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

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!)

Bared to You by Sylvia Day

who wants to know all about the NEW 50 SHADES OF GREY?  i was on the search for another series that would keep my interest as piqued as that one did, and i’ve found it.  Alas, Sylvia Day has mastered the art of creating a story that’s relatable, romantic, and yet oh so unattainable. 

in walks Eva, you’re fresh out of college, yet not quite so naive main character.  the thing that i like about her is that she’s been through the ringer in her past, and she’s actually well established in herself, being from a background that opened doors for her and all that.  i really liked that it was a change from the innocent in 50 shades so there was a character that we wanted to root for because she could hold her own.

now…here comes Gideon, the successful male lead, who you can’t help but create yummy pictures in your mind about.  he’s young, yet really successful, knows what his power is, and to be honest, has a back story that doesn’t take over book 1 which is nice.  i feel like that was kind of the case in 50 shades.  (trust me, i’m not mocking 50, i just like the change in pace that Crossfire offers).

anyway, so Eva literally falls at Gideon’s feet for her first meeting just like we saw in 50, and got basically the same reaction.  it was like deja vu but in a good way. the way the story was crafted, learning who Eva’s roommate was to her and how they got acquainted, how Eva was ‘damaged’ and all that yet how she still felt good about herself and knew how to make men want her – that was all really refreshing and enjoyable.

There’s so much that i want to know more about that i now have to wait until Oct to resolve.  Here are my questions:

1) do we ever find out what really went on in Gideon’s past – especially with his family and brothers?

2) why does he reference ‘safe words’ – since it doesn’t seem like he’s into S&M? is he though?

3) will his harem fall away and leave him and Eva in peace?  i’m not sure it’ll be that easy, but we’ll see

4) where does eva go professionally?  and how will that intertwine with Gideon’s business?  seems like he owns the world and all that, and she not only loves her job but is good at it – so will we see anything come of it?

suffice it to say, October can’t come fast enough for me since i really want to read book 2.  Thanks Sylvia though for such a great alternative to 50 Shades.  i’m already recommending it to everyone i know!