Poll: Best of….Dystopian

Several follow up books are due out in the coming weeks/months and as I’m eagerly anticipating them, i thought I’d get your opinions on which series you enjoy the most.  I”m on the fence since i LOVE Divergent and Legend the most i think but i feel like there are so many good ones out there.  What is your fav?

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

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!

Chase Brothers Series by Lauren Dane

reading this series takes me back quite a bit to when i was in middle school and my mom finally felt like i was mature enough to handle romance novels.  That was my first introduction to the art of seduction and well, really long books to be honest.  Given that i was in desperate need of a change of pace in what i was reading, i decided that maybe it was time to return to that genre and see what i could find.

Lauren Dane crafts a series around these four undeniably hot brothers who all have the best hearts but maybe didn’t want to open those hearts up yet to anyone.  they’d rather be ‘players’ for lack of a better word.  Lucky for each of them though, there was a woman complicated enough with their own ‘baggage’ out there to tame them and to make them finally eternally happy.

what i find to be funny is that 2 out of 4 of the brothers managed to ‘share’ the woman that they ended up with, and well, there was no awkwardness there.  that’s just interesting to me since in real life i don’t know if that would have happened so smoothly but i suppose in fiction, anything goes.

Book 1 -Giving Chase – we find ourselves rooting for Maggie and Shane – the oldest of the brothers and the most intimidating…and then, well he lets us down as only a handsome brooding guy can, and in walks his younger brother Kyle, who is EXACTLY what Maggie needs.  After he share of a stalker and kidnapping, all ends up well and they live happily ever after

Book 2 – Taking Chase – Cassie is in her own ‘witness protection’ type program trying to get away from an ex husband who tried to kill her.  no drama there right?  anyway, in perfect romance novel style, a Chase brother swoops in to protect her and make her feel safe – or does he?  this is where Shane actually decides to not let us down and he manages to somehow tame his own internal ‘stuff’ as well as make Cassie feel like she’s going to be ok.  Suffice it to say, said evil ex tracks cassie down, tries to kill again, and Shane comes to the rescue.  they live happily ever after too…

Book 3 – Chased – we are reunited with Liv (Olivia) who just happens to be Maggie’s best friend….well, she’s yet another one who’s made her rounds a bit with the Chase family…(ok that was a bit harsh of me but still)…she was in a decent relationship with Matt (brother #3) and that didn’t work because she was more in love with him than he was with her, so that fizzled and she’s kind of moping.  In walks brother #4 Marc who really knows how to ‘woo’ and he manages it some how.  i think that it’s really nice to see that he’s able to bring liv back into the family that she loved so much since she really didn’t have a family of her own.  i’m a sucker for the old fashioned ‘woo’ so i think this may be my favorite of the books (after #1 that is)

Book 4 – Making Chase – the series ender introduces us to Tate who is not at all what you’d expect a handsome
Chase guy to fall in love with, yet he does.  Matt that is.  I think that it’s nice that we’re not sucked back into the tall modelesque love interest here, and that she’s beautiful yet curvy, and she’s one of the nicest people inside as is typical.  Her drama of course if that she’s from the wrong side of town, has a family that she supports, and alchy/abusive father who’s trying to exploit her for money…and well, chase family comes to the rescue. 

personally i couldn’t get enough of the Chase boys coming to the rescue of their damsels in distress and taming their crazy ways.  what i also really liked though is that the stories were great, the books were long but they kept me so interested that i had no choice but to read each in 1 night a piece…so it was 4 days of really good reading.  Thanks Lauren Dane for yet another great few days!

Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

i wonder if i’m the only one that was thinking about movies and books that kind of sound similar.  w/o thinking about the comedy factor of ‘Seeking a Friend For the End of the World’ starring Kiera Knightley and Steve Carrell, i thought that maybe the 2 were somehow related.  not quite the case but back when i saw the commercial that talked about how there was a meteor or something slated to crash into the planet and who knew what was going to happen, i thought maybe…..possibly..?

well, low and behold Life as We Knew It kind of had something similar to talk about no?  i love that everyone was so innocently ‘ignorant’ about the meteor hitting the moon, like nothing was going to happen except for maybe a little light show and a poof that you could see through binoculars.  i feel like no one ever stops to think that maybe something BIG might happen that’s irreversible.  oh well, i guess they learned the hard way no?

one thing that i did take from this story which i think i might have to thank the author for is the survival skills.  that’s the biggest thing here – and well, i think that a lot of us rely so heavily on technology that we wouldn’t know where to begin with if it came down to it.  who would think about a few things:

1) DROP EVERYTHING and go to the store and buy whatever you can – as much of everything as you can. not just food but those necessities that you wouldn’t think about (i.e.tampons – who would have thought about that). 

2) buy things that are seasons out of season (winter clothes when it’s 100 degrees or vice versa).  they will come in handy

3) learn to chop wood and do it often.  honestly,i live in NYC so chopping wood’s not an option but i’ll probably see what the folks in NYC did in the 2nd book of the series

4) stick together with your family, family first and try your best not to get on each others nerves

5) come to the realization that someone may not live, and well, maybe there’s someone who has a better chance.  don’t resent them for any sacrifices you may make, because sometimes that’s just what life makes you do


it took me a few days longer than i would have liked to read this story, but i think that it was a great take on the end of the world (maybe?) type story.  what i wonder though which i figure was intentionally left out so you’d want to discuss is

1) what happened to dad and lisa (and baby)

2) what was really wrong with matt?  did he really hurt his heart or lungs more than he even knew?

3) what ever happened to the earth after all this.  did the ash clear up, did miranda and her family survive and help rebuild civilization

4) Did Miranda imagine her skating day with Brendon ? was that a hallucination?

i have endless questions, but i guess those are all to go unanswered and that’s probably a great way to write a story.  that way if Pfeffer is ever interested in writing more – there’s plenty to build off of.