REVIEW: ENTWINED WITH YOU BY SYLVIA DAY

ENTWINED WITH YOU: A CROSSFIRE NOVEL

Author: Sylvia Day
Penguin RRP $19.99
Review: Monique Mulligan 

Book Cover:  Entwined With You: A Crossfire NovelEntwined With You is the third in the extremely popular Crossfire series, which follows the highly-charged relationship of Eva Tramell and Gideon Cross. Before I was offered this book to review, I was unaware of the series – the erotic genre is not one I usually read and I never did jump on the Fifty Shades of Grey bandwagon. With that in mind, I decided it would be best to “catch-up” and start at the beginning, with the first two books, Bared to You and Reflected in You. I think the events of Entwined With You and the evolution of the couple’s relationship are better understood with this hindsight – it’s really not a standalone (if you haven’t read them you can click on the titles and see their blurbs).

For those new to the series, here are a few dot points to give you the gist:

  • Eva and Gideon are both gorgeous young things in their 20s and work in the same building (which Gideon owns – he’s filthy rich);
  • Their attraction is instant and electric, leading to lots of hot ‘n’ spicy action between the sheets and anywhere else that takes their imagination (such as cars, planes and so on);
  • Both are damaged souls – they were each victims of childhood sexual abuse and their experiences have had a lasting psychological impact;
  • Eva is a strong-willed young woman, but Gideon makes her weak at the knees … cue dominant-submissive elements;
  • As their relationship moves from lust to love, their dependence on each other grows – and their boundaries expand;
  • There’s pretty much nothing Eva and Gideon wouldn’t do for each other.

Entwined With You picks up where Reflected in You left off, with Eva and Gideon concealing their relationship while a murder investigation draws to a close. While Gideon is still under media and police scrutiny, they decide to keep a low-profile, but the two can’t stay away from each other. Their compulsion to be together is too great; their desire, souls and lives are entwined together like an unbreakable rope. They have to be careful – a reporter, and former bedfellow of Gideon’s, is digging for more information and is not about to back off in a hurry. She’s not the only one: Brett, Eva’s former lover, says Eva is his muse and wants to reconcile with her, while Corinne, Gideon’s former fiancée and recent faux girlfriend, refuses to believe Gideon was using her as a decoy. Can Gideon and Eva’s relationship survive test after test?

I can see the appeal this series has for readers. Firstly, there’s alpha male Gideon who makes up for his flawed past (and sometimes flawed judgment) with his flawless looks (and bed technique judging by Eva’s reactions). Then there’s curvy, feisty Eva who’s desperate for independence (all her parent figures are seriously over-protective). With this coupling, it seems the two have met their match, at the very least, sexually. And for those who like reading raunchy sex scenes, there’s no shortage of that … nor does there seem to be any shortage in the stamina stakes. For the romantics, like me, the series examines how the couple’s relationship deepens; like the perfume on the cover, the relationship has top notes of lust and desire which, while not fading, embrace base notes of love, emotional intimacy, tenderness and commitment.

So, what did I think? This is where I struggle with my analytical side – the one that questions the authenticity of the characters and plot. Leaving the plot aside, for it’s nothing new (not that that’s a bad thing), I did struggle with the darker elements of Gideon and Eva’s relationship. Their dependency on each other is so acute that it bothered me; I’m not convinced that their obsession with each other and making each other feel fulfilled is healthy. It’s like they both want to fix each other (which most of the time they attempt to do with sex) … and they can’t exist as whole people without the other. And am I the only one who thinks Gideon’s tracking of Eva is too controlling, too manipulative? Or that him having sex with her before she’s woken (and consented) is highly questionable? This side of me can’t quite get my head around a happy ever after ending for this couple. Maybe I need to lighten up … maybe not.

There will be two more books in this series. While I think the series could have ended where it did and still left people satisfied, I think the news will be well received by those who, like Gideon and Eva, are always wanting more. Overall, I found Entwined With You to be the best book of the series and for that reason, I’ll probably read the follow-ups if they come my way.

Available from good bookstores and Penguin Books Australia. This copy was courtesy of the publisher.