Aftershock by Sylvia Day

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Never mix business with pleasure. Never bring politics into the bedroom. In a way I did both when I took Jackson Rutledge as a lover. I can’t say I wasn’t warned.

Two years later, he was back. Walking into a deal I’d worked hard to close. Under the tutelage of Lei Yeung, one of the sharpest businesswomen in New York, I had picked up a thing or two since Jax walked away. I wasn’t the girl he once knew, but he hadn’t changed. Unlike the last time we’d drifted into each other’s lives, I knew exactly what I was dealing with… and how addictive his touch could be.

The inner circle of glamour, sex, and privilege was Jax’s playground–but this time, I knew the rules of the game. In the cutthroat business world, one adage rules all: keep your enemies close and your ex-lovers closer…

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sylvia Day comes the gripping romantic conclusion to the miniseries which started with Afterburn and ends with an Aftershock.

review

“Tell me you love me, Jax.”
“Loving each other isn’t our problem.”

A new Sylvia Day novel is like Christmas morning in my eyes, the same kind of anticipation, excitement, pure joy leading up to it, and that is why she is one of those rare authors whose books I devour the moment they are released. I have been waiting with bated breath for the conclusion of Jax and Gia’s passionate story ever since we first met them and fell in love with them in Afterburn, their intoxicating romance taking us on a whirlwind ride from the very first scene, and that is why my expectations of this second book were mammoth. And perhaps unrealistic. The very format of this two-part serial allowed it to be told at a particular pace, for the overall story to peak twice in order to accommodate both installments. But while some gaps in the storyline could be justified in the first part, implying bigger and better things would be on their way and leaving the reader only hungry for more, those gaps needed to be filled and built on in the second installment for it to give us a complete and satisfying story. Unfortunately, that was not the case for me.

“I am the big bad wolf, baby.”

At the end of Afterburn, Jax and Gia’s already shaky relationship came to a standstill after Jax put Gia’s career in jeopardy by ruining her first major business deal. But betrayal and disappointment are not the only feelings coursing through Gia’s veins at this point, her discovery of Jax’s true feelings for her only further complicating things and questioning her resolve to stay away from him. When confronted with either losing the love of his life forever or giving a genuine relationship with her a chance, Jax is unable to let go of Gia a second time in his life, knowing all too well that the pressures of living in his world would likely be their eventual demise anyway.

“I’m so afraid of f*cking this up. Of looking at you one day and finding that you’ve lost that light in your eyes you have when you’re looking at me.”

As Gia’s integrity is put to the test, she must decide whether turning into the kind of woman a man like Jax appears to need at his side is too high a price to pay in order to hold onto him. And Jax must finally embrace the man he wants to be, rather than the one he is expected to become. This is a story of love conquering all, regardless of where we come from or what we are told is best for us, told in Ms Day’s very unique voice that keeps us rapt from the very first page.

“What took you so damned long! Why now? Why are you fighting for me now?”
“Because you’re finally fighting for me!”

The unquestionable chemistry between these characters is only amplified in this second installment, their physical connection acting as a binding force between them, as well as a healing and comforting one. However, I could not help but feel that most of the actual plot happened between the sheets. There was no real string of events for us to sink our teeth in, and what we could latch onto felt rushed, foreseeable, lacking substance. The main characters made decisions in a hurry, secondary characters that could have added to the story were underutilized, elements that could have given more depth to the plotline were skimmed over or simply alluded to, and the story being told in such broad strokes left us not hungry for more, but rather feeling like we just ate a rice cracker when we had expected a whole feast.

I cannot say that I did not enjoy this story – because I did, start to finish – or that I was not captivated by every skillfully chosen word in it – because I was – but to me this was regrettably not the story that I expected or hoped to find.

3halfstars

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If you found this review helpful in any way, I would be so grateful if you took the time to click on this link - it will take you to my Amazon review for this book where, at the bottom of the review, you can select ‘yes’ or ‘no’ where it asks you, “Was this review helpful to you?” – Thank you so much!

