Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day: Check-in – Re-reading the series as a prep

Morning All,

So as i’m sure most of you are aware, Captivated by You comes out on 11/18 and I know that i’m not the only one that’s really excited since it feels like ages since we last connected with Eva and Gideon.  Since it’s been so long and I’ve been so invested in the series, i felt that i owed it to myself to re-read all 3 books so that I’m not left wondering who we know what about.  For those of you who haven’t read them all yet, there may be a few non-intentional spoilers below.

As you’ll remember, our leads met when Eva had just moved to NYC from San Diego – in the hopes of starting her life over and taking control of things since she’s had a bit of a rough past.  She was abused by her step brother and as a result, that trauma has been something that’s stuck with her for her entire life.  She moved here with Cary, her surrogate brother and best friend, someone who she met while trying to sort herself out in therapy in SD.

It’s on the day before Eva’s first day of work that she crosses paths with Gideon who she calls ‘Dark and Dangerous’ when she times her walk to her new office and runs into him.  Gideon of course is the expected billionaire control freak, who has his own fair share of issues.  He is also haunted by abuse from when he was younger – he had gone to therapy as a result of dealing with his father’s suicide and was taken advantage by the therapists assistant.

So, fast forward through the 3 books, we’re left in a place that makes you continue to wonder about the security and status of their relationship.  We know that it’s not easy, there are a bunch of exes who want nothing more than to get in the way of the budding romance.  Corinne – Gideon’s ex fiance (who’s also married) comes back into place, and she’s trying to stir things up.  When she goes so far as to try to make Eva doubt Gideon, fails at that and then tries to kill herself by ODing – well things go from bad to worse.  Then there’s the fact that Eva has her own triangle brewing.  Her past comes back to ‘haunt’ her in a sense – Brett Is the lead singer of a rock band signed to Gideon’s label that’s making it big, and it’s when Eva learns that their biggest single is of her that things get dicey.  Gideon gets jealous, Eva trying to deny the feelings that she still has for Brett- and brawling ensures.

Here are my questions though:

1) What’s Anne’s angle now?  We know that she is married to Dr Lucas whom Gideon HATES, yet she’s found herself at an event that they are all at, and ties to Cary now that she was trying to get with him.  So…i’m curious what her angle is and what she’s trying to do to the couple

2) Deanna – what’s she gunning for?  i feel like it’s more than just a bitter ex – so we’ll have to see what she’s going for.  She’s digging for information and trying to write a story that’s pretty deep i think – even with the ‘bone’ that Gideon’s tosses her for the wedding exclusive

3) The wedding – what’s going to come of that?  I think that there’s going to be much more drama since nothing can be that easy

4) Cary and Tatiana – i don’t know about anyone else, but i’m still not sold that it’s Cary’s baby and i don’t know that she’s even really preggo – so we’ll have to see how that plays out

5) Megumi and Michael – i’d love to find out more about this one – i think that there have been quite a few teasers throughout the series so far and i want to know what’s really going on there and who he is

6) Eva’s Mom and Dad and what that’ll mean in the end.  We know that there’s clearly a lot of love there and while i like Stanton a lot – i think that we’d all love for some sense of a happy ending for them.

So – i guess it’s just another little while until we get the next installment – but below is the link to pre-order so please make sure to pick it up!


Review: The Stranger I Married by Sylvia Day


Title:  The Stranger I Married 
Sylvia Day
Kensington Publishing Corporation 8/28/12
312 pages


Lady Pelham could not have designed a husband more suited to her needs. The Marquess of Grayson is a dear and enchanting friend and an unrepentant ladies’ man. Their union is solid; their hearts safe from one another. But every marriage has its surprises&#8230p;

They Were Together For All The Wrong Reasons…
They are London’s most scandalous couple. Isabel, Lady Pelham, and Gerard Faulkner, Marquess of Grayson, are well matched in all things… their lusty appetites, constant paramours, wicked wits, provocative reputations, and their absolute refusal ever to ruin their marriage of convenience by falling in love with one another. Isabel knows such a charming rake will never appeal to her guarded heart, nor will she sway his philandering one. It is a most agreeable sham … until a shocking turn of events sends Gerard from her side.

Now, four years later, Gerard has come home to Isabel. But the carefree, boyish rogue who left has been replaced by a brooding, powerful, irresistible man who is determined to seduce his way into her affections. Gone is the devil-may-care companion who shared her friendship and nothing more, and in his place is temptation itself … a husband who desires Isabel body and soul and who will stop at nothing to win her love. No, this is not at all the man she had married. But he is the man who might finally steal her heart…

My Thoughts

One thing that i LOVE is old school romance  – and the sense of old world courting and society.  Sylvia Day has done it again in The Stranger I Married.  We find ourselves wrapped up in the world of titles and expectations that need to be fulfilled in order to be considered proper.

