Here we are, finally, at the penultimate chapter of Bared To You. Ariel and I have discussed everybody’s comments from the poll and we have plans for what we’re doing once we finish this book (secret plans). However, we’re not finishing the book next week. As it would turn out, our senior theses are due a week from today, and we’d prefer to reduce how much freaking out we have to do next week. However, instead of just taking next week off (because that’s lame), next week we’re doing, say, an intermission, and reading something else entirely (because the posts for them were already written). The update schedule next week will be Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and here’s a not-even-remotely-vague hint what we’re doing.
Anyway, there’s an orgy in Bared To You this week.
Last week in Bared to You, Eva learned that Gideon was previously engaged to a woman named Corinne whom he was madly in love with and who is still madly in love with him! Also he lied about all of this!
He was just turning away from the bartender with two glasses in his hands when I intercepted him. I took my drink and gulped it down, my teeth aching as the cubes of ice knocked against them.
“I’m leaving,” I said flatly
Yeah, Eva! Tell him what’s what!
“I’m going to give you what we both need, Eva. We’re going to fuck as long as it takes to dull the edge enough to get through dinner. And you’re not going to worry about Corinne, because while she’s inside the ballroom, I’ll be deep inside you.”
“Yes,” I whispered, licking dry lips.
Or, um… okay, what? What the hell is going on, big-lipped dude from Les Miserables?
Big-lipped dude from Les Mis has no idea what’s going on either. Seriously, this scene is confusing (why does Eva just let all this go once sex is an option?) and also just really bad (why does Eva just let all this go once sex is an option?!). And as bad as that looks, here’s the bit that was between Eva saying “Gideon I am mad at you” and Eva saying “oh my God, sex is all I ever wanted!”. Okay, those lines were slightly paraphrased, but this next part is actually what was in the book after Eva and Gideon have their verbal argument at the ball:
Gideon tossed back his drink, then secured me to his side with a steely arm around my waist and led me through the crowd to the door. […] By the time we reached the street, the long, sleek car was there. Gideon pushed me through the door Angus held open and told him, “Drive around the block until I say otherwise.”
Then he slid in directly behind me, so closely I could feel his breath against my bare back. I scrambled toward the opposite seat, determined to get away from him. . . .
“Stop,” he snapped.
I sank to my knees on the carpeted floor, breathing hard.
Okay, creative writing pro tip: If you are writing a novel that’s about victims of sexual abuse overcoming their traumatic past in a new relationship, but you repeatedly have trouble not writing sex scenes that sound like rape when they’re not supposed to be, you should probably not write this novel!
“Reach up with both hands and hold on to the grab handle above the window. Don’t let go until I tell you, understand?”
I did as he ordered, pushing my hands through the leather loop. As my grip secured, my body sparked to life, making me aware of how right he was about what I needed.
It’s weird how the most impressive thing this novel did was manage to hold out until the penultimate chapter to sound exactly like Fifty Shades of Grey. Although to Bared to You‘s credit, the female character actually talks to the male character during sex.
“Fuck me,” I begged, needing the connection. “Please.”
Barely. But, hey, at least letting the female character talk sometimes is better than how Fifty Shades never has the female character talk during sex, right?
“Don’t be afraid.” He came over me, setting his weight onto me with excruciating care.
“I’m too horny to be scared.”
WOW. OKAY. THIS IS PROBLEMATIC.
After the limo sex, they go back to the ball, where for some reason Eva is now totally cool with letting Corinne sit next to her and Gideon, but still feels “foolish and insecure” and “conscious of Corinne’s scrutiny”. Yep, sounds like Gideon’s penis really helped you get over that one, Eva. Eva gets into a conversation with a new character, Terry, sitting on the other side of her, who then offers to buy her a drink.
“What are you doing?” [Gideon] murmured. […]
“She’s going to alleviate the boredom of being ignored, Cross,” Terry said, setting his hands on the back of my chair, “by spending time with someone who’s more than happy to pay attention to such a beautiful woman.”
“You’ve been so preoccupied with Mrs. Giroux, you didn’t even notice when I sat at your table.” Terry’s smile took on an edge. “Eva. Shall we?”
“Don’t move, Eva.”
I shivered at the ice in Gideon’s voice but felt stung enough to say, “It’s not his fault he has a point.”
Gideon keeps being a dick about the whole thing, which was certainly a surprising thing to have happen, and Eva leaves and goes home to her apartment where the novel becomes the weirdest it has ever been.
One woman was spread-eagled on the floor. Another woman’s face was in her crotch. Cary was banging the hell out of her while another man was drilling him in the ass.
Eva tells Cary to get the orgy out of their apartment, which is probably what I’d do in that situation. Cary responds to Eva by telling her there’s room for one more, the guy having anal sex with Cary tries to accost Eva, Cary does a half-assed job of getting him to stop, Gideon shows up out of fucking nowhere and punches the guy in the face. Eva yells at Cary about Trey, and Cary tells Eva “You’re not my fucking mother”, and, guys, when you lift dialogue for your novel from fucking Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, you seriously need to reevaluate whether writing is really your craft.
One of the women tries to seduce Gideon, Gideon’s grossed out, Eva makes a snippy comment about how Gideon prefers blondes, Gideon glares at Eva “literally vibrating with suppressed violence”, and Eva backs up because she’s terrified of him. Holy fuck, you guys, this is a SHITSHOW.
Eva tries to get away from everything by going into the shower, and Gideon follows her. They argue a lot about why they’re angry with each other. Not all of it makes sense.
“Why?” he muttered, his lips sliding down to my throat. “Why are you driving me insane?”
Gideon finally admits details of his relationship with Corinne and Eva has feelings. Not all of it makes sense.
“I hate her.” […] “I’m not kidding, Gideon. I’m sick with jealousy right now.”
“It was just sex with her, angel. As raw as you and I fuck, it’s still making love. Every time, from the very first time. You’re the only one who’s ever gotten to me that way.”
I heaved out a breath. “Okay. I’m marginally better.”
Gideon explains that he never told Corinne about his mental state and was relieved when things ended, and then when he met Eva, she was the first person he could open up to about his demons. Not all of it makes sense.
“Until you, I didn’t consider my past an issue. Yes, it affected certain ways I did things, but everything had its place and I wasn’t unhappy. In fact, I thought I had a comfortable and uncomplicated life.”
“Oh, boy.” My nose wrinkled. “Hello, Mr. Comfortable. I’m Miss Complicated.”
His grin flashed. “Never a dull moment.”
And the penultimate chapter of Bared To You ends on that note. I have no idea why.
But Is It Better Than Fifty Shades of Grey?
“Better” is a tricky word, because it suggests quality.
The Winner This Round: Not Sylvia Day, that’s for goddamn sure.