Looking Inside

Looking Inside

by Beth Kery

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Overview

Looking Inside by Beth Kery

The New York Times bestselling author who brought you Glow, Glimmer, and The Affair is back with a new novel that will have you leaving the curtains open.
 
Are you just going to stand there and watch?
 
Eleanor Briggs just can’t help herself. The sight of the man in the high-rise across the street is driving her wild. She longs to feel his touch up close and personal. To win him over, she’ll need to shake off her wallflower sensibilities and become the seductress she never imagined she could be. The only trouble will be finding the perfect way to meet him…
 
Or are you going to join in?
 
Sex is easy for millionaire entrepreneur Trey Riordan. Finding something of substance, however, seems impossible. That is until a simple night of reading at a local coffee shop becomes something far steamier when a beautiful brunette comes by and leaves a note telling him to look out his bedroom window at eleven o'clock. But when the time comes, neither of them will be truly ready for what follows…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399583698
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/01/2016
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 222,401
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Beth Kery is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books, including Glow, Glimmer, The Affair, Since I Saw You, Because We Belong, and When I'm With You. She lives in Chicago with her family. Visit her at bethkery.com.

Maxine Mitchell is passionate about animals, traveling, coffee, a good bottle of wine, and great stories. Raised an Army brat, she had a mobile childhood (affording her the opportunity to meet people from many different backgrounds) that she would not trade for anything. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California.

Read an Excerpt

One

One year later

Eleanor Briggs thought it fitting that she'd chosen a reading event to make her debut as a sexually confident, "I take what I want when I want it" female. Her entire job revolved around books, after all. Well . . . the part that didn't involve conserving historical documents, costumes and artifacts, or doing research that would bore most people out of their minds.

In books, whole new worlds were born and new identities created, all through the power of the imagination. What better venue for her to transform herself into a sexual force of nature and worthy bedmate for her obsession, Trey Riordan? If it weren't for her imagination, the fuel of distilled longing, and perhaps the cruel eye-opening she'd had after the abrupt loss of her sister, she'd never have the nerve to go after an unobtainable dream like him.

Tonight, she moved out of the shadows and officially into the spotlight.

"Are you here for the reading event?" Stacy Moffitt asked her in a bored tone as she slipped an iPad and phone in a manila envelope and wound a numbered string around the enclosure.

Eleanor took heart from Stacy's lack of attention. Maybe Stacy wouldn't notice who she was. Stacy worked under Jimmy Garcia. Jimmy was the director of special events at the Illinois Historical Museum, and Eleanor's longtime friend. Eleanor worked for the museum too, as the conservation and preservation librarian. Jimmy had been called out of town unexpectedly yesterday, which was a good thing for Eleanor. Jimmy was the only other person on earth who knew about her obsession with Trey Riordan. He didn't, however, know about her aggressive plan for finally getting his attention.

"That's what I'm here for," Eleanor told Stacy.

"There's a strictly enforced 'no talking' policy during reading hours. I need you to turn in all cell phones, tablets and computers. This is a technology-free zone. We only want you focusing on your book for the next two hours," Stacy said in a preachy voice.

"Ah, I get it now. Thus the name of the event: Leave Everything Behind but a Book. Clever," Eleanor said under her breath as she dug in the Italian designer bag that used to belong to her sister, Caddy. Stacy glanced up at her sarcastic tone. The way Jimmy's assistant gaped at her disbelievingly was not flattering.

"Eleanor. Is that you?"

"None other," Eleanor replied grimly, placing her cell phone on the counter. With a furious effort, she held the young woman's stare. She would not be cowed a mere minute into her performance.

Stacy's gaze dropped down over her snug suede bodice and the fitted, conservative blazer paired with it. As far as Eleanor knew, her sister Caddy had only worn the outfit once. Eleanor had practically achieved photosynthesis, she'd been so green with envy when she'd watched her sister leave her condo in it. The occasion had been an Odesza concert given by Chicago socialite Sasha Allen Severnsen exclusively for her closest friends in honor of Caddy's thirty-third birthday. Caddy was always having awesome, glamorous parties thrown for her. Along with the short skirt, dark brown tights and the soft, fitted beige thigh-high Rockerchick boots, the outfit screamed money, good times, boldness and sex. In other words, it had Caddy stamped all over it.

