Summary of Bared to You up until this point:
Now you’re all caught up.
Eva and Gideon had sex in the limo on the way to the fancy event and it was super duper hot, but then Gideon got all distant afterwards and Eva’s mad, like having casual sex without any expectations of the other person’s emotional investment could go badly or something. Eva tries to get away from Gideon at the event, but he finds her. Eva’s mom is hilariously pleased.
I felt Gideon approaching before I saw my mother’s face light up like the New Year’s ball in Times Square.
Gideon acts all charming in front of her family and then gets all “rar you’re here with MEEEEEEEEE” and they allude to not being happy with each other, and Eva’s narration gets really detached and furious with Gideon.
Sipping my champagne, I slid into an autopilot mode of self-preservation I hadn’t had to use in many years. […] I was too conscious of the icy wall between us and my own hurt anger. If I’d needed any proof that Gideon was rigid about not socializing with women he slept with, I had it.
But then he gives a speech about sexual abuse and she’s better now?
“In North America,” he began, “childhood sexual abuse is experienced by one in every four women and one in every six men. Take a good look around you. Someone at your table either is a survivor or knows someone who is. That’s the unacceptable truth.”
I was riveted. Gideon was a consummate orator, his vibrant baritone mesmerizing. But it was the topic, which hit so close to home, and his passionate and sometimes shocking way of discussing it, that moved me. I began to thaw, my bewildered fury and damaged self-confidence subverted by wonder. My view of him shifted, altering as I became simply another individual in a rapt audience. He wasn’t the man who’d so recently hurt my feelings; he was just a skilled speaker discussing a subject that was deeply important to me.
Here’s where Bared to You is screwing up so far:
It’s narrated in first person, from Eva’s perspective. What Sylvia Day is trying to do is imply that something significant happened to Eva in the past that caused a lot of trouble, but doesn’t want to reveal that until later. That’s fine, that’s totally something you can do. However, Day isn’t so much implying an event as she is repeatedly discussing the event without telling us what it is. Which is different. And worse.
Eva says that childhood sexual abuse “hit so close to home” in a way that suggests we should already understand exactly what happened. This problem gets worse because Day keeps doing this. Just last chapter Eva described “what happened to me”, talking about why she didn’t tell people about “what happened to me” because her dad would report “what happened to me” and press charges, her mom’s reputation would be ruined if “what happened to me” became public but still left her husband at the time because she found out his son was responsible for “what happened to me”. See how this is not subtly implying that something bigger is wrong that we don’t know about yet? But instead it reads like Eva thought she told us a story but never did and keeps talking about it and we have no idea what she’s talking about? There’s no mystery or attachment to the character here. Instead, Eva is that annoying person who insists they don’t want to talk about something, but keep bringing it up all the time anyway but totally doesn’t want to talk about it why would you even think that.
Wow, that was a really long time to just criticize the book and not really say anything funny. Here’s a silly gif.
Gideon’s brother, Christopher, asks Eva to dance and I guess he’s in the music industry, because they talk about it even though this information has never been mentioned to the reader before goddammit, Sylvia Day I just talked about this
Eva goes back to Cary and we get another explicit reminder that they’re super close friends that have gotten through really tough times together.
He smiled, but his eyes were haunted. “Whenever I find myself in places like this . . . dressed like this . . . I can’t believe it. You saved my life, Eva. Then you changed it completely.”
She tells him why she’s pissed off at Gideon and then Gideon shows up and has to leave and Eva decides to leave a little later. But first she has an awkward exchange with Magdalene Perez, who was a character just introduced this chapter who’s friends with Gideon and Eva already hates her for some reason.
“Oh, dear,” she murmured, the moment the attendant stepped out of earshot. She made a tsking noise that scraped over my nerves like nails on a chalkboard. “You’ve fucked him already.”
But she’s not jealous because she doesn’t want to sleep with Gideon.
“Because he doesn’t want to.”
“And I don’t want to either”
They have a catfight about this and we learn… okay, we don’t learn anything new.
“He doesn’t respect the women he fucks. The minute he shoved his dick in you, you were done. Just like all the others. But I’m still here, because I’m the one he wants to keep around for the long haul.”
I have no idea if this character wants to sleep with Gideon or not.
The next morning, Eva and Cary keep talking about the different ways that Gideon treats women in ways that make very little sense.
“He said he doesn’t sleep with his female friends. He’s got issues with women wanting more than a good time in the sack, so he keeps the women he bangs and the women he hangs out with in two separate camps.”
Okay, um… is it really that weird for a straight man to not sleep with all his friends of the opposite gender just because they’re of the opposite gender? Because that sounds kind of, you know, normal. Whereas this seems to suggest that it’s really weird to want to have friends of the gender that you’re sexually attracted to that you don’t want to have sex with. I mean, Cary’s gay, but he would have guy friends that he doesn’t sleep with, because they’re just his friends.
“How’d your night go?”
“I can’t complain.” His eyes took on a mischievous glint. “I shagged that busty blonde in a maintenance closet. Her tits were real.”
Wait, I thought Cary was gay. Why does this novel keep not telling us things and expecting us to understand them.
Eva goes to work on Monday and Gideon wants to meet for lunch and Eva reluctantly agrees.
I crossed my arms. “Let’s just get this over with. I don’t want to see you anymore.”
Okay, so Gideon kept trying to talk to her at the event, sent her flowers, tried calling her all Sunday, and asked her to lunch on Monday. Why are we supposed to feel like he’s discarded her now that he’s slept with her?
But Is It Better Than Fifty Shades of Grey?
After the leads finally have sex in Bared to You, Eva gets mad at Gideon for ignoring her but also for trying to talk to her too much. Somehow. After the leads finally have sex in Fifty Shades of Grey, Ana cries a lot.
The Winner This Round: Keeping your pants on