Ok, everyone. It’s finally here. The last post about the last Crossfire book. I can’t say I’m sad to see Crossfire go, but we started reading this series on-and-off four years ago! Bared To You was one of the first books we read, back in 2012, when Ariel and I were still doing this blog in college. I mean, seriously, we were fucking babies back then:
So it’s sort of the end of an era, a little bit! It’s kind of crazy that in the time it took us to read this book series for the blog, Ariel and I graduated college, Ariel got her masters and a job in London and got married, and I interned at NPR (and wrote for NPR about one of the books we read over here) and got a job in New York. I’m also pointing this out because I think there’s a fair argument that in the time it took us to read Crossfire, Ariel and I probably experienced more character growth than any of the characters in Crossfire. Which is kinda funny.
So let’s put Crossfire to bed. Like Gideon did to Eva instead of telling her that her mom was just murdered. Ohhhhhh.
One With You: Epilogue
The epilogue kicks off with… the fuck? Another dream ghost scene?!
“What an odd choice for a honeymoon hotel.”
I turn my head to find my mom stretched out on the lounger beside me on the deck.
It’s definitely a little weird that we went through four and three-quarters books of NO deeply symbolic dreams and/or communions with the dead, and now in the last few chapters of this five-book series it’s just dream ghost this, dream ghost that.
“I told Gideon I have a Tarzan fantasy, so he found us a luxury tree house.” […]
“So you’re Jane…” My mother shakes her head. “I won’t even comment.”
I mean, this stuff is funny enough. Really! I hate these fucking books, but how can you not get a kick out of reading a dream sequence where Eva and her mom are just not on the same page about her sexual fantasies? But Crossfire has been super dependent on these dream sequences for creating closure, which is a real messy way to wrap up a narrative when you’ve got exposition like…
It’s harder accepting that my mom was a completely different person than who I’d thought she was. I debate bringing all of that up.
…which… isn’t really happening… because she’s not “bringing all of that up” to anyone but her subconscious…
But wait there’s more. Because it’s one thing when the novel tries to wrap up this narrative by having Eva come to terms with… herself, dreaming about her mom. But it’s a whole other thing when – and this is gonna sound dumb, but this is where we’re actually at with Crossfire – ENTIRELY NEW INFORMATION IS INTRODUCED. BY EVA’S SUBCONSCIOUS MEMORIES OF HER MOM.
Sure, you could argue that some of this could probably be inferred…
“I’ve been reading your diaries,” I say.
Her answer is casual. I feel anger and frustration but push them away. “Why didn’t you share any of your past with me before?”
“I meant to.” Her head turns toward me. “When you were little, I planned to one day. Then Nathan … happened, and you were recovering from that. And you met Gideon. I always thought there would be time.”
I know that’s not completely true.
But some of it is a little harder to make that argument for…
Life continues. Something would always serve as an excuse to wait longer. My mom hadn’t held out for a time when I could accept all she’d done for the sake of her sister; she’d waited until she could.
And some it is is straight up impossible, because THIS IS BRAND NEW INFORMATION.
“Gideon says we’ll go see Katherine when we get back,” I tell her. “We’re thinking about moving her closer, so she can be part of our lives.” […]
My mom looks at me with a sad smile. “She’ll be happy to see you. She’s been hearing about you for years.”
OK BUT WHO IS TELLING EVA THIS? Her mom never said this to her, and this isn’t really her mom right now (…right?). This is just Eva’s subconscious. WHERE IS THIS COMING FROM?
Eva wakes up and it’s back to the boring part of Crossfire: unconvincing moments that Eva and Gideon are a good couple. Or that anything has changed about them over the last five books.
We’d been on our honeymoon for two weeks and in that time, Gideon had trained my body to anticipate his lust. He could arouse me in moments
How is this any different from literally any sex scene we’ve read over the last five books, though?
Eva finds Gideon on the phone with his brother, who had maybe two lines of dialogue in this book, but, sure, let’s devote epilogue time to resolving the subplot of their tenuous relationship.
“Who was on the phone?” I asked.
He took a deep breath. “My brother.”
“Really? Isn’t that the third time in the last couple of weeks? [Did you talk about] anything personal?” […]
He shrugged. “Are we having fun… How’s the weather… That sort of thing.”
“He’s reaching out in his own way, I guess.” I shrugged it off, too.
It’s funny because Sylvia Day shrugged off this subplot too. So many people just do not care about this!
The epilogue moves onto another barely-acknowledged subplot: Gideon’s company’s entry into the video game industry! …nobody cares about this right? I can say without hyperbole that it has never impacted the plot, so I don’t know why this is coming up in the epilogue, of all places. Although it does indirectly give us this nice, simple moment:
I’d seen a dozen different ad concepts so far. [We scrolled] through the deck, I nodded at most, but one made me shake my head. “That’s a no.”
“I don’t like it, either,” Gideon agreed. “But why doesn’t it work for you?”
…why is this the only time in the entire series where I felt like these two have an actual relationship? How is this the only thing that feels like they genuinely connect on anything?
Aaaand that’s… actually it in terms of actual plot stuff that made it into the epilogue. Gideon’s brother is ok with him now, Gideon’s company makes video games, and Eva’s mom has apparently told Eva from beyond the grave that her aunt actually totally knows about her. Nothing about that time Gideon murdered someone. Remember when that happened? Gideon’s apparently totally fine with that.
So what about any emotional loose ends that this epilogue can touch on? Gideon and Eva have been… pretty happy with each other for a few books now. Not sure if there’s anything new the epilogue can really say about them…
“We’re getting the hang of this.”
Gideon dipped his head down to kiss me, his mouth moving gently, his tongue licking leisurely, reaffirming the bond between us that grew stronger every day.
Oh good. I was worried they were going to learn that their bond isn’t mostly based on sexual attraction or something.
The ghosts of our pasts seemed like faint shadows now, beginning to dissolve even before we’d renewed our vows.
One day, they would vanish forever. Until then, we had each other. And that was all we needed.
You know what? Given how rambling and disjointed this series’ narrative has been, “eventually nothing will matter anymore” is a weirdly appropriate message to end on.