January 11, 2013

Bared to You by Sylvia Day

"I want there to be happily-ever-afters for the f*cked-up crowd. Show me the way, Eva honey. Make me believe." (Gideon)
-from Bared to You by Sylvia Day

If you're looking for a replacement for 50 Shades of Grey and/or want something that will make you blush even more, this is your best bet! Bared to You is a story about Eva Tramell, a recent college graduate who is trying to make it on her own in New York City despite the over-protection of her mother, the trophy-wife of a billionaire. Eva has some serious baggage {of which I won't spoil for you} and so does Gideon Cross, the billionaire who owns the building Eva works in. From the moment Gideon meets Eva he is fascinated by the emotions he feels for her. This book {the first in the Crossfire trilogy} chronicles the difficulties Gideon and Eva face as two emotionally damaged individuals working to create a healthy relationship.

If Sylvia Day was not inspired by 50 Shades of Grey and Bared to You is a completely original idea, I feel really bad for her for publishing this book too late; the similarities between the two books are uncanny but Day proves to be a much more proficient writer. Her prose is more articulate and succinct than the amateurish 50 Shades trilogy. Furthermore, Day's writing will have you blushing even if you're preconditioned to the erotic scenes in The Red Room. While there's no BDSM per se, your jaw will drop more than once while reading what Gideon says and does; this book is not for the faint of heart {you have been warned!}.

I admit to feeling a little "above" these books in that I think the story line is so cheesy and superficial; I totally judge myself for the enjoyment I get out of the romance{I feel like I need to say that to justify talking so seriously about it! lol}. That said, I really appreciate that this book had more depth than 50 Shades of Grey in that Eva was a protagonist that I could really get behind. Eva is smart and beautiful, but she works for much of what she has and doesn't take advantage of the opportunities she is given. Most importantly, she is emotionally damaged but doesn't let her past control her; she works hard through her therapy to free herself as best she can. Even with her therapy Eva isn't perfect; she admits to being insecure, jealous and in need of control. When the going gets tough, Eva flees {something I relate to which made me appreciate her more}. The layers of Eva make the book more intriguing than if she was a plain, innocent, white canvas for Gideon to obsess over. Instead she is realistic, colorful and relatable to readers.

Gideon is also an interesting and multifaceted character. While this book doesn't uncover the depths of his past, the layers that are slowly revealed make him just as entertaining as Eva, if not more so. In comparison to 50 Shades of Grey, Gideon resembles Christian more closely than Eva resembles Ana, but Gideon is a little more rough around the edges than Grey, seemingly less polished in managing his emotions. I didn't "fall in love" with Gideon the way I did with Christian, but it may be in part because I've only read 1/3 of the series {I read this in August; book 2 came out in October, book 3 comes out a week from today}.

While the story is more succinct than 50 Shades of Grey, there is still very little climax in the storyline {insert climax joke here} because so much time is spent back and forth with Eva and Gideon chasing each other in circles trying to figure out if and how their relationship can work. To some this may be too dull of a read, but if you enjoyed 50 Shades of Grey {which hardly had a captivating storyline between 3 books}, you'll be just as pleased with this book. If the writing and characters are any indication, I think we have a lot to look forward to in the sequels. I am anxious to see what darkness haunts Gideon's past and if Eva is prepared to face it.

Bottom Line: If you loved 50 Shades of Grey, you will love this one; this would also make a great last minute gift for the 50 Shades fan in your life. You might start off with a grudge {Team Grey vs Team Cross!}, but after a few chapters it will stop feeling like a 50 Shades repeat. Although if the erotic scenes in 50 Shades were too much for you, you may want to pass. ★★★½/5. {in terms of erotica/romance I'd give this 4.5 stars!}.

Next week I'll have a review for the sequel, Reflected In You!

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