Bodice Rippers & Erotica Book Reviews: Sylvia Day
AfterShock (Afterburn and Aftershock series)
Afterburn (Afterburn and Aftershock series)
A Caress of Wings (Renegade Angels # 1.5)
A Dark Kiss of Rapture (Renegade Angels # 0.5)
Pleasures of the Night (Dream Guardians #1)
A Hunger So Wild (Renegade Angels Trilogy #2)
A Touch of Crimson (Renegade Angels Trilogy #1)
Entwined with You (Crossfire #3)
Reflected in You (Crossfire #2)
Bared to You (Crossfire #1)
Aftershock (Afterburn & Aftershock #2) by Sylvia Day
Read by Tracy in March 2014
Tracy recommends as the ususal erotic read
The Blurb: When it came to playing games, my lover Jax was a master strategist. He pulled strings behind the closed doors of D.C.'s most powerful political players, and somehow still found time to nearly sideline my career. What he didn't know was that when I didn't like the rules, I threw them out and made my own. I wasn't going to let Jax get away with it. I wasn't going to let him get away at all. I loved Jax enough that it was impossible to give up. Jax loved me enough that giving up was the only end he'd consider. He didn't think I could swim with the sharks. It was entirely my pleasure to show him that Iíd already dived in.
The Reality: I read Afterburn which was a Novella of sorts and I have to say it certainly fits with the formulaic approach that these books follow. It is all sleek people, buildings and everything and lots of sex thrown inbetween. In the sequel, we are still following Gia Rossi and and her on again/off again relationship with Jax Rutledge - the god like figure she is unable to say no to. The story delves deeper into his family and how everything they do is about politics. Gia and Jax take their relationship to the next level and she realises that living in the public eye isn't what she expected. I have to say my interest in this kind of genre is wearing thin as the story is the same. Doesn't anybody have an ordinary job and an ordinary life which can be boring!
Afterburn by Sylvia Day (Afterburn and Aftershock series)
Read by Tracy in August 2013
Tracy recommends as a short but sweet beach read
The Publishers Blurb: The realization that Jax still affected me so strongly was a jagged pill to swallow. Heíd only been part of my life for five short weeks two years ago. But now he was back. Walking into a deal Iíd worked hard to close. And God, he was magnificent. His eyes were a brown so dark they were nearly black. Thickly lashed, they were relentless in their intensity. Had I really thought they were soft and warm? There was nothing soft about Jackson Rutledge. He was a hard and jaded man, cut from a ruthless cloth. In that moment I understood how badly I wanted to unravel the mystery of Jax. Bad enough that I didnít mind how much it was going to cost me...
My Review: Well Sylvia Day certainly writes to formula these days and strangely it isn't as bad as it sounds. If you are looking for a book that you can devour inbetween managing everything else, then these are for you. Jackson Rutledge - gorgeous, sex on legs, hot, wealthy and controlling. Gianna Rossi - sassy, hardworking and knows what she wants. After a tumultuous affair with Jackson which ended badly, Gianna has rebuilt her life, finding the job of her dreams, working as a personal assistant to a successful restaurateur and building a reputation as someone that can close a deal. In the process of brokering a deal and signing some hot celebrity chefs out from underneath their current boss, Jackson walks back into her life turning it upside down. From a working class family that manage their own Italian restaurant, Gia is surrounded by protective brothers who are hesitant to let Jackson back into their lives. This book was similar to the Crossfire series books, but does hold its own by having at least a strong female character. When Jackson finally makes Gia realise this time he is interested in more, she must look at her own feelings to see whether she is ready to put everything on the line - again."I fell for you the last time. I canít do it again."
What did puzzle me with this book, is that it isn't a book, surely it is a novella at around 100 pages! I was certainly surprised at the end, but there is another book Aftershock being released.
Entwined with You by Sylvia Day
Read by Tracy in June 2013
Tracy recommends to make you appreciate your own relationships
The Publishers Blurb: From the moment I first met Gideon Cross, I recognized something in him that I needed. Something I couldnít resist. I saw the dangerous and damaged soul insideĖso much like my own. I was drawn to it. I needed him as surely as I needed my heart to beat. No one knows how much he risked for me. How much Iíd been threatened, or just how dark and desperate the shadow of our pasts would become. Entwined by our secrets, we tried to defy the odds. We made our own rules and surrendered completely to the exquisite power of possession.
