Crossfire – Sylvia Day

The Crossfire series by Sylvia Day is a fast-paced, well written, dramatic romance series set in modern day New York City. It will greatly appeal to fans of Fifty Shades, but is considerably more entertaining and better written in my opinion.

The heroine is named Eva and she was raised by her mother and a series of extremely wealthy stepfathers. Her best friend / roommate is Cary, a charming and rising male top-model who is currently dating both a girlfriend and a boyfriend. Eva has serious trust issues, and a tendency to run away from relationship problems and commitments because she was sexually abused for years as a child by an older step-brother.

The hero is billionaire businessman Gideon Cross. He can understand and relate to Eva’s problems because he has a few of his own, after witnessing his father’s suicide as a child, and then being abused by his therapist as a teen. Gideon is ruthless, dominant

Bared to you is the first story in the Crossfire series, followed by reflected in you, and entwined with you, captivated by you, and finally, one with you. This series has been completed and the other does not intend to write anymore about Gideon an hour according to her social media posts so this is a great series to check out if you are tired of constantly waiting for the next book.

Top-5-Moments-Crossfire-Series-470

This series has a lot of sex in it,  and a lot of drama between two people used to fucking up their relationships. But despite this, G & E have a soulmate type connection and their love for each other is never in doubt. Day’s writing reminded me of the tale of Odysseus in some ways because Ewa and Gideon have so many trials they must overcome in order to just have each other’s company. Friends, family, and numerous witchy exes all try to keep them apart.

One of the most important aspects of a series for me is the world that is created, and secondary characters are huge factor in this. I love that I quickly grew to care about many of the friends of Gideon and Eva. I cared for Steven and Mark and Trey and Cary and Megumi and Arash and all the rest. I actually hope that a couple of Gideon’s friends have their own books or series one day, particularly Arnoldo or Arash.

I think anyone who has read Crossfire or 50 Shades will inevitably make comparisons between the two series. Both feature a character or two who has been abused as a youth in a sexual manner. Both male heroes are a rich businessmen who are aloof, and difficult to emotionally connect to, though they are highly sexual in nature as well. The heroines are athletics built, smart and educated, new graduates starting out their careers in the field of their choice. But this is where the comparison ends.

Eva is not the wishy-washy, virgin lead that you find in Anastasia. Eva loves sex just as much as Gideon and initiated it as often. The romantic scenes in the Crossfire series are not as kinky. There are no whips, no red room of pain, no sexual contacts. But there is a lot more sex to go with your story. Something I also loved about Eva and Gideon is that there issues don’t magically work themselves out. They go to counselling individually and as a couple because they know they have issues to work through and care enough to do the work so that they will have a stable relationship that will last.

The last book in the series is one with you. I thought that the author was working on another novel until I finished reading it so the series end came as a bit of a surprise to me, even though I mostly feel like it’s a timely end. I feel like today has finished on a strong note and there wasn’t much more to say. That being said, in the last third of this book there is a surprise twist that is very sad and it left me bawling my eyes out into my pillow. I didn’t feel like there was enough time for the reader or the main characters to recover from this plot twist and get over it. At the end of the day this is a romance novel and I like my romances to and happily. I thought this plot twist would have been more appropriate at the beginning of the book or in the previous one. I don’t resent that it happened, but I don’t think it was handled well.

Otherwise, I highly recommend this novel and the whole series to anyone who likes romance. It’s less kinky than my usual fare but still a fantastic read with lots of sex. 

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Xx

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Dirty Billionaire – a review

1

I did not have high hopes for the Dirty Billionaire romance series. I stumbled across it online and decided to give it a try as I had nothing else to read, but it was a pleasant surprise.

An aspiring female country artist has a one night stand with some guy she met in a bar, a billionaire CEO roughly a decade her senior, then slips out before he awakens. He decides that he is going to marry her and launches a public appeal to try to find her. They meet up again a week later and decide to elope in a marriage of convenience, each for their own reasons.

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Creighton immediately starts falling for his new bride, but remains so focused on his career and needs that he makes some pretty obvious and stupid mistakes. Likewise, Holly is utterly convinced that he could never have feelings for her, and is in this relationship for physical attraction only. She has been let down constantly in her life and is terrified of putting herself out there. In fact, although she is slowly falling for Creighton just as hard, she convinces herself otherwise.

It is interesting to watch them learn about each other and work out how to be in a committed relationship while juggling two very busy careers and the travel requirements of Holly’s tour. Add in sudden appearances from estranged family members and vicious exes, and the story gets even more entertaining.

While the author’s writing isn’t the best, the story is entertaining and that is all that really matters when reading. Her story reminds me of those in Fifty Shades, and particularly in the Crossfire series, although the sexual content is not so extreme. I am looking forward to the final book, which was released earlier this month.

3

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Ethan Frost series by Tracy Wolff- a review

The Ethan Frost series is very similiar to the Crossfire series by Sylvia Day, which I read a couple of years ago and liked.

The first two books, which I’ll review in this post, are written from the perspective of the heroine, Chloe.

Background info: Chloe is a university student, pre-law, who scores her dream summer internship working in intellectual property law for a big, reputable company. She runs into billionaire CEO on her first day without realizing who he is and they hit it off.  He pursues her relentlessly, trying to start a relationship but she has some serious past scars preventing her from jumping at the chance to be with someone who makes her heart-rate quicken.