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Jax & Gia – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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Afterburn: My reviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | iBooks
Aftershock: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | iBooks
Paperback with both volumes: Amazon US | Amazon UK
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Video Interview with Sylvia Day

Sylvia-Day2-big-1Unless you’ve been living on the Moon for the past 18 months, you’d know that I am a huge fan of Sylvia Day’s writing. The Crossfire series is my undoing, there’s no other way to put it, and now after reading Afterburn, her latest release, I am hooked on another one of her stories!!! If you have not yet had the pleasure of meeting Jax and Gia, I strongly suggest you fix that as soon as possible. I’ve even heard from some of my book junkies that they loved it more than Crossfire. Well, I can’t comment on that because that would be cheating on The Gideon, but I do agree that it is simply mouthwatering!

When I was recently asked whether I would be interested in doing a 5-minute video interview with Ms Day, there was really only one answer to that question!!! Unfortunately, as I am currently on holidays and was unable to dial in to talk to her in person, my questions had to be sent to her via email and so you’ll see them displayed on the screen during the interview.

I asked her to talk to us a little bit about Afterburn, the next book in series - Aftershock, the next two books in the Crossfire series, and I even got the feeling we might see Captivated By You before the end of the year! Fingers crossed!!!!

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Connect with Sylvia: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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Afterburn & Aftershock – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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Crossfire – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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Spellbound – Upcoming novel mentioned during the interview
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Other books in the series or related posts:

Afterburn by Sylvia Day

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Never mix business with pleasure. Never bring politics into the bedroom. In a way I did both when I took Jackson Rutledge as a lover. I can’t say I wasn’t warned.

Two years later, he was back. Walking into a deal I’d worked hard to close. Under the tutelage of Lei Yeung, one of the sharpest businesswomen in New York, I had picked up a thing or two since Jax walked away. I wasn’t the girl he once knew, but he hadn’t changed. Unlike the last time we’d drifted into each other’s lives, I knew exactly what I was dealing with… and how addictive his touch could be.

The inner circle of glamour, sex, and privilege was Jax’s playground–but this time, I knew the rules of the game. In the cutthroat business world, one adage rules all: keep your enemies close and your ex-lovers closer…

review

“I’d know you blindfolded.”

Sylvia Day does it again! Just when I though that there was no way that she could possibly grab my attention so completely like with the Crossfire series, she gives us Gia and Jax. Two e-novella instalments that will eventually make up a complete novel, Afterburn gives us our first taste of the very passionate and utterly captivating love affair between a young woman trying to leave her mark in the business world and a powerful and very wealthy man whom she met while at college and never quite got over.

“I wasn’t me when I was in bed with him; I was his. Willing and ready to do whatever he wanted, to take whatever he chose to give me, knowing he would make me come again and again…”

Gianna “Gia” Rossi is ambitious, capable, hungry to succeed in the cutthroat restaurant industry. Fresh out of college with a degree in restaurant management, she lands her first job as administrative assistant to one of the most successful restaurateurs in New York. After a year of earning her stripes, Gia has evolved into a sophisticated young woman with a keen business sense and has gained the trust and respect of her employer. But her first big project throws her in the path of the man she fell in love with while at college, a man with whom she spent five passionate weeks and never heard from again.

“I’d known who he was, knew his reputation, yet I’d thought I was sophisticated enough to take him on.”

Jackson “Jax” Rutledge comes from money. He is confident, indomitable and he always gets what he wants. When he walks into Gia’s life after two years of silence, he is not only there to mess with her business, he also wants her back in his bed. What follows is a delicious cat-and-mouse dance between two people who cannot keep their hands or minds off each other.

“Back off, Jax.”
“I did. It didn’t take.”

Jax and Gia come from two very different families – one being a loving and down-to-earth close-knit Italian family, and the other being modern ‘American royalty’, all old money and ostentatious lifestyles – making them two very different people with two very dissimilar support networks. But while Gia believes her five-week romance with Jax had meant nothing to him and was just another notch on his belt, the more she gets to know him in his element, the more she realises she might have never known the real Jackson Rutledge. Or the reason he left her in the first place.

