Review: Bared to You by Sylvia Day

Bared to You Sylvia DayI picked up Bared to You by Sylvia Day because of the many times I had heard it compared to Fifty Shades.  I was a fan of Fifty and thought it would be fun to read something similar.  And let me tell you, Bared to You is similar all right.  So similar that it was almost like Ms. Day read Fifty Shades and decided she could do it bigger and better.  I am so torn on my review for this book.  So much so that even as I type these words I still have no clue what my overall grade is going to be.

Eva Tramell has started her first job, out of college, at an advertising agency.  Before her first day she wants to walk the route from her apartment to see how much time it will take.  After stopping to help a woman pick up some loose change she stumbles and falls at the feet of Gideon Cross (sound familiar?).  Gideon Cross is a force of nature, just the way he is described makes me a little school girl giggly.

Inky black hair framed a breathtaking face.  His bone structure would make a sculptor weep with joy, while a firmly etched mouth , a blade of a nose, and intensely blue eyes made him savagely gorgeous.

….

His dress shirt and suit were both black, but his tie perfectly matched those brilliant irises.  His eyes were shrewd and assessing, and they bored into me.  My heartbeat quickened; my lips parted to accommodate faster breaths.  He smelled sinfully good.  Not cologne.  Body wash, maybe.  Or shampoo.  Whatever it was, it was mouth-watering, as was he.

Gideon is a man with a lot of money and he owns the building Eva works in and no surprise, the one she lives in also.  This allows him full access to information on Eva that most people would not have.  Gideon takes full advantage of that information and starts down the path of, what I can’t decide, is either stalking or very deep devotion.

After only a handful of meetings Gideon tells Eva he wants to sleep with her.  Eva is shocked at his proposition and responds that she has to have some sort of connection with someone she is sleeping with.  Gideon agrees to give a relationship a chance, not in the sense they would be “dating” but they would at least have something outside of the quick shag.  As the book progresses, Gideon decides he wants it all.

So now let’s talk about why I am so torn.  When I read Fifty Shades, Christian and Ana, were characters in a book, for me.  When Christian smirked for the 100th time, I could smirk too because he was a story character that I was reading about.  The writing in Bared to You is so much better and smoother than the Fifty Shades trilogy that I think it made the characters more believable.  I could actually see Gideon and Eva as real people and I have heard more than one person make this same comment.  They could be real people with real issues.  Both of them have faced abuse in their lives.  While Eva has been to counseling and faced her demons, Gideon has gone about the avoidance route.  His avoidance creates problems for them they both have trouble dealing with.  Eva is a runner, meaning when the going gets tough she is out the door.  Her excuse is that she cannot be with someone that isn’t 100% honest with her and faced his fears.  Maybe because she has dealt with her abuse, Eva comes off as the more stable of the two?

Then we have Gideon.  Gideon runs hot and cold for me.  He is one messed up dude.  There were times when his obsessiveness was hot and then times where there word STALKER was screaming through my head.  Very, very loudly.  One scene, in particular, really turned me off.

His gaze was on the wall illuminated by the picture light, which snagged my attention, too.  I was startled when I saw the art- a huge collage of blown-up photos of him and me: the picture of our kiss on the street outside the gym…a shot of us from the press gauntlet at the advocacy dinner…a candid of the tender aftermath of our fight in Bryant Park… The focal point was the image in the center that has been taken while I slept in my own bed, lit only be the candle I’d left burning for him.

It was an intimate voyeuristic shot, on that said more about the photographer than it did the subject.  I was deeply touched by the proof he’d been falling along with me.

So this is where I was lost.  Wouldn’t any normal woman react badly to the fact that a man had been taking pictures of her sleeping and then made a wall-sized collage out of those pictures?  And to top it off, he took the picture of her sleeping and re-created a room in his house that looked exactly like her bedroom.  He told her it could be her safe place if things ever got too overwhelming while she was with him.  Creeeeepy.

We also meet a very fascinating secondary charcter in Eva’s roommate, Cary.  He is just as messed up as the other two.  He is bi-sexual, in love with one man but constantly sabotaging that relationship by sleeping with other women.  He is an excellent support system and advice giver to Eva but can’t get out of his own way for nothing.  I really hope we get to see him happy, at some point.

Yes, for the most part I was sucked right into this book.  I look forward to the next one, if only to find out if Eva and Gideon can solve their issues in ways that don’t include them being naked or plastered to each other.  I would like more of an emotional connection between the two of them than I got in this book.  This book was more about obsession and the initial attachment.  Now I want to know what will bind them together in a more permanent fashion and I hope that it is something other than they both are too messed up for anyone else.  Maybe I can do a combo final grade?  Stalker portions- F  Rest of book-B

Favorite Quote:

He stood with economical grace, pulling me up with him.  We maintained eye contact because I was unable to look away.  He was younger than I’d assumed at first.  Younger than thirty would be my guess, but his eyes were much worldlier.  Hard and sharply intelligent.

