When I finished reading Bared to You by Sylvia Day I was happy. I enjoyed the book. But, I felt slightly unsatisfied. Why? Because I wanted to know more about Gideon Cross. I wanted to understand him. To get inside of him. (Not literally. Well, maybe a bit.)
I waited for months for Reflected in You, the sequel and second book in the Crossfire Trilogy. I *may* have pestered the author and the publisher about it. I had high hopes that Day would add more layers into the character of Gideon. Because for me, when I read romance, it’s all about the man.
I have to tell you, I was not disappointed.
Gideon is spectacular. And complicated. And conflicted.
Reflected in You is intense. It’s stunning. It’s powerful. It’s a book you sit down to read when you don’t have to get up.
When we last saw Gideon Cross and Eva Tramell they were committed to making their tempestuous relationship work, notwithstanding their seemingly unsurmountable personal problems. In this instalment, we witness the relationship between Eva and Gideon as it deepens and blossoms and how it is nearly destroyed by the intersection of past and present. We begin to understand that in order to make sure they have a future, Gideon must learn to open up, and Eva to trust her heart.
The struggle between these two lovers is in their inability to communicate-both of them have had to keep secrets for so long that they cannot find the ‘we’ in ‘you’ and ‘me’. Even though they so much want to trust each other . When distressed, when strung out on emotion, they manage their conflict through explosive sexual interaction (luckily for us) but never resolve any of the deep issues that could ultimately tear them apart. Watching them torment each other is both mesmerizing and frustrating.
Gideon is domineering and bossy. Almost so much that it risks diminishing his sex appeal. Eva, completely bewitched by him, begins to find her independent spirit; she is almost able, yet completely unwilling, to live without him.
…those lips…perfectly etched to be both sensual and wicked. I loved when they smiled with sexual invitation, and I shivered when they thinned into a stern line. And when he pressed those lips to my body, I burned for him.
As I’m a bit of a self-proclaimed expert at lady porn books, I’ll point out that I look at this genre on the surface as an enjoyable read. I’m not looking for social commentary. I don’t care that Gideon is too much and sometimes Eva too little. I don’t care that the book is loaded with cliches. Those are inherent in a romance read.
What I liked: Sylvia Day is an excellent writer whose prose flows smoothly but doesn’t interfere with the reader’s participation. I really loved how she deepened the character of Gideon Cross, who I found a bit one-dimensional in the first book. Just as in Bared to You (and others written by Day), the erotic scenes are juicy and extremely readable, and written with a total lack of embarrassment and a great amount of respect for the characters. I’ve found lately that second books in trilogies act as placeholders but this installment of the series really pushed the story forward. I was pleased to see some of the backstories wrapped up and Gideon and Eva’s relationship placed where we’d like to see it. Plus, Sylvia Day shed new light on all kinds of uses for cars, limos, and airplanes. I can tell you I’ll never feel the same way about rock concerts.
What I didn’t like: On occasion the push and pull of Gideon and Eva’s relationship was frustrating. She was inordinately jealous, yet prone to doing stupid things, and he too much of a closed book. But then, they’d have crazy sex and I’d forget my irritation.
ps. I read Reflected in You in six hours so I may have to go back and read it again. You know, just to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
Unputdownable Factor: It goes to 11
Recommend Factor: 10/10 for romantic erotica junkies
Words to describe Reflected in You: erotic, mesmerizing, intense, bewitching, frustrating, addicting
Penguin Canada provided me an eBook for review. Obviously, the opinions are my own. I’m headstrong that way.