“Damn it. I didn’t know you were in love with me, Gia.”

In a high-stakes world of multi-million dollar deals and ‘every man for himself, and the devil take the hindmost’, nothing is as dangerous as a woman in love determined to make the love of her life never forget her again.

“You were made for me,” he said fiercely. “No one else, Gia. You’re mine.”

I truly loved every minute of this book and I did not put it down until I reached the very last page. Jax and Gia are very “Gideon and Eva”-ish so if you’re a Crossfire fan, you’ll undoubtedly love this story as well. It is very short, novella-sized, so it is a quick but very satisfying read. If I’m allowed to be greedy, I would have preferred it to have been longer and to get the whole story all at once, but this is the format it was always intended to have – two shorter instalments that in reality make up a full novel. We are left in an OK place story-wise, having been given small but satisfying revelations and hints of what is to come, but no nail-biting I’m-going-to-put-my-head-in-the-oven-if-I-don’t-get-the-sequel-now kind of cliffhanger. The writing is pure Sylvia Day – direct, effective, mouthwatering. A seasoned storyteller, she grabs our attention in every scene and gives us such emotionally intense interactions between characters, we are not just reading them, we are living them.

Aftershock cannot come soon enough because I get the feeling Ms Day has left the best for last.

“I’m on to you, Jackson Rutledge.” My voice was low and hard, unwavering. “I’m going to figure you out.”

5stars

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Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | iBooks
Connect with Sylvia: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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Jax & Gia – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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Afterburn: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | iBooks
Aftershock: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | iBooks
Paperback with both volumes: Amazon US | Amazon UK
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Other books in the series or related posts:

Entwined with You by Sylvia Day

entwinedwithyou2_322x500From the moment I first met Gideon Cross, I recognized something in him that I needed. Something I couldn’t resist. I saw the dangerous and damaged soul inside – so 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 I’d 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…

 

 

 

 

review

“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.”

I truly believe that good things come to those who wait and this is definitely one of those occasions. I will admit that I was scared of reading this book – a third book in a series of five, the ‘middle child’, is often the plot filler and it leaves you even hungrier for answers than you were before reading it, but I was left with none of those feelings at the end of Entwined with You. This book was needed for the natural progression of not only the plot, but it was also essential for the growth of these characters, these damaged, complicated, obsessively in love characters who accumulated more ‘relationship miles’ in the weeks they’ve been together than an ordinary couple does in a lifetime. In Bared to You, their words collide and they struggle to reconcile their lives before that with the irresistible attraction they feel towards each other. In Reflected in You, their souls are irreversibly connected but their pasts try to pull them apart. In this third book, we get to see them after the single act that changed everything when each other’s devotion is no longer a question and the only challenge they are left with is to build the kind of relationship that would stand the test of time.

“Day One of my life was the day I met you.”

The story resumes immediately after the events in the previous book. Gideon and Eva are officially broken up but, in reality, they are together more than ever. The world must not see them as a couple in the aftermath of Nathan’s death, they are forced to maintain the appearance of separation, as well as face the demons brought up by those events on their own. However, without the public spotlight shining brightly on their young relationship, we get to watch them work on it in private, tackle issues as they arise, re-build what they have from the ground up. Trust was always their biggest obstacle – Gideon not trusting himself not to mess things up, and Eva not trusting herself to have what it takes to keep a man like Gideon – but they always, one way or another, trusted each other.

“I loved him too much. I was constantly worried that I wouldn’t be able to hold on to him. He was lightning in a bottle, a dream I tried to hold in my hands.”

In this book, that trust is palpable, touching, very satisfying to watch. We get a much more relaxed insight into this troubled relationship, we see them just being themselves around each other, do mundane things with one another, relaxed and confident in their love. They are finally letting each other in, working towards full disclosure and not allowing their pasts to affect what they’ve worked so hard to build. The events at the end of the second book have changed them both. There is no longer a question of how far they are willing to go to protect each other or safeguard their relationship. They are both troubled by the nature of what was done in the name of love, but they know it was necessary for more reasons than not and the severity of it gives their relationship a new perspective. Now emotionally fully exposed to one another, all their unspoken secrets start slowly flowing out of them, becoming vulnerable to each other in every possible way.