The Plot:  we are first semi-introduced to Grayson (Gerard) at a party where he’s made the decision that he’s going to usurp his friend’s mistress for his own devices.  can’t blame a guy for wanting what we can only expect at this point to be quite a beautiful woman who probably has a significant level of sensuality.  Next we meet Pel (Isabel) who is the mistress that is going to be usurped….she doesn’t know what’s in store for her.  The story that we get wrapped up in is around Grayson’s desire to marry Pel not for a traditional marriage but because they seem to have similar needs and wants.  You see, Pel has been married before, her husband is deceased, yet before he died, he had taken several mistresses which utterly broke her heart.  The husband in question actually died as a result of being called out by the husband of one of his mistresses – so that just shows the kind of guy he was.  no wonder she doesn’t want to marry anyone ever again.  she’s content to keep a string of affair time relationships.  the nice thing with Pel though is that she has morals to an extent – she won’t have an affair with anyone who’s married – so only single men….nice right?  And back to Grayson, well he’s single yes but he keeps his string of affairs up in full gusto.  juggling 2 women at one time actually.  One being his long time love from childhood who somewhat got away.

All this together makes for a PERFECT union between Grayson and Pel – they have no expectations of love – they just knowt hat they are friends who make each other happy and they are allowing the other to maintain other relationships if that’s what they need.

this is where the issues arise though – said youth love/mistress gets pregnant (which isn’t a huge deal surprisingly) yet, said woman also doesn’t not live through the birth and nor does the baby.  this has catastrophic results on Grayson (and Pel) and this is where our story picks up.

My thoughts: suffice it to say, i did enjoy the story although of course it was some what expected.  what i actually appreciated the most is the way that the story was ended.  i won’t tell you about that piece – but what i will say is that i wasn’t expecting exactly what happened.  it was nice.

in addition to the story that we see develop around Grayson and Pel and how circumstances change EVERYTHING, there are a few others intertwined into the plot that make for nice background noise.

Sylvia Day again does a great job keeping us engaged throughout the story and true to her form, there’s an oozing sensuality and carnal feeling to this story that confirms that her stamp has been placed on the book.  I just love when there’s an author that continues to deliver what you expect and then just a little more.


Review: Seven Years to Sin by Sylvia Day


Title:  Seven Years to Sin
Author: Sylvia Day
Publisher/Year: Kensington Publishing Corporation 8/28/12
Length:  341 pages


The longer the resistance…

Seven years ago, on the eve of her wedding, proper Lady Jessica Sheffield witnessed a licentious scene no innocent young miss could imagine. Shocked, yet strangely titillated, she’d held her silence regarding scandalous Alistair Caulfield, and walked down the aisle as expected. But through years of serene, unremarkable marriage, Caulfield’s image remained burned into her imagination, fueling very illicit dreams. . .

…the sweeter the reward

Alistair ran far from the temptation of the prim debutante with the fire of passion in her eyes—all the way to the West Indies. As a successful merchant, he has little in common with the rakehell youth she knew. But when newly widowed Jessica steps aboard his ship for a transatlantic passage, seven years’ worth of denied pleasures are held in check by nothing more than a few layers of silk—and the certainty that surrender will consume them both. . .

My Thoughts

after being drawn into Sylvia Day’s writing through Bared to You and Reflected in You, i decided to branch out a little bit and see what her other books were like.  The first outreach that i did was in Seven Years to Sin – an old school revisiting of the romance and erotica novels that i read when i was younger and truly enjoyable.

We’re introduced to members of high society in london – debutantes to be exact- one (Jessica) that has just made her debut that year, and we’re meeting her on the eve of her wedding and her younger sister Hester who is just a few years shy of that moment.  They are from a family that is in high regard and they are looking to land their ideal husband – someone that can provide to them in a great manner as well as fullfill both their emotional and physical needs.

The opening scene is one that we are seeing through the eyes of these ladies – they are watching 2 incredibly handsome men wrestle with one another and of course have their own comments to discuss about them.  there’s something to be said about these men that are incredibly handsome, exude a certain something, and are maybe not as high brow as could be accepted based on who these ladies are.

that same evening, again the night before jessica’s wedding, she’s out walking her puppy when she comes across one of those same men in the woods with a woman in what could be considered a compromising position.  Jess see’s this man – Alistair in the midst of providing imeasureable pleasure to this women – apparently for a fee…and it causes Jess to pause and become completely enrapt in what is going on.  It’s that moment when she’s still an innocent that something is stirred inside her, an attraction not only to what’s going on between alistair and the woman, but because of the man himself.  She finds that she holds his gaze and can’t pull away, but yet she realizes that she must flee since she has a betrothed waiting for her at home.

so she marries as planned and we fast forward 7 years into the future.  Jessica’s husband has passed away and now she’s left to deal with her life as a widow and attend to the property in Jamaica that he provided for her in his will. Upon learning that Jessica will be sailing to Jamaica, Alistair (who has ‘lusted’ after Jessica since that night 7 years ago if not longer) decides that he will accompany her on the trip and figure out a way to court her and woo her.