Having previous read and reviewed the first two books in the Crossfire series (Reflected in You and Bared to You), Entwined with You picks up the immediate story following Reflected in You and is not a standalone book, so you must read the previous books and in sequence, so my review below and comments may contain some spoilers, but it is impossible to write a review of this book without some understanding of the previous books. This series is so over the top, everything is manic in the relationships, but I keep reading it! Can't explain why, but obviously I am not along as the series has been extended from 3 books to 5.
I felt this book was filled with even more sex, obviously better to do that than have an actual adult conversation and be part of the real world, but then again, they are mega rich and have totally unattainable lifestyles for the majority of us. Eva and Gideon are continuing with their relationship and constantly validate each otherís emotional insecurities.
"I look at you, angel, and I want you so badly. I want to be with you, listen to you, talk to you. I want to hear you laugh and hold you when you cry. I want to sit next to you, breathe the same air, share the same life. I want to wake up to you like this every day forever. I want you."
Entwined with You doesn't really shed too much more light on Gideon's tortured early years. We know it is something absolutely mind blowing as he is still unable to sleep in the same bed as Eva without seriously assaulting her. However, we do garner a bit more about Eva's early life and the devastating impact that Nathan had, not just on her, but her parents. Obviously now that Nathan is dead and the police have not been able to find the clues that pin his murder on Gideon, their life gets back on track - doesn't it! Well not exactly. Gideon's ex-fiancť Corinne is back with a vengeance and unable or unwilling to let him go. Her husband makes an entrance to try and gauge the situation. Eva's boss Mark is having a relationship meltdown. Cary is having a relationship with Tatiana and Trey which certainly has a sobering twist. Then there is the story of Eva's parents, talk about unrequited love! On top of that Gideon wants Eva to work for him, so he can have absolute control over her life, and considering she can't even go out for a drink with her girlfriends, it is a tad cloying. At the end their relationship looks perfect with an unexpected event. Gideon is even relatively understanding of the re-emergence of Eva's ex Brett Kline who he has previously beaten up. Not sure how he will go with the purported emergence of a sex tape between Eva and Brett which has been reworked into a video. Of course journalist Sheena is uncovered for the desperate skank she is. The main cliff-hanger for me is what has happened to the effervescent co-worker of Eva - Megumi? The book didn't have too much new information and I had the impression it was a filler for the final two books and let's face it no amount of filler with make Eva and Gideon's relationship be anything but dysfunctional. Of course the sex scene described on the airplane was certainly eye opening!
A Caress of Wings (Renegade Angels # 1.5) by Sylvia Day
Read by Tracy in May 2013
Tracy recommends a short, sharp snippet of the Renegade Angels series
The Blurb: Author of Bared to You and A Hunger So Wild, Sylvia Day takes us into a shadowy underworld, where a powerful angel breaks all the rules by falling for the mortal whose life she's saved... Chained in the dark, Trevor Descansos endures pain and terror as vampires slowly drain the life from him. He finds mercy in Sentinel Siobhan, a beautiful avenging angel with lethal wings. She draws Trevor from the depths of hell, wrapping him in the softness of the same feathers that she wielded like blades to cut down his tormentors. Ageless and eternal, Siobhan has seen too much to be surprised by anything, but the mortal she finds in the pit of a vampire den shakes her to the core. Broken and near death, his ravaged masculine beauty stirs the heart she hadn't realized she possessed. Though she's tasked with eradicating the vampire disease sweeping across her world, she nurses Trevor back to health, healing him even as he awakens a forbidden longing. But the true test has yet to come. Siobhan faces an even darker fate than Trevor's, as she falls from grace into mortal love...
