Ella Tipton is a survivor. In the wake of an attack that nearly left her dead, she has spent each day putting her life back together. Once vibrant and outgoing, she’s needed to reclaim the best parts of who she was while retaining the hard-won lessons. There hasn’t been room for any romantic entanglements, even if she were ready. Still, it doesn’t mean she has to stop sneaking looks at Mister Tall, Dark and Tattooed himself.
Security professional Andrew Copeland isn’t quite sure when his jones for the lovely and decidely skittish Ella developed. He’s known her for years, has watched her triumph over the pain she’s been dealt. Cope is no stranger to women, but he knows the nervous flush he gets every time he talks to Ella is different from any attraction he’s had in the past. Determined to get Ella to let him in, Cope does the one thing he can think of to get close: he offers her hands-on training in self-defense.
While Ella’s sure Cope is just being nice, the prospect of being able to touch him and and gain the tools to push away the last vestiges of her fear is more than she can resist. Soon enough, Cope shows Ella his feelings are far more than friendly, and he reignites something deep inside her. It isn’t long before desire and love turn them both inside out.
Inside Out is one of those books that completely shocked me to the core. As you can see, recently I have been reading a lot of erotica, where they have a little story adapted into the sex scenes. So when I read the synopsis to this book that is exactly what I thought it would be about.
The synopsis is pretty heavy going and I thought Lauren Dane would just quickly bypass the problems involved, getting straight to the sex. By God, I was so wrong, and I’m so glad!
The story has so much depth in it, with Ella being a survivor of a violent attack from her ex-boyfriend who wanted her dead. It’s taken her years to try and get her life back on track, and thanks to her friends and family, she is getting there. You follow the struggles that Ella faces every day, from needing control in her life to get her through the day, to being so wary of everything around her, from looking in the backseat of her car every time she gets in to placing a chair in her direct view in her apartment so she can see if anyone has broken in.
No one ever sees her legs either, which are tarnished with scars from the attack. She wears trousers every day and if she wears a dress, it needs to hide the scars. She doesn’t see how beautiful she is though, especially to Andrew Copeland, who has watched and crushed on her from afar for years, but he knew she had to spend time gaining back courage and time to get over the attack without him swooping in, much as he had to grow up and stop sleeping around with women.
Andrew, or Cope to his friends, flirts with everyone. But that’s just how he is, he’s a friendly guy. He’s wanted to be with Ella for years now, but after the attack, he knew she had to sort her life out, and so he was there for her, as a friend. But recently he’s changed and now he knows Ella has to, so it’s his chance to get to know her more and be with her.
Throughout the book you see her strength shine through with everything she does and achieves. And Cope is so proud to be with her, helping her through her fears but giving her one-to-one self-defence training so she can feel in control of her life again. Watching her fall for Cope was so cute to read. Although she has liked him for years, she had never thought he would want her, but yet he does.
Cope, to his friends, is the playboy, the one who has one night stands but to Ella, he shows his real side. He’s kind, shy, loves poetry, is artistic and loves Ella so much. He’s scared to show his true side to his friends in fear of being rejected but you can see how close this group is and Ella tells him they wouldn’t reject him – they are family.
They both have protective streaks in them, for each other and their friends, but they also bring out the best in one another. There are a few sex scenes in here, but they don’t go too graphic. They were a nice touch to their relationship, and to see Cope not care about the scarring on her legs, it made my heart skip because she was so afraid of anyone seeing her legs, but Cope loved her for her and wouldn’t have been turned off by them, which is what Ella was afraid of.
This book is part of the Brown Sibling series. It’s the 3rd book, and it’s also the first I have read. You could read it as a standalone, but, as I was for a part of the book, I was confused over the characters especially Erin, Ben and Todd’s relationship, so I’m going to download the others in the series and catch-up over what their stories involve. I’m so glad these stories have such depth in them, with some sex scenes wrapped into them. Stories like these really pull me in and I begin to feel attached to the characters. I felt connected to them all, feeling everything they were, and that doesn’t really happen too much to me. Sure I feel something for the characters in books, but they all pulled me into their own stories encased in the book.
The only thing that was a tad confusing was that all the girls had names beginning with E. Ella, Erin and Elise. But other than that, this book really did touch me and I will definitely download the first two and the books after this one to see how their lives evolve.