“I know it’s not fair to ask you to be with me … when we can’t even sleep in the same bed, but I’ll love you better than anyone else could. I’ll take care of you and make you happy. I know I can.”

The physical attraction between Gideon and Eva is still very much the focal point of the connection between them, but while those incredible sparks might have brought them together in the first place and acted as a foundation for everything that followed, it no longer solely keeps them together. They are still wild in the bedroom, their chemistry and sexual magnetism setting off Richter scales every time their bodies merely touch, but even that aspect of their relationship has evolved. They have grown as lovers, the desperation in their physical encounters no longer stemming out of insecurity, jealousy, lack of trust, but rather a genuine desire to make their relationship work at all costs.

“I was in love with a flesh-and-blood man, one who made mistakes but learned from them, a man who was trying hard to better himself for me, a man who wanted us to work as desperately as I did.”

Every touch, every glance, every word they exchange is entwined with emotion, deep, heartfelt, cannot-live-without-you type of emotion. They know that staying together is as essential to them as their next breath, but instead of focussing on everything that is attempting to pull them apart, they work on themselves and on each other, leaving no doubt in each other’s minds or hearts that they are equally committed to a future together.

“I love how much you want me,” he said hoarsely. “I couldn’t stand being in this alone.”
“I’m with you, baby,” I promised, my mouth moving feverishly beneath his. “I am so with you.”

And THAT is why this book was necessary if this series is to survive through five instalments. For two broken individuals to have a functioning relationship together, we needed to witness a change in their dynamic. We needed to see the trust being built between them, we needed to see them wanting to make it work and there needed to be a change in the air, not just plot-wise, but these characters needed to grow emotionally as individuals as well as a couple.

“I’ll do anything for you. There are no limits in our bed. No memories. Just us. You and me. And love. I love you so much.”

I will not lie to you, there are some questions left open at the end of this book but many more important ones have finally been answered and moving forward, it feels to me that it is no longer a matter of secrets trying to destroy what they’ve worked so hard to build, but rather a matter of how well they will weather the storms of what life will undoubtedly throw at them in the future. This book has finally made me confident that they can make it and that was no small task to achieve after the emotional rollercoasters of the previous two instalments. I enjoyed every single scene, every single moment, every single word of this book. The Crossfire series being a personal favourite of mine, my expectations were sky-high and I never expected to be left with such a silly grin at the end of this book. Am I hungry for more? Am I desperate to know what else is in store for Gideon and Eva? Am I as obsessed with The Gideon as I was before? Yes, yes and oh-my-God-yes! But I am a bit more at peace with the wait and not even knowing when the next book will come. What these characters achieved in this book, the level of trust they finally share, the relationship milestones they reached have all given me the peace of mind I needed to survive the anticipation of the sequel.

This book, for me, was everything I hoped it would be and truly so much more.

“If souls could be mated with wishes, ours would be inextricably entwined.”

5stars

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Reflected in You by Sylvia Day

Gideon Cross. As beautiful and flawless on the outside as he was damaged and tormented on the inside. He was a bright, scorching flame that singed me with the darkest of pleasures. I couldn’t stay away. I didn’t want to. He was my addiction… my every desire… mine.

My past was as violent as his, and I was just as broken. We’d never work. It was too hard, too painful… except when it was perfect. Those moments when the driving hunger and desperate love were the most exquisite insanity.

We were bound by our need. And our passion would take us beyond our limits to the sweetest, sharpest edge of obsession…

 

 

 

review

“If I lose you, Eva, … I have nothing. Everything I’ve done is so I don’t lose you.”

I have never so anxiously awaited for a sequel like I have for this one. It is no understatement when I say that I was literally counting down the hours to its release date, desperately clinging onto the little snippets that the author fed us along the way. And, for me, it was definitely worth the wait.