My Reivew: This is an e-novella and part of the Renegade Angels series. I would suggest that you read the first book of the series, or at the very least pay attention of the page that describes the various groups i.e. Sentinels, Fallen, Lycans etc, otherwise you will have trouble keeping up with the various warring factions or understand the rules that keep these groups in check. In A Caress of Wings we follow the human Trevor Descansos, who has been saved by Sentinel Angel, Siobhan. Trevor, originally an Army Medic had been captured and held prisoner for over a year by a group of vampires who used his as their own private blood bank, and as you can imagine this wasn't a pleasurable experience for him. When Siobhan literally flies into his life and whisks him to safety, he believes that god has granted his wish. Siobhan is working on a cure for a vampire virus that is spreading almost out of control. Unfortunately, there is only one cure, which is the blood of a Sentinel Angel, a sure way to see their numbers dwindle to nothing, hence the emergency to capture vampires that have the virus and to try understanding what it is, where it came from and how they can stop it. Siobhan becomes increasingly attached to Trevor as he recuperates, however a liaison between the Sentinels and humans is strictly forbidden (hence the Fallen), so she takes his memory of her, with the added bonus that he forgets about his extended stay with the vampires. Unfortunately this doesn't break the bond and when Trevor and Siobhan meet later, the attraction is just as strong and Siobhan must think of their future. Read more about the Renegade Angels series as Sylvia Day's website
A Dark Kiss of Rapture (Renegade Angels # 0.5) by Sylvia Day
Read by Tracy in May 2013
Tracy recommends as a great short read
The Blurb: Of all the Fallen, Raze's hungers are some of the darkest and most insatiable. His brazen seductions cost him his wings, leaving him soulless and immortal, the most dangerous of seducers. He has roamed the earth for eons, hunting the rogues of his kind and protecting the humans who provide him with blood and sex. He is content with his life and the transient pleasures that flow through it... until one night and one woman change everything. Kimberly McAdams is smart, beautiful, and wealthy. She can have any man she wants, but the moment she sets eyes on the lethally stunning Raze she knows he's the man she needs. As one searingly erotic night burns into something deeper and far more vital than either of them expected, an adversary from Raze's past sees a chance for revenge. Twisted by hatred, she will take from Raze what was taken from heróthe precious gift of love.
My Review: A free book on Amazon - finally I found one and undaunted I downloaded this Novella which is the prequel to the Renegate Angels series which I have read (A Hunger so Wild and A touch of Crimson reviews below). I have to say Sylvia Day is a prolific writer and even as a reader it is hard to keep track of all the different series. Raze is your typical fallen vampire - doing what he wants, with who he wants, all disconnected from everything. He has never felt attached to anything, until Kimberly McAdams walks up to him in a bar and propositions him - suddenly his life is turned upside down. Usually Raze would have settled for the barmaid for a quick bite to eat, but Kim captivates him and unfortunately she is soon part of the storyline when her life is threatened by those he is hunting down. Raze finds himself in a strange situation of protecting someone he loves.
Read the details at Sylvia Day's website.
Pleasures of the Night (Dream Guardians #1) by Sylvia Day
Read by Tracy in May 2013
Tracy recommends for an easy and predictable read
The Publisher Blurb: There are sensuous pleasures that can only be tasted in the night . . . He comes to her in the twilight between sleep and consciousness to fulfil her secret desires. Lyssa Bates has never experienced such ecstasy, brought to her by a man whose deep, soul-penetrating blue eyes hold the promise of tempting intimacies and decadent pleasures. But this stranger, this lover, this immortal seducer is only a dreamóa phantom of her nocturnal fantasiesóuntil he appears, inexplicably, at her door in the flesh! Lyssa aches for the reality of him, but there is grave danger in surrender. Because Captain Aidan Cross is on a mission, and the passion that consumes them both, body and soul, could have dire consequences in a world of dreams . . . and in the waking one as well.
My Review: So great premise of a book - interesting concept of nightmares and the world they inhabit and this book did have moments of interest, but it lacked a believable storyline. Unfortunately as the book progressed it became more and more unbelievable. Lyssa is a vet who is extremely popular with her clientele - human and animal alike; however, she is exhausted seemingly unable to have a decent nightís sleep. As it turns out, she is unable to dream, until Aidan Cross is assigned to be her Dream Guardian and uncover what he can about the impenetrable door between his world and Lyssa's subconscious. He seems to be the only one who actually answered her questions to his knocking on her door and once she opens it a sexual fantasy to end all fantasies is started. Unfortunately for Lyssa and Aidan their fantasy relationship is doomed as they are played like pawns in a chess game by the elders. All is not lost and soon Lyssa and Aidan are able to cross the different realms to fight all sorts of evil people. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't great. I felt it lacked excitement and believability. However, I had a cold and find myself relegated to the couch and this was definitely a nice easy read, nothing too complicated. What was annoying, is that this could have so easily been a great book - maybe it was rushed for publication!
A Hunger So Wild by Sylvia Day
Read by Tracy in December 2012
Tracy recommends as better A Touch of Crimson
The Blurb: Elijah Reynolds is the most dominant of lycans, a rare Alpha whose skill on the hunt is surpassed only by his primal sexuality. When the lycans revolt due to the iron fist of angelic rule, he steps into command, becoming both enemy and coveted ally in the conflict between vampires and angels. Vashti is the second most powerful vampire in the world, a lethal beauty with a path of devastation in her wake. Tasked with proposing an alliance between vampires and the lycans who killed her mate, Vashti approaches Elijah, whose need to avenge a friend demands Vashti's death even as his passion demands her surrender. Soon, their enmity erodes beneath an all-consuming desire. Elijah has never encountered a woman whose warrior spirit and fierce sexual appetite rivals his own, while Vashti is faced with the one man strong enough to be her equal. But as war looms, each must decide where their loyalty lies--with their own kind or with the enemy lover they can no longer live without.
