Our journey began in fire... Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness-beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I'd never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily... Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other's most private wounds... and desires. The bonds of his love transformed me, even as I prayed that the torment of our pasts didn't tear us apart...
I read both Bared to You and Reflected in You one right after the other, and finished both within three days I think. And I have VERY strong opinions in regards to these two books and I thought I would do some mini reviews on both of them. Normally I don't review erotic novels on the blog, however, with the incredible amount of attention Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James has received I felt like I needed to address a few things.
The two books in the Crossfire series by Sylvia Day have been strongly compared to the Fifty Shades series. The characters were the same, the plot was similar. The whole thing reeked of Fifty Shades. Upon reading the first installment in the series- Bared to You- I have to agree. It was Fifty Shades exactly. In a number of ways this isn't a smart move for any author, however for Sylvia Day I think it was kind of Brilliant. She was able to capitalize on the Fifty Shades phenomena perfectly. In all consideration what isn't great about the Fifty Shades concept? An unbelievably rich, incredibly attractive guy becoming overwhelmingly obsessed with an average, nothing terribly special girl. But wait, the guy is broken. He has serious issues he needs to work though. It's almost to good to be true.
But, I am getting a head of myself. I wanted to talk about Bared to You.
Day's writing is LOADS better than that of EL James. Bared to You introduces us to Eva an 24 year old woman living in New York with her best friend. She gets a job in a building owned by Gideon Cross, whom she meets almost right away, and begins an affair to remember. However, both have their issues, and Gideon isn't very forthcoming on what those issues are. Day knows how to develop her characters, she knows how to capture her audience with intense situations and authentic dialogue. She has the ability to engage her readers and provoke strong emotions within them. Overall Sylvia Day is a good writer, and Bared to You was a good story.
My past was as violent as his, and I was just as broken. We’d never work. It was too hard, too painful... except when it was perfect. Those moments when the driving hunger and desperate love were the most exquisite insanity. We were bound by our need. And our passion would take us beyond our limits to the sweetest, sharpest edge of obsession...
While I really enjoyed Bared to You. I HATED Reflected in You. Why? Because Gideon Cross is a horrible horrible man. I don't know if my complete and utter distaste for this novel is a wonderful example of how genius Sylvia Day is as a writer or if she is just really extreme.
With Reflected in You we are knee deep into the story. Gideon and Eva have had their troubles but for the most part are living blissfully. Right? No, not at all. Gideon Cross is the most controlling, self involved, obsessive man I have ever read about. He is very abusive, and I do not use that word lightly. There is one point in the novel where Eva wants to attend a concert with friends and invited Gideon, he goes with her, however, he states frankly that if he had been unable to attend she would not have been allowed to go. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?! He was basically telling her that she was not allowed to go anywhere without him. What is even more infuriating is that Eva just accepted it. She would resist a little than concede- Because she loved him! This is not ok. Not at all.
There were certain plot points I also did not enjoy in this novel. Gideon's games were annoying. He would do something and be incredibly vague about what he was doing and again Eva would just accept it. She barely questioned him. When Anna wanted to do something, or needed to be independent, Christian Grey would allow it, he wouldn't like it but he would hardly forbid her from doing it. However when Eva would resist, she would tell Gideon, he would turn up at night and basically screw her brains out, and then all was well.
That was a common theme in the two novels. Gideon and Eva both used sex as a band aid. Whenever there was conflict in their relationship one or the other would use their sexual prowess to convince the other that it wasn't a big deal, or to persuade the other that all was well. I can see this working/happening once or twice. But every time. Really? No. Granted this was something the therapist in the novel was addressing. Another things that was amusing about Reflected in You. Gideon and Eva have been together all of two minutes and they are already in couple counselling. RED FLAG anyone!!
In saying all this, I am curious about the third installment- Entwined with You- which is due out in May. Perhaps by this time I will have forgotten all about my fury at Gideon Cross and have zero bias when I read it. I would like to see if Sylvia Day is able to redeem this character. Because he was seriously atrocious! It's almost funny how disgusting a human being he is- well, a fictional human being. Because at this point I would take Christian Grey over Gideon Cross any day.
~Happy Reading Everyone!