Review: One With You (Crossfire #5) by Sylvia Day

No-Brainer

Title: One With You
Author: Sylvia Day
Publisher/Year:  St Martin’s Press 4/5/16
Length:   480 pages
Series:  Crossfire #5

Overview

Gideon Cross. Falling in love with him was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. It happened instantly. Completely. Irrevocably.

Marrying him was a dream come true. Staying married to him is the fight of my life. Love transforms. Ours is both a refuge from the storm and the most violent of tempests. Two damaged souls entwined as one.

We have bared our deepest, ugliest secrets to one another. Gideon is the mirror that reflects all my flaws … and all the beauty I couldn’t see. He has given me everything. Now, I must prove I can be the rock, the shelter for him that he is for me. Together, we could stand against those who work so viciously to come between us.

But our greatest battle may lie within the very vows that give us strength. Committing to love was only the beginning. Fighting for it will either set us free … or break us apart.

My Thoughts

so, to be clear, i’ve spent the last week re-reading all of the books that preceded this one in the series to make sure that i knew EVERYTHING and didn’t miss a detail, just knowing that we’d get an amazing finale to this series that we’ve all been invested in.  What i have to say is that there were twists and turns that i wasn’t expecting at all, and some of which surprised me to the point where i’m deeply upset, but still pleased with how things turned out.

As you recall, we’re at the point in the series where Gideon and Eva are married, but they aren’t in a great place just yet.  there are people coming at them from every angle, and it seems like they’ll never catch enough of a break to help build a strong relationship together.  If that weren’t enough, it seems like Cary still has his issues w/ his relationships, and all of the supporting cast have more complications coming their way.

So this journey in book 5, we get to see the process in strengthening Gideon and Eva, in the hopes that they can find a good balance personally and professionally.  I feel like we want to see Eva test him more and more, but there’s a huge part of me that really wants to see Gideon catch a break since he’s being pushed further than ever before and it’s not something that can be changed overnight.  Thankfully there’s the trusty Dr Peterson who will help them wade through.

What we do get here is an interesting depth to the relationships of family.  We see that there’s still hate and discontent between Eva and Gideon’s mom – and we can’t tell throughout if that will ever be resolved.  We do however see an interesting change in how the relationship is with Chris – Gideon’s stepfather.  And then how that has an impact on Christopher.  Ireland gets to spend more time with her brother and it’s nice to see how that evolution happens in this book – since we saw the beginnings of that last book.

Then there’s the issues that we see with Stanton, Monica and Eva.  There’s so much complexity there, and the paths that we see each go through in this finale is really impressive – they find a good way to make each other happy without sacrificing too much.

What i do have to say though is that there’s a lot that’s uncovered here.  Someone isn’t who they seem, and that’s something potentially catastrophic.  Then there’s the fact that there were secrets hidden or made up about another supporting character and i wonder what impact that will have in the future.  We see revocations and moves, we see deaths and new relationships, and yet we’re also left with some unanswered questions – not that they have huge impacts on the outcomes of things.

All in all, i’m incredibly pleased with how this series was wrapped up, but quite sad since i really love the level of passion and investment that Eva and Gideon have.  they give you hope on how to manage a tough relationship, yet they don’t sugar coat things.  they have this chemistry that leaps off the pages, and you want to see yourself in each of them, since you realize that they make the other better, stronger.  So on that note, thank you Sylvia Day for giving us the closure to this story that it deserves, and i’ll still always wish that there was more coming.

Review: Captivated by You (Crossfire #4) by Sylvia Day

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Title: Captivated by You
Author: Sylvia Day
Publisher/Year: Penguin Group 11/18/14
Length: 368
Series: Crossfire #4

Overview

Gideon calls me his angel, but he’s the miracle in my life. My gorgeous, wounded warrior, so determined to slay my demons while refusing to face his own.

The vows we’d exchanged should have bound us tighter than blood and flesh. Instead they opened old wounds, exposed pain and insecurities, and lured bitter enemies out of the shadows. I felt him slipping from my grasp, my greatest fears becoming my reality, my love tested in ways I wasn’t sure I was strong enough to bear.

At the brightest time in our lives, the darkness of his past encroached and threatened everything we’d worked so hard for. We faced a terrible choice: the familiar safety of the lives we’d had before each other or the fight for a future that suddenly seemed an impossible and hopeless dream…

My Thoughts

I don’t know about everyone else (although i’m pretty sure that many agree), we’ve been WAITING FAR TOO LONG for this continuation of the series.  but, i’m so excited to be back in the world of Gideon and Eva – since nothing is ever dull.  We pick right back up with these 2 and if you thought that their lives were complicated before with ghosts and people trying to get in the way, you’re in for something new.