Eva and Gideon’s relationship is still relatively in its early stages. Their love for each other is all-consuming, possessive, raw, almost primal in so many ways – they constantly crave each other’s touch, presence, affection. The intensity of their connection might make it appear like they have been together for a while but the issues before them are those of a new couple. Trust is their biggest hurdle at this point, giving rise to endless scenes of jealousy and bouts of self-doubt. Their insecurities make them explosive with one another, violently addicted to each other and yet endlessly passionate.

“Most couples didn’t spend every free moment together, but we weren’t like most people. We both had hang-ups, insecurities, and an addiction to each other that required regular contact to keep us functioning properly. I hated being apart from him. I rarely went more than a couple of hours without thinking of him. … We were together because we were addicted to each other. I was never as intoxicated as I was when we were happy together, and I knew it was the same for him. We were putting ourselves through the wringer for those moments of perfection between us, but they were so tenuous that only our stubbornness, determination, and love kept us fighting for them.”

But their story is definitely not a Hallmark movie. It does not take a psychiatrist to see how unhealthy their almost-symbiotic relationship really is. We see all its faults, all its destructive streaks, and yet we can’t help ourselves from wanting to give them their happy ending. We want them to make it, to overcome their hideous pasts and mend their broken souls. In any other scenario, we would be cringing at some of their interactions, but when it comes to Eva and Gideon, we just want to accept the dysfunctionality of their relationship for what it is, pat them on the shoulder and cheer them on. If you can just allow yourself not to over-analyze the toxic nature of some of the scenes, if you can become blindly consumed by the magnetism between Eva and Gideon, if you can take the raw pull and sexual chemistry first and everything you might believe makes a healthy relationship second, then this story will take you on quite an emotional ride.

“Angel, if I needed you more, I couldn’t function. And I don’t care what anyone else thinks. We’ve got our own rhythm and it works for us.”

The attraction between the main characters is compelling, sizzling, irresistible in its intensity. These are ‘faulty’ characters completely aware of the obsessive and borderline-destructive nature of their relationship but fully embracing it as neither of them is willing to step away from one another – “Failure isn’t an option.” The events unfolding in this book show us just how far they are willing to go to protect each other. Their tragic pasts inevitably made them as they are – I’m almost surprised neither of them have become abusers themselves but I guess abuse comes in all shapes and sizes. They are ultimately abusive towards themselves and I believe this is where their relationship redeems itself by breaking that pattern of abuse and offering an alternative. They are in a way each other’s punching bags, if by ‘punching’ you mean really really hot sex. Sex is used as a currency between them, both to express feelings as well as to punish one another. They heal each other in their own messed-up ways, offering the kind of comfort and solace that they are unable to find anywhere else. They are raw before one another, totally stripped from protective façades and emotional defenses. They have a direct ‘feed’ into each other’s most primal selves and they definitely speak the same language.

Eva brings the tender and vulnerable man in Gideon, she is his one and only weakness – “I loved the powerful businessman in the suit and the dominant lover in my bed and the broken child who couldn’t hide his tears and the tender partner who held me when I cried.”  Gideon makes Eva feel safe enough in his care to be able to do the one thing she has never been able to do – give up control. I never felt that Gideon’s caveman tendencies made Eva any less his ‘equal’ in their own dysfunctional equation. She doesn’t just lay back and take it, she pounces on him, takes control, makes demands, sets her own boundaries and rules and is never ever afraid of just walking away if that is what she truly wants. They are each other’s perfect match in every single way and equally the worse possible one as well.

“People get over love. They can live without it, they can move on. Love can be lost and found again. But that won’t happen for me. I won’t survive you, Eva. … I’m obsessed with you, angel. Addicted to you. You’re everything I’ve ever wanted or needed, everything I’ve ever dreamed of. You’re everything. I live and breathe you. For you. … I don’t need anything else. I get out of bed every morning and face the world because you’re in it. … Because of you, the world makes sense to me in a way it didn’t before. I have a place now, with you.”

