Publisher: Berkley US/Penguin UK
Release date: October 2nd in ebook and October 23rd in print
Gideon Cross. As beautiful and flawless on the outside as he was damaged and tormented on the inside. He was a bright, scorching flame that singed me with the darkest of pleasures. I couldn’t stay away. I didn’t want to. He was my addiction… my every desire… mine.
My past was as violent as his, and I was just as broken. We’d never work. It was too hard, too painful… except when it was perfect. Those moments when the driving hunger and desperate love were the most exquisite insanity. We were bound by our need. And our passion would take us beyond our limits to the sweetest, sharpest edge of obsession…
*blurb taken from goodreads*
Lou: After reading Bared to You, both Has and I were eagerly awaiting for the second book in the Crossfire trilogy, Reflected in You. When I first read Bared to You, it was in the timeframe of the book that shall not be named, and I was a little jaded with the whole fucked up hero trope, and the heroine who falls in love with the damaged hero. I’m glad to say that this series features characters and a plot that goes deeper into the psychology of the characters. Gideon and Eva are very troubled characters with the abuse they have suffered in their past, and their romance is quite dark in tone, and very unhealthy in terms of the decisions they make, and how they react to one another. I wasn’t expecting some of the turns and directions the book takes.
Has: Oh I so agree, and this definitely surpasses the first book in so many ways. I was also taken surprised by the twist and turns Reflected in You took, and I loved how it delves and explore the issues between two damaged people who are so hopelessly in love. It was messy, realistic and at times ugly, but I loved the theme of hope running throughout the book. I think this is why it is so appealing, because it was so intense, and passionate. Unlike the first book, Reflected in You really focuses on the deeper issues which was just touched on. I felt it was hard to read at times, because it wasn’t only angsty but painful and heartfelt. I really empathise with both Gideon and Eva who still have so many issues between them. And in this book there is a lot of mistrust due to the events and seeing them work and fight it out was an intensive experience.
Lou: There was a theme of hope running through the book, but that hope ended up being tossed around by the actions of both Eva and Gideon. I don’t mean that in a negative way, but it shows that they are nowhere near ready in being happy with themselves as individuals, never mind being together. This book focuses on the deeper issues between them, and how Gideon still doesn’t trust Eva to reveal his past. I was glad to see that he finally shared a part of what happened to him as a child, but this was only the reveal. I would also warn people that this book does contain triggers.
Gideon has not sorted out his mental state, and until he does deal with it, I don’t think him and Eva can ever function properly as a couple. There were scenes that show how impulsively they react, without stopping and thinking about what they’re going to do. Eva also has a habit of reacting without thinking, and the concert shows that when she comes into contact with one of her exes. I didn’t know what to make of that scene. On one hand I thought it was done to create some extra tension, and on the other it shows that Gideon and Eva use sex as a way of punishment and to heal one another. It was a contradiction.
Has: I loved that Gideon FINALLY opened up to Eva. And like the title suggests, I felt that they were both reflective of each other’s pasts because they both share similar pasts and status which gives them equal standing towards each other. And even though their relationship can be unhealthy at times, it is also passionate, heart-wrenching and absorbing. This is a book where you are invested in them to work out their differences, and it can be emotionally and mentally tiring, but when Eva and Gideon broke through some of their barriers and issues, it was so rewarding. I think that’s pretty rare for a book to make you feel this way and I love it even though I am not a huge fan of angst and emotional torture.
But I found that even though this is a relationship that was like two steps forward and one step back, I did love how much feelings and passion was conveyed in the love scenes. Yes, sex is a huge factor in their relationship but it was such an emotive way to show how much they loved each other because of the emotional and psychological damaged they both had for being abuse survivors but their love scenes was a conduit for healing and communicating how much they loved each other. They are both each other’s touchstones and Sylvia Day really shows how much is unspoken with their emotions by sex. It goes beyond the physical and titillation pleasure of an erotic romance because sex is an integral part of them healing each other. My favourite scene in the book is where Gideon makes love to Eva and I could see how much he was saying ‘I love you’ to her.
