WARNING: CONTENT FOR AGES 18+
This is going to be a hard one to write. This is one of those books where the subject matter is a little risqué, so you try to hide it in public when others peek at the cover. I have SO much to say about this book but it’s also one of those risky reviews, where you put it all out there.
Raise your hand if you’ve read Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James. Most, if not all? I thought so.
(Not alienating the people who haven’t. Just clarifying that Bared To You is marketed to the Fifty Shades Fanatics, which I have a problem with — I’ll get to that later.)
I’m a fan of romance. Since I can remember, it’s been my thing and as I got older I was introduced to the erotic genre which fascinates me, not to mention keeps me thoroughly entertained. 😉 (You ladies know what I’m talking about!) I love reading genuine love stories with drama and passion but stories that also put meaning in that passion. If a book is nothing but meaningless sex, I lose interest and it becomes the trash that people accuse it of being.
With that said, Bared To You by Sylvia Day was good, not great, but good.
He was 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…
I had a huge issue with how this book was marketed. The cover art resembles that of the Fifty Shades of Grey series (obviously so, do they have no shame?) and it has also been discussed and advertised as something Fifty Shades readers would want to read next. It shares the same type of storyline where a girl falls in love with a possessive, attractive billionaire with mysterious issues. However, I would not put this book in the Fifty Shades category; it’s more like one shade. Bared To You is MELLOW compared to Fifty Shades. If you enjoyed the BDSM in Fifty Shades, there isn’t any in this book. The love story between Eva and Gideon is weak compared to the solid relationship between Anna and Christian.
I feel horrible because I can see Sylvia Day cringing in anger with every reference to Fifty Shades people make when talking about HER book. I’m sure her intention wasn’t to make another Fifty Shades. It was to create her own story, which is nothing like Fifty Shades! Hence, I’m pissed it’s marketed to be almost exactly like it, incorrectly influencing readers to believe otherwise.
If you’ve read Fifty Shades, you might not like Bared To You simply because Fifty Shades has set the bar really high and you’ll go in with high expectations. Sadly, this book doesn’t meet those expectations. However, if you’ve never read Fifty Shades, you might seriously enjoy Bared To You.
Like I said before, this book has a similiar plot to Fifty Shades but it also has a unique twist. It concentrates on the issues both Eva and Gideon have from being abused and how they deal with them. I would caution readers who’ve been abused who are interested in reading this novel, just as Eva says herself; one has to be careful of triggers and this book is full of them. However, the cruel reality of the abuse in both Eva and Gideon’s history is what makes this story so compelling and melts the hearts of readers.
There were a lot of random things I thoroughly enjoyed about this book. I loved Eva’s bisexual roommate Cary. His story is intriguing; I want to learn more about him. I loved the safe word Eva and Gideon chose, even more I enjoyed the way it was used. I really liked Eva’s boss, Mark. I guess I just really enjoyed the supporting characters.
I really wanted to be in love with Eva and Gideon’s story but I felt like the relationship was too insta-love with Gideon being a huge asshole and Eva being “that” girl who falls in love too fast. Gideon’s blunt come-ons were not attractive and Eva’s response was predictable and sometimes pathetic. However, once I forced myself to look past the insta-love and “pretend” there was plenty of build up in their relationship, it was more enjoyable to read.
One of the biggest disappointments in the novel came from Day’s writing style, particularly in the sex scenes. The purpose of erotica is the sex scenes so they have to be good. Day’s word choice in each scene was extremely repetitive and sometimes too vulgar. She used words like cleft, pucker, and spurt. I’m sure my face physically wrinkled in distaste with each reference. In other words, Day’s sex scenes are not “pretty,” they elude to bodily functions more than the act of passion. It created a huge disconnect for me with the novel because the writing was so distracting. For someone who enjoys sex scenes, I couldn’t wait for them to be over in this book. However, I did enjoy how Day portrayed that the underlying issues in Eva and Gideon’s relationship forced them to communicate through the physical, which added validity to the story. (Even though it’s a messed up way to work through a relationship.) I enjoyed that difficult aspect and the delicate balance between consent and being used.
Even though a majority of my thoughts are negative, this book has a lot of potential. It ended in a subtle way with open-ended storylines foreshadowing a lot of drama in the next installment, Reflected In You, which comes out October 23, 2012. I’ll continue to give this series a shot simply because without reading Fifty Shades first, I might have enjoyed it more without the distracting parallel plotlines. I’m willing to give Day another chance.