We are back into the world of the angels, vampires and lycans, but this time focusing on Elijah Reynolds who is the alpha male in the lycan pack. Picking up directly from the first book where the lycans have revolted against the angels dominance, Elijah must step up and lead his people to find their own place in the world, one without the protection of the Angels. With their alliance to the Angels broken, the lycan find themselves being wooed by the vampires in an effort to find the cause of a mysterious disease (the Wraith virus) that is spreading amongst their numbers at an increasing speed and to also break free of the dominance of the angels.
Vashti is second in command of the vampires and she is tasked with forming the alliance and ensuring that Elijah and the lycans do not return to the angels for protection. Vashti is touted as a voluptuous and sexy vampire who dresses in all black skin type outfits to highlight her red hair, the opposite of the down to earth Lindsay. However, she isn't as hard hearted as she appeared in A Touch of Crimson there are reasons why she trusts no-one and has a hatred of all lycans. Luckily there are some major sparks between her and Elijah, which is pretty much in the same vein as the sparks between Adrian and Lindsay in the previous book. Both Vashti and Elijah have their demons with their best friends and lovers being killed by their respective groups but they must put aside their revenge if they are all to survive the coming war. As their sexual relationship overpowers their desire for anything else, Syre must step back into the picture and I have to say, it is his character that I find the most interesting.
In A Hunger So Wild we are privy to a few other conversations that are happening on the sidelines which start to lead you towards the final book in the trilogy and who is actually directing the fighting and attempting to take over. There is also the race to find the cure for the Wraith virus by the vampires, and the opposite by the angels.
Note - you cannot read this book without reading A Touch of Crimson (review below) otherwise you will not fully appreciate all the intricacies of the different alliances.
A Touch of Crimson by Sylvia Day
Read by Tracy in December 2012
Tracy recommends as a love story with a twist and can help you have a fix of paranormal and erotica in one book
Recommended by my sister who raved about this series being better than the CrossFire series. As you can see from my reviews of the two books I have read in that series (Reflected in You and Bared to You), I wasnít a massive fan, especially with all the hype and publicity surrounding this genre, I felt it was published just to take advantage of the Fifty Shades phenomena.
The Blurb: Adrian Mitchell is an angel of immense power and an insatiable desire for the one woman he canít have. The head of an elite unit, of the Seraphim, his task is to punish the Fallen Ė angels who have become vampires Ė and command a restless pack of indentures lycans. Now, nearly two hundred years after losing the love of his life, Adrian has found his beloved Shadoe, her soul inhabiting a new body with no memory of him. Lindsay Gibson canít resist her fierce attraction to the seductive male who crosses her path. Swept into a dangerous world of tumultuous passion and preternatural conflict, Lindsay realises thereís more at stake than her love and her life Ė both she and Adrian could lose their very souls.
A Touch of Crimson is the first in the Renegade Angels Trilogy. Okay once you get into the differences between angels, seraphims, sentinels, fallen, vampires and watchers, the story unfolds about their history and their reasons for being put on earth by the creator. The glossary at the beginning of the book is a must to keep flipping back to. First up is the meeting of Adrian (alpha male and one of the special ops division tasked with enforcing the punishment of the watchers) and Lindsay (mortal) who is the reincarnate of Shadoe, Adrianís first and only love and also the daughter of his arch enemy the leader of the Fallen - Syre. Lindsay doesnít know her previous incarnations and is only aware of her instant connection with Adrian and the simmering tension builds between the two. Thrown into the mix is the lovely Elijah (a lycan who are bread and forced into involuntary servitude to be used as the angels bodyguards), who is destined to be a leader, but at the same time is worried about rocking the boat and finding himself at the mercy of Adrian. The characters in some way reminded me of Edward, Bella and Jacob from Twilight, but with a lot more sexual tension and Lindsay is no pathetic Bella, but in charge of her mind and her decisions. The tension also starts to build between Lindsay and Elijah when he is given the task of protecting her, however, it is more a best friend scenario.