What i love about Alistair though is that at the onset of the story, we’re told that he’s the 4th son meaning that he doesn’t have any of the wealth or stature placed on him that his brothers do.  he’s kind of left by the wayside because no one expects much of him and because he’s decided to live up to that expectation.  We also learn that he’s actually not his father’s child as well which is a source of pain as well since his ‘father’ knows that he’s not the biological father and raises alistair only to escape embarassment but wants to provide nothing for Alistair in the end.  He gives him land in Jamiaca, and a poor excuse for a ship, but by sheer determination Alistair has made something of himself and has grown up to be even more handsome and sexually desired but successful in his own right and someone that is capable of living in high society on his own merit.

So on the ship where Alistair and Jessica are the only travelers that are not crew (aside from their personal maids or stewards), Alistair begins his courting process – knowing that he’s desired by women and knowing exactly what needs to be done to get Jessica to open up to him.  As to be expected, when you’re on a ship for so long with just one other person when there’s always been a clear sexual attraction from day one, it’s really not a matter of ‘if’ something will happen but ‘when’

Of course things aren’t always what they seem and things are never as easy as they are at the onset, and Sylvia Day has managed to weave a story that keeps you so intrigued, not just by the sensual nature but by the story itself.  There were times when i felt that the story was a little thin but there was enough going on otherwise to keep me interested.

I also really like that the secondary story line with Hester was what it was – that she had presumed to have found true love upon her debut and things were not at all what they appeared to be as well.  Finding herself in a marriage that was not quite what she wanted, and finding herself pregnant as well – well that all adds up to a bunch of trouble especially when you throw in another handsome man that has always had feelings for Hester and that Hester always found an attraction to.  A love triangle in the more original form.

so  that all being said – this was a welcome change from the contemporary erotica romance novels that have been so popular lately, taking us back a little bit to London when it meant something to be a part of society and as a result, you have to conduct yourself in a prim and proper manner when you’re out in public.  An enjoyable read none-the-less and a fresh story to bring back chivalry, love, sensuality and well – being quite a bit rebellious

Review: Reflected in You (Crossfire Book 2) by Sylvia Day


Title:  Reflected In You
Author: Sylvia Day
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Group (USA) 10/23/12
Length:  432 pages
Series: Crossfire #2


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…


My Thoughts

OMG – that’s basically the feeling that i’m left with after i read this book, and let me tell you it was SO HARD for me to put it down yesterday morning when i had to come to work.  This second installment of the series DID NOT DISAPPOINT.   I think Sylvia Day is one of the best authors out there today because of her ability to draw you in, keep you intrigued and then throw even more curve balls at you that you can’t quite get your head around.

Book 2 picks up right where we left off in Bared to You – the night of the huge orgy fest in Eva’s apartment and Gideon trying to help deal with that aftermath while also trying to deal with the fact that he kind of blew it again at the party where his ex fiance and Maggie were there.  Eva is still so hurt and upset with what Gideon has done that she’s not sure how to deal with everything, and on top of it all, both of them are SO DAMAGED that they continually want to keep hurting each other even if it’s just as a test (subconsciously).

so in this 2nd book, we see even more of the roller coaster known as the Eva/Gideon train wreck yet their intentions are so good deep down that you want to root for them. Throughout the story, Eva continues to try to get the the bottom of what is going on with Gideon, yet he’s so secretive because he thinks that if she knows all about him she’d run.  She’s told him that she won’t but that’s not good enough apparently.  He still has his nightmares which plays an even larger role in this story because now they are coinciding with Eva’s nightmares as well.  Nathan is not only haunting her in her dreams, but he manages to do the same in real life to an extent as well.  Gideon’s nightmares makes it so bad that the decision is made at one point that they can’t share the same bed at night anymore because it’s just not safe.  one night a nightmare causes Gideon to leave and Eva to realize that she doesn’t have the strength to ask him to stay.

Cary plays a smaller role in this story, kind of more in the background until much later in yet another twist.  We get to see a brief attempt at Eva trying to make ‘female friends’ and separate herself from Gideon a bit since it’s just not healthy how much she ‘needs’ him.  Megumi and Shawna are our token females, yet i’m not quite sure if there’s going to be more for them in the 3rd book.  i kind of feel like it’ll be a let down if not because we had a chapter or 2 with both, and i kind of grew to like them.  also, with the introduction of Will the new assistant – i’m kind of wondering what will go there.  i’m a cynic to think that you can’t just introduce a character that briefly without having some type of story for him.