I felt drawn to him, as if a rope bound my waist and he was slowly, inexorably pulling it.  Blinking out of my semi-daze, I released him.  He wasn’t just beautiful; he was…enthralling.  He was the kind of guy that made a woman want to rip his shirt open and watch the buttons scatter along with her inhibitions.  I looked at him in his civilized, urbane outrageously expensive suit and thought of raw, primal, sheet-clawing fucking.


Rating: B/F
Bared to You by Sylvia Day
April 3rd 2012
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Comments

  1. Mandi says

    So this is where I was lost. Wouldn’t any normal woman react badly to the fact that a man had been taking pictures of her sleeping and then made a wall-sized collage out of those pictures?

    Oh Gideon! You effed up gorgeous man. You may be a stalker, but I lurve you. I need Eva to fix his dark, black soul. Before he accidentally kills her/rapes her while she sleeps. The drama! I loves so much. LOL

    • says

      I thought the bit about him making a copy of her bedroom was a little bit like when Roarke made a copy of Eve’s apartment/office for her in his house to make her feel comfortable, complete with sleep chair. I took it in that vein and it didn’t bother me too much.

      The stalkery bits were a little much but Eva was just as crazy in many ways – I agree their relationship is all about mutual obsession so far but I found the book to be (for the most part) a compelling read. I’m looking forward to book 2 but I’m a little bit worried that the intensity of the story can’t be maintained or that it will become too exhausting. Apparently there will be “no more than 3″ in the series, so I don’t think we’ll get all the answers in October. :)

      • says

        Huh, ok. I hadn’t thought of the room like that but that is a very reasonable comparison.

        No more than 3 is good to know. I found the book to be compelling too if not a bit over top in the stalkerish part.

  2. says

    Great review – I am starting to wonder if everything we read now days (romance and the like) is a copy of a story we have already read. The genre is so saturated, that I doubt anything that comes out will have a different ring to it, since authors read each others work it will be very difficult not to get ideas from something they have already read. At least that’s what I think. I am adding this one to my reading pile. Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Thanks! I hope you enjoy it!

      I agree with the overall themes being similar but this went even deeper. Just the first meet with each couple was almost the same. Ana tripping into Christian’s office…Eva falling at Gideon’s feet at his office building…

  3. says

    The hotel room of BDSM was enough for me. I DNFed at that point. Also this is too much like 50 Shades, so much so that I felt as if I was re-reading 50 all over again *shudder*

    But alas, no tampon sex scene in this one.

    • Jackie says

      That’s been my hardest part about REALLY getting into this book. I felt like I was reading Fifty Shades all over again too. I’m only 8 chapters in, but it seems WAY too similar… made me think the author twisted just enough to make it not be plagiarism. Same “lower class” girl falls in love with mega-rich CEO scenario… he doesn’t want an emotional connection, but finds he’s “breaking all his rules” to be with her. I can’t help but be picturing my same characters in my mind from Fifty, and it makes it hard to differentiate the two books for me.

  4. Jenny Lyn says

    Katie and I talked about this book over on GR. I got a little further than she did, but even though I didn’t read FSoG, I still saw the glaring similarities. That might not be a bad thing for some, and I certainly don’t fault Ms. Day for writing a much better book with the same themes, but it was a DNF for me too. I like Alpha males as good as the next romance junkie, but Gideon was just too much. They both behaved like children at times. And some of the dialogue during the sex scenes made me roll my eyes enough to nearly sprain my eyeballs. I didn’t buy that he’d be a 27yo billionaire, Mark Zuckerberg aside, that’s a very rare thing. I just couldn’t get vested enough in the characters to want to finish it.

    I did like Cary though.

    • says

      See the young thing kind of bothers me too. Why are all these characters so young. I think I would find a 35 yr old more established and believable. Eh, maybe not though.

  5. Bernie Stock says

    Liked it didn’t love it but wiil but the next one. I read first 2 50′s a year ago. just wished they were older!
    Check out “The Reluctant Dom” by Tymber Qalton. Very Very Good! Have tissues handy.

    • says

      Exactly what I said above. Need older people!

      I have read the Reluctant Dom. Very good book. Very emotional.

