Feature book: Reflected in You
Reflected in You is the second book in Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series. Don’t start reading here though. Start at Bared to You (book 1) or you’ll be totally lost. In Bared to You, we met Eva Trammell and Gideon Cross. Both Eva and Gideon are broken and tormented by past traumas. When they meet they are so drawn to each other that their attraction becomes mutual obsession. I found it compelling to read even while I was occasionally exhausted—nothing is easy for Eva and Gideon.
At the end of Bared to You, the couple were together but it felt more like a lull in proceedings in their tempestuous relationship rather than a ‘happy for now’ ending—which was borne out when Reflected in You began the very next day and trouble is already brewing.
Eva and Gideon don’t manage to be happy together for more than a few days at a time because there is so much tearing them apart. Their passion for each other is out of control and when their therapist suggests cooling things down a little, Gideon replies in his typically direct manner, ‘The only way I’m keeping my hands off her is if I’m dead. Find another way to fix us.’
In Bared to You, much of the conflict surrounded Eva’s tendency to run when things got tough. In Reflected in You, Eva has decided to stand and fight, but Gideon is hiding something and he’s not a big sharer at the best of times. Eva knows Gideon has significant abuse in his past and she’s got a raging case of jealousy over ex-girlfriend Corinne—when Gideon doesn’t share with her except for sharing his body (which he does liberally) she becomes increasingly frustrated.
Because the story is told from Eva’s first-person POV, it is a frustration the reader shares. Gideon is almost the entire focus of the book. Most of what Eva thinks about when she is not with him is him. Most of her actions are motivated by Gideon. But he doesn’t talk much. He doesn’t share what’s going on in his head. So, as a reader, we get plenty of him in the book, but, like Eva, we don’t really get to know him deep down. In fact, when another character tries to warn Eva away from Gideon, referring to him as a narcissistic sociopathic psychopath, a part of me realised that he could just possibly be right. But Eva has faith even where I occasionally doubted.
Eva’s behaviour too is far from perfect and she surprised me by her actions involving former hook-up Brett. Gideon surprised me even more however.
At the end of the first book, I wondered whether the next story would be more of the same, whether I would find it too exhausting to continue. I’m pleased to say that the conflict in this book has moved on somewhat and I think I enjoyed this one the same or maybe even slightly better than Bared to You. Ms Day very cleverly wraps things up at the end so that
all most of Gideon’s secret-keeping in this book makes sense. Some may find Gideon’s actions shocking, but I thought it was entirely in character. Gideon himself is a bit of a nod to Roarke (JD Robb’s in Death series—there are plenty of clues in the text and even the book’s dedication) and I had no trouble at all believing Roarke would do the same for Eve if he had the opportunity.
Some aspects involving the police stretched my credulity a little and there was more information I would have liked to have known (we are limited by what Eva knows of course). Also, very occasionally I didn’t understand the special code Eva and Gideon seem to use to communicate. But, those were small niggles for me.
The book is a steamy read and I have to say that limo sex in any future books is probably ruined for me now. After Gideon’s stamina-tastic efforts ALL NIGHT in a limousine, there’s nowhere else to go, I don’t think! 🙂
By the end of the book, Eva and Gideon have reached a place of mutual trust but Gideon still has many skeletons in his closet, his parasomnia is still a dangerous issue for them to navigate and their problems are far from solved.
I think the level of obsession Gideon has for Eva works for me only because she is just as obsessed with him. He is saved from being a complete stalker-ish asshat by her sharing the same traits. And the explanation at the end did earn him some forgiveness from me for some of his more out-there behaviour. Sometimes watching their relationship feels a bit like watching a train wreck but other times it is just breathtaking—in a good way. I think that is what the author is going for—that push/pull; the inability to look away—both for the characters and for the reader.
I read in an interview with the author that the next book (Entwined with You) will be more about Gideon’s journey, as the first two books have been largely about Eva’s. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
The series has over-the-top angst and emotional turmoil and hot hot hot sex. (I’m really not kidding about Gideon’s stamina.) If that kind of story is your cup of tea, then you will be glad to know it also has combined with great writing and interesting, compelling characters.
‘People get over love. They can live without it, they can move on. Love can be lost and found again. But that won’t happen for me. I won’t survive you, Eva.’
Reviewed by Kaetrin
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher. As a special giveaway with this one, leave a comment and you will go in the draw to win both book 1, Bared to You, and book 2, Reflected in You. Giveaway is open to ARRA members only. The giveaway closes on 28 November 2012.