Book Review: Bared to You (Crossfire#1) by Sylvia Day

Bared to You
Bared to You by Sylvia Day

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary:  From #1 "New York Times" bestselling author Sylvia Day comes the provocative masterstroke of abandon and obsession that redefined the meaning of desire and became a global phenomenon... 
"Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness."

He was 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 others 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 "

Sex is simple. Affection is dangerous. And love... all kinds of trouble. And Eva & Gideon have all but cornered the market on trouble. They're two sides of the same double faced coin & can go rounds on the issues train. They pushed & pulled each other like it was sport. Triggers & defense mechanisms with a huge dose of cut & run. As a reader, I loved them but damn it if they weren't exhausting!

I very much liked Eva as a character. She's a woman I can root for. She was witty, comfortable with her sexuality & even when she was making mistakes, she was honest enough not to delude herself that she was wholly right. She had no problem setting boundaries with Gideon but she also owned her physical attraction & wanton lust for him. Fantastic. Nothing annoys me more than a heroine that is wishy-washy & confused about her wants & needs. Eva had no problem calling Gideon an asshat & flipping him off as she walked away. She loves Gideon but it's not to the exclusion & eclipse of herself or her emotional well-being. She also displayed her own deep & overwhelming vulnerabilities, so she had my heart. Though, she could have stood to have mentioned his perfection of looks a lot less. It struck me as a bit juvenile an obsession for an otherwise aware woman. Especially since she is seeking more than a physical & surface connection with Gideon. I don't mind her acknowledging his hotness but reiterating it every time they had a moment together was a bit tedious.

Gideon initially struck me as definitely hiding behind a facade. I was sure he was a hot mess of insecurity wrapped up in some wicked crazy. I know he's supposed to be all "alpha" but those types generally offered in popular fiction translate in my mind as overcompensating & insecure when they break out the stalker behavior & veiled (& not so veiled) threats to the object of their obsession. Desperate doesn't register as sexy & infinitely shaggable to me. And I also don't find that "heroine in actual fear of hero" thing a trope that hits high on the hot quotient. So I needed more time to see if Gideon would be that type. Happily, he wasn't that guy, though he definitely was insecure & bringing his own Cross brand of crazy to the party. Lucky for him, Eva matches him in the epic mood swing department, so I didn't mind watching them unfurl on each other. He also displayed real affection for Eva & seemed to freely admit when he messed thing up. I can't hate a man who is willing to apologize for his stupidity.

They both have for real problems of the life-time scarring & sometimes emotionally paralytic variety. I just loved that they were going to give a real relationship a go, even with their own private, unspoken trepidation. I'm a sucker for hope against the odds. Together they're emotional, damaged, desperate, jealous & needy. What is infinitely fascinating is watching them try to be better than those aspects of their personalities & overcome them to be better people. Because in the end, they do want to be the best person they can be for themselves & the other person. I love that. There's no "I'll fix you" from either of them. It's more a "I'll help you". No matter what else is going on they have a parity that I very much like.

What am I forgetting? Oh, yes. The sex. They have it. They have a lot of it. They talk about it like adults. It's explicit & not even close to kinky. It's hot. They have good banter. While they often used sex as a sedative & reliable means of communication instead of opting to use their words for important conversations, I was just glad they were getting moments of mind-numbing, coma-inducing sex. It gave them breaks between obsessing, self-loathing slips & other states of mania. I have to buy into both the characters singly & as a couple to care about the sex they're having & this book didn't disappoint. Oddly though, the things I highlighted on my Kindle weren't their sex scenes. I was most moved & intrigued by their other interactions. I'm hoping there's more of them working through their issues with Dr Petersen & verbally with one another in the next installment.

Rounding out the inner-sanctum looped group in Eva's life are her mother & bff Cary. Cary has some of the best lines in the book but the way we're left with his story has me worried that when we resume, he'll be found in some derelict part of town or a dumpster. I'm a bit anxious for him.

I know this is a high recommendation for fans of the formerly Twilight-fan-fiction, Fifty Shades series, but as a chica who has not read that series (but loves a good romance/erotica), I can say without reservation that Bared to You was a great read & fascinating glimpse at these characters. This was totally worth stepping out of my usual historical fiction romance/erotica genre & into a contemporary. I definitely look forward to the next installment in this series as I quite need to know how they'll fare & I'm desperate to get more into the depths of these characters. I'm so rooting for them.

View all my reviews

No comments