Reflected in You
Reflected in You is a follow up to the author’s breakout hit Bared to You, which rose to the top of many bestseller lists in 2012. This review may contain slight spoilers for the previous novel, and indeed the stories are very intertwined; you won’t want to read the second book without reading the first beforehand.
We first met Eva Trammell in Bared to You after she moved across the country from California to New York City. She has taken a job at Waters Field & Leaman, an advertising agency, when she is spied by the owner of the building in which she works and owner/CEO of Cross Industries, billionaire Gideon Cross. Gideon is immediately attracted to Eva and endeavors to see that she feels the same.
Reflected in You picks up where Bared to You leaves off, with Gideon and Eva in a relationship filled with tension and mistrust. Eva witnesses Gideon’s former fiancée exiting his building and becomes highly suspicious. Gideon’s subsequent evasiveness and secrecy are even more damning and Eva begins to doubt Gideon’s true feelings.
But Gideon has reasons to be suspicious as well when a figure from Eva’s past re enters her life. A chance encounter at a concert sets off a chain of events that will test of the mettle of Gideon and Eva’s relationship and will push painful events from the past to the surface for both characters.
Eva and Gideon’s relationship is, in a word, intense. Gideon is dark and brooding, a latter day Heathcliff who desires Eva with a single-mindedness that rivals Bronte’s antihero’s for Catherine. It’s what I loved about Bared to You and their intense longing for one another is carried into this novel as well. But while the physical attraction burns hotly between them, there is a strong emotional component to the relationship as well. Gideon does not just want Eva; he needs her strength emotionally. And the same is true for her. Readers needn’t worry that the romantic tension is lost between the two of them with their greater familiarity with one another. Their relationship remains passionate with sex scenes hot enough to melt the pages, my favorite being a “Mile High Club” scenario.
I adore Gideon even as he scares me slightly with his intensity and demanding ways. He’s a broken soul who needs control in order to feel secure. Eva is a brilliant match for him in that he frequently gets his way but she makes him work for it. She is willing to stand up to him and make him consider her feelings. This aspect of her personality really shines in Reflected in You as she is able to maintain a certain level of independence while indulging Gideon’s overprotective tendencies.
As much as I love Gideon and Eva, I didn’t love Reflected in You the way I loved Bared to You and really felt the first half of the story was stronger than the second. I began to lose patience with both of them as the miscommunications and secrets built between them. I wanted them to move forward as a couple, not spin their wheels in the muck of past relationships and jealousy.
This brings me to my other issue with the story. Where Bared to You felt like it came from an organic place, the tension in Reflected in You felt more manufactured. The “love triangle” with Eva’s ex-boyfriend felt forced, as if it were there solely to create additional angst for a relationship already rife with angst. I never quite bought into Eva giving her ex-boyfriend, even one whom she had previously adored, a second glance.
I would still recommend the Crossfire series with the caveat that the reader begin with Bared to You. Truly, one should not attempt this as a standalone as the events in the first book of the series are integral to the overall storyline. The final installment, Entwined with You will be released on June 4, 2013. After the big revelation at the end of Reflected in You I cannot wait to see what’s in store for Gideon and Eva’s future.