After the first 30% of the book, I started to get into the language of all the different groups and watch as the story develops and unfolds. Angels, the Seraphim, are the higher power who track and punish the Fallen - angels who have become vampires and as we enter into their lives, we find that things are changing on the battlefield. Vampires are becoming increasingly unstable, the Lycans are showing signs of mutiny, and angels are beginning to want the forbidden. There is a lot of plotting behind the scenes and you get the impression that everything is not as it should be and there are greater forces at work to ensure that all the three sides are torn apart and alliances redefined. In amongst this Lindsay and Adrian try to define their relationship which is different to any of the relationships Adrian has had with the previous incarnations of Shadoe. There is a lot of bloodshed and you feel sad and the demise of the angels Ė there arenít many left and the other sides are becoming more prolific. However, as the leader, Adrian seems to think with his private parts instead of his brain and underneath I wanted him to get a wakeup call and realise that you donít have to become so besotted with a person you can think of no-one or nothing else.
There is one big question which I couldnít work out - If Adrian slept with Shadoe (a mortal) why wasnít he stripped of his wings and become one of the fallen? Plus Adrian is the leader and is effectively breaking the rules, and when another angel does the same thing, he shows no mercy. Maybe that will be answered in book two.
Reflected in You by Sylvia Day
Read by Tracy and Natalie October 2012
Tracy and Natalie recommend as tumultuous romp that ties you in knots
Natalie's review Ok book two. I'm gonna be honest: really drove me crazy! It pretty much picks up right after book one and we are thrown head first into the tumultuous and waaaaay over the top relationship that is Gideon and Eva. Having left Cary after the massive orgy at the end of book 1, Eva is staying at Gideon's. Problem is she needs to (a) sort out what's going on with her best friend, (b) try and work out why Gideon is having nightmares that basically involve him trying to rape her and (c) work out what the hell Gideon is keeping a secret from her. In the meantime this reader is trying to work out why the hell Eva doesn't just slap him across the face, demand answers and walk if she doesn't get them or why the hell everything has to be answered with sex?!
Anyway, where was I. Oh yes, secrets. So it seems that not only is Gideon's former fiancee Corinne still in the picture, it looks like Gideon is back to sleeping with her, despite him promising that he isn't and asking Eva to "trust him", yet giving her NO REASONABLE explanation so that she can. Eva tries desperately to get answers, both directly and through their couple's counseling, but has no such luck. But that's ok because they still have hot sex. Of course things get a little bit heated when a night at a rock concert means Eva has a run-in with a former boyfriend, Gideon completely loses the plot (after fingering her in the crowd at the concert, um WTF?), bashes said ex-boyfriend, punishes Eva in a 10 hour limo sex romp until she finally admits why she kissed ex-boyfriend (of course it's all her fault and she is grateful he has made her see that) before the two of them enjoy a weekend of solitude with only each other. This was probably the best part of the book because not only was their relationship sweet and steamy, but we finally got some background info on Gideon, yeay! Course that all goes to hell when they get back to Manhattan and Gideon starts to withdraw, Eva freaks out, there's a bit more hot and silent sex, her step-brother shows up, Cary gets bashed, the police show when Nathan (step-brother) is found dead, Gideon keeps asking her to "trust him", Eva finally pieces it all together (well, when a cop helps her) and the book ends with a bit of a cliff-hanger and a complete WTF did that really happen, I mean did he really do that for her? And don't even get me started on the "period" discussion and Gideon's solution for that.
Once again, I find myself comparing this series to Fifty Shades and coming up disappointed. I don't know what it is, but the relationship, the intensity, the sex, the romance, the plot; I just think Fifty Shades does it better. But don't get me wrong, this is an easy and relatively enjoyable read and Gideon is freaking hot, it just drives you crazy in the process. And yes, I'll still be picking up book 3 (and the rumoured book 4).
Tracy's review I enjoyed Bared to You probably misjudging it slight as I read it straight after reading Fifty Shades , so I was looking forward to the sequel so I could give it a fairer read. Reflected in You continues the story of Gideon and Eva and is set only a month after the first book - wow can't believe their relationship has only been going a month - whew! Gideon Cross, the CEO of Cross Industries is one of the top twenty-five richest people in the world whereas Eva Tramell, PA to a marketing director has a very large trust account and supported by her mother and step-father. They are still in a relationship, although as per Bared to You it is a relationship that teeters on the edge, involving no trust, no conviction about each other's commitment and more secrets than you can imagine. Like Bared to You this book is also written from the point of view of Eva, so we get a constant court side seat of Eva's insecurities and temperament.
