Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bared to You

Bared to You
Sylvia Day
Published by: Berkeley Trade
ISN:  0425263908
352 pages
Available on
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview.

Well, faithful readers, there are Hot Romance Novels, and then there are Hot Erotic Novels.

Bared to You, by Sylvia Day, most definitely falls into the latter category. I might have blushed a few times while reading it, and I might have had a few heart palpitations. Or some kind of palpitations, anyway.

Eva Tramell is 24 and starting a new job at an ad agency in New York. She moved with her best pal, the comely (and bisexual) Carey, who is on his way to becoming an in-demand male model. The day before she starts her job, she decides to walk the route so she can time it; Eva is big into fitness, although to Sylvia Day's credit, she also likes to eat. As she makes her way through the building's lobby, she literally falls down in front of Gideon Cross, the most handsome man she's ever seen. Turns out he owns the building (along with several other buildings), and he decides he wants Eva.

Boy howdy, does he want her. He's quite specific about how he wants her, including positions and quantity.

Day keeps us waiting a bit until we get these two in the sack (or in the limo, as the case may be), but when that headboard starts a'rockin', it doesn't let up. Which, if you read Bared to You, may sound like a metaphor for Gideon's ... um ... CONSIDERABLE stamina. (Somewhere, Christian Grey is not amused.)

There isn't much from this book that is family friendly, but here is a brief glimpse into the incredibly hotness that are the book's sex scenes:
"I need you, Gideon," I said breathlessly, inhaling his scent which was richer now that he was aroused. I thought I might be slightly intoxicated, just from the enticing smell of his skin. "You drive me crazy."
He released my wrists and cupped my face, his lips pressing hard against mine. I reached for the fly of his slacks, freeing the two buttons to access the concealed zipper. He tensed.
"I need this," I whispered against his lips. "Give me this."
 Like I said. HOT.

The only problem with Bared to You is the plot. Eva will drive you nuts, and not in the way she drives Gideon nuts. When she gets skittish, she runs (there is a whole reason why she has "issues," and Gideon, it turns out, has a few of his own). At some point, all that running just gets boring. Even Gideon is unimpressed. In fact, it's difficult to see what he sees in her, other than carnal lust. Why does he trust her? In the meantime, there are some issues with Carey, and the whole thing ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. I guess we need to stay tuned.

I read this before I read the  Fifty Shades saga, and as I read the latter, I found myself comparing the two. Bared to You is wildly erotic, more so, even, than Fifty Shades. Gideon and Eva say things to each other that are raw and sexual, and they do things to each other that are even more raw and more sexual. Don't read this if you do not care for fairly graphic details, because it is not your thing. In some ways, Gideon and Eva are hotter than Christian and Ana. Both men have tortured pasts, and both women are inclined toward fretting and hand wringing over their men. Bared to You is better written. There is less aggravating repetition (Eva does not bite her lip 5,000 times, nor does she frown or flush every other page), and clearly the editor was not some dubious creation, but rather someone who actually knows how to edit a book.

Is it a good book? It's got great sex scenes. And very detailed sex scenes - detailed in a way that Fifty Shades is not. Gideon is interesting. (More interesting than Christian Grey? No. Christian intrigued me more than Gideon, but that could be due to having three books' worth of Christian Grey.) Eva is frustrating. (More frustrating than Ana Steele? Somewhat. Eva is stronger and tougher, and she doesn't need Gideon telling her how in awe of her he is, but she runs all the time, and I can't see what he sees in her.) But I like Gideon and Eva together, more than I liked Christian with Ana. Eva does not demand that Gideon change for her the way Ana is incapable of living with the true Christian Grey. Their relationship doesn't need to be so tortured, though.


  1. Great blog!! Yet I'm trying to get my head around the whole Dom/sub thing... Gideon claims Eva is submissive, implying it is good for their relationship since it proves Eva *trusts* him whilst the reason Christian is attracted to Ana is because she is not submissive which shows their relationship goes beyond the Dom/sub relationship Christian had with his other 15 subs.. So where does that put Eva and Gideon's relationship? Do they have a Dom/sub relationship or do they have more than a dom/sub relationship like Ana and Chrstians'? so confsued.. please help :(

  2. Hi, Stefania. I am not an expert in BDSM by any means, but what I think differentiates the two is the man / Dom. In Christian's case, he did think Ana would be a great submissive. He tells her that when she fell into his office the first time they met, when she struggled with making eye contact and was apologetic, he thought she would be a great sub. But as he got to know her, he realized that she never would give up herself completely in the way that subs do. By that time, though, he'd fallen for her and was willing to commit to her, outside of a TPE 24/7 lifestyle. The problem with presenting theirs as an ideal BDSM relationship is the lack of trust. He doesn't trust her to give herself or to use her safe word (which is verboten in the BDSM community), and she doesn't trust him not to hurt her. Those are big warning flags to anyone engaging in BDSM.

