If you haven't figured this out by now, I love to read. I love reading books I wouldn't normally pick up, partly because I've exhausted my favorite writers. And their favorite writers. Reflected in You by Sylvia Day is probably not one of the books I would have picked up on my own, even though it is currently the #1 New York Times bestseller.
Reflected in You is the second novel in the Crossfire series, featuring Gideon Cross - another mid-twenties billionaire who owns companies with a twisted past - and Eva Tramell, who has recently graduated college and is working her first job in Manhattan - and of course she comes with a twisted past of her own. Sound somewhat familiar?
It actually has its own nuances and is a different story from the 50 Shades books, though there it falls into the same erotic genre - sans naughty play - with the disparity in power of the relationship. Eva, however, comes from money on her mother's side and has a best friend she lives with in her spacious apartment, paid for by her stepfather. I had similar queasy stomach issues reading this book and seeing the decisions that the characters would make as I have in reading similar novels.
That said, I'm awaiting the next Crossfire novel (and I'm slightly ashamed to admit that). I did read the first novel in the series, Bared to You, prior to reading Reflected in You, but the book has enough backstory that you can read the second novel without having read the first. The first does provide much of the detail that helps the second flow more smoothly, however.
I have never been in a relationship that started with all-consuming passion from the first moment, where there is a question of where the line between obsession and caring needs to be drawn. And I have certainly never been in a relationship with such a power discrepancy, nor where the passion/obsession has been maintained at such a high level for so long.
It worries me a little to think that young adults might view this as a typical or expected relationship, when there is so much about it that is unhealthy - both individually amongst the characters and with their relationships. That was hard to close my mind to as I was reading because I worry about the wee ones as they grow older and develop their own relationships, not just romantically but with friends. And all those relationships are pretty messed up, too, in this book.
And fortunately, this book is more about the relationships amongst the characters and less about the raw carnality, which makes it a much easier read for me. I'll admit that I get bored when there is more intercourse than story. And Reflected in You certainly has plenty of story, disturbing as much of it is.
Have you read either of the Crossfire novels? Do you plan to? Regardless, jump in with the BlogHer Book Club discussion. This week, we're talking about how we recharge when life is too overwhelming. I certainly can't afford to jet off to Vegas or have a spa come to my home for a day of pampering, but I find my ways. Share with us what you do!
In the interest of full disclosure, I received a copy of the Crossfire novels for review purposes. I am also compensated for participating in this campaign. That said, all opinions remain my own.