In Reflected in You Gideon is still able to make people quake in their shoes with just a look or a tersely spoken word and Eve is still in awe of his smouldering good looks, believing he is the hottest man on the planet. Their relationship is based on sex with every meeting, argument or random encounter ending in earth shattering orgasms. Unfortunately itís one step forward and two steps back as Gideon and Eva are confronted with spectres of the past, as well as their own jealousies and insecurities. In this book we dive deeper into Gideon and Evaís traumatic childhoods and how it still impacts their adult lives. However, this forms a bond - they are both as messed up as each other. Their emotional issues are messy and the story does turn ugly at times, however, there was hope, if they could learn to trust there may be a future. As the title of the book states, they both have reflective pasts. Both Eva and Gideon are both extremely jealous of each other and anyone of the opposite sex that comes in contact. Cue Gideon's ex-fiancť Corinne and Eva's ex-boyfriend, Brett and you have some major fireworks. Gideon does start to let Eva in, after all she has confided her past so it is only fair that we find some details of his own trauma.
The subsidiary characters were much more enjoyable in this book, although I did want to smack Cary for his insensitivities with Trey - he has the opportunity of a loving relationship, but can't seem to take the plunge arguing that he can't decide his sexual orientation. The divergent storylines did see some of the characters from the first novel come to the fore. We learn more about Eva's mother (Monica Tramell Barker Mitchell Stanton) and how their relationship works and even better we finally meet Eva's father - Victor Reyes. He is so realistic about his life, Eva's mother and Eva herself and when he comes face to face with Eva's mother you can almost cut the air with the sexual tension, but they both know nothing will come of it, it is almost sad.
The storyline takes a dark turn with Cary being attacked and Eva's former stepbrother, Nathan, back on the scene. These two events continue to plague their present and future as it brings up huge secrecy and issues about their past. It seems like every time their relationship looks like it may be on an even keel it is plunged back onto the rollercoaster which is strange considering they both seem to desire stability and commitment. They even attend couples counselling but ignore the advice that is provided. There seemed to be more in this book about the importance of looks, having huge amounts of money and being seen that I felt it started to become tiresome. I get that they are both magnetic and can't breathe or even live without each other, but we all know that is unrealistic.
Of course, any review can't ignore the sexual tension and the continual demonstration by Gideon of his dominance Evaís body. There are no ropes or spanking or kinky fuckery, but it is certainly raunchy stuff, however sometimes I couldn't align my thoughts of Gideon and his actions:-
Gideon: "You on your period?" Eva nods. Gideon: "Then I'll just have to come in your mouth", not exactly suave and sophisticated. But then sometimes I couldn't accept Gideon's overprotective behaviour, but then Eva also had problems with her jealousy. However, I must state it isn't all sex, doom and gloom. There are attempts for some normality with dinners, getaways and an attempt for normality - which seemed to be something new for both of them:-
ďWhatís wrong? Do you need a doctor?Ē
ďItís my period, I whispered, not wanting Angus to overhear. ďIt should start any day now. I donít know why I didnít realize it before. No wonder Iím so tired and cranky; Iím hormonal.Ē
He stilled. After a heartbeat or two, I tilted my head back to search his face.
With his lips twisted ruefully, he admitted, ďThatís a new one for me. Not something that comes up in the course of a casual sex life.Ē
ďLucky you. You get to experience the inconvenience reserved for men with girlfriends and wives.Ē
ďI am lucky.Ē
The ending was strange though, there weren't enough details about what was true or not, so I am presuming the third book will provide the full details and whether who did what and by whom (don't want to give it away) and how it all works together. I felt there was too much missing and too much taken for granted. I am sure Gideon doesn't have a hand in the outcome, but if he does, his actions are someone with serious mental issues and seriously steps outside boundaries most of us accept.
Favourite Quote: ďPeople get over love. They can live without it, they can move on. Love can be lost and found again. But that wonít happen for me. I wonít survive you, Eva.Ē
Bared to You by Sylvia Day
Read by Natalie July 2012 and Tracy in August 2012
Natalie recommends as not even being in the same league as Fifty but still a great light hearted read to help you through those cold winter days/nights.
Natalie's Review: Ok, straight off the bat, Iím one of those readers who loved the Fifty Shades Trilogy. Yes I know, itís not a literary masterpiece, but then again, itís not supposed to be. Itís simply entertaining and addictive reading that lets you escape the reality of day to day life, and enjoy the ride. So, having heard that Sylvia Dayís Crossfire series was a huge recommendation for fans of Fifty, I launched right in. Another self-publishing phenomenon that has been snatched up by Penguin, Ms Day is the author of several novels already, and yes that probably shows in her writing. It is good and there are no annoying Oh My or overdone inner goddesses, but the storyline itself, mmm, not quite as good.
