’t.

    His eyes narrow the tiniest bit, and then his lips curve ever so slightly and I’m certain I see satisfaction slide over his face. He knows I can’t look away. I’ve become his newest conquest, of which I am certain he has many, and embarrassingly, I’ve done so without one single moan of pleasure in the process.

    “Inviting our first-class guests to board now,” the gate agent says over the intercom.

    I blink as he pushes himself to his feet and slides the strap of his duffel bag onto his shoulder. His eyes hold mine, a hint of something in them I can’t quite make out. Challenge? But what kind of challenge? He turns away, and just like that, I’m alone again.

  • Meet the Author

    An award-winning New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author, Lisa Renee Jones has published more than forty novels spanning many romance genres: contemporary, romantic suspense, dark paranormal, and erotic fiction. In each book the hero is dark, dangerous, and sexy. You can find Lisa on Twitter @LisaReneeJones, Facebook.com/AuthorLisaReneeJones, and her blog LisaReneeJones.com for regular updates.

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    Escaping Reality (New Adult) (Secret Life of Amy Bensen #1) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 124 reviews.
    Aplemtini More than 1 year ago
    Right off the bat Jones throws us into a mystery. After only reading the first chapter I found myself asking so many questions. Who exactly is Amy? Who is she running from? What happened to her family? Who is her handler?” Amy’s life is a big far LIE! She is on the run and sent to the airport by her “handler” to start a new life she makes eye contact with Liam, a gorgeous, extremely sexy looking man. Someone she can’t take her eyes off. And in that instant there eyes meet her life changes. Amy is extremely troubled. She has some serious skeletons in her closet but I don’t think even she knows half of them. Liam is like fresh air. He wants things to be “raw and honest” between them and Amy fights it the entire time. She wants him but is scared for him. She doesn’t know who’s after her and if they find out what will they do?  Life on the run isn’t easy. She can’t grow attachments, she needs to lead a complicated free life and Liam isn’t helping. In such a short period of time they find an intense connection to each other. She trusts him and even when she doubts certain things he finds ways to keep her distraction with his domineering personality. But Amy starts questioning everything and everyone around her.  This story is HOT and though I’m one that loves math I look at the subject in a whole new light, definitely not in a bad way. I would want to escapre reality too if I had a Liam. Amazingly written! In the end none of my questions were answered, in fact I have more than I started with but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to read more.  I am still shocked at the ending, seriously OMG!  And i will stop there so as not to ruin it for anyone who think this is something you would like to read. I personally recommend it. Book 2 Infinite Possiblities will be released in October.
    Katie_Cohen More than 1 year ago
    Amy doesn't have a home, a life, or even a name that is her own. Running from the dark secrets of her past since she was 18, Amy's life is turned upside down once again when she gets a letter from the man who saved her years ago. "I've found you and so can they. Go to JFK Airport directly. Do not go home. Do not linger. Locker 111 will have everything you need." Just when she was starting to get settled in her fake life, she has to up and leave to start a new one, or risk past ghosts hunting her down. So what does she do? Exactly as she was told. Amy Reynolds is now Amy Benson, and she's on her way to Denver. But while waiting to board the plane, she sees Liam Stone. "And that's when the room falls away, when my gaze collides with his. He is sitting in a seat that faces me, one row between us, his features handsomely carved, his dark hair a think, rumpled finger temptation." Liam and Amy have an instant connection. She knows she shouldn't get involved with anyone, but she's inexplicably drawn to him. For someone who has spent years on the run, by herself, afraid... Liam makes her feel safe and like she's not alone. Liam is a sexy, mysterious, playful, and protective alpha male and billionaire. When they first got involved, they were thinking it'd be a quick fling, but the more time they spent together, the less they wanted to be apart. And when Liam wants something, he gets it, and now he wants Amy. Completely. But getting attached to someone is exactly what Amy's been trying to avoid, because whenever she does, people get hurt, and she has to run. This book had me completely paranoid! I kept questioning everything and everyone. I didn't know who to trust and I wanted so bad to know what's really going on! This book has a really captivating story that sucks you right in. The author