Book 1

ethan 1

Blurb:

Ethan Frost is a visionary, a genius, every woman’s deepest, darkest fantasy—even mine. And, somehow, I am his.

He stole into my life like a dream. Turned my reality upside down and made my every desire come true—especially those I never knew I had. He demanded everything I had to give and gave me everything of himself in return.

But dreams don’t last forever, and ours is no exception. Because my nightmares are darker, and my wounds deeper, than I could ever reveal. And as much as Ethan wants to protect me, the secrets we share will only tear us apart.

Book 2

Ethan 2

Blurb:

Ethan Frost is everything a woman could want in a man. He’s rich, gorgeous, powerful, one of the most eligible bachelors in the world.

But that’s not why I’m with him.

I love Ethan for all the things no one else gets to see: his innate kindness, his reckless spontaneity, his unwavering determination to use his brilliance for good. I love the way he looks at me, the way he touches me. The way he makes me forget the wreckage of my past and the twisted fear that still lives inside me.

But sometimes it terrifies me how much I crave him, how much I need him just to breathe. I always thought it would be my past that ruined us, but there’s a darkness in Ethan I never dreamed existed. Can we survive as his secrets surface—threatening to unravel us both?

—                  —                    —

I liked both of these books, a lot more than I had expected to. Wolff writes about very complicated relationships and characters, which is always something that I am looking for in a book. I like depth.

I also liked that there were some complications that I didn’t see coming in their relationship, that develop around the end of the first novel. Can’t talk about it without major spoilers, but you know I mean if you’ve read the book.

Their back and forth over the blender was hilarious but it also had meaning. That stupid blender represented something far more complicated and important, that was affecting their relationship. Chloe is extremely uncomfortable with Ethan’s billionaire status. She doesn’t trust people with money, having had many awful experiences with “the other half” in her short life.

There are a few things that I would have picked up on though, if I had been beta reading for Tracy.

Firstly, I question how Chloe didn’t recognize Ethan the first time that they met. Granted, their chance meeting placed him completely out of context, but if she has supposedly done all this research on him and his company and looks up to him as an ethical CEO, you’d think she has a pretty good idea what he looks like. Even more so because he is a billionaire bachelor who is always in and out of the society pages and gossip magazines.

The other things are more minor, mostly personal preference. The first book was too long in the ‘getting to know you-should we have a relationship’ stage. I was getting bored, but thankfully lots of good stuff happened to bring me back.

In the second book, Ethan and Chloe get torn apart and then find their ways back together several times. Even though Chloe had A LOT that she was dealing with, I didn’t like how she ran away from their relationship so many times. I wanted him to call her out on that and remind her that it isn’t a relationship when one party runs out every time things get difficult. You can leave for awhile to think and get perspective, but that isn’t the same as running out and breaking up.

There is a third book out in this series, and a fourth due to be released in 2016. They are both written mostly from Ethan’s perspective however and I am not a fan of authors who switch halfway through a series. Not sure if I will be reading either of those.

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xx

Since when is a million not enough

Like seriously?!

When I first started getting into romance novels, in the early 2000s, the typical male protagonist was millionaire-rich. I remember seeing ridiculous titles like ‘the millionaire rancher’ all the time. It seemed like it was a prerequisite that for the exquisite woman on the cover to fall in love with you, you had to be a millionaire on a rancher/soldier/cop/doctor’s salary.

Now, we seem to have made a bit of a jump from millionaire to BILLIONAIRE. That’s kind of huge. But I guess it sounds a little chunky to title something ‘pregnant with the tens of millionaire’s baby’ or ‘the hundred millionaire’s secret submissive’.

I still wonder though, what does it say about our society if every romance novel features a ‘genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist’, to quote Tony Stark. There is nothing wrong with marrying into money, or even with wanting to marry into money. There is something wrong if that is the basis of every book I browse online.

Just listen to some of these book/series titles I picked at random off goodreads

“Marriage to a Billionaire”

“Maid for the Billionaire”

“The Billionaire wins the Game”

Dear Lord.

I was day-dreaming in the car a bit ago, wondering where all this started. It is true that a million doesn’t go nearly so far today as it did twenty years ago. Then you had the rise of billionaire businessman hero types, especially after Fifty Shades hit it big. A lot of really great authors picked up on E.L. James’ success and wrote popular series perpetuating this subgenre, in particular Sylvia Day. And of course, the incredibly annoying yet catching and honest tune, ‘I want to be a billionaire’ by Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars came out.

Do you remember it?

‘I want to be a billionaire so freaking bad,

and buy all of the things I never had.

I want to be on the cover of

Forbes Magazine

smiling next to Oprah and the Queen’.

Admit it, it’s true. You’d like to be a billionaire too. And of course, Marvel hit it huge with the first three Iron Man movies, featuring the aforementioned Tony Stark. And I may not be American, but I remember hearing about that crazy Powerball lottery last year where some guy won half a billion.

I’m not saying I’d turn down the money if it was me. But I still wonder just when authors felt compelled to make every character a billionaire in order to make them attractive. And hey, why can’t some of those peeps be genius, billionaire, playgirl philanthropists.