As a long-time reader of romance novels, it's been really interesting to see how they -- and erotica in particular -- have suddenly exploded in popularity in 2012. I've always known people who have read erotica and romance, but the books are receiving media coverage as I've never seen before. I believe that many people are discovering what we long-time readers have always known -- it's the connection between the two main characters that takes center stage in these novels. I believe that it's the connection between Eva and Gideon that has skyrocketed the second book in Sylvia Day's Crossfire series, Reflected in You, to the top of people's reading piles and to the number one spot on the New York Times trade paperback bestsellers list.
Now, before I get too far into this, I have to confess something -- I haven't read Bared to You, the first book in this series. I know! I know! It's horrible. My copies of both Bared to You and Reflected in You are still somewhere between the place that shipped them and my mailbox. I have this fantasy where the package burst open and the person who found them really meant to put them on their way to me but got a glimpse of the books and just couldn't help themselves -- they had to read them. I don't really blame them. By the time gave up hope on my copies arriving I only had time to download and read Reflected in You and not the first book.
Gideon Cross and Eva Tramell live exceedingly glamorous lifestyles. At least, that's how it looks from the outside -- but anyone who has ever read a romance novel or watched a soap opera knows that it's never that simple. It's true that Gideon is one of the richest men in New York City and seems to own a good chunk of it. There's no a place in town that he can't get into or an influential person that doesn't seem to know him. Meanwhile, Eva's grown up in the high society homes of her multiple stepfathers. She fits in well with the upper society people in New York, but she's determined to make it on her own and works hard at her advertising position. When she and Gideon get together, sparks fly. So does clothing.
While I was able to follow Reflected in You easily enough without having read the first book, I would recommend reading Bared to You first. While it was made clearly quickly -- and in a rather steamy manner -- that Eva and Gideon had a strong connection, the conflicts in their relationship took me a bit longer to sort through due to not knowing their full history, and those conflicts are not insignificant. Eva and Gideon both experienced things in their past that left them broken. In part, that pulls them together, but how they've each dealt with their past is also what pulls them apart.
There's a lot of drama in Reflected in You, and not everyone can relate to the parts of it. But I think that many people relate to the core of the series -- two people who have been injured in the past and are trying very hard to make things work. It's not always easy, and they don't always do the right thing, and at times even the reader can get frustrated with the choices they make in their relationship. But when you read the last page, you'll find yourself checking to see when the next book, Entwined in You is coming out, because you can't help but hope that Sylvia Day gives Eva and Gideon their happy ever after.
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