Bared to You by Sylvia Day (audiobook)

In brief: Eva moves to New York City, and multimillionaire Gideon immediate falls for her, starting a relationship brimming with angst, pain and possibly love…

The good: It’s well written and Jill Redfield is fantastic as narrator (I bet she doesn’t blush at anything!).

The not-so-good: It’s sparring/sex/sparring/sex etc. on repeat which I’m kind of over.

Why I chose it: Something I haven’t read before, the gossip was that this was way better than 50 Shades.

Year: 2012

Narrator: Jill Redfield

Duration: 11 hours, 32 minutes
(the paperback is 340 pages)

Publisher: Penguin

Setting: New York City

My rating: 6 out of 10

Seeing as I was going to a convention where Sylvia Day was present, I thought I should try reading one of her novels. Unfortunately I was pretty short on time, so I decided to listen to Bared to You (the first book in the Crossfire series) in the car instead. I swear, this book seemed to go on forever. This is just not my kind of read, but others (particularly those who enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey or other books with super alpha male heroes) will like it. It’s not that this book is poorly written, it’s just that the sex/argument/sex/argument thing got a bit boring for me over time.

The book starts off as Eva gets a job in New York City and is ready to start an adult life, leaving the demons of her past behind. Her mother is way overprotective (she tracks Eva’s mobile phone!), beyond what is reasonable. Eva isn’t short of money either, and lives in a nice apartment with her friend Cary. (No romance there, just friendly sparring – Cary is bisexual, so there’s opportunity for some interesting sex scenes there). She meets gazillionaire Gideon Cross in the skyscraper she works in (and he owns) and he’s keen to know her more, but Eva resists. You know of course that she’ll give in and that starts an incredibly intense and emotional relationship. (I’m surprised my iPod didn’t melt in the process of playing this story). Eva has trouble with trust and being in the spotlight, but she reveals her past to Gideon. He responds by being even more protective, but I don’t think he tells Eva directly about his past (yeah, I Wikipedia’d it to find out what happens in the series). I might have missed this. Anyway, there’s a lot of sex, breaking up and making up.

I’m definitely over this kind of story – I wanted to know more about the minor characters, like Eva’s mum. Why exactly is she overprotective of Eva? Is it just guilt over what happened to her in her previous marriage? What’s the deal with Cary? I bet he’s got an interesting story to tell too beyond his sex life.

The narration of this story is fantastic though – Jill Redfield acts it out brilliantly (yes, complete with orgasm moments). She did a really good growly voice as Gideon too. Her narration is one of the best I’ve heard. Unfortunately the story was just overlong and repetitive for me. I want to know more of the backstories – why is Gideon so rich so young? Is it plain hard work and some luck, or something more? The animosity with his family, yet the ability to ravish Eva in the family home? I do have loads of questions, but I’m not that interested in wading through a lot of sex and arguments to get there. I can understand why this series is popular, but it’s not for me. The characters are immature and don’t seem to grow or learn from their mistakes.

I think this is one of the reasons I’ve gone off romance – I can get my conflict elsewhere with a more varied storyline.

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