Gideon Cross. Falling in love with him was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. It happened instantly. Completely. Irrevocably.
Marrying him was a dream come true. Staying married to him is the fight of my life. Love transforms. Ours is both a refuge from the storm and the most violent of tempests. Two damaged souls entwined as one.
We have bared our deepest, ugliest secrets to one another. Gideon is the mirror that reflects all my flaws … and all the beauty I couldn’t see. He has given me everything. Now, I must prove I can be the rock, the shelter for him that he is for me. Together, we could stand against those who work so viciously to come between us.
But our greatest battle may lie within the very vows that give us strength. Committing to love was only the beginning. Fighting for it will either set us free … or break us apart.
One with You (Crossfire #5) by Sylvia Day
The Crossfire series, that started off with two spectacular, addictive books, was supposed to be a trilogy, and then got extended – and extended. Were five books necessary? In a word: no.
One with You is getting mixed reviews, for obvious reasons. It reads like a first draft that has been patched together haphazardly.
While I still love the world Sylvia Day has created: wealth and power in New York City, with people who (unlike in the Fifty Shades series) are convincing in their lifestyles. They work, they wield that power, and they truly live that lifestyle. What gave Eva the edge over Fifty’s weakling Ana is that she was in every way an equal to her man.
In this book, however, the characters waffle around doing nothing, rehashing issues that were dealt with and put to bed a couple of books ago, attending lengthy, boring psychologist’s appointments, picking fights with each other and arguing like immature teenagers.
And what the hell is with that important engraved bangle that disappears after one scene??
One thing I was SO glad of: the author didn’t rush into babies and rainbows. I know many readers like their pretty bows and endless pregnancies in every book; I am the opposite. Who starts having babies after only being together a few weeks? Wasn’t it bad enough Eva has already given up her career?
And then, just when you feel like the book isn’t going to have its own plot, the author hits you with a sledgehammer. (See spoiler #1 at the bottom of the review.) It comes totally out of the blue, and by the time it DOES happen there’s no time left in this overly long book (apparently the longest book the author has ever written) to deal with it.
So, because the author has to drag us back to some sort of happy ending after that sledgehammer, she has characters bizarrely laughing and joking and screwing and discussing other things when they should be dealing with the tragedy instead.
Some of the times the characters think about sex is just weird. At the lowest point in the entire story, instead of just caring for Eva, Gideon seems to have sex on his mind:
“I knew a bath was a risk considering how rare it was for me not to join Eva when she took one.”
Eva, who cries so frequently throughout the series she is really starting to annoy me, had next to no reaction to the most dramatic thing that has happened in the entire series.
Day has shocked me before in a good way (see spoiler #2 below). It was one of the best twists I have ever read in a book, and happened in book two. I think she was going for something similar here.
This entire five-book series happens over the course of only three months. The author only introduced Gideon’s social circle recently – where were they in the earlier books? And it’s very odd that Eva’s wedding is all about her acquaintances she’s just met since moving to New York, instead of people from the other twenty-something years of her life turning up. I don’t know why the timeframe had to be so truncated.
Apparently One with You was rewritten a number of times (which would be why it was released more than half a year after the promised date, and seventeen months after the previous book), and the book does have a feel of a story the author could just not pull together no matter what she tried. There’re so many threads left open, there’s so much left unresolved. And an editor should have insisted Day chop out all that rehashing of psychobabble so that there was time to tie up all the loose ends. Even taking a pair of scissors to the overly flowery – and constant – declarations of love would have helped:
“There aren’t words to tell you what you mean to me.” He opened his hand again. “But I hope that when you see this ring on your hand, you’ll remember that you shine as brightly as diamonds in my life and you’re infinitely more precious.”
Look: I’m Australian, and we’re sarcastic. We’d laugh hysterically if a man spoke like that, using that much cheese!
Additionally, like some sort of BDSM master, Gideon fastens a bangle onto Eva using a screwdriver – so only he can remove it. It’s mentioned in one scene, and then never again. In fact, later on she mentions she isn’t wearing any jewellery, and I’m thinking: what about that thing that was fastened onto you and you cannot remove?? (One of the many examples of non-existent editing in this book.)
Then we reach the end, which seems (? I have no idea) to jump forwards in time so that everybody is more or less over the main drama.
WAS there an editor? I’m not joking when I ask. Did the author even proofread it? Because it looks like one of my manuscripts when I’ve been writing out of sequence and intend to go back and edit it – only this one was never edited!
I guess, in the end, the author wrote this in a hurry, and with no proper outline of the book’s structure. Stuff, happens, and then it’s forgotten forever. And then other stuff happens, and it’s forgotten forever.
I think the first and second books in this series are amazing. I don’t usually go for the Fifty Shades-type books, but the first two were special, superbly-written, and surprising at every turn. However, as the series continued to be extended and extended it lost its way. I feel sad that people will remember these books as average to poor instead of how they were at the start.
#1 The big thing that happens in this book is that Eva’s mother turns out to have a secret identity – but before this is tackled, the woman is MURDERED! It comes completely out of the blue and makes no sense considering the rest of the series.
#2 In the second book, Gideon murders Eva’s long-term stalker and childhood rapist. She doesn’t know this until the very end of the book.