Stacy's stare lingered on the tops of Eleanor's breasts. The suede bodice had cupped them softly in a seduction that was somehow both tasteful and flagrant at once. It wasn't just a sensual invitation to Trey Riordan either. Eleanor herself was being seduced by the feeling of the suede against her bare breasts.

"That's quite an outfit," Stacy finally said disbelievingly as she held out a claim ticket for Eleanor's phone. "Not your typical work wardrobe, that's for sure. What's the occasion?"

Eleanor shrugged, reached into her bag and withdrew her reading choice for the evening. "I'm reading a very sexy book."

Normally, she wouldn't have the nerve. It was Caddy's outfit that made her say it. Ignoring Stacy's openmouthed shock at her book choice for what was supposed to be a serious, highbrow literary event, Eleanor plucked the claim ticket out of Stacy's hand and strode into the quickly filling Historic Grounds Coffee Shop. The thigh-high boots she wore were the equivalent of sexual jet fuel. They weren't "fuck me" boots, necessarily. They had only a half-inch flat heel, but they hugged her legs tightly, showing off their shape. Eleanor would more describe them as "fuck you" boots . . . and maybe "me," if you've got some major balls.

Trey Riordan did. Her fingers were crossed.

It was surprising how easy it was to play the part while wearing Caddy's clothing. Eleanor suspected this was how all understudies felt when they first donned the star's wardrobe and felt the rush of an enraptured audience.

Not that she was interested in the audience in general, Eleanor acknowledged as she scanned the crowd and several men's stares landed on her and stuck. It was flattering, of course. A month ago, she would have grown giddy at the idea of men going glassy-eyed when they looked at her. That was before she'd sampled a couple of the outfits she'd inherited from Caddy and noticed their effect on people.

She should skip ordering coffee, knowing it wasn't a good idea to add caffeine to her nervous excitement. Her jitters only amplified when she couldn't locate her target audience. Jimmy had told her Trey Riordan's name had been the second one on the list when he'd signed up for the Historical Society reading event a month ago. Surely such eagerness implied he wasn't likely to change his mind? Just as her heart began to sink in disappointment, she saw the back of his golden-brown hair and those edible shoulders beneath a light blue shirt.

How could she have missed him? He was only ten feet away from her. She was used to seeing him from the distance between the two adjacent buildings, that was the problem. Plus, he'd grown even leaner in the past month. His waist appeared especially narrow in comparison to his powerful back and shoulders. Even though he probably had lost negligible weight, his muscles were even more pronounced than they'd been in the past. Eleanor wondered what had him appearing so wiry and fighting lean.

He bent and withdrew a leather-bound book from his briefcase. His close proximity struck her as surreal.

Her heartbeat started to drum in her ears, but whether the rhythm was a death march or a sexual tattoo, Eleanor couldn't say. I'm going to make a hot mess of this. For a charged few seconds, she experienced a strong urge to run. Sure, she'd dressed in Caddy's clothes a few times, but only Jimmy and her parents had ever really seen her in them. And with them, it was impossible to thoroughly disguise bookish, distracted Eleanor, whom they knew all too well.

There was still time to run home, cuddle up on her couch with a bag of Cheetos and watch the latest episode of The Librarians.

But as a dazed state of fear descended upon her, she found her vision narrowing on Trey's riot of burnished brown waves of hair. It wasn't long, but it wasn't close-clipped either. It symbolized his irreverent, carelessly sexy style: the hallmark of a corporate rebel. It looked so soft, especially in comparison to those wide, very solid shoulders. What she wouldn't dare, to sink her fingers into that thick, tousled hair and dig her nails into that muscular, rippling back, urging him on while he drove his cock into her body.

God, I hope this works.

