As many of you know, I’m a huge Fifty Shades of Grey fan. Like obsessive to the point I’ve read the books over and over. And I often read similar books to give me a vacation from Christian Grey. And I fully admit it, I love erotica romance. Damn you, Twilight and Sookie Stackhouse, for getting me hooked.
I started reading Bared to You, book one of the Crossfire series, by Sylvia Day a couple of months ago. The characters and plot are pretty similar to Fifty Shades of Grey. The protagonist, Eva Trammel. The hot, young billionaire, Gideon Cross. The troubled past. The wild sex. The complicated love story. Even the book covers are similar. But in the end, the plot is much darker and I found the characters to be less likable. Eva needy, almost desperate for Gideon’s affection, and Gideon so controlling it’s stifling. Yet I couldn’t stop reading because I was hooked.
And though I couldn’t relate to the characters as much as the Fifty Shades trilogy, I wanted to read the sequel to find out if the story got better.
I had the opportunity to read Reflected in You, book two in the Crossfire series, from the BlogHer Book Club. The story picked up with Eva and Gideon back together but not for long. I actually felt like the first half of the book was a series of make-ups and break-ups with hot sex in between. The dirty talk was too crude (and seriously I’m no prude) and it felt like their attraction was possessive and insecure. Yes, Christian Grey is guilty of all that, but Ana evens him out. Gideon and Eva both have troubled pasts of sexual abuse that made Eva needy for affection and love, and Gideon controlling and distant.
Jealousy and distrust were big themes in the book- with Eva’s former flame, Brett Kline, back in the picture and driving Gideon insanely jealous, and Gideon’s former fiancee, Corinne, driving a wedge between the star-crossed couple. My problem with these characters was that it was just hard for me to believe that they could develop a healthy relationship. I felt like Eva was actually starting to realize that towards the end of the book – that it’s more than just love that will make a relationship work. But she still ended up with Gideon.
And the supporting characters in the book are just as messed up. Eva’s roommate and best friend, Cary Taylor, who’s a bi-sexual, male model who basically hooks up with everyone he meets. Eva’s mom, the Stepford trophy wife, who’s more concerned about Eva’s looks and social status than her well being. And pretty much everyone in Gideon’s family and past, except half sister Ireland, who seems to want revenge or part of fortune. It’s a tough lot to find any likability. The only person who seemed normal was Eva’s dad, Victor Reyes, but he’s barely in the book.
The last 25% of the book actually picked up a bit into more of a crime thriller. Eva’s former step-brother Nathan makes a re-appearance and tries to go after her. That’s when the book got better. Eva started figuring out why Gideon was so distant, and became more confident again. The ending tied up all the loose ends, but I think in my mind for these two to work they need serious therapy. I’m hoping that’s what the follow-up Entwined in You will address to get these characters on the road to a more healthy relationship.
Have you read Reflected in You? What do you think?