Beth has declared the SBD! I must post! Must! Also, the further I get from reading Bared to You, the less likely it is that I’ll write about it, so here goes.
Short version: derivative work with unsympathetic MCs
Title: Bared to You
Author: Sylvia Day
(c) 2012, published in paperback by Berkley, although I believe the ebook was originally self-published.
Cover art: blandly reminiscent of Fifty Shades of Grey‘s coloring & positioning of masculine accessories.
POV: first person from the perspective of Eva Trammell, recent college grad who has just moved to NYC to be an administrative assistant in a PR/ad firm. Her roommate: Cary, bisexual model with issues of his own.
Love (or just hot sex) interest: Gideon Cross, ridiculously young bazillionaire entrepreneur who knows what’s best for Eva, is a controlling, domineering, emotionally stunted jerk. AKA a Roarke knock-off. Or an escapee from a Harlequin Presents…except he’s not really ethnic enough for that — those billionaire magnates are usually Italian or Greek or sheikhs.
The writing: not terrible. Not lyrical or memorable, but not awful. Except when it came to the sex, which was repetitive and somewhat boring. How many times did Eva need to describe how large Gideon’s penis was? Apparently many times. And each time she also described how it split/spread/pounded her. Blech. Quite purple IMO.
What was good about the book: the NYC atmosphere.
What was bad: pretty much everything about the relationship, which struck me as being profoundly unhealthy and dysfunctional. The creep factor of Gideon cannot be over-emphasized: he took pictures of Eva while she was asleep. Without her consent. And he also recreated her bedroom in his apartment so she would have her own space there and not want to go home. That screams control freak to me.
Okay, now, if you’ve read Glory in Death, you’re probably asking how this is any different from what Roarke did. And I guess for me it comes down to character and execution and the stage in the relationship. Roarke came across as being romantic, while Gideon just comes across to me like a stalker.
And Eva isn’t any better. She whines about her mother and stepfather being too controlling and involved in her life, but is being supported by them. Bitch, please: if you are living under their roof and wearing their clothes and using their cellphone, etc., then you aren’t independent. Ovary up and pay your own way or get over your complaints about their over-involvement in your life. (No, I don’t think Eva’s history gives her or her parents an out or a pass in this area.) She also seems profoundly isolated — where are her other friends and/or acquaintances or colleagues?
They spend a lot of time talking over each other and at each other, yet at the same time Eva seems to always be running away from Gideon rather than talk to him. And then buckling under to whatever he wants despite her stated relationship requirements. Gideon seems to just say whatever is necessary in order to get what he wants. Plus, after a week or two of dating, they are already in need of couples counseling. That’s just…strange.
There’s a frightful lack of subtlety in the foreshadowing of plot points.
Is anal the new oral?
The atmosphere felt sort of soap opera-ish, or like a Judith Krantz or Jackie Collins novel for the young and hip of the 21st century.
The BDSM pronouncement by Gideon as the end approached felt forced and out of left field.
As I understand it, at least one more book (or two) is planned, but I’ve wasted enough time and money on the series. If this is what Fifty Shades is like, then I find its success all the more perplexing.