She had good reason to worry. For more than a month now, he'd typically been alone when he'd entered the penthouse late at night. He watched television alone, ate alone and slept alone. He pleasured himself alone. That memory would burn her until her dying day, it'd been scorched so deep in her brain.

Still, Trey Riordan wasn't the type of man to stay solitary for long. He was the brilliant bad-boy entrepreneur. He'd been at the center of the Scarpetti twin controversy after being photographed with the heiress sisters in flagrante delicto behind the curtain of an upscale club in Rome. Trey wasn't anywhere near as famous as the Scarpetti twins. Yet a recent survey had calculated that the seminude, viral photo of him and the gorgeous twin sisters was unique, because it was prized equally among males and females across the globe.

No, a man like Trey didn't stay partnerless for long. Her entire performance tonight was solely to encourage him to abandon his flirtation with celibacy and indulge in the delights of the flesh once again.

With her.

She hoped she was one of those rare females who made it to Trey Riordan's bed more than once, but she wasn't holding her breath. Surely one ride on that man-coaster would be enough to silence this uncustomary, uncontrollable hunger of hers. One thing was for certain: he'd never have a more appreciative lover.

For over a year now, Eleanor's obsession with him had taken root and flourished. But to this day, she'd never looked into his eyes. That simple fact festered.

She inhaled, breathing in determination.

The boots seemed to strut her instead of her strutting in them. She jogged up two stairs and slid into a window seat at a small table just eight or so feet in front of Riordan. Unfortunately, all of the lounging chairs were taken, but maybe that was for the best. A puffy armchair might block her performance from her target audience in a way that an armless wooden one wouldn't.

She swung her bag onto the back of the chair, her heart fluttering uncomfortably in her chest. As if she had all the time in the world, she smoothed her long, loose curls over her shoulder in seeming distraction, pausing over the sensation of the strands' texture. It'd been part of her act, but she was surprised to feel just how soft and sexy her hair felt sliding against her fingertips.

She knew the precise moment when Trey's stare landed on her. It was the moment her cheek tickled in awareness and her breasts suddenly felt obvious and swollen in the suede cradle of the bodice. She suppressed a strong urge to finally look point-blank into his eyes. Don't blow it, Eleanor. Trey Riordan cut his teeth on some of the boldest femme fatales in the world. You've only got one first time.

Slowly, she crossed her legs, feeling her skirt ride higher on her thigh. When she felt air brush against the strip of skin at the top of her thigh-high tights, she ran her fingertips across it in a seemingly distracted gesture. Her bare skin felt smooth and warm. Her clit prickled. She instinctively clamped her thighs tight to alleviate that pinch of excitement. Perhaps it was that she knew Trey's stare was on her at that moment, or maybe it was because for the first time in her life she wasn't wearing any underwear in public, but the sexual charge she experienced was shockingly strong.

Keeping her stare demurely lowered, she reached into her bag and pulled out the coup d'é-tat: her newly purchased copy of the hugest source of derisive jokes, critical outrage and horniness in recent history, the cultural phenomenon Born to Submit. Due to her voyeurism, she knew firsthand the topic might capture Trey's attention. Again, she ran her fingertips over the strip of silky skin between the hem of her skirt and the top of her thigh-highs.

Making sure that Trey could see the cover, she opened the book to page one.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Trey Riordan read the first line of Pride and Prejudice and smirked. He hadn't realized Jane Austen had a sense of humor. Maybe that's why ninety percent of the women he'd ever known adored this book. No, that wasn't it. It was because of the romance that women loved it. When women talked about Pride and Prejudice, they did so with a faraway look and a little Mona Lisa smile. It wasn't an expression he much associated with himself or his relationships. There was nothing mysterious about what he typically inspired in a woman.

Not that he was complaining, of course. What kind of idiot would whine over the fact that the most common reaction he drew from women was hunger? A hunger to screw, sure, but also apparently a hunger to monopolize, to control all of his time and his attention, to trap him into something he wasn't interested in . . . to squash his very spirit.

Clearly, he was not attracting the right kind of female.

