**spoiler alert** So, I'm going to do a chapter-by-chapter review of this book as I read it, because it's my first foray into this genre and I'm rathe**spoiler alert** So, I'm going to do a chapter-by-chapter review of this book as I read it, because it's my first foray into this genre and I'm rather scared of what I'll find, whether good or bad. It's rather an adventure for me. So... Chapter 1 ummm...why is everyone so attractive? it's like we're in some magical far-away place where no one has any physical flaws. Token gay character? hmmmm...the jury is out on that one. Eva seems to be okay, not a damsel-in-distress-in-need-of-saving as I've seen too much of recently. She actually seems to be a well-adjusted protagonist thus far.
Chapter 2 so...Gideon. Like, what an ass. Really. I'm rather submissive, so I know the appeal of a dominant male -- but saying "I want to fuck you" out of the blue when you just met this woman and you are both at work? Seems pretty much wanton sexual harassment. Thank God Eva told him off, even though she's still very much longing to fuck him anyway. Hopefully, after she's told him where to go, he won't do it again...there has to be another way to move this forward without making Gideon even more unsympathetic.
(also, seems there are not one, not two, but three gay characters [though two are in a relationship], which is unheard of, and so I am taking back my earlier insinuation of tokenism. However, I think Day made far too much out of it; it wasn't like being gay was a big deal for the characters, no, but it was used for humorous one-liners about hetero sex and putting the toilet seat down, almost like Day was parading these gay characters around like, look at how progressive I'm being, can you see all the gay? It seems to me like a guy wouldn't be so forthright with his sex life [not his sexual orientation, big difference] as to have these conversation with the assistant he just hired.)
Chapter 3 Here's what we learned in this chapter. Something bad happened to Eva a long time ago. Really bad. So bad that her mother has yet to recover (it was her job to protect Eva, after all), and I don't know, maybe Eva hasn't either. But Eva was once hurt. Abused? I don't know.
And here's Gideon, who has all the trappings of an abuser. Despite that she is very attracted to him in a feral way, she knows she needs to stay away -- and that's where the danger signs show themselves. He won't let her stay away. When she tries to leave the elevator to avoid him, he pulls her back in even though it is very clear that she is uncomfortable. She makes it clear to him that she has no intentions of acting upon her attraction to him and that he is wasting his time, and still he manipulates her into giving him what he wants, not accepting compromise. Right now, Gideon is an evil character. And I'm not sure how you come back from that. I'm aware that there's more than meets the eye here, but that doesn't mean that there can be any justification for what Gideon is doing -- and so the only way to redeem this storyline is for Day to convince me to somehow forgive him and that is going to be a long road, if it happens at all.
Chapter 4 Before I go all ranty about this chapter, I think I need to point out that Eva appears to have NO GIRLFRIENDS. The only female characters appear to be Eva and her mom. I thought this was relevant when Eva was confronted by Gideon at the club and Cary's response was not to stand up and protect his friend from the advances of someone who, by Eva's own description to Cary, viewed her as a vagina with legs, but to walk away to give these "lovebirds" some privacy. Perhaps if Eva had another (attractive, of course, since everyone is in this world) female friend who knew what it felt like to be sexually objectified by a man...I digress.
Anyway, back to Gideon, who is STILL an ass. However, it appears that Eva has decided to consent to a sexual relationship with him despite her earlier refusal. Despite Gideon's creepiness, this really does appear to be what Eva wants, so I won't call her a victim of Gideon (except of sexual harassment) and concede that the relationship, at this point, can be called consensual. But that is not to say that Gideon's advances were consensual, and that's my problem. He seems to be operating under this idea that "if they say no the first time, try again. And again." And that's a reinforcement of rape culture.
I'm not saying that Gideon will for sure cross the line with Eva again. He may treat her well and not abuse her at all from this point on. Which, in some ways, makes it worse, because it normalizes this predatory behavior, even makes it sexy. As long as Gideon doesn't cross the line, he's okay, right? But someone who behaves like this in real life, if they cross the line before the relationship starts, they'll almost certainly cross the line during the relationship. Gideon is not portrayed as a creep worthy of a restraining order, but a desirable stalker. And that's a problem.
Chapter 5 We're getting hot, but I'm still concerned about whether Gideon can take no for an answer. It's obvious at this point Eva doesn't want to say no, but it bothers me. When you have a D/s relationship, you HAVE to establish the dynamics of it beforehand. You can't just start ordering your partner around without both parties consenting to such a system first. The fact that Gideon doesn't seem to consider how she'd feel about a D/s relationship, but rather is jumping right in, deeply, deeply bothers me.