    WIth GIdeon and Eva, I think he sees in her a need to be completely owned. Here's the thing about BDSM: it isn't about bondage or punishment. It's about one person owning another - and vice-versa. While the sub theoretically gives up control to his or her Dom, the sub ultimately has all of the control (which is one thing Christian gets right). The sub determines the boundaries as far as physical punishment is concerned, and the sub is the one who must agree to be "owned" by the Dom. I actually think there is something very powerful in someone asking if you will be theirs completely and you responding yes.

    I am not, by the way, in a BDSM relationship, so let's get that straight.

    Back to Gideon and Eva. Given her past experience with abuse, she does not want to give up sexual control because it scares her. What Gideon sees, I think, is that she does want to give up emotional control. She does want to give herself to him - she has to for her own healing. So when he asks her to let him take over, he's doing it because he wants her to feel free to submit to him sexually and emotionally. He also wants her to know that she can trust him to take care of her. He is a true dominant personality in all aspects of his life, probably largely due to his own experiences with abuse. He needs to control and own her, and she needs to be controlled and owned. It's an interesting dynamic.

    So those are my thoughts. I have no idea if I'm on the right track or not, though. If you have Twitter, I urge you to send a message to Sandra Day. I've asked her a few questions and she always responds. If you do, please come back and let me know what she says.

    Thank you so much for visiting this blog and leaving your interesting comment. You've given me some things to think about. Perhaps some other followers have thoughts on this subject and care to share.

  3. Thank you for the amazing feedback and taking the time to share your great thoughts!

    I feel I have just had a light-bulb moment and you are definitely on the right track, much more so than I. Ana and Christian had more trust issues than I remembered whilst there is much more to the emotional side of Gideon and Eva’s relationship than I initially thought. The greater knowledge you have also given me about BDSM relationships have put the protagonist’s relations into better perspective.

    It is clear both Eva and Gideon need to be in control and controlled. Essentially, it should be in Eva’s interest to totally submit and trust Gideon to sexually control her, in order to 'heal' her from her emotional turmoil (although she does since she is 'naturally submissive'). Yet, surely Gideon needs to be healed from his own disclosed experiences of being abused? Perhaps, Eva wants to be in control sexually, not just because she is scarred from her abuse thus scared to submit, but perhaps it is for Gideon. Although Gideon is a dominant, surely he needs to feel free to submit to Eva sexually and emotionally in order to heal his past experiences? Also, how can Gideon trust Eva? Shouldn't she have to physically control/dominate him to gain his trust and free his emotional burdens? Yet my mind then drifts to Ana and Christian whereby Ana could gain Christian's trust and essentially take ‘control’ by using the safe word or saying stop.

    Maybe I’m just over thinking this and comparing too much…

    Quickly back to Gideon and Eva, I feel there needs to be an emotional balance between them since Gideon knows about Eva’s traumatic background but not vice-versa. Therefore, they need to equally open up to each other by having equal sexual control and ownership of one another in order to move on emotionally, right? (Can they move forward if Eva stays submissive and Gideon stays dominant? OR Should Eva have to physically dominate Gideon and make him submissive in order for him to trust her, open up and be freed from his emotional scars?)

    Apologies if I’m going around in circles, making no sense AND going a bit over the top with this…

    I hope I’m sort of on the right track. Thanks again for filling in my many gaps and I simply cannot wait for the next two books in the Crossfire Trilogy. Perhaps, we will discover the root causes of Gideon’s corrupt emotional state which could balance the dynamics of his and Eva’s dysfunctional relationship…

    PS: Shall message Sylvia Day on twitter if any further questions arise and will gladly get back to you on what she says.

    PPS: Sorry for taking up so much of your time!


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