Before i get into the meat of the story, there’s something that i have to say about our author.  What i find to be challenging sometimes with other series is that authors have trouble sticking to the heart of what makes us love characters and what makes a dynamic exciting.  Sylvia Day doesn’t have that problem – at least with these 2.  We’ve been with them now for 4 installments and the passion and pain and chemistry and all of those other deep emotions are still there, raw and at the surface and that’s something that makes you really want to keep reading.  (even if you didn’t want to – and that’s def not the case here).

So back to the story – we pick up with Gideon and Eva back from their secret wedding and they’re trying to get back into the thick of life without making any waves with others since they want to do things at their own pace.  Once people learn of their engagement, they find that they are facing mixed emotions, but that’s the least of their problems.

If you’ll remember, at the end of Entwined by You, Eva thinks that she’s see Anne Lucas at an event – seducing Cary of all people, but she’s not sure.  Well, i think that it’s safe to say that once Gideon gets wind of that notion, things get ugly, and while we don’t even get to the crux of what Anne’s got planned in this 4th book, you know that it’s going to be good.  she’s got a vendetta against him and i think that we’re going to see things get bad fast.

The undertone of this story really is that Gideon feels that he’s off his game and that everyone that he’s ever wronged is coming after him since his focus is now on Eva – and that means that they are all going to go THROUGH Eva.  While we know that Eva’s a strong woman, i think that there has to be a breaking point for her, and we actually see that happen at various points and in varying degrees here.

Corinne’s back and has her own agenda, as does Brett.  While i think that both are rather minor in comparison to the love that Gideon and Eva have, it still makes a challenge of things just when they want to settle in.

In addition to this main story line, we also get to see a few things come and go.  First being Cary’s ‘baby’. situation.  While it seemed to me like it would play a bigger role in this book, it hasn’t really . we know that it’s stressing him out, coming in between his relationship with Trey and all that, but there’s really not much movement on that piece.  the other bit though is that we see Gideon’s relationship with his step-father change drastically because of information revealed and i’m curious to see how that affects things in the next installment.  I have a feeling that Chris will become a big help in a situation down the line, but what that is, i’m not quite sure.

Regardless of all that, we get the same tension that we’ve come to love with these 2.  It’s hot and sexy, there;s so much passion between these 2 that you can’t help but to get turned on just by their scening.  Gideon has some very specific habits that Eva begins to see more of and it’s HOT.  i can’t wait to see what’s next for them, and i’m really hoping that we get the same roller coaster that we’ve gotten in all of the books so far since it makes for some great reading.  I hope you guys enjoy!

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!

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Cover Reveal: Captivated by You by Sylvia Day

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We’ve all been waiting way too long for this book to come out and it looks like there’s an end in sight.  November 18th in the US is the date and I can’t wait.  What it does mean though is that i’ll have to schedule in the re-reading of the first books in the series just to make sure that i’m fully up to speed with which friends we trust, who’s the sibling that’s up to no good – what exes are still in the picture and who’s pregnant and not.

I can’t wait – i hope you guys all feel the same!

Review: Aftershock (Afterburn & Aftershock) by Sylvia Day

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Title: Aftershock
Author:  Sylvia Day
Publisher/Year:  Harlequin 3/11/14
Length: 118 Pages
Series: Afterburn & Aftershock

Overview

When it came to playing games, my lover Jax was a master strategist. He pulled strings behind the closed doors of D.C.’s most powerful political players, and somehow still found time to nearly sideline my career. What he didn’t know was that when I didn’t like the rules, I threw them out and made my own. I wasn’t going to let Jax get away with it. I wasn’t going to let him get away at all.

I loved Jax enough that it was impossible to give up. Jax loved me enough that giving up was the only end he’d consider. He didn’t think I could swim with the sharks. It was entirely my pleasure to show him that I’d already dived in…

My Thoughts

You know how it is when you’re waiting endlessly and anxiously for a book to come out that you forget at the last minute that it’s coming out that day – just to get a friendly reminder email in the AM to download?  Well, that’s what happened here.  Mind you I’m still trying to figure out how it slipped my mind from one week to the next.

In this 2nd installment we are reunited with Gia and Jax, as they are trying to sort out what they can be together, now that they’ve realized what they are to each other.  There’s a line in the book ‘Loving each other was never our problem’ – and that comes from Jax.  There’s something to be said about having the strong and powerful male lead admit that his fault isn’t in loving someone, it’s in how he can make it work.

We follow the journey of these two, while Gia is still trying to make her professional dreams come true since they were uprooted in Afterburn, while figuring out what it is that Jax feels he needs to protect her from.

In the great style of Sylvia Day’s writing, we get a steamy contemporary story of a duo that is strong enough apart, but even stronger together.  One thing that she does well is that she creates these lead characters that aren’t fragile – they have their own successes and yet they want to find a way to bring their stories together.  We also get a nice mix of passion, family tension and motivation with the dynamics included.