Chapter 6 Seeeeeeeex. Okay, confused because in the last chapter Gideon's talking about how they'll both prove their clean before they have sex but apparently neither of them have been tested when they have sex for the first time? I guess that's why she had the condom. I hope that's not a continuity error. Yay on promoting safe sex, by the way.
Eva was pretty upset as Gideon's aloofness after the sex, but I think it should have been expected? Like, Gideon's been pretty open about his lack of desire for an emotional connection with the woman he's fucking, so...you can't say he's misled her exactly (although he did agree to be friends with her, so there's that).
The pacing of this book makes it an easy and fast read. That's the best compliment I can give at this point. You don't get bogged down in endless narration before the action happens.
Chapter 7 You know, I'm not angry at Gideon for treating Eva so coldly during the dinner. I guess the sex was a shock to his system? I don't know. But he's been more or less telling Eva that he doesn't get close to his fuck buddies, and so he's learning. I get that. What I don't get is his insistence on demanding things from her. Like I said earlier, consent in BDSM relationship (and any variation thereof) needs to be explicit. She hasn't consented to being his submissive, so where does he get off giving her orders like she's a child? I'm glad she finally tells him that she's done. I know she'll change her mind, but at least she said it and now they can air this out -- they need to lay out the boundaries before they go further. (Also, Cary's bi, not gay, just to clarify.)
Chapter 8 Uh, what? While it's obvious that eventually their relationship would have evolved and such, this is pretty quick. Gideon pulls a 180 because the sex was so great and decides that he wants to do more than friendship and/or fucking. Okay. Whatever, I guess it's fantasy.
Chapter 9 Okay, that sex scene was rather...rapey. I know she only told Gideon to stop because she was insecure and not because she didn't want it, but when you are having sex with someone and they make it clear that they are unsure if they want to continue, you don't demand that they do...you ask them what's wrong. Yes, even if we're talking BDSM. Being a dom doesn't mean you completely disregard the feelings of the sub.
As for the end of that chapter...what? Eva knows that Gideon's had sex with other people. Her torment at the end was rather weird. But, I guess, she let him know that she's rather jealous and insecure. Still, though. Odd.
Chapter 10 Having sex with someone who is asleep is pretty not okay. I mean, I get that Eva pretty much wants to have sex with Gideon in every situation that could possible come to mind -- but still. Wake her up first. Ask the night before. Don't just surprise her. That is not okay.
Anyway, Gideon's got issues now, which has me curious. Was he abused as well? I don't know why Eva didn't catch on to this, because in novels and movies talking in your nightmares is always a sure sign of a tortured past and not just a bad dream. Come on, Eva. Learn how the fictional world works.
Chapter 11 Maybe my favorite chapter so far. I still think that there hasn't been much development on their emotional connection or romance -- just on the sex. And well, fine. The bj was hot.
As far as character development, I'm glad that Eva is deciding to be up front with him about their publicity situation and what that could mean for the skeletons in her closet. That takes courage. It's something that I wouldn't do, I wouldn't want to bring those memories back up again. But Eva seems to have dealt with the trauma in a healthy way, and while she is undoubtedly scarred, her abuse doesn't define her life now.
Chapter 12 And here goes Gideon again, thinking he can order Eva around and control her life. At this point, I wish that this was just porn-without-plot, because the plot makes me really annoyed, to say the least. Gideon's an ass and Eva should run far, far away. Okay. I said it. Since it's fiction, I guess I'll surrender to the story and say that they're soul mates, meant to be, twu wuv, etc etc. Because the sex, of course, I want the sex.
But Eva's finally opened up to him about her past. And while I like that he's angry about it on her behalf, part of his reaction -- the feral part -- both bothers and excites me.
Chapter 13 Okay, now it's Eva's turn to be an ass.
Eva, just because you opened up to him doesn't mean you get to demand that he tell you all about his demons on your terms. That's bullshit. If he's not ready to tell you, then drop it for now. Let him know that he can tell you, but don't give him a fucking ultimatum about it. You are not his therapist.
God, what manufactured drama. Really?
Chapter 14 God, quit making another person's sexual trauma all about you. Because it really makes you suck as characters, Eva and Gideon. I could really care less about their story at this point. I'm just reading to finish this review and maybe there will be another sex scene or whatever. Both these characters are just...ugh. ...more
I've been forcing myself to continue but the truth is I'm just not that into this book. The characterization is weak (for both the main character andI've been forcing myself to continue but the truth is I'm just not that into this book. The characterization is weak (for both the main character and supporting characters) and the pacing isn't working for me. I just don't feel invested. Sorry. :(
I've rated it two stars because I've read all but about the last 80-90 pages, and that's enough for me to judge. ...more