Lou: There were scenes that had me totally absorbed. You can’t help but root for Gideon and Eva because of their pasts. They deserve some happiness in their lives, but it’s their issues that’s stopping them. I’m also happy to see how Day uses a psychologist to help Eva and Gideon. Too many times do I read in books where characters talk down about shrinks, and I’m glad that Day doesn’t do this. Eva and Gideon need the professional help. If only Gideon would bloody well listen! I did get frustrated when both Eva and Gideon ignored what the Dr said. And it was only going through it the hard way did they realise that the Dr was right about sleeping apart, and taking some space for one another. I could also understand why they clung to one another for comfort and for love. I did enjoy the secondary characters, but I so want to hit Cary over the head. Trey is wonderful, and he’s there waiting for Cary to see that. It seems like Cary hasn’t come to terms with his past, and his bisexuality. He says he can’t give up women while being in a committed relationship with Trey. If he feels that way, then make a clean break from Trey and stop breaking his heart. I thought he was selfish.
Has: I think this is why it was so frustrating and at the same time realistic. It’s not going to be easy and there will be setbacks, but I was glad they finally realised that taking a break, and sleeping apart, will help them with this issue. I also agree with you about Trey but I think like Gideon, he’s also being stubborn in not facing up to his past and issues and I think it won’t be as easy for him to overcome.
My only disappointment in this book was the ending. There is such a huge shock and twist, and I was blindsided. It wasn’t so much of the character’s motivation for me, but the fact we didn’t get to see their POV and details. I was left a bit confused and I had to reread a certain scene to make sense on what happened. But when I did, all the decisions and reasons why characters acted that way made sense, although there is going to be major fallout which will be explored in the next book. I just wished this was expanded more and we got to see more details of why. But I can say for one thing, Gideon Cross is not a man to be messed with and is not your typical billionaire hero!
Lou: Yes, frustrating is the word I would use because there are so many steps taken forward, and then you’re back at the bottom of the staircase. The ending…I’m so conflicted. It’s made me think that the character is mentally ill, because he already has serious issues to deal with. It does make sense at the end because I also didn’t understand certain scenes because they seemed so out of place. I don’t know if I can carry on reading this series, knowing what happened at the end. This character makes a decision that he has no right making, especially the state he’s in. Day has GOT to make the next book deal with the ending, and not rush over it or skim over the reactions of what happened. It’s a huge shocker, so I don’t want to spoil the book. It’s definitely changed direction of the series. This is a series that’s addictive, and it’s not a romance full of happiness and sweetness. It’s raw, passionate and delves deep into the basic emotions and instincts of people. This is not a series that everyone will love. There are people that are going to hate it because of the actions of Gideon, and heavy angsting is not to everyone’s tastes. But I find it addictive, and I’m looking forward to seeing how Day deals with the next stage in Gideon’s and Eva’s lives because it sure as hell is not going to be easy.
Has: I think for me, in this book, the characters have come truly alive. They have flaws and can be frustrating when they fuck up, but you hope they can try to overcome their pain and try to find happiness and not let their demons win. I think the ingredients of high intense emotions, heart-wrenching romance and passion is such an addictive element for this series for me. I am so freaking hooked. Even now writing this up and discussing the book with Lou, it is hard to put into words on how much this book and characters have made an impression one me, and what they conveyed to us. It has definitely generated a wonderful discussion, but one thing for sure, the Crossfire series is filled with a passionate, heart-melting and wrenching romance. And it is beyond memorable, absorbing and wonderfully addictive.
I give Reflected in You a B+
Lou: This series sure is addictive, and full of fucked up characters. But despite how angsty it is, there is progression that moves the story onward that makes you hooked. This is not a romance series where you can root for Gideon as a romance hero. I root for the romance between Eva and Gideon, but I know when I read this series that it’s not conventional. I see that it’s unhealthy, but the story is so damn addictive. All in all, I give Reflected in You a B. The writing is solid, the characters run true to form in their fucked up way, and the ending is left on one hell of a cliffhanger. Thankfully the third book in the series is out later at the end of this year.