Gia’s family continues to play a strong role in what Jax means in her life and that’s a trait that i really appreciate.  She’s not an island, and we get the sense of where her strength comes from and why she fights as she does to help smooth the path with Jax.

The direction that this story takes us is one of love and power.  You have a feeling of where things will end up with the couple, but you don’t know ‘where’ they will end up.  Will Gia have to give up some of her conquests at work because of things that Jax has done and continues to do?  Will Jax’s political background mean that she has to change her dream?  Will Gia get the Jax back that she knew in Vegas?  Well, i guess if you want to find out, you’ll have to read- and luckily this is a page turner that you’ll be able to get through in one straight pass.  Enjoy!

Review: Afterburn (Afterburn & Aftershock) by Sylvia Day

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Title:  Afterburn
Author:  Sylvia Day
Publisher/Year:  Harlequin 8/15/13
Length:  102 Pages
Series: Afterburn & Aftershock

Overview

The realization that Jax still affected me so strongly was a jagged pill to swallow. He’d only been part of my life for five short weeks two years ago. But now he was back. Walking into a deal I’d worked hard to close. And God, he was magnificent. His eyes were a brown so dark they were nearly black. Thickly lashed, they were relentless in their intensity. Had I really thought they were soft and warm? There was nothing soft about Jackson Rutledge. He was a hard and jaded man, cut from a ruthless cloth.

In that moment I understood how badly I wanted to unravel the mystery of Jax. Bad enough that I didn’t mind how much it was going to cost me….

My Thoughts

This is another series that I think Sylvia Day nailed.  There’s just something about the set up to this story, how we meet Gianna the leading lady and learn about her back story, and then figure out about her past with her alpha male Jax.  Suffice it to say, my commute today was MUCH MUCH better than usual.

We are first introduced to Gianna when she’s interviewing for a position at Savor Inc  -on of the best restaurateur companies in NYC or in the US for that matter. What we quickly find is that Gia doesn’t shy away from anything, she knows her own value, and she knows what she wants without any fear of being overt on how to get that.  Because of how she handles herself, she manages to score the job and her life is changed forever.  Part of what makes her know her own worth is the fact that she had a short lived 5 week relationship with her own alpha male that didn’t end well and she’s trying to get over that.

After chapter 1, we are fast forwarded about a year into Gia’s job, and there’s something amazing being worked on by her company.  Lei is her boss who is a Type A personality and the best of the best, although she comes in 2nd to the hot and sexy Ian Pemberly.  They had their own torrid 5 year love affair that turned sour and now Lei is trying to come up with some type of payback.  So this one evening, Gia and Lei are wooing their next stars when who walks into the restaurant, Ian….and Gia gets a shiver of awareness, and who walks in beside Ian….the man that almost leveled her.

The journey that we’re taken on is great on so many levels.  We get to see if relationships are what they seem or if they can become more or less.  you want to know who you can trust (and trust me, i have a feeling that there are 2 people that aren’t quite on the up and up here). We see the fight of 2 strong minded successful women to make their business grow, and keep it out of the clutches of 2 men that really should know when enough is enough.

We get sucked into the great sensuality that Sylvia Day has come to really make us expect – and we get the amazing mix and balance of power, sexual tension/need, and reality.  The steam and passion between Gia and Jax is so palpable that you can feel the shiver that Gia gets when he walks in a room.

the only downside that i see now is that i have to wait until November for the continuation – but i guess i’ll make do.

here are a few questions that i’ll be thinking about

1) Will Jax and Gia figure out what they mean to each other?

2) What’s the status of Lei and Ian?  is it going to evolve into anything again?

3) will Lei and Gia ever get their deal brokered and completed?

enjoy!

Review: Entwined With You (Crossfire #3) by Sylvia Day

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Title:  Entwined With You
Author: Sylvia Day
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Group (USA) 6/4/13
Length:  368 pages
Series: Crossfire #3

Overview

The worldwide phenomenon continues as Eva and Gideon face the demons of their pasts and accept the consequences of their obsessive desires…

From the moment I first met Gideon Cross, I recognized something in him that I needed. Something I couldn’t resist. I also saw the dangerous and damaged soul inside—so much like my own. I was drawn to it. I needed him as surely as I needed my heart to beat.

No one knows how much he risked for me. How much I’d been threatened, or just how dark and desperate the shadow of our pasts would become.

Entwined by our secrets, we tried to defy the odds. We made our own rules and surrendered completely to the exquisite power of possession…

My Thoughts

****WARNING – just as a precaution, if you haven’t read the other books in the series, there may be SPOILERS*****

let’s start by saying OMG – i don’t know how i thought this, but i for some reason thought this book wasn’t coming out until December.  Don’t know why i thought that, and when i got an email from Barnes & Nobles telling me my pre-order download was ready, i literally jumped for joy.