One thing that i LOVED was that we get to see Victor – Eva’s dad.  their interaction is so genuine and so loving that you wish things could be different.  Sylvia Day did an amazing job with him – he’s the kind of guy that saw what he got dealt in life, and what he deserved and yet realized that he shoudln’t hang on to what would never work out and just be happy with how things ended.  Even though he didn’t marry Eva’s mom, and even though he loved her and STILL loves her, he knows that things were all for the best and if for nothing else, he got an amazing daughter out of it that really wants to keep that relationship open.  I loved also seeing the interaction between Eva’s mom and dad.  that was ‘golden’

speaking of Golden – wasn’t that a nice surprise – that one of Eva’s past men comes back.  kind of nice that she had that happen while Gideon has Corinne (and Maggie) around.  I can’t wait to see how persistent Brett becomes in book 3 since i recall that interview that he did saying that he wasn’t going to give up that easy (in different words though).

In addition to a great story line that keeps giving and giving, the sexual chemistry between Evan and Gideon is insurmountable.  there’s nothing to compare it to, and i think that the author accomplished quite a feat by being able to keep it so hot every time they come together, especially since it’s so often.  I think in stories like 50 Shades we’re able to see the variety there since there’s a lot of BDSM involved – meaning that there’s always another toy to play with but in the Crossfire trilogy, we’re seeing just raw animal sex here – it’s just person to person without any of the kinky stuff.  just people who want to touch one another and can’t get enough.  It makes you realize that you don’t have to necessarily be into all that other stuff if you want to have a hot sex life – you can still accomplish it one on one and i like that.  it’s one thing to get all hot and bothered reading about a submissive being controlled by her dom but here, we know that Gideon is a dom, but not in the same pain/pleasure way that we’ve read about so much before.

so a few things

1) we never find out what Gideon left in Eva’s apartment that night in book 1 did we?

2) what’s going to happen with Corinne and Brett (not together clearly, but for their respective exes)

3) what will come of the investigation?  will it truly be over and closed?

4) what will happen for Eva at work – will she get promoted, quit, or what?

5) WHAT WILL HAPPEN FOR EVA/GIDEON?  given that we’re all hopeless romantics, i’m sure that we’ll get to see a happy ending eventually, i just hope that book 3 is a LONG one so that we can wrap up the story with a lot of juicy ness – relationship roller coasters and GREAT Sex

Revisting of Bared To You (Crossfire Book 1) by Sylvia Day

Because today’s date was fast approaching, i felt that in order for me to do the release of Reflected in You justice, i had to go back and re-read Bared to You.  Reading it a second (ok third) time really reminded me about how great the writing was in this first installment and how the characters and story line really make you want to know  more.

So for those of you who haven’t read it yet, get your butts moving!

we’re introduced to Eva who is damaged yet not a timid little mouse because of it.  I think that’s one of the BEST things about this story – that we feel a sense of pity for Eva and what she’s gone through, yet she’s so tough and ‘able’ that we know that she can handle whatever BS is thrown her way.  In reading similar stories like this one, the lead female is strong, but she needs the man for more than just being dominated.  Here, Eva has her own money, family connections, career and knows her own sexuality and how to use it, yet being dominated (even if it’s just a power struggle for now) is really where this story goes.

Gideon (oh how i LOVE that name) is your typical powerful ‘dark and dangerous’ lead male.  he’s got it all in life – successful business, women falling at his feet, yet his past is so troubled that we don’t even get into it in Book 1.  He doesn’t let people in personally, creates all these barriers, but some how he wants to let those walls down for Eva and has to figure out how to do it.

the air ‘crackles’ with tension when these 2 are together – they can’t go for more than 10 minutes it seems without wanting to get the other’s clothes off.  there’s a lot of arguing/fighting that’s really just foreplay that gets them even hotter for one another.  The sex scenes are written pretty well too – they aren’t too ‘middle school’ yet i think that there are times when a few words are over used.

Aside from learning about how their relationship will develop and if it will survive in Book 2 (Reflected In You), i’m kind of curious about a few other things:

1) what’s eating Gideon?  what happened in his pas? and with his family?  why does he hate his brother (step brother)

2) will Eva continue to excel at her job?  also, being in the advertising industry, typically it’s not an admin/personal assistant that helps with the pitches and things like that.  it’s a junior AE, so that throws me off a bit

3) what’s the deal with Corinne and Maggie?

4) will Gideon and Eva make it work in Book 2 or do we have to wait for Book 3? (and i don’t know if i can wait that long!)