has weaved together mystery and romance in the best way. It's not romance and mystery, it's romantic mystery. Or mysterious romance, I don't know. Moving on! The book was well written and the writing flows well, though at times I felt like I wanted more detail. I really admire Amy's character. After everything she's been through, and we don't even know what that all is, she doesn't break, but continues to fight for herself and her survival. She seemed very real to me, and I could connect with her, even in unimaginable circumstances. Then there's Liam. I was really suspicious of everyone in this book, but he really seemed to care for Amy, which earns him some points with me. His hot alpha male persona helped too;) "Maybe that's the appeal for both of us. We are different, dark and light. Right and wrong. Now don't move or I'll show you just how not an angel I am" Even though Liam is a "Tall, Dark, and Potentially Dangerous" billionaire, don't go thinking this is a typical rich guy and damaged girl fall in love type of story. In those stories, the male character is usually a hero that needs saving. In this book, were not sure if Liam is the hero... or the bad guy. And then there's the ending. Cliffhanger to the max! Throughout the story, a few small pieces of the puzzle come together that had me thinking up all kinds of theories. But at the end we still have a lot of questions that haven't been answered, and at the last second the author threw in another twist that had me gaping at my kindle. I cannot wait until the next book comes out! *ARC provided via NetGalley for an honest review*
    ASHLEYBARNES More than 1 year ago
    Not sure how I feel about this book I want to know whats going on, but it took forever to get where they want the story to go then it stops. Just when it starts getting good.
    Zakirrah More than 1 year ago
    4.5 OH MY GOD!!! What just happened?? Are you kiddin me??! The ending... Bloody hell,I did not expect that! This book had me feeling so damn confused, on edge, suspicious of everyone and the ending well that was extreme! "Sharks only have the power you give them, baby. Own them. Don't ever let them own you. And they'll have to fight me to get to you anyway." At the young age of eighteen, tragedy and a dark secret force Lara to flee all she has known and loves 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 down her guard down, the ghost's of her past are quick to punish her, forcing her back on the run. Amy is being hunted..by who? we have no idea.She is on the run from someone dangerous. The book starts off where amy is having to leave her life and run. Run for her life and for that she needs to start over in a new place with a new identity. This isn't the first time she has done this and it probably wont be her last. Infinite possibilities.... Infinite passion..... Infinite danger.... 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. As she is waiting at the airport she meets Liam Stone. Liam is a hot mysterious,darkly entrancing recluse billionaire. He is a man who gets what he wants and he wants Amy.He wants to posses every part of her mind,body and soul. But this is just what Amy is supposed to avoid. She cant get attached to anyone People will die, things will go bad And she will have to run..again Liam is determined to keep Amy and the more time she spends with him the more she wants to stay. But Liam hold secrets of his own Is he the bad guy or is he the hero? "A thrill shoots through me at the obvious promise that he will be my lover, and  there is no denying that I am seduced by this man, drawn to his confidence and dark good looks. To the gentle lion I believe will take control of everything around him, including me. The man who will demand much of me, and perhaps take more than I should give. And yet, beyond all reason, I want to experience those things. I want to experience him. It almost feels...necessary." This book made me paranoid,every character that Amy met i felt like, hmmm you must be creepy, maybe it's you that's chasing her..is it you? you? or you??? tell me!! This book had me reading really fast because I really just wanted to know what is going on and  since I am an impatient person the wait was killing me! By the end I was like, no no no I cant be finished already, pages must be missing!!! I really liked Liam but it felt like he was hiding something,he was just too good at hiding his emotions.  Liam and Amy may be two people from different worlds but they made sense together. She needs safety and Liam is her safe place. He grounds her and makes her forget about the bad stuff. Now this handler dude..I have soo many questions! The ending and many other parts had me thinking that I had figured out who he/she was.. But then there is Meg < something is not right with her.. And Jared,hmm I don't know what to think about him but he isn't in my favorites list atm.. Oh I need the next book..please give me it now!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Great book.
