Series: Crossfire #1
Published by: Berkley Trade on April 3, 2012
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Erotica, Romance
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Our journey began in fire...
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.
The bonds of his love transformed me, even as I prayed that the torment of our pasts didn't tear us apart...
The first thing I noticed about Bared to You was that the writing is phenomenal! This is one of those books where I feel like I need to quote every other line because they’re all loaded with power, meaning, and intensity! And on top of that, the dialogue was hilarious! The main character Eva is brilliantly witty and her lines in particular had me cracking up!
Since the synopsis doesn’t really tell you much about the plot of the book, I’ll go over it briefly. The story is about 24-year-old Eva. She moves to New York City to be closer to her wealthy mother and stepfather. She starts a new job and that’s where she meets Gideon—an extremely wealthy, young bachelor. At first, he’s only interested in sex, but he becomes so captivated by Eva that he wanders into the unknown: an exclusive relationship. But both Eva and Gideon have demons and traumatic pasts that threaten to tear them apart.
So it sounds very Fifty Shades of Grey, right? Well, it’s about a million times better. I feel like Bared to You is what Fifty Shades of Grey should have been. It has the same plot elements: controlling billionaire changes his playboy ways and falls in love with girl. But Bared to You is hot, passionate, sexy—NOT disturbing—, emotionally devouring, beautifully written, and all kinds of incredible… everything Fifty Shades wasn’t (for me).
You know what my favourite part is about Bared to You? Eva isn’t a blubbering idiot. She’s not some silly naïve girl who says two words and just lays back while some controlling guy fucks her. No. She takes control. She’s witty, extremely intelligent, funny, and has a controlling interest in the relationship. Hell, the first time they had sex, she was on top. She initiated it. And even from the way Eva speaks, you can tell she’s intelligent. She certainly knows how to hold her own amidst some playful banter.
“I’ll be sure to clear my schedule by five.” He resumed eating, completely at ease with the fact that we’d both just penciled mind-blowing sex into our mental day calendars. Page 121, Bared to You
Eva and Gideon had both the most dysfunctional and most functional relationship I’ve ever read. Both these people are broken. They have dark, hidden pasts that haunt them day and night. For Eva, it means her self esteem is broken and shattered. For Gideon, it means he craves control and power. Put these two broken beings together and you get an intense, passionate chaos. But on the other hand, this is one of the few relationships I’ve read about where the couple actually communicates. Imagine that! They don’t play games with each other. If one of them is pissed off, they’ll say, “I don’t like seeing you with another girl. It makes me jealous and uncomfortable.” If Eva gets frustrated and leaves, Gideon gets upset and says, “I don’t like it when you run away. It makes me feel broken and alone.” PEOPLE, THEY’RE COMMUNICATING!!
“We don’t fight, angel. We just have to learn not to scare the hell out of each other.” Page 248, Bared to You
Eva and Gideon voice their opinions, fears, hopes, dreams, frustrations, and anything else on their mind! If they’re feeling it, they say it. They talk about going to couples therapy to work through their issues together. They sit down and have heart-to-heart talks. They work out the kinks in their relationship. So sure, Gideon may be a bit of a crazy, power-hungry control freak and Eva may have severe jealousy and self-esteem problems, but they know they have those issues and they work them out like a proper couple. Most of the time in books, the couple just plays mind games with each other and expects the other person to be a mind reader. This is not the case in Bared to You! Talk about refreshing.
And if it wasn’t obvious, this book was HOT. Freaking hot. Unbelievably hot. One of the most intensely hot books I’ve read in a while.. and that’s saying something!
Romance isn’t in my repertoire, Eva. But a thousand ways to make you come are. Let me show you. Page 42, Bared to You
Despite my intense enjoyment of this book, I do have two issues, both centered around the fact that Bared to You felt more like a “part one” of one book rather than the first book in a series. There were a few things that were introduced in the book that never really got resolved. We meet Gideon’s family, but nothing develops with them. We learn that Gideon clearly has some abuse or trauma in his past, but he never comes forward about it. It would have been okay if at least Eva made some sort of official declaration of acceptance of the fact that Gideon wasn’t ready to talk about it, but I felt like the whole issue was just ignored. And finally, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending. It wasn’t bad, but I feel like it literally just got cut off mid-book. There wasn’t an epic showdown or a huge resolution of some kind.
I’m sure all my issues will be addressed in the second book, but I feel like there still should have been more of a wrap-up in Bared to You.
Even so, this book was absolutely phenomenal. It was hot, sexy, emotional, intense, gritty, dark, and absolutely mind-blowing! It’s safe to say I’m running out to buy the next book—Reflected in You—immediately!