I’m writing this blog post instead of running around Brooklyn playing Pokemon Go right now. I hope you all appreciate this.
One With You: Chapter 4
Today’s chapter of One With You takes place at Eva’s family’s beach house.
“Isn’t it pretty?” Eva asked […]
“Stunning,” I replied, although I was referring to her.
WE GET IT. YOU’RE ALL REALLY HOT. It has been five books.
As trite as some of a lot of Crossfire is (see literally the previous quote), this chapter does demonstrate that Sylvia Day does have a certain knack for writing entertaining bickering/flirtatious dialogue:
“Yes, I knew there was no cure the first time you kissed me.”
“I’m pretty sure you kissed me.”
I held back a smile. “Is that the way it went?”
Her gaze narrowed. “You better be joking. That moment should be seared into your brain.”
This is another chapter from Gideon’s perspective, and – I know this blog has “Bad Books” right there in the title – it does a pretty decent job getting us into Gideon’s head?
Not that this is the same thing as making us like him, of course:
Cary Taylor was a fixture in my wife’s life and I accepted it, even if I didn’t like it. While I believed he loved Eva, I also believed he made bad choices that put her in tough situations and even posed a risk.
Now, to be fair, Cary is kind of horrible, but let’s keep in mind where the bar is for this story, Gideon “Literally Murdered A Dude In Book 2” Cross.
lol remember that time Gideon murdered someone? Kinda weird how that never comes up.
But aside from that (which is quite a that), it turns out that a weekend at the beach with his brand new in-laws all suddenly treating him like immediate family is a pretty good scenario to trigger and explore Gideon’s insecurities.
[Eva’s mom] Monica and I had known each other for a while (note: wait, they did?), our paths crossing occasionally because of the various children’s charities we both supported. We’d established particular parameters for our interactions […] Abruptly, that was all blown to hell. […]
I wasn’t prepared. I’d come as a guest, Eva’s plus-one. To be a son-in-law, a true member of the family, was a possibility I hadn’t anticipated.
Okay, that’s enough for compliments about One With You. Any chance Gideon also explains this in an unnecessarily stupid way that doesn’t even feel in-character?
It felt surreal now that it was actually happening. Like I was being punked.
Okay, one more bit of praise– I KNOW. I’M SORRY. The blog isn’t “Okay Books, Good Times” because it’s kinda tricky to make fun of books that are doing an okay job at being books, but THERE IS A TINY LITTLE HINT OF ACTUAL CHARACTER GROWTH FROM GIDEON.
[Eva] saw me, saw what was happening inside me.
“Want to go outside?” she murmured. […]
It rankled, holding her back from the group. I didn’t want to be one of those men who smother the women who love them. But I needed time to adjust to all this.
LOOK AT GIDEON, YOU GUYS. He’s feeling bad about putting his needs before the needs of others! IT’S A TINY, LITTLE BIT O’ CHARACTER GROWTH AND I JUST WANNA HOLD IT AND SQUEEZE IT.
Of course, this is still a Crossfire novel, so this really just means that Gideon and Eva are about to have a fight where they communicate very badly and go in circles and accomplish nothing. TO CLARIFY, some of this is definitely intentional and why they have problems:
“I can’t… I’m not ready for this.”
“Ready for what?”
I waved an impatient hand toward the house. “For that.”
“Can you be more specific?” she asked carefully.
And that’s fine! Good, even! I actually like that exchange and how vulnerable it made Gideon (not because I hate Gideon and love his suffering, but in that it really captures the kind of broken that he is). The kind of bad “seriously, how are these two still having fights like this in a story that wants us to believe these two are soulmates” communication I’m talking about is more so…
“Gideon…” She closed the gap she’d put between us. “Honestly, I get it. My mom’s been married three times. Every time it’s a new instant father figure that I—”
“I have a stepfather,” I interrupted tersely. “It’s not the same thing. No one gives a shit whether a stepparent likes you.”
“Is that what this is about?” She walked into me and hugged me tight. “They already like you.”
I gripped her close. “They don’t fucking know me.” […]
“You know what? If you didn’t want any in-laws, you should’ve married an orphan.”
She marched back toward the house.
“Get back here,” I snapped.
Very eager to prove me wrong for thinking Gideon might actually slowly be maturing or something, the fifth fucking book in the Crossfire series then features Gideon reacting to this situation by assaulting Eva.
“Sorry you didn’t realize the commitment involved more than a convenient piece of ass!”
“Conveniently unavailable,” I countered, feeling a muscle twitching in my jaw.
She was flat on her back in the sand before she knew what hit her. I pinned her down, pressing hard, my mouth on hers to shut her up. She arched, struggling
To make sure we’re not missing out of any ounce of how horrible this is, Gideon forcing himself on Eva is also extra horrible because the story makes such a big deal about how they’re both sexual assault victims and both get what that’s like. Except for right now, I guess. Eva has the same reaction I do.
“Are you fucking kidding me right now?”
Because we are on book. Five. Of. This. Shit.
“This is exactly why you’re not getting any, ace. Sex is your go-to solution for everything.”
“You’ve got to make this worth my while,” I taunted, wanting a fight.
“I’m worth your while, asshat. Not my vagina.” She pushed down on my shoulders. “I’m sorry you feel ambushed. I’m really sorry that being welcomed with open arms makes you lose your damn mind. But you’re going to have to get used to it”
But it ends like every other fight we’ve read in every other book: brushed aside in a matter of pages.
“You’re so easy to love, Gideon. Even when you’re impossible. One day, you’re going to see it.”
Is the reader going to see it one day too? Are we included in this? Kinda doesn’t look like it.
Things get awkward again later when Eva’s mom puts Eva and Gideon both in the same bedroom, which Eva worries about since Gideon has been so resistant to the “no sex until our ceremonial wedding” thing (which is getting more and more uncomfortable with every chapter of “No, seriously, no sex.” “But I’m horny.” – DON’T FORGET THESE TWO ARE SOULMATES <3). She wants to have a talk. Gideon is less inclined to talking.
“We have to talk.” […]
“I’m talking a shower.”
“Fine.” She pushed her tank top up and over her head [and] reached behind her back to unsnap her bra.
Just in case you wonder how same-y the romance novels we read for the blog are, this exact “girl wants to talk but guy takes a shower so she just gets naked” scene also happened in Beautiful Redemption.
Eva explains that her decision to hold off on sex until the wedding isn’t just her therapist’s advice for keeping things in their relationship under control, but it’s also an attempt for her to have a healthier attitude about sex in general.
“My first thought was that I should fuck you. Like if we have sex, it’ll fix everything. You won’t be mad anymore and I’ll have your love again.”
“You always have it. You always will.”
“I know that. […] But that didn’t stop the voice in my head”
But, again, this is Crossfire, so we can’t avoid horribly painful dialogue forever:
“I need to be inside you,” I said hoarsely […]
Eva washes Gideon’s hair, they talk about the wedding, they make out without having sex. Gideon even sleeps in the bed with Eva, which he’s upset about, but she thinks might be a good sign. The next day, Eva talks with everyone about what’s next, wanting to focus on Gideon’s charity and maybe going to business school.
Anyway, here’s more painfully cliched writing:
She reached for another piece of bacon, then handed it to me. True love.
I vaguely feel like I’ve heard that on maybe literally every tv show before?