    mdshome More than 1 year ago
    Excellent book, can't wait for the next one!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I can't wait for the sequel!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Can not put it down!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I could not put the book down. Amy and Liam have a great connection and so many secrets are yet to be discovered. Should she trust him? what is he not telling her? Is he connected to her past? Of course it ends in a cliff hanger, can't wait to see what awaits in book #2. Looking forward to November...
    dbmckinney More than 1 year ago
    This was a very well written book, with just enough intrigue to keep you wanting to turn the page.  Ready for the next book in the series so I can find out what happens with Amy and Liam.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    If you dont buy this book then you are missing out!!!!!
    lucieparis2011 More than 1 year ago
    Intense, erotic and full of suspense, a great read! I love the style of Lisa Renee Jones that blends intriguing characters with secrets, troubled past, all decorated with intense erotic scenes and a stressful cliffhanger at the end.  A feast! I was hooked from the start... Amy has built a life in New York but a note changed her life in an instant. Without even taking the time to pack, the young woman must create a new identity in a new town. She can not trust anyone. On the plane, she meets Liam.  Could it be destiny? A passionate and fiery relationship begins between them. Liam dominates. Sexually, he likes to play the role of protector as well as the one of  Croc Magnon's man. An electric mix that gives intense and super hot scenes! Yet, Amy's life is full of strange coincidences, strange sensations. Nobody seems to tell the truth.  Suddenly, I found myself turning the pages to figure out who were the good and the bad guys, turning the pages to find out Liam's role and whether Amy's paranoia is justified... In short, I loved it! Hated it! Lol!  I hated my frustration at the end of the book when I realized I would have to wait for answers ... Intense, erotic and full of suspense, a great read! Lucie newbooksonmyselves.blogspot.fr
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I loved this book ! Couldn't put it down and now I need to read the next one!!! When's its coming our way??? I must know how it ends... Very captivating!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    OMG!!! I can't believe I read the same book that received such great reviews. The story just kept repeating it self....I love him.. I have to run. Im in danger but I love him. I kept waiting for something to happen and it did in the last 5 pages! That's when you fall off a cliff. I am so not going to buy the next book. I hate cliffhangers but this was the worst. Im so annoyed I could go on but I won't. Don't waste your money.
    Anonymous 6 months ago
    It's really sad when these new Authors or their publishing companies are charging outrageous amounts for such small books! I don't care how great a book is, when you pay that kind of money you better get at LEAST 300 pages!
    AustenStudent More than 1 year ago
    Be forewarned: the first book in Lisa Renee Jones’ The Secret Life of Amy Bensen series ends in a cliffhanger (much like E. L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey). But this is not a complaint in the least. Amy Bensen is on the run fleeing a tragic past under an assumed name. For the second time. As the book opens, she receives orders that she must leave everything behind once again. On the flight from New York City to Denver, and a new and unknown life, she meets Liam Stone, a very handsome and sexy stranger. But is the sensual and magnetic Liam friend or foe? Amy falls headlong into a fantasy-like affair with Liam within a day of arriving in Denver, despite being on the run for her life. You would think that her focus would be on staying alive, not falling into bed with a hot guy. The romance between Amy and Liam is pretty unrealistic–they fall in lust and then in love almost instantly–but somehow it works in this fast-paced and erotic love story. Ever since a tragedy claimed the lives of her immediate family, Amy has been guided by an unknown “handler,” whom she seems to both trust and fear. She has never met him yet he arranges for new false identities and employment for her. She seems to be so terrified and grateful to be alive that she follows whatever he demands without question. Amy begins researching what really happened to her family and the mystery as to why she’s in danger herself; she’s tired of living in fear and meeting Liam inspires her to take some control over her life. In Denver, Amy meets new and interesting people but she proceeds with caution: Meg, a fellow employee who, for some reason, won’t give Amy their boss’ contact information; Jared, her familiar and interesting next-door neighbor in Denver