Eva And Gideon’s insatiable relationship is not meant to be pretty. It is not romantic in the traditional sense of the word and it is as far from ordinary as it gets. This is not the kind of relationship you would brag about to your hairdresser. This is the kind of relationship you would discuss with your shrink. Daily.

So, give the rational part of your brain a holiday, take a seat, make yourself comfortable and dive in expecting lots and lots of hot lovin’, drama, misunderstandings, jealousy, obsessive behaviour, addictive personalities and … have I mentioned hot lovin’? Simply switch off your brain and allow other parts of your anatomy to take over. Advocates of healthy relationships have no place here. Fairy-tale romantics have no place here. Heck, 99% of my brain had no place here but that shameless little 1% was happy as a clam. I LOVED this book. It was everything I expected it to be, nothing more and nothing less. I expected the level of obsessiveness between them to be even more amplified in this sequel. I counted on it. The development of these characters in Bared to You did not allow for anything different. I felt there was growth in their relationship, there was change in their dynamic and they are ultimately moving forward as a couple. This book brings some new problems to the table, takes a few away but it never stops being interesting or unpredictable. It explores human obsession and extreme emotional addiction just perfectly.

The characters might drive you mad at times, you might want to shake them or even slap them into oblivion, you might not agree with parts of the storyline or some of the things that Gideon and Eva do ‘in the name of love’, but your addiction to this series will stay intact if you are anything like me. I personally have an unhealthy love affair with this trilogy and I’m not ashamed to admit it. It does exactly what it promises to do, no unrealistic premises, no false pretenses. These books are not how-to guides on functional relationships, they are literary crack in its purest and most delicious form, and I have no desire to kick the habit any time soon.

5stars

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Seven Years to Sin by Sylvia Day

The longer the resistance …

Seven years ago, on the eve of her wedding, proper Lady Jessica Sheffield witnessed a licentious scene no innocent young miss could imagine. Shocked, yet strangely titillated, she’d held her silence regarding scandalous Alistair Caulfield, and walked down the aisle as expected. But through years of serene, unremarkable marriage, Caulfield’s image remained burned into her imagination, fueling very illicit dreams…

… the sweeter the reward

Alistair ran far from the temptation of the prim debutante with the fire of passion in her eyes all the way to the West Indies. As a successful merchant, he has little in common with the rakehell youth she knew. But when newly widowed Jessica steps aboard his ship for a transatlantic passage, seven years’ worth of denied pleasures are held in check by nothing more than a few layers of silk and the certainty that surrender will consume them both…

review

A deliciously provocative and steamy period romance by an author who can pen good chemistry with her eyes closed. This is a book about meant-to-be’s, about people who mark each other’s souls irrevocably and eventually find a way to be together, regardless of how much time has passed.

Alistair and Jessica have led separate lives for almost a decade after the illicit connection they made in those woods when Jessica accidentally witnessed Alistair’s indiscretion, but they never forgot each other. When they meet again, Jessica is a widow and Alistair has become a successful businessman who never married. Their attachment is immediate and this time around nothing stands in their way. They succumb to their attraction without reservations and without guilt. From pure carnal lust, their desire for each other quickly grows into affection and ultimately love. They connect on every level, completely baring their souls to one another, confessing all the mistakes they have made and all the wrongs they have endured in order to achieve complete acceptance and move forward without the hindrance of secrets and lies. Before too long, they cannot bear to be apart.

“You and I have always been inevitable. And I am not a man to take pieces of a whole. I must have everything. The good as well as the bad.”

What I found most appealing in the connection between these two characters was the honesty with which they built their relationship. There were no innuendos, no misunderstandings or games, they knew what they wanted and they invested all of themselves to achieve it. They so openly talked about their feelings, expectations, hopes for the future, and this made them invincible, even against a Society that potentially would have frowned upon their relationship. What can I say, Sylvia Day might be the only person on the planet capable of making me believe in soul mates.