Eva Trammell is new to New York City. Trying to escape the demons of her past (sexual abuse by her step-brother for four years) as well as make it on her own without her interfering (and rich) mother and new step-father, she lands herself an entry level job at an advertising company. Deciding to do a dry-run trip to work (seriously, who does these?) she also manages to bump, quite literally into the enigmatic and downright sexy Gideon Cross, a 28 year old billionaire who doesnít date or have significant women in his life (oh dangerously familiar territory here). Despite the intense and immediate sexual attraction between them, Eva runs away, knowing he is dangerous. But when she meets him again on her first day at work and discovers he actually owns the whole building, she knows sheís in for more trouble. Things get exponentially worse when Gideon outright tells her he wants to sleep with her (well he actually uses a word beginning with F, but you get the drift) and so appalled by his outright comment and view of sex as a business merger, Eva tells him no, despite wanting the exact same thing. Problem is Eva wants friendship and connection before she has sex and although having no time for dating or an actual relationship, she still needs something and wonít be treated as a blow-up doll. Gideon, being the dominant alpha male that he is, persists and on one occasion actually drags her into his office and seriously crosses the sexual harassment line. Eva, despite everything that happened in her past, is somehow turned on by Gideonís dominance and sexual aggression and completely submits, thereby infuriating this particular reader. Cut to the weekend, when Eva really wants some time alone to process her reaction to Gideon, but instead what she gets is a serious case of obsession and psychotic stalking. Unable to take no for an answer, or even wait until their Monday lunch to discuss things further, Gideon not only tracks her movements and drinks orders all over Manhattan, but sets up an elaborate plan for Eva to end up in his club so he can once again make his moves. Yeah, Iíd probably be at the police station by now, particularly as Eva is already fuming at the fact that her mother tracks her cell phone! But no, in a fantastic display of feminism, Eva decides that Gideonís stalking actually shows how much he cares and that really, he is talking to her now and willing to bend his ďrulesĒ for her, so maybe heís worth a shot. Cue the following night date which of course involves Gideon first stalking her at home for a quickie; followed by some limo sex; Gideon withdrawing; Eva running; a reconciliation; a trip to Gideonís fuck-pad; Eva freaking out again; a reconnection and trip to Gideonís inner sanctum that no other woman has seen; a few nightmares hinting at Gideonís demons; a four day fight; a reconnection at Gideonís family home (which holds some dark memories for the demons in his own past); an exchanging of rings (no, not that kind, yet); some counselling; some obsessive and over the top present giving; another massive fight over the other women in Gideonís life; another reconnection and some hope for the future. Phew, Iím exhausted, because of course in amongst all of that is a lot of sex.
While no BDSM features in this book, Gideon is a clear dominant and despite all evidence to the contrary, believes Eva to be a submissive. I disagree, but sometimes Eva thinks he might be right, which really annoyed me and I found to be inconsistent with her character. There are some very clear similarities with Fifty Shades , from the two main characters, the past demons, the ďotherĒ women in Gideonís life whoís just a friend but who he has a past with, and even some of the sex scenes themselves. However, there are also some differences and unfortunately these are to the detriment of this book. For one, the whole relationship is just way to fast. Yes I know, so was Ana and Christianís, but theirs at least seemed more drawn out as well as more realistically troubled and in need of fixing. The other big factor is the chemistry. Even though it was quick, I believed in Ana and Christianís connection, could understand it and feel the intensity. With Gideon and Eva, that just wasnít there and I was often wondering why they were so hot for each other in the first place and how it was that each of them cracked the walls the other had built around themselves. Then there is the sex. What can I say, EL James does it well. She writes it well, she describes it well and sheís inventive and original. Ms Day, not quite so much. Yeah ok, it was steamy in parts, Iíll give her that, but it was also boring and repetitive, and at times just not hot at all. But, maybe that was also related to the characters and the romance between them, because while Ana and Christian do have a whole heap of sex, there is also plenty of gorgeous romance too and that makes a huge difference.
Book two, Reflected in You is out October 2012 and yes I will probably read it. There are a couple of side characters, including Evaís messed up room mate Cary, who I do want to see progress, so hopefully their stories will also develop. But, I'll take Mr Grey over Mr Cross anyday, because while I like a dominant, sexy man as much as the next woman, I definitely donít like stalkerish and crazy dominant man, thatís just plain scary.