temporarily; and Liam, of course, a gorgeous billionaire architect who gloms onto Amy and doesn’t let go. Like Amy, Liam is a mystery. He’s a high-profile billionaire designing a building in Denver. He has a troubled relationship with his irresponsible father but I honestly don’t see why he’s so interested in Amy (and neither does she, though she is, of course, flattered). He is entirely out of her league–well-dressed, successful, and mesmerizingly self-assured. The novel’s pace does slow a little toward the middle but not so much that I lost interest. The reader is drawn into Amy’s fear, Amy and Liam’s whirlwind affair, and the ever present question: what’s really going on? I am disappointed in the description of Amy’s clothing; she seems to not have any fashion sense despite having lived in the Big Apple. And again, I am curious as to Liam’s great attraction to her, unless he just has a protective instinct that draws him to her and her plight? The story is told in the first person point of view from Amy’s perspective and I actually found myself questioning her voice’s authenticity at times–her ”reality” if you will–throughout the book. This is not a criticism as it’s an effective technique. Think of other unreliable points of view; for example, the governess in Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw. I will definitely be reading book number two of this entertaining and suspenseful series.
    wizkids32 More than 1 year ago
    Loved the book loving the story line between Liam and Amy and the whole twisting story line. Loved it thank you for this awesome book
    tsmb02 More than 1 year ago
    This is my first time reading a Lisa Renee Jones book and I must say I'm hooked. Really interesting characters and a story line that kept me reading. Amy Bensen is someone on the run. Throughout the story you find out little pieces of her past, but not enough to truly understand the whole picture. This book is the first in a series of four books. In this book, Amy is quickly leaving New York and flying to Denver to escape from whomever is trying to find her. Something happened in her past and in order for her to be safe, she is on the run. On the plane Amy meets Liam Stone. They have an instant connection. The only connection Amy has had since she has been on the run. She doesn't know why, but she feels safe with Liam. After a series of interesting things that happen to her, she overhears something Liam says and is not sure he is all she thought he was. Even though she has fallen in love with Liam, she is scared, and decides to runaway. Just as she thought she was safe for the time being....she realizes she is not. What a cliffhanger! This was a great read and now I must read the rest of the series.
    BookMama_1 More than 1 year ago
    This book takes alpha male to a whole new level! I don't know whether to like it or not. So my 3 stars is a "on the fence" 3 stars. I liked the storyline hiding in the book, but it was too overshadowed by the demanding and arrogant billionaire who thinks everyone will do anything if the price is right. This character was too much for this storyline. You have Amy who is running from some unknown person or people. And then she meets Liam, the rich guy who thinks he can have whatever or whomever he wants. This book started off with Amy and nothing more than a freak out in the little girls room from a note. It catches you, therefore it's a great start, but the story goes down hill, in my opinion, once she meets Liam. Why Amy is running is put on the wayside to focus on the too fast, too "I'm going to do this and you're going to let me" relationship. Througout this part of the book there is the feeling of being watched. We read about Amy doing research to figure out who might be after her, but we don't know the whats or the wheres of this reasearch. Then all hell breaks loose at the end. There were a lot of places in this book where I was left scratching my head and wondering what the hell is happening and where the hell did the story go. Mostly in the Amy & Liam scenes. Because...what the heck? Many authors have written a mystery with romance, but I did not think this book hit the mark. I didn't feel that the mystery part and the romance part really ran together as one story. I have read another of this Auhtor's books previously and just because I didn't like this one, doesn't mean I won't read more of her books. I just will not continuing the series. *I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
    SummerSnowFalls More than 1 year ago
