Captivated by You by Sylvia Day | Rating: ★★★★★
“He didn’t see in himself what I saw— a generous soul who wanted so much to belong to something greater than himself. He didn’t recognize what a miracle he was. When he didn’t know what to do in a given situation, he let instinct and his heart take over. Despite all he’d been through, he had such an amazing capacity to feel and to love. He’d saved me, in so many ways. I was going to do whatever needed to be done to save him, too.”
Knowing that I have to wait for the next installment, I went slow with the fourth book in the Crossfire series by Sylvia Day. There’s just something undeniably fun about reading this erotic romance and although it has its flaws, it has earned its place on my shelf and in my heart. It was a total bitch to not finish Captivated by You in one sitting, but I managed to stretch it out for a little while.
I’m a sucker for the romance of Gideon and Eva’s, in spite of its at times unhealthy nature, and I love that Sylvia makes it more than just a story of lust and love. I love the sarcasm and humour in it, I love the dynamic of the two and Eva’s friendship with Cary.
I love the themes of survival in all three of these characters who suffered abuse years and years ago. And I especially love that each of them have different ways of coping. I think the raw human emotion in it is beautifully crafted and it’s just an overall fun yet emotional read.
In Captivated by You, Eva and Gideon are newly married. They have more than their fair share of issues and fights in this one, their relationship is passionate in many ways, but fans will find the plot lines fulfilling and perhaps one of the best yet.
Eva and Gideon have their plates full with all their fiery chemistry, scorned exes, impending threats by the hand of an ex lover of Gideon’s, balancing friendships now that they are married; all the while navigating their union and planning a wedding for their friends and family to witness.
Good news, for Cary fans! Eva’s delightful best friend gets a bit more of a story line in this one as he struggles with Eva not always being present and mental health issues. You have to remember that like Eva and Gideon, he is a survivor too and as in real life; his coping mechanisms are quite different.
There are mentions of self harm on his behalf and by stories end you just want to wrap him up in a blanket and make sure he stays safe. He doesn’t quite know what to do with himself now that one of the people he is dating, a woman named Tatiana, is pregnant and it is likely his child.
Matters grow more complicated as he has to tell the other man he is dating, Trey, that he is expecting a child with Tatiana. I think Cary really and truly loves Trey more than anyone and I do hope they can work over this. It’s a complicated patch and I’m prepared for the worst but hoping for the best.
Eva and Trey have a nice friendship going on, though I must admit. I’m hoping that her advice doesn’t cause some complications with Trey’s reluctance to stand by Cary because I think the four (Gideon/Eva and Cary/Trey) could have an awesome double date friendship/family relationship going on in the future.
What can I say? I’m ever the optimistic.
Onto more themes…
There are some graphic flashback/mentions of Gideon’s abuse from years back. This will be triggering for some. Others, maybe not.
But it’s definitely something that made me squeamish and my heart broke much like it did with Eva’s flashbacks in an earlier book. I think in incorporating these memories and Gideon’s narration fleshed him out incredibly well.
We know Gideon well enough by now, but by including these thoughts and moments I think we’ve gotten to know him on the most intimate level yet.
I liked that by the end of the novel, we’ve seen some massive improvement on many fronts for him and his mental standing, as he finally talks more with someone about his abuse and his step-father shows him his support. I was very pleased to see his growth–he does mess up a few times, a job offer to Eva’s boss for instance–and it really, really did wonders for me in regards to likability.
The mistakes and the growth are what made this one my favorite installment yet.
As for Eva on her own: I love that she still doesn’t let Gideon’s shit fly.
He messed up, she felt very hurt and betrayed and like he took away her voice. And I know that it will break a lot of peoples hearts to see her requesting space; but it was something that needed to be done for the both of them if they expect their marriage to last in the long run.
It was very realistic.
I also liked the minor subplots and how they work into the story. Megumi broke my heart, but I love the friendship and support Eva loans her friend. I was so concerned for her during the times she’d been MIA from work. I’d like to see more of this and dive into her story so hopefully it’ll be explored before the series is over.
Ideally, I’d love for the four survivors–Gideon, Eva, Cary and now Megumi–of sexual abuse to work together and create more support for others.
We know that Eva is exploring that option and I think it would just be great to see these four reaching out because each of their stories are different, each person is different, it would cover a lot of ground and really help others.
Captivated by You also marks the return of Eva’s ex musician lover Brett Kline, briefly, and Gideon’s younger half-sister Ireland; who is one of my other favorites in the minor character section. Other characters pop in and out of the plots, too, such as that mysterious redhead from the end of the last book and Deanna.
We also see Corrine once more and find out some startling news–she is selling a tell-all book on her past romance with Gideon as a way to remind him that they had something special. I hope she gets some help because she doesn’t seem to be getting better and has no concept of reality at this point.
Needless to say, a lot of drama seems to be brewing and we can expect it to boil over soon. Captivated by You ends on a good, optimistic note and will leave readers reaching out for more. Sylvia Day better hurry her pretty little butt, I am getting impatient!