There is also a secondary love story in this book, between Jessica’s sister Hester and her brother-in-law Michael. This is a story of unrequited love, of two individuals clearly made for each other but whose lives follow separate paths as those feelings are never professed. Their journey in this book is a lot more troublesome and painful to read, bringing ugly themes of marital abuse and depression into the equation, but it served as a great backdrop and contrast to the relatively smooth story between Jessica and Alistair.

I decided to read this book for two reasons – firstly, Sylvia Day wrote it and that on its own is reason enough, and secondly, it was promoted as the book that inspired Bared to You. For what I can see, the only similarity between these two books is the intensity of the connection between the main characters and possibly the theme of past traumas marking our futures, one way or another. That is where the similarities end for me. I believe that they are outstanding books in their own right and any further comparison would only serve to diminish that.

The only reason I did not give 5 stars to this beautiful book is because of the historical element of it. While I truly enjoy period romances and have been known to linger in that genre until my fingers get all pruny, there was something in this book that felt a bit forced to me. The story needed it to be a period piece but the language and overall character development did not sit well with me. Overall, however, all this had hardly any impact on my genuine enjoyment of this delectably sinful book.

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Bared to You by Sylvia Day

Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness – 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 other’s most private wounds… and desires.

 

 

 

 

 

review

Absolutely could not put it down. A story that just grabs you from the first few pages and does not let you think about anything else even days after you finished reading it.

The thing that struck me the most about this book were the dialogues between the two main characters, Eva and Gideon – it was so refreshing to have a heroine who was not afraid to speak up her mind, regardless of her feelings for this out-of-this-world-pinch-yourself-to-make-sure-you’re-not-dreaming man. I just loved how she keeps him on his toes throughout the book, never quite allows him to take her for granted. The love scenes were, needless to say, beyond hot but also necessary to make the reader fully understand the nature of the need that these two characters develop for each other. It is not just carnal, a book like that would not keep you glued to the pages so well, it is purely psychological.

Eva and Gideon are both “damaged” individuals due to very unfortunate pasts. They were both abused as children but they cope with the damage of those experiences quite differently. Eva has been in therapy ever since her mother found out about the abuse and she has dealt with her demons. She has grown into a strong-willed and confident young woman who still admits having low self-esteem issues but I think she’s doing quite well considering her past. Gideon, on the other hand, has just swept it all under a rug and uses control in all aspects of his life to deal with his issues. Not having control over Eva is what initially attracts him the most to her, in my opinion. For the first time in his life he has to let his guard down in order to get what he craves the most – Eva’s affection and acceptance. She does not judge him, she keeps no secrets from him and tells him exactly what she is thinking at any given moment, never afraid to hurt his feelings with the truth. He has to work to keep her and that is something he has never had to do with another woman. He falls for her deeply and starts opening up. His vulnerability to her is just beautiful to see. He does not accept losing her, ever, cannot see it as an option at all. He’s upset when she refers to their relationship as “temporary” and is not afraid to express the depth of his feelings towards her for the whole world to see. The chemistry between them is undeniable but it is evident that their physical connection is something they both also desperately need to fight their demons and feel safe in each other’s arms. They are literally each other’s therapy. The connection that they develop can only be described as symbiotic because they crave each other, need each other’s touch and love to feel complete and that is what makes their relationship so intense.

This is a book that took my heart on such a roller-coaster ride that I had to stop at times to catch my breath. I felt their pain, I felt their anger and I felt the intensity of their love for each other. What more can you ask of a book?

I also would like to point out that any similarity to Fifty Shades of Grey is truly coincidental, in my opinion. I guess both Christian Grey and Gideon Cross are strong alpha males with heavy emotional baggage and dominant personalities but they deal with their issues somewhat differently and I could not draw too many parallels at all. The female characters have nothing in common with each other. Eva is strong from the start, Ana has to learn to find her voice. It makes me mad when people compare the two stories implying that one inspired the other. They are such different pieces of writing and both beautiful and compelling in their own rights.

Ms Day, you got yourself another fan.

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