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Sunday, July 13, 2014

ARC Review: My Hunger by Lisa Renee Jones

My Hunger is a novella in the Inside Out series by Lisa Renee Jones, and should be read as a part of the series. I would not suggest reading this as a standalone as there are many things going on that have been set in motion from the previous books, and I think that most readers would be lost trying to jump in at this point. I am not really sure how to write this review because I just have so many mixed feelings about not only this novella, but this series as a whole. When I first started this series, it was being called a trilogy but at this point there are several novellas and the set of Rebecca's journals as well as three full sized novels and two more on the way. I just feel like this series has sort of lost its way, and I am not sure what to expect going forward. Part of me thinks that this one is just becoming too drawn out, and I have started to lose interest as questions never seem to be answered and that many more pop up out of nowhere.

My Hunger is the continuation of Mark and Crystal's story which started in Master Undone. Mark is trying to deal with business at the gallery as well as Riptide while his mother undergoes treatment for her cancer. He is struggling to handle everything at one time and has begun to rely heavily on Crystal. Crystal is close with his mother and has taken over running Riptide in her absence and Mark is inexplicably drawn to her. She is everything that he shouldn't want. She doesn't fit his type at all and she is the opposite of submissive. Yet he can't seem to control his desire to have her all the while knowing that he should stay away. He told himself that he would never involve himself with someone who wasn't a part of the BDSM lifestyle again after what happened with Rebecca, yet he finds himself unable to stay away from Crystal and continues to seek her out. While Crystal and Mark are dealing with their attraction to each other and running the businesses, Mark is also dealing with the ongoing investigation into Rebecca's disappearance and the aftermath of Ava's actions.

I honestly don't know what to say about Mark. I have always liked him, even though I have questioned his motives and actions several times. He was never an option for Sara in my opinion because of Chris. Those two just belonged together, and I knew that Mark was never a threat to that. But I have always seen him as belonging with Rebecca. I honestly do not believe that she is dead at this point, and I have no idea what has actually happened to her but that is just what my gut is telling me. Because I don't really believe she is dead and because of Mark's feelings for her and how he continually relates everything back to her, Crystal just doesn't seem to fit into his life for me. I just don't connect with her character or see the fixation he has with her. For me, these two don't really work and it seems to just be lust and a need to scratch an itch. She seems to be offering him a way to escape everything going on in his life, but I just don't really see how they work together. I am also not sure if it's because of everything that has happened or is going on, but it just seems like Mark has sort of lost everything that once drew me to his character. He just doesn't seem to have the same appeal he once did, and I feel like over the past few novellas there has just be a sort of disconnect with him. It could be that I just don't like Crystal and that is affecting everything for me because she is becoming such a large part of his story.

I honestly have no idea where this series is going at this point, and I am just not sure that I am comfortable with the direction things have taken. I really loved the first few installments in this series, but I just feel like the direction things have taken is completely different than what this started out to be. I find myself losing interest in not only the overall story but also the characters. For some reason the last few novellas and books in this series have felt forced to me, and I think it is because things are becoming too drawn out. There doesn't really seem to be a point and each time it appears that things are finally going to be settled, there are several more random things that pop up to try and continue the story. I really hope that these characters that I felt so invested in from the beginning get the ending that they deserve and that the story does them justice. But I just feel like it needs to come to the conclusion soon or that just won't be possible. As much as I love a good series, everything needs an end and I just feel like this one is starting to go beyond where it naturally should have. I think that Lisa Renee Jones is a talented writer and I love her style. But because of the turn of events in this series, I just feel like with each new installment my interest wanes even more.

**ARC Provided by Author**

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