Escaping Reality (The Secret Life of Amy Benson #1), by Lisa Renee Jones (2013)

Amy Benson

Steamy Suspense

Amy Reynolds is enjoying a fundraiser at the New York museum where she works. She goes into the ladies room, and there’s an envelope taped to the mirror. Inside is a key with a cryptic note. She’s in danger, the note says. It goes on to say she not only has to leave The Big Apple immediately, she has to take on a new identity. The key is for a locker at JFK airport. Amy does as she’s told. She gets rid of her cell phone. She finds the locker. Inside is a carry-on suitcase. Inside the suitcase is a completely new identity, along with keys to an apartment, a new cell phone, and an airline ticket.

Amy Reynolds no longer exists; the newly minted Amy Benson is moving to Denver. While she waits for her boarding pass, she locks eyes with a very handsome man across the seating area for her flight. She feels a charge run through her body. As luck would have it, she ends up seated next to the man who intrigued her. His name is Liam Stone, and he’s a celebrated—and extremely wealthy—architect on his way to Denver to finalize a new project.

There is definitely a powerful chemistry between them. From that night forward, Liam is Amy’s defender, provider, and irresistible lover. Against her better judgment, she falls for him, spending time in the Presidential Suite at his luxury hotel.

Amy’s feelings grow deeper for this handsome, powerful man, and yet she knows she’s been sent to Denver for her own safety. Her mysterious protector has arranged a largely fake job working for a rental property mogul she’s never even talked to. The lawyer who’s supposedly handling her new job is never around. But his receptionist, Meg, seems a little too friendly, wanting to set up happy hours and coffee dates.

Her mysterious protector has saved Amy’s life before. She knows Liam wasn’t supposed to be part of her new life, but he treats her well, and the sex is oh-so-good. Nonetheless, certain things start to feel suspicious. Meg turns up at places Amy happens to be, and Amy feels like she’s being watched. She’s kept her secrets from Liam, who knows something is up. Just when Amy is ready to reveal her past, she gets this strange feeling that Liam might not be who he seems, and that Amy Benson might have fallen into the same intrigue Amy Reynolds had to escape.

“The Secret Life of Amy Benson” is a cool book. Author Lisa Renee Jones does an awesome job maintaining suspense from the first page. She doles out bits of Amy’s mysterious past in dribs and drabs, keeping us wondering what happened to her and why she’s always hiding. Why is she in danger? Who, exactly, is after her?

Adding to the mystery is that Amy herself doesn’t know everything. She doesn’t know who her guardian angel is, nor why he keeps coming to Amy’s rescue.

Romance-wise, “The Secret Life of Amy Benson” has love scenes galore. Amy and Liam may be like oil and water, as far as their personalities—he’s prone to cocksure arrogance, while Amy is more submissive. The non-physical relationship takes time to mesh, but they are explosive in the bedroom (or whatever other room they happen to be in).

Lisa Renee Jones keeps us guessing, though. We wonder why Amy’s running. And we wonder if Liam is a man she should be running to or from. The ending leaves so much up in the air, so many questions, that we can’t help but fear for Amy’s life.

All I can say is thank the book gods the second and final book, “Infinite Possibilities: The Secret Life of Amy Benson #2,” comes out next month. I admit it: I’m hooked, and I want to know what happens to Amy. More than that, I want to know what HAPPENED to Amy that put her on the run like this. So many hints, so many possibilities. Lisa Renee Jones has a winner here, and a lot of people praying that October hurries the hell up and gets here.

Highly Recommended

(nb: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley)


About tom

B.A. in Literature, Minor in Film Theory and Criticism, thus meaning all I’m trained is to write blog posts here. Neptune is my favorite planet–it vents methane into the solar system like my brother does. I think Chicken McNuggets look like Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Indiana. There are times when I’m medicated, which is why I wrote about McNuggets. Buy some today and tell me I’m wrong! Anyway, Beyond that: mammal, Floridian, biped.Good Night, and Good Luck. Besos, tom
This entry was posted in Books, General Fiction, Mysteries/Thrillers, Romance, series and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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