So this 3rd installment picks up just days after Reflected In You ended – after major drama took place.  If you’ll remember, Eva had this haunted past with Nathan, her step brother i believe – who sexually assaulted her for some time, and that’s why she was so ‘damaged’, ended up in therapy, met Cary and built her life from there.  In Book 2, Nathan begins stalking her and even threatens Gideon because he knows that it’s one way to get to Eva and a way to extort him.  Well, things didn’t turn out so good for Nathan, seeing as how he didn’t quite make it to the end of the story alive.  We find that Gideon took care of things, which came at a price – and that threw a HUGE wrench in everything that we had been building towards in the relationship between Eva and Gideon. Eva is led to believe that circumstances weren’t really what they were, that it was an affair going on vs. Gideon protecting the one thing that means the most to him.

See, Corinne, a woman from Gideon’s past kept coming back up since she’s still in love with him, and she becomes Gideon’s semi-alibi at a point, only as a means to protect Eva from any number of things.  With this, Gideon and Eva find themselves in a situation where Eva wants nothing to do with him (again, thinking that he’s back with Corinne), and Gideon really just trying to put some distance between them so that the police don’t name his as the prime suspect.

We start EWY when they are slowly finding their way back together because things are starting to settle down, however it can’t be public knowledge that they are together for the sake of keeping them both safe.  While that’s going on, there’s plenty of other drama coming up.

A reporter starts stalking Eva to get information on Gideon (mind you we learn that she’s got a past with Gideon herself).  Cary is still juggling 2 relationships one with Tatiana, which Eva isn’t too pleased about and one with Trey whom Eva really likes.  it’ll be interesting to see how that develops as the story goes on since i think that we’re all clear on who we want him to be with.  We also get to see a bit more of a build in the relationship with Eva and Megumi (which i hoped would be the case coming out of the last installment) and Mark (her boss) and his own personal life. I think that it’s a nice supplement to the main story lines that we get to be involved more in these secondary characters.

It reminds us that the story isnt’ JUST about the sexual relationship and trouble relationship that Eva and Gideon have but that she’s a girl who’s new to NYC, just out of college and trying to find her way.  We forget about that a bit since it really started all from Day 1 when she mapped out her timing/route to go to her new job in the beginning of Bared to You.

All that aside, you have to assume that there will be even more drama coming for Eva since things seem to be getting a bit more normal for her.  That would mean – re-enter Brett, her ex something or other who we met briefly in the 2nd book.  he’s a rock star and has this tumultuous relationship history with Eva-  really meaning that it was highly sexually charged, and potentially a love relationship as well but that didn’t happen.  Eva’s moved on somewhat to Gideon, but Brett is still holding out hope that something can happen.  Since no one can know that Eva and Gideon are back together, that just means that there’s chance for Brett to get his hopes up, for Gideon to get jealous and for Eva to be stressed out.  The media is making an assumption about the 2 of them since Brett wrote their hit song about her and they debut a video that features an Eva look-alike.  And well, there’s a bit of blackmail going on tied to the pair too which adds a bit more spice.

What i really liked in this story is that while it was really predictable what was going on in a lot of these story lines, there were quite a few curve balls thrown in that kept me wondering.  The story line with ‘who killed Nathan’ kept coming up and since we know that it was Gideon but there’s still a bit of mystery there.  the detectives are on the trail of who did it, and we’re worried that it’ll be attention put on Gideon, or that someone else will be taking the fall for it which we know that Gideon won’t really let happen.  I’m still trying to figure out what’s going on since it’s a bit twisted – and there’s a bracelet that is talked about a number of times that you just wonder ‘what’s that about’

My Questions

1) What’s next for Eva and Gideon?  Will they last, will they be happy

2) What’s the story with murder case and what’s going to come of it?  are they safe?

3) What’s next for Cary?  There’s a story line developing there and i wonder what that means for him

4) What’s going on with Megumi?  She’s ‘sick’ but i wonder if there’s more to that story

5) While Eva’s Mom and Dad ever sort out their relationship?  we know from Reflected in You that they still have love for one another, and that’s definitely re-hashed a bit in EWY

so, the GREAT thing that i loved here, which i hope isn’t too much of a spoiler, is that throughout this story i thought that the series was a Trilogy.  I was about 3/4 of the way through trying to figure out how Sylvia Day planned to resolve some of these story lines, and then at about 10 pages left i was saying to myself ‘this is going to be such a let down with the ending since it’ll all resolve so fats’ and guess what?

i’ve learned that this is a 5 BOOK SERIES.  How awesome is that?  i can’t be happier knowing that the story continues for 2 more books, and that there could be so much more to the development of these relationships and what happens next.

Review: The Stranger I Married by Sylvia Day

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

Overview

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

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

Overview

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

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

Overview

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