    At eighteen, Amy lost her entire family in a horrific fire. Since that time, her life has been upended by her memory loss, painful blackouts accompanied by flashbacks of her previous life, and mysterious instructions stop whatever she is doing and leave town immediately. She doesn’t know who exactly is sending her these instructions – only that he has a tattoo on his wrist and is referred to as her “handler.” Because it turns out, the horrific fire was the result of an arson plot to kill her family thanks to some hush-hush dealings her famous archeologist father was involved in. Those people are still after Amy, so when she gets a note telling her to go to the airport immediately, Amy picks up and is on her way to Denver. En-route, she encounters Liam Stone, a recluse billionaire architect, who expresses immediate interest in Amy. Is it safe? Is he safe? Or will Liam be the next in a line of victims? Because everyone who has ever been close to Amy has died. Is Liam and whatever they have together worth the risk? This is the first in the “Secret Life of Amy Bensen” novels, though as I read, there were so many questions that I felt as if I was reading the second or third book in the series. We don’t know anything about what happened to Amy’s family or why. Amy doesn’t either, for that matter. But it’s enough of an interesting premise that I wanted to keep reading. But there’s a warning: This book ends on a cliffhanger! We still don’t know why Amy is running, who this mysterious “handler” person is, or what happened to Amy’s family. But we do get some information that begins to paint a picture of Amy’s backstory and I hope these plot threads will continue to weave together as the series progresses. Amy suffers from blackouts and amnesia. She doesn’t remember much of anything before her life became a long series of aliases and cities coordinated as strategic hiding places by her “handler.” But what we can glean from Amy is that she is a brave, headstrong woman with a definite sense of what she is and is not willing to do. Her survival skills are honed and she trusts her instincts. Liam is a little…intense. Money is not object to him, so he spends it frequently and generously on Amy, making sure she has everything she could possibly need in a new city and then some. At first, this came across as sweet, then it started to become a little creepy and overbearing, before finally turning into freakishly controlling. I’m not sure what to think of Liam, to tell you the truth. I wouldn’t classify this as erotica (yet), but rather contemporary romance. There are a few sex scenes in this novel, but they don’t overpower the main narrative nor are they terribly explicit. This book will have you looking twice at every single character Amy encounters. Friend or foe? You tell me! Can Amy even have friends? Every character seems to be hiding something and when coupled with the general uncertainty of what happened to Amy and why she is always running, the paranoia ratchets up as the book progresses. This made for a very interesting read since I was constantly wondering what was happening and if I could trust these characters. I’m excited to continue reading the rest of this series! Originally posted at Plot Twist Reviews [dot] Com I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Another great story line. I can't wait for the next book!
    Lab228 More than 1 year ago
    I have read a number of books by this author and just as with the others, this one did not disappoint. Something happened to “Amy” when she was younger. Since then she has been running and hiding…but from who? She receives word from her handler she is no longer safe. Her location has been compromised so she is again forced to move and change her name. She leaves New York and heads to Denver. She ends up sitting next to Liam. He is a hot, smoking, mysterious recluse billionaire. He seems as fascinated with Amy as she is with him. Liam is quick to pick up on that Amy is running or hiding from someone/something. He becomes her protector. There are a number of additional characters who add mystery to the story. First, her new neighbor, Jared. He seems “familiar” to her. Is this just a coincidence? Then you have her handler, who you never really know but was apparently her savior in the past. He is only identified by a triangle, like a pyramid on his wrist. Then you have Meg. She supposedly works at the real estate office where Amy rented her apartment from, at quite a cost saving I might add. Who pays only 2K for an apartment that goes for 6K? If I had to say a couple of things that drove me a little crazy, it would be two things. One is the quickness in which Amy and Liam get together and seem dependent on each other. Secondly, the redundancy of Amy saying in her mind, she has to leave him alone, she doesn’t want to get him pulled into her situation, etc. However those are only mild and did not take away from me wanting to find out the mystery that is Amy. What is going on? Is Liam involved? In fact, I have already started reading book two.
    dshutters More than 1 year ago
    Love this story can't wait to read the next book ! :)
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    The combination of love and mystery works well to craft a compelling plot but the story ends half way through ???
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago