Author: Sylvia Day
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Copy: ARC via NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: 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...
Reflected In You is the highly anticipated sequel to Sylvia Day’s Bared To You. It is part of a trilogy and book two in the Crossfire series. It can be read as a standalone, if you’re the type not to care for much back story, and if you aren’t interested to see how the series concludes. The Crossfire series will get compared to Fifty Shades of Grey, but I disagree. I believe both series are very different from each other (there is no BDSM references here ) and can be enjoyed by fans of both.
This next installment picks up right where we left off at the end of Bared To You. It’s the morning after Cary’s, Eva’s roommate, infamous orgy in the middle of their living room- what a way to end book one! Readers will remember Cary’s ominous words to Eva, “He’s a ticking time bomb,” with regards to Gideon’s nightmares. Both Eva and Gideon are trying to make their relationship work, but how can both make it work when it is very clear that they are obsessed with one another and as equally damaged? Eva, Gideon, and Cary grow as characters, each having to face the consequences of their choices; and it was interesting to see these past decisions affect their current lives. Day turns an erotic novel into a deeper therapy session, but the angst and steam were not lost in the shuffle.
Reflected is centered around Eva and her haunting past. Day gives insight regarding the abuse Eva experienced in the first book; however, in Reflected we have the return of her abuser as well as a newcomer from her past. One of them plays a more prominent role while the other is a player in the background, but we are given two justifiable reasons for both to be present. First, they provide us with a glimpse into the type of woman Eva was and how she’s evolved into this young, vibrant, and confident woman we were introduced to in Bared. The second is to showcase her feelings for Gideon and how important and life altering he has become to her. I will ask this though, how many times will Day kick Eva in the stomach? It was heartbreaking to see her reduced to this insecure woman who questions her motives and feelings for Gideon all because of her past. I was mentally high-fiving Eva when she finally got some balls, put her foot down, and said enough was enough. There was the Eva I knew and adored from Bared.
As for Gideon, Day finally reveals what happened in his youth; and as much as I want to say I had an idea, I was not prepared for the effect it had on me. Eva is devastated for him, and I have no doubt you, as a reader, will be too. We get a better understanding of why he is distanced from his family, and I can’t help the urge to want to hold Gideon and see him through it. Seeing Eva with him makes me glad he has someone there for him and understands how it feels to be a victim and to help see him through it all. For those wondering who Dr. Terry is…you will see exactly why the animosity is not lost between them, and the revelation was not what I expected. To say Eva is a snoop and stubborn is an understatement.
Reflected in You is an emotional mess wrapped in a plethora of steam. When Eva was happy, I was happy; and when she was hurting, I was too. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around Gideon and his actions, but I’m sure that was Day’s goal all along. A lot of what he does is not explained until near the end, and I still can’t understand or accept why Eva put up with it as much as she did. We have Gideon becoming more possessive, as if he is a stalker; and his constant need to “watch” her had me troubled for both of them. He keeps secret after secret, and all he can say to Eva is “trust me.” I questioned Gideon and his need to keep secrets hidden with his intentions, and I found myself struggling to trust him. Eva is left out in the cold to flounder, and all I could ask myself was how can you trust someone who can’t bring himself to tell you what is going on? When Eva would tell him to fuck off, I was cheering her on and felt the need to tell him that too.
I admit I’ve reread Reflected three times. At first I thought I missed a few key items; but by the second read, I realized that Day just didn’t elaborate on the things I wanted to know more about. I hope she touches on them in book three because I’m already left hanging as it is now. The ending isn’t a heart-stopping cliffhanger, but nevertheless, a bit shocking and left me unsettled. I’m not quite sure what it was but something just didn’t sit right, and I am interested to see the public’s reaction to it. You will know what I’m talking about after you read it, and I hope you share your feelings with me here because I really want to talk about this ending!
Some reviewers really like Reflected and feel it’s more polished. I, however, feel that Bared to You is more polished and fleshed out; and at times Reflected felt rushed in some areas. That being said I still enjoyed it, and I am looking forward to how this series concludes and to see how Day brings all of these elements together in the end. I will be sad when it’s over, but at least I have Gideon; and when things get a bit too crazy with him, I just can say to him, “Crossfire.”