I had to take a few days to make conclusions on Bared to You by Sylvia Day which follows Eva Trammell experiencing a purely sexual relationship with Gideon Cross which becomes more than that. I liked it and it’s way better than Fifty Shades of Grey in terms of writing, plot, characterisation and relationships.
But…the internalised misogyny running throughout the book bothered me. Why does Eva hate women so much? Okay, I understand she’s a jealous person but why put so much hate on Gideon’s exes? They haven’t done anything wrong or try to lure him away from her.
I have mixed views on how the book handled rape. It’s good that it’s serious about rape and the effects on the victim BUT [SPOILER ALERT] when Gideon “accidentally” rapes Eva in their sleep, they don’t treat rape as a crime but an obstacle – “we can’t let the past stop us”. Yes, they’re shaken by it and both of them ward off each other – Eva to an extent though. However, they move on so quick like nothing had happened. There’s also the sense that rape is being romanticised and is caused by a bad upbringing. Seriously, I’m tired of bad childhoods being a cause for rape and brooding behaviours, and used to justify a man’s treatment towards women. And the common misconception that BDSM practitioners are people with messed up lives or people with trauma as a result of rape find BDSM a cure…please stop.
Though I liked that Eva is a strong woman and isn’t ashamed of her constant crave for sex; she didn’t need a hot guy like Gideon to “activate” her sexual life or self-worth unlike a certain character. But she does end up a bit clingy with Gideon. I liked that he respects Eva’s boundaries and listens (and doesn’t blame her for rape) but his constant surveillance/stalking bothered me. I still don’t understand why stalking is considered hot and I was glad that Eva doesn’t like it either.
And thank god that Eva’s friend/roommate Cary has sense and can see the nature of Eva and Gideon’s relationship, and he has mixed feelings about it. Both Eva and Gideon (who is also a sexual abuse survivor) are aware that their relationship is unhealthy and they’re determined to make it better by going to counseling and that’s great – so much healthier than the relationship in Fifty Shades. Still, something about them being together disturbs me.
I’m still deciding whether or not I should read the rest of the series.