This book really put me through the wringer. It made me hot. It made me angry… and sad. Hopeful. Emotional. Confused. Frustrated. And I mentioned hot, right? After I finished the story, I jumped on Twitter in need of social-media therapy and someone asked me if I liked it. I found that question hard to answer, because it wasn’t as simple as that. There were parts that were hard to like because they hurt. But I can say without hesitation that I was completely engrossed. I sat down, started reading, and didn’t stop until it was over. I couldn’t stop. I had to see how it would all play out.
So what happens? It seems like a lot and not very much at the same time. The book picks up the day after the events of Bared to You. Eva and Gideon are trying to make their obsessive relationship work, but they face all the same stumbling blocks: their individual histories of abuse, Gideon’s secrets, his jealousy & possessiveness, and Eva’s epic insecurities.
The sex is, simply put, amazing. It manages to hit just the right notes for me – dirty but not gratuitous; a little d/s without being BDSM; frequent without being repetitious. The fact that Sylvia Day does such a good job with this is incredibly important, since the sex is such a huge part of interaction between Gideon and Eva. The other part –the part that involves their hearts and minds– is much messier.
It would be easy to say that Gideon is the screwed up one here. After all, he basically stalks Eva… tries to control every aspect of her life. He makes choices that hurt her. He doesn’t communicate. But the thing is — she takes it. She stays with him; she craves him; she welcomes his sexual overtures like an eager puppy whose master has been away for a week. All this, even as he wounds her with his behavior and his secrets. It was very hard to read at times, as each of them made destructive decisions and impetuous choices. With Eva’s first person narrative, I hurt when she hurt. Yet even with insights into her thoughts and feelings, I just couldn’t understand how she held on for so long. Even more confusing and disturbing, though, were Gideon’s actions, especially in the second half.
I didn’t like many of the things they did, but it was all in keeping with how damaged these two people are. They are at sea –and grasp at each other like life preservers. Even through all the dysfunction, though, I couldn’t look away. I had to know where it would all lead.
I said at the beginning that a lot happens –and by that I mean, we finally learn what happened to Gideon in his youth. Something big happens with Cary. Something even bigger happens with a pivotal person from Eva’s past. Oh yeah, and my heart broke. But I also said it seems like not very much happens at the same time. That’s because despite all they go through, I don’t know if Eva and Gideon end up in a much better place than they started.
The ending is a pretty big deal. I don’t think I would call it a cliffhanger, but I think it’s the beginning of the end of Eva and Gideon’s journey. A journey I will, no doubt, see through until the last page of the last book.
*ARC Provided by Penguin
Reflected in Youby Sylvia DayRelease Date: October 2, 2012Publisher: Penguin Group USA