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As the Wall Street Journal said: There is finally someone sexier than Christian Grey...His name is Gideon Cross and he is, of course, a hunka hunk of burning love. When Bared to You came out, it sold 80,000 paperbacks in the UK in the first week alone. More than Fifty Shades did. And when Reflected in You came out, it sold 82,000 copies in the UK. On Goodreads, BTU has 71,4111 ratings and RIU, 35,075. Amazon reviewers give BTU an average 4.7 stars, RIU, the same. So why all of the fuss about this Crossfire Series? There are some similarities to Fifty Shades of Grey. Read more...
In FSOG, you had a young, 28 year old gazillionaire, Christain, who falls for a young, 22 year old, girl, Ana. She stumbles and tumbles her way into an interview. He is almost instantaneously smitten with her. You don't really get a description of Ana until the end of the novels. He is into dominance and she plays the role of the submissive. He has a troubled past. He's very jealous and very controlling. They break up, have make up sex, break up, have make up sex etc. And the sex is ALWAYS knee bending, apocalyptic in nature. They become addicted to each other almost immediately. Ana is placed in the role as a savior to this mighty man. Both trilogy's have safe words. If you're going beyond my tolerance/moral compass, STOP! The stop word in FSOG was so unique, "red"! Is it unique in the Crossfire series? It's Crossfire. There's also a cadre of parents and amusing/not so amusing friends. All dittos between the two trilogy's. Differences: in Crossfire, Gideon and Eva, mostly have your standard, mind blowing carnal sex in cars, elevators, open rooms, with a small amount, with a little "s", of S&M added in. They BOTH have troubled pasts, which of course, causes trouble for both of them. They're scarred for life, you see. Well, you would , too, if you had the same thing happen to you as did happen to them. Eva is very sexually experienced whereas Ana is not. Eva also has a spirited temper. For example, just like Christian does with Ana, Gideon tries to negotiate their relationship parameters. In response to his statement that if they have parameters there will less likely be "exaggerated expectations", Eva relies, "Are you kidding? Listen to yourself. Why even call it a f*ck? Why not be clear and call it a seminal emission in a preapproved orifice?"
Let's start with BTU: Eva gets a job at an advertising agency which is in a building called Crossfire. She goes to the building to check out all she needs to do before her new job starts the next day. A woman drops her purse and as Eva helps the woman pick up her stuff, she sees Gideon Cross (the owner of the building and almost all of Manhattan). Within 24 hours he is propositioning her for sex. Well, you can guess. She says of Gideon, " He was beautiful and brilliant, and white hot. I was drawn to him as I'd never been drawn to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me." Ok then. All we learn about Eva's physical appearance is that she's short, big boobed, has long blonde hair and, get this, gray eyes. Have you EVER seen a blonde with gray eyes? I digress. In BTU, lets face it. It's all about the sex baby girl. You're reading this for the sex, right? You certainly get your fill of that. Page after hot page after hot page. Along the way, you learn Gideon's dad was a ponzi scheme guy who committed suicide. Eva's mom and dad never married and he's a hot hunk of a cop in San Diego and her mother gorgeous and on her third wealthy husband. Gideon has his women baggage that Eva has to deal with. And Eva has a hunka hunk of a bi-sexual room mate. So that's kind of it. Worth reading? It's fun enough for you to want to read the second in the sequel, RIU, which allows Eva and Gideon's lives to come together and clash in deathly proportion. Gotcha with that, didn't I?
RIU: We find Eva having immense trust issues regarding Gideon and his past lovers. He has a f*ck pad in a hotel he owns. He took HER there! The whole time he's proclaiming I can't breath without you! In this second novel, we get more insight into their characters and what makes them tick. The sex is still there and lots of it. But we learn more and more about the abuse they both endured and how this framed their lives. RIU is full of mood. It's like a woman going through menopause. As one reviewers says, you could get whiplash from the mood swings...from both characters. One minute he's professing life begins and ends with her and then he's pushing her away. No wonder she begins to question her own sanity. Here, we see more of Eva's bi-sexual room mate, Cary. He's a guy that can't keep it in his pants either and that causes those that love him to also have trust issues regarding him. He is kinda like Carrie Bradshaw's Stanford, except a gorgeous model. Like before, Gideon and Eva break up get back together, hot sex hot sex hot sex. Giant penis giant penis giant penis...BUT! ( I was going to say there is a double entendre with the word "but" but thought better of it.) The good news is that there is a real story line with this novel that is very compelling and interesting. Spoiler alert! It has to do with the abuse Eva suffered...
The writing here is better than Fifty Shades. Thoughtful dialog, most of the time, intelligent dialog, most of the time. But we have to call an ace an ace...sex baby girl...sex.
I read both of these over the holidays and I had thought the last in the trilogy (again with the trilogy stuff), Entwined with You, was already out. Much to my dismay, it will not be available till May 7 of 2013.