I’m writing this post on a train! I really hope nobody takes the seat next to me.
So as you might know, we have an eBook version of our reading of the first Fifty Shades of Grey novel. It’s been available for about two months by now, but during this time, only four people have reviewed it. Not that we’re trying to persuade our readership to spam it with a bunch of five star reviews or anything, but that being said, we would totally appreciate having some more reviews. You don’t even have to buy the book to review it on Amazon if you’ve already read it here on the blog, it’d just be great to see if people liked it, because we’d love to do another one if there’s interest.
In the last chapter of Bared to You, everything was terrible. And then, three fourths of the way through the novel (actually 74% but close enough), the novel finally became what it’s threatened to be the whole time: an actual Fifty Shades BDSM erotic fiction knockoff.
“It sounds like you’re telling me you’re a Dominant.”
“Angel, you knew that already.” His mouth curved in a soft, sexy smile. “What I’m telling you is that you’re submissive.”
Eva is shocked! Gideon does his best Christian Grey, which isn’t hard because the only defining character trait for either of them is that they’re both controlling dicks.
I pushed to my feet in a rush.
“Don’t,” he warned in a dark purr. “You’re not running yet. We’re not done.”
See, even if Eva were immediately go along with the whole dominant-submissive thing right now, I don’t think the novel would actually read any differently. Gideon already assumes he can tell Eva what to do all the time, whenever she does stand up for herself she succumbs to his instruction almost immediately, and when they have sex it is only Gideon who is talking and telling Eva what to do. Eva never says a word during sex, not even to request or suggest anything other than what Gideon already decided he’s going to do.
I’m not saying that Sylvia Day is a bad writer, but it must really suck to spend three fourths of a novel setting up a plot twist that doesn’t actually change a single thing.
“Don’t try to pretty it up with—”
He was around the desk and on me before I could stumble back more than a couple steps. His mouth sealed over mine; his arms caged me. […] Trapped, I could do nothing as he bent his knees and stroked my cleft with the rigid length of his erection.
Basically nothing’s different and everything is going to be horrible in exactly the same ways. Eva, on the other hand, is all over the place.
“I can’t help it that you turn me on,” I muttered. “My body is physiologically supposed to soften and relax, so you can shove that big cock inside me.”
Is… is she trying to explain how sex works? If so, damn, all sex education should be written like this, just to keep people on their toes.
Remember how in the last chapter we discovered Gideon’s wall of photographs of Eva and it was the creepiest thing ever? Ready for it to somehow get exponentially creepier?
he stepped back and swept me up in his arms, carrying me out of his office and down the hallway to a closed door. “Turn the knob,” he said quietly.
We entered a candlelit room that still smelled faintly of new paint. For a few seconds I was disoriented, unable to comprehend how we’d stepped out of Gideon’s apartment and into my bedroom. […]
“I recreated your room based on the photo I took of you sleeping.”
Eva finally catches on that this is really weird. In her resulting conversation… okay, I honestly have no idea what’s going on in this conversation.
“If you feel the need to run,” he said softly, “you can come in here and shut the door. I promise not to bother you until you’re ready. This way, you have your safe place and I know that you haven’t left me.” […]
“Are we still going to share a bed when we’re sleeping?”
“Every night. […] How could you think otherwise? Talk to me, Eva. What’s going through that beautiful head of yours?”
I think I’ve forgotten how human conversation works, because none of this looks right to me.
Whatever else was going on in our relationship, there was no doubt we were seriously twisted up over each other.
And I was about to demonstrate that in the flesh.
Yeah, I’m lost.
The novel then skips ahead to Eva and Gideon at dinner, because nothing else makes sense, so why not. Sylvia Day’s clearly given up on writing by this point.
“Well, duh. You’re gorgeous, sexy, and very well hung.”
“I’m glad you approve. I’m also extremely wealthy.”
No, seriously. Sylvia Day has totally given up.
Something incredibly weird happens for the rest of the chapter: it gets better. But before you get excited (or worried; I’m not entirely sure what you’re rooting for, reading this blog), the problem with this book doing something better is that it’s already done so much wrong. Better simply has no place in this novel, because in conjunction with everything else that’s gone so badly, I know it’s not going to use any of these improved parts correctly. It’s like giving a Ferrari to someone who’s already crashed fifteen cars.
So what happens is Gideon gives Eva a ring symbolic of a dominant-submissive relationship he believes would be beneficial to them both.
Nestled inside the black leather and velvet was a ring like no other. Gold ropelike bands were intertwined and decorated with Xs covered in diamonds.
“Bonds,” I murmured, “secured by crosses.”
And Eva is hesitant to wear it because “it feels like a collar”, but wakes up in the middle of the night filled with insatiable desire for Gideon and, thinking about him, takes the ring out and puts it on. And this is actually kind of fascinating, because now we have another signifier of the fine line the two characters are walking between healing and destroying each other.
Exhaling a shaky breath, I picked it up and opened it. A moment later I was sliding the cool band onto the ring finger of my right hand.
“Do you like it, Eva?”
A shiver moved through me at the sound of Gideon’s voice, deeper and rougher than I’d ever heard it. […]
I moved to kneel on the bed and draped my arms around his neck. “Take me. Carte blanche.”
And this would totally make for a really interesting story if, you know, the story wasn’t already terrible because all these characters are doing is destroying each other. And if this plot device hadn’t been done before.
But Is It Better Than Fifty Shades of Grey?
The Winner This Round: The Lord of the Ri- oh wait, you meant the other thing, didn’t you?