It was either that or his problems were far more serious. There was a very good possibility that he just wasn't meant for the long term.

That's why he'd made a conscious effort a month ago to step back from women and dating and examine what the hell he was doing with his life. Because the sad truth was he was complaining, wasn't he? He'd grown frustrated and listless in regard to smoking-hot but brittle, unsatisfying relationships. His dating life had grown as stale as week-old pizza . . . and about as nutritive to his well-being.

For more than a decade, the success ran just as thick as the stream of women and easy sex. He'd come into money and a kind of minor fame as a carefree, partying twenty-one-year-old when he first created BandBook, a mixture of a social and career Internet platform that hosted pages for musicians and bands. The site became popular for its original customers: people looking to book a band or musician for an event. But with its sophisticated search options, videos and the audience rating and comments feature, BandBook quickly earned a reputation as being a pulse-taker of popular culture. His start-up company became a go-to site for talent scouts looking for the next hot thing. It'd taken off like a rocket, and Trey had soon expanded the applications to other groups, like actors, artists and filmmakers. Since then, his newly consolidated company, TalentNet, had gone global. Today, Trey was proud to say that dozens of bands, musicians and other artists credited TalentNet with their first big break into celebrity status.

But he wasn't that smart-mouthed, cocky, oversexed kid who had unexpectedly discovered entrepreneurial gold anymore. After losing two friends recently, along with a couple of ugly, messy breakups in a row, it had started to dawn on him how empty and unsatisfied his relationships with women were leaving him.

So he'd vowed to take a sexual sabbatical.

Almost five weeks without sex. It'd been hard, of course, but he'd kept his eye on the prize. If he wasn't cut out to be in a serious relationship, best he figured that out now. And if he was? Well, he wasn't ever going to achieve the gratification of a meaningful relationship until he broke his old patterns and figured out what he wanted . . .

