Bared to You (Crossfire #1) by Sylvia Day | Rating: ★★★★☆
“Sex that’s planned like a business transaction is a turnoff for me….. Listen to yourself. Why even call it a fuck? Why not be clear and call it a seminal emission in a pre-approved orifice?”
With the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey, which is admittedly n o t my cup of tea, there has been a fortunate rise in women embracing their sexuality and shamelessly devouring the romance/erotic novels that often were reserved for reading in secret. While in some cases these novels aren’t spectacular, Bared to You feels quite different and is all in good fun.
But let me stress this to you right here and now: Eva and Gideon’s relationship isn’t healthy nor is it real. Ship it all you want, obsess over it, read it repeatedly and fan yourself but please do not go looking for a relationship like theirs. Or anyone else.
My ex-girlfriend introduced me to Sylvia Day’s books a few years back and I’ve just gotten around to finishing the beginning of the Crossfire series. Before I dive into my review, it’s important you know that I am shameless about it all. Sexual content doesn’t bother me in the least. It’s all fictional to me. It’s all an escape. It’s all clearly just a reason for me to start my sentences with it’s.
Let’s try this again.
Bared to You is not the best piece of literature in the world. It is not groundbreaking.
If you are looking for something with a serious tone and more substance to it to balance out the erotic moments, this is probably not for you. You cannot take this story too seriously or to heart or to expect it to be more than what it is. I’ve got to remind you lot that this is an erotic romance. It’s not serious business. You should prepare yourself for cliches and fast falling into the sea of love.
Frankly, it’s not meant to be anything but — it’s supposed to be a fantasy; it’s supposed to be dishy and smutty and all in good fun. As far as erotic novels go, Bared to You hits all the right marks in remaining simple, steamy and well written with an absolutely interesting flow of characters. Sylvia Day knows what makes her readers flush and want more; she definitely knows what makes her characters tick and how to approach certain topics.
Slyvia Day, in other words, is phenomenal.
There are flaws in it, of course, like all books in its genre. Eva and Gideon’s relationship can be at times cringe worthy and unhealthy but for its genre, it’s actually quite good and realistic. You want to shake sense into both just as much as you want them to just be. Eva does not just roll over and take stuff — she often plays back. It’s a very fun, light and sexy read.
That being said, you should acknowledge each of the flaws in it but don’t let it ruin the experience. Know that this is the story Slyvia Day is telling.
Our narrator Eva Tramell is quite likeable; you feel for her mysterious past (trigger warning of the sexual abuse variety — please do not read this story if that’s one of your triggers) and find yourself rooting for her as she embarks on a new life in New York City with her best male friend, Cary (a deliciously messed up character who is bisexual and is overall awesome) and tries to dodge her overbearing mother.
Her mother who, in spite of Eva being in her early 20s and living on her own with a new job, seems to border on creepy suffocation when it comes to worrying about her daughter. She even goes as far to track Eva by her cellphone and have her husband buy the Krav Maga studio she’s attending. Eva’s mother has her concerns and reasoning for it, so it’s very believable when it comes to her actions.
Thankfully, Eva and her mother both attend therapy sessions in which they attempt to straighten these things out. Eva attending a therapist, because of her past, is a very important part to the story and shows us more of her mind and flaws and concerns.
More on our beautiful lead: Eva has quite a sense of humor and is very thoughtful and could very well be one of your friends. She talks and thinks just like a lot of the women I know and this makes her fun to read.
In comes Gideon and their attraction is an instant crash. I mean that literally — they are both practically panting for each other before long. As I said before, their relationship starts off rather typical and is built almost entirely on lust. Don’t let it scare you off — they actually do begin to know each other, really know each other, and find that their secrets may parallel each other more than you’d originally thought.
We have some serious foreshadowing on what’s to come in their relationship and their getting to know each other dance.
And through this their attachment to one another continues to grow throughout the course of this first installment. What was once lust slowly turns into something a little more tender and not quite healthy.
They both have a great deal of issues — together and apart — that they plan on working on. And we’re left with the idea that they’re certainly not giving up on their connection just yet. I, for one, cannot wait to start the second installment.
(You caught me. I’m reading it now already.)
I may not know a lot about erotic literature but Bared to You is sure sexy and fun and the perfect read that naughty daydreams are made of.