  6. Marq says

    I haven’t read FSOG but everyone has compared. I have no plans to read FSOG anytime soon (even though I have the books) because of the over-saturated media coverage. I need the hype to die down (if that’ll ever happen).

    I read BTY and I had mixed feelings as well. Gideon’s behavior was SO stalkerish and I wanted Eva to run for her life. BUT the sex is smoking hot and these two are so effed up, that their relationship works in the most appropriately dysfunctional way. I’m eager to find out where Eva and Gideon’s relationship is headed. In the end, I really liked the book only because while I was reading it, I couldn’t put it down (read until the wee hours of the morning)and once I finished, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

    • says

      Same here. Even though you know, logically, that if this were a real life situation you would be urging Eva to get a restraining order, while you are reading it, it is un-put-downable.

  7. says

    I am still debating on whether or not I should read this. FSoG had an addictive quality to it that made me mostly overlook my frustration with the writing style, but I found Christian pretty claustrophobic, even though he was pretty hot, too. I can’t imagine that shrine-boy is any less claustrophobic. I agree with you. Creeeeepy.

    I find it kind of amusing that everyone was blasting the FSoG author for the story being a fan fic of Twilight, yet all the hype around this book seems to be positive. Even though it is supposedly very similar to FSoG, no one seems to care. What’s up with that?

    • says

      I haven’t read Fifty so I can’t make a direct comparison, but I thought there were many differences as well, which made the story more palatable for me. For example, Eva is not financially dependant on Gideon (her stepdaddy has the big bucks too). She has a job and friends and a life which are not dependant on Gideon. She is sexually experienced and even (and unashamedly) sexually aggressive. She’s not naive. She isn’t clumsy. She is able to take care of herself – she takes Krav Maga classes. She, too, has (significant) trauma in her past and in her own way, she’s just as screwed up as Gideon. She’s also a little older (at 24) than Bella/Ana.

      I don’t get the impression that the D/s play which occurs toward the end of BtY is some kind of reaction to Gideon’s past trauma. If anything, it is presented as (in his opinion – jury is out as to whether he’s right) what Eva needs. He says he’ll have her anyway he can but he thinks she’s more satisfied in a D/s type relationship. So, while I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, I don’t think anyone will be trying to “cure” Gideon (so he only likes vanilla sex and not D/s) which is what I understand happens at the end of the Fifty series. I thought there was a mutality to the obsession in BtY – I understand that it is more one sided in Fifty. Eva is crazy jealous of Gideon and Gideon does the stalker thing – so they’re both f*cked up.

      I have no idea whether the author had read Fifty before writing BtY. Comparisons between the two books are inevitable I guess, but (without having read Fifty) I’d have to say BtY is, in my opinion, what Fifty could have been if it was better written and better edited and didn’t stick to fantic conventions.

      I’m not trying to over-defend BtY. Personally, I really liked it. I thought the last 100 pages was a weaker than the first 250 but I found it compelling reading and I’m very interested to see what happens in future instalments. I can see that it wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea and (as is very often the case) not everyone will enjoy it as much as I did (or at all). But I do feel there are quite a few differences as well as similarities with the story (as compared to what I know of Fifty) so I thought I’d put my 2c in.

      • says

        Kaetrin- Thanks for weighing in! With the exception of the collage and room, I gave the book at B. I really did like it but I couldn’t help but compare those parts to real life. If a man did a wall-sized collage of me, with pictures taken while I was sleeping, I think I would be creeped out!

        I’d have to say BtY is, in my opinion, what Fifty could have been if it was better written and better edited and didn’t stick to fantic conventions.

        That is pretty much spot on. While I really liked Fifty, I could almost say I liked BtY more because it was easier to read.

    • says

      BtY has the same addictive quality that FSoG did but with better writing. And I think that is why I was so sucked in even though it was a very similar story.

      Gideon, at first, comes off as a little more normal but once the collage and room are out there he gets a little over-alpha, if that is possible :)!

      I liked FSoG and I liked BtY but then I am a little weird like that!

  8. Sylvia says

    Thanks for the great review

    FSOG was like crack to me. I couldn’t put the books down even though I had some issues with the writing. (plus it annoyed me to bits that BDSM was portrayed in this book as something Fifty needs to be cured from).
    After reading BTY all I could think was: I just read a rewrite of Fifty Shades…
    total ripoff. But I’m also completely willing to forgive the author because she really did write a better book.
    You were spot on when you say:

    So similar that it was almost like Ms. Day read Fifty Shades and decided she could do it bigger and better.

    I hope the next two installments will not feel like I’m reading a story I already read, only better written.

    Oh and I need to mention the epic dirrrty talking of Mr Cross… *stands up and gives standing ovation*

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