Tracy's review: Okay it seems book stores are over-run with an explosion of womenís erotica titles and Bared to You, although not getting the same air time, shelf time and hysteria as Fifty Shades is definitely not as bad as some of the other books that are being overhyped (see reviews below). The cover has a note that if you liked Fifty Shades of Grey then you'll love this - I don't completely disagree, but... they are extremely similar, both featuring angst, erotic characters who are tortured by the past.
Gideon Cross - the uber billionaire (apparently has about 12 billion in the bank, hmm not bad and definitely a positive on the checklist) and CEO of Cross Industries, who has always separated sex and emotions. Eva Trammell - arriving in New York to start a career as an assistant in one of the United States pre-eminent an advertising agencies which happens to be located in the Crossfire Building (Cross Industries head office). When Gideon and Eva meet in the foyer of her new office (she doesn't know who he is), the sparks start to fly. Gideon soon tells Eva what he wants, but she also wants the emotional connection and walks away, telling him that she has to actually like someone before getting naked and sweaty with them.
In Bared to You we learn mainly about Eva's life. Eve's mother came from a wealthy family, but when she found herself pregnant to police officer, Victor Reyes, she keeps the baby, but is abandoned by her family. Instead of marrying Victor, she marries into wealth with disastrous consequences. Eva was sexually abused by her step-brother during her early teenage years. The marriage soon crumbles and both Eva and her mother walk away with a large payout. Eva's mother soon finds husband number three - mega financier Richard Stanton. This is not a marriage of convenience, they both love each other and Richard does everything in his power to make his new wife happy by enabling her to overprotect Eva. Eva and Victor have a lovely relationship, he has never faltered and asked for assistance to support his daughter and never wavered in his determination to be Eva's father. However, as the story progresses, he seems to become very distant and never visits Eva in her new home. Eva's best friend and confidant is Cary Taylor who she met through therapy and they have never been separated since. I am sure if you were a psychiatrist you might worry about their reliance on each other as an emotional crutch, but the relationship seems very two sided. Eva provides Cary with material support and he provides her with emotional support. There are no secrets and they both know everything about each other. He is also loved by her family and included in their lives. This of course doesn't stop Eva's mother from tracking her mobile phone to ensure that she is not in any danger.
After much "will they, won't they", eventually they do and then don't and then do and then don't. It is a rollercoaster of a relationship; I was tired from all the toing and froing. Honestly, doesn't anybody have a humdrum life where you go to work, come home, have dinner, go to bed and repeat! Hmm maybe I need to find a billionaire. Anyway, eventually Gideon takes Eva to his home, where not even his mother has been and Eva takes the plunge and tells Gideon of the abusive past she suffered at the hands of her step-brother. There is no similar unveiling of feelings from Gideon, but you soon realise he may be even more fragile than Eva, there is something very dark and disturbing in his past, something much more than the suicidal death of his father. I would guess it has something to do with his brother Christopher who is obsessed at possessing everything that Gideon has. I found some of the night scenes where Gideon is having nightmares to be truly frightening, this is only book 1 in a trilogy (Deeper into You (book 2) is due in October 2012. As their relationship continues its rollercoaster, Gideon starts to become even more of a stalker than her parents, there are no boundaries in what he will do to see her - she can hardly go to the gym without him showing up. Of course amongst all that Eva is meant to be working. Luckily her new boss, Mark is fairly relaxed. Eva is his first assistant, so they are defining and developing a working relationship which is a first for both of them. Mark's partner, Steven is the opposite of the career corporate type and is very relaxed and providing a sense of normality to the story line. One of the best parts of the book involving other characters was when Mark and Steven took Eva to a Mexican restaurant where it appeared for all intents and purposes that Mark was being hit on by a waitress - the look on Eva's face would have been hilarious.
The sex scenes in this book are very mild with no kinky fuckery at all. Do you become immune to the sexual dialogue after the in your face sex scenes in recent books? Bared to You almost felt as if it verged into Mills & Boon territory and Eva's doormat persona in some of the chapters makes it a bit too sickly sweet. She started out being so focused on her new life, but soon forgets everyone and everything except Gideon; there is no pattern to her desire to be possessed by him. The underlying story asks you "can two emotionally damaged people, combine and overcome their past building a future together?" So far, not sure if their relationship could be called healthy, but time will tell with the sequel.