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Looking Inside 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous 10 months ago
There are a few things I'd change in this book... 1 being the way Nora starts to back into herself all the time with the shyness and 2 I'd have kept her bold and sexy more often than not. With that said, this book was so good. Beth Kerry never fails to bring it!
ehaney578 More than 1 year ago
This review was written by Marie for a guest review post on Ever After Book Reviews blog: 4.5 Stars This steamy and erotic romance is an exciting and unique story. It’s voyeurism at its finest, bringing together two sexually adventurous characters that push one another’s boundaries. I have been a fan of Ms. Kery’s work for quite some time, and I can honestly say that this is the steamiest book she has ever written. It is exceptionally erotic… I mean, extremely so. But that doesn’t stop her from creating and developing characters that have depth. The kind of depth that creates a connection with the reader and keeps you invested in the story from start to finish. If you are a fan of erotic romance, but want to read something a little different than the norm, pick up this book. You won’t regret spending your night with Eleanor and Trey. ***I read and reviewed a paperback copy of the book gifted to the blog in exchange for an honest review. All conclusions reached are my own***
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not but it down HOT
10520406 More than 1 year ago
I always look forward to a new Beth Kery story. I find her writing to be highly sophisticated and love her plots. That being said, this one was about a 3.5 for me. Being a midwestern girl, I enjoy her Chicago based settings. The plot itself fell slightly flat for me and left me actually wanting more information and backstory. I am a huge fan of The Affair, Because You Are Mine, Glimmer, Glow and the Make Me serials. When compared, this one falls slightly below. Still a fan and will always look forward to new releases from Beth...just not my favorite. 3.5 Windy City stars. :) flagcomment · see review
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Looking Inside by Beth Kery Publisher: Berkley Publication Date: November 1, 2016 Rating: 4 stars Source: eARC from NetGalley ***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers*** Summary (from Goodreads): Are you just going to stand there and watch? Eleanor Briggs just can’t help herself. Every night, the sight of the man in the high-rise across the street is driving her wild. She longs to feel his touch up close and personal. To win him over, she’ll need to shake off her wallflower sensibilities and become the seductress she never imagined she could be. The only trouble will be finding the perfect way to meet him… Or are you going to join in? Sex is easy for millionaire entrepreneur Trey Riordan. Finding something of substance, however, seems impossible. That is until a simple night of reading at a local coffee shop becomes something far steamier when a beautiful brunette comes by and leaves a note telling him to look out his bedroom window at midnight. But when the time comes, neither of them will be truly ready for what follows… What I Liked: This book was simply stunning, and took me by surprise. I decided to read it on a whim - I wanted to read something really steamy, but new and fresh. I've not read any of this author's books, and none of my blogger and reader friends have read this book, so I figured this would be the perfect one to read. Thank you, Berkley, for the opportunity! For about a year, Eleanor has watched the man living in the high-rise across the street. She's seen him having sex six of seven times, and each time, it's like he's right there doing those things to her. But he has no idea that she's seen him. One day, she decides to take matters into her own hands and go for it. When she sees his name on a list for a local coffee shop reading, what's a girl got to do but dress like she's doing to a club, and bring a sexy BDSM novel with her? She's got his attention now... and there is nothing stopping the blazing inferno of chemistry between them. I had no expectations and I knew very little about this book, before reading it. There are so few reviews on Goodreads at the moment (as of September 29th, 2016), which was great! I went in blind and sometimes I absolutely love that feeling. I wanted to read a super hot romance novel that didn't have a lot of buzz behind it (yet), and I found one (and loved it). Eleanor works at a museum, as a special collections person. She loves books and has a relatively boring life... until four months ago, when her sister died. Eleanor has been living in her sister's condo for over a year; ever since her sister died four months ago, Eleanor has been trying to fulfill her sister's dying wish - live more. Eleanor is the bookish type of girl, but she wants to be more confident and sexy. Seducing Trey Riordan, the man in the high rise across the street, is exactly what she wants to do. I like that Eleanor is terrified of making such a big move, but she does it. She isn't fearless and bold, but she does a bold thing (and then another, and another) to get Trey's attention, and she doesn't regret it because it makes her feel powerful. Eleanor and her parents are still grieving over her sister's death, but Eleanor is a strong woman. Trey... Trey is so swoony. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
3.75 stars--LOOKING INSIDE by Beth Kery is a stand alone erotic, romance storyline focusing on library historian Eleanor Briggs, and millionaire entrepreneur Trey Riordan. Told from dual third person perspectives (Eleanor and Trey) LOOKING INSIDE follows Eleanor Briggs in the first few months following the death of her older sister Caddy. For close to one year, Eleanor has watched Trey Riordan from her sister’s guest room window, and has put a plan into motion to meet the man who has been the focus of our heroine’s fantasies and late night voyeuristic tendencies. When Eleanor discovers that Trey is one of the guest speakers at the local coffee shop reading night, Eleanor steps out of her comfort zone and sets out to seduce the man in question. What ensues is the highly sexualized relationship between a man who is unwilling to commit to the future, and a woman who fears she is losing her identity to that of the sister who has died. Eleanor took to heart her sister’s final words, and the seduction of Trey Riordan pushes all of our heroine’s boundaries and comfort levels. LOOKING INSIDE focuses on the acts of voyeurism and exhibitionism. Eleanor Briggs is both a voyeur and exhibitionist, as well as a natural submissive, and Trey Riordan plays the leading role as the target of being watched, and a receptive audience to Eleanor’s acts of late night seduction. There are a few vanilla acts of bondage and light discipline; the $ex scenes are erotic, intimate, seductive and intense. The chemistry is hot and palpable. The story line conflict comes from within-our heroine is evolving as both a person and a sexual woman, and with it comes a lack of self-assuredness that is hindered when Trey reveals a connection to her past. Eleanor’s over the top reaction was a bit melodramatic and immature, and made for some questionable actions on behalf of the story line heroine. LOOKING INSIDE is a slow building story line of fetish-voyeurism and exhibitionism-wherein Eleanor seductively dances her way into Trey Riordan’s heart. The premise is energetic and encouraging; the characters are colorful and passionate; the romance is provocative and alive.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks home.