This review is from a person who really, really dislikes erotica novels. I always used to think that relationships which are so physical in nature can never really equate with true love. I always thought such love stories are shallow. However, Sylvia Day proved me wrong entirely. She told a story that is erotic and raw by nature, and yet is a deep and compelling love story. Bared to You definitely goes into my favourites list.
I had been putting off this book way too long. Now I am glad I didn’t put it off any longer than this otherwise I would have missed out on such a fantastic piece of fiction. I am pleased to say that this book erased all the unpleasant memories that I shared with another popular erotica, namely Fifty Shades of Grey. I can’t help but draw out some comparisons. Firstly, Sylvia Day is highly talented. She has a free flowing narrative and the writing sucks you in really fast. Once I started reading it, it was impossible to put it down. I stayed up till past 3 in the morning to finish this book. Secondly, I was happy the sex here was erotic and not disturbing or gross. And thirdly, the characters are three dimensional instead of being one dimensional or plain.
Gideon Cross and Eva Tramell are the best protagonists I have come across in a long while. They are both layered and complex characters. What is loved is that how both of them are flawed. It’s not just the woman putting up with a damaged man. It’s also about the man who equally strives to make their relationship work. Two people with a history of abuse who have so many issues of their own show how love can overcome anything. Of course, it also reminds the reader that it is going to be a step-by-step process. I am satisfied with the fact that this is a trilogy. Wrapping up the story in just one book wouldn’t have felt right, especially when you have characters that have so many problems in their lives.
Eva Tramell plays the part of a typical insatiable female who can’t get enough of the guy pursuing her. Gideon, who for the most part seems like a horndog surprisingly shows that he is capable of caring a lot. It isn’t just intense lust that binds these two people together. I felt like both of them love each other truly. Sylvia’s writing was very satisfying and there was never a moment when I doubted whether it was just lust or love. It seemed like the perfect combination of both in a relationship (something that only works for fiction).
I also love how it isn’t just one person who has all the power in the relationship. For the most part, I felt like Eva had the upper hand in their relationship. She was strong enough to resist Gideon at times (even if she failed), but it was really Gideon who couldn’t bear to be without her. I wonder if I could ever get a man like that? In reality, anything bordering Gideon would scare me off but when it’s fiction we are allowed to enjoy it all we can! So- I thought she was the submissive one when they were having sex but at other times she took charge. She never let him completely rule over her. I am pleased with Sylvia in the department where she didn’t dumb down the female character and made it painful for the reader, watching Eva go through all that alone. This was what I always felt like while reading Fifty Shades. It was always Ana who had to go through crap while Christian didn’t do anything to be worthy of her. I believe it works both ways.
Wherein Fifty Shades is the book that came out first and gets all the glory, for me Bared to You is the real deal. I personally feel like this book should get that attention instead because it deserves it. The characters and the author deserve it. I am not going to call it a knock-off of Fifty Shades of Grey. Whenever a certain genre gets popular, suddenly the market is fulled with similar books. Happened with Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games and now- Fifty Shades. Nonetheless, for me Bared to You is a fantastic piece of work and outdoes lots of love stories that I have read.