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REVIEW: Reflected In You by Sylvia Day

Dear Ms. Day:

Part of my response to this book is in direct correlation with my biggest fear for the book – that the conflict between Eva and Gideon would be unnaturally extended as we worked our way through to the end of the trilogy. Fortunately that did not happen. If anything, I wondered if Eva and Gideon’s issues could be resolved with only one more book to go.

Reflected in You by Sylvia DayI’m not sure if you could start with Reflected in You and I don’t think you would want to. Bared to You  lays important ground work for the two main protagonists.

Eva and Gideon are two very screwed up individuals. Eva has been in therapy for years to recover from abuse from her step brother. Gideon has night terrors that cause him to attack Eva in her sleep, nearly raping her. Their relationship is neither tender nor sweet. It’s volatile and crazy with huge swings of emotion.

There isn’t necessarily a plot in Reflected because this is a character driven, relationship driven story.  They both want the same thing – to be together.  However, neither of them have been in healthy relationships and thus have no past experience from which to draw.  They go to therapy together but tell the therapist that the only thing that is off the table is for the two of them to stop seeing each other.   Problematically, their behavior (mostly Gideon’s) prevents the two from achieving stability.

Gideon is secretive and possessive. He wants Eva at his side every second of the day. Eva is straining at his possession because she feels part of her past problems have been related to being subsumed by emotion and acting out in negative ways. The story begins with Eva and her best friend heading for Vegas. Gideon doesn’t want her to go but compromises if Eva stays in a property owned by him.

When she arrives, she discovers that Gideon has not only arranged for her stay but also her companions in the form of one female bodyguard that intervenes when Eva is engaged in a harmless flirtation with a guy at the hotel pool bar. Eva then arranges for Gideon to have his very own bodyguard which he accepts with some chagrin. I think this scene typifies Eva and Gideon’s relationship. Gideon takes liberties with Eva’s life and Eva retaliates. It’s unhealthy but that *is* the book. It tells the story of two dysfunctional people and their very unhealthy relationship.

This isn’t one a story about two people who love each other and communicate well. This is a story of two people who have love each other madly, endure wild emotional swings but for all their neuroses and troubled mental states, I do feel like they belong together. The story is unapologetic about the insanity of their relationship. But their chemistry is a visceral thing. Their need and desire for each other is tangible.

Of the two, I felt that Eva had achieved some peace in her own mind and she was far more proactive in this book. She dealt with the demons of her molester, in part.  She stood up to another woman who she felt was threatening her relationship with Gideon.  She even learns ways of managing Gideon to some extent.  Gideon, however, is more screwed up than ever if that is even possible.  It’s a messy love story and I’m happy to watching from the sidelines.

[spoiler]The ending is shocking in my opinion and takes a vigilante turn that I did not expect. This will not and probably should not sit well with people and you have to wonder how these two will turn the corner. However, I admit that the build up to the final scene worried me in that I wondered what lame excuse Gideon would come up with for his actions toward Eva (which included neglect, lies and possible straying). The excuse wasn’t lame at all and so in that respect I felt relieved. It was an emotional ride for me.[/spoiler]

B-

Best regards,

Jane

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

33 Comments

  1. Kati
    Oct 03, 2012 @ 08:21:12

    I gobbled this one up in one giant bite, and afterwards had kind of a sick feeling about it. As you’ve said, Jane, these are not healthy people having a healthy relationship. It’s a dark, obsessive relationship that makes me very uncomfortable.

    That being said, I was like you, shocked at how the story ended and have serious reservations about how the two of them will have a successful relationship after the ending. I’ll definitely be reading the next one, but I believe that Ms. Day will have to do quite a bit of work for me to genuinely buy the couple’s HEA. I trust her as an author, and believe she can do it, but this couple has a very long row to hoe before they’ll be there.

  2. Stephanie Brown
    Oct 03, 2012 @ 08:56:07

    I do not agree that the ending was shocking or even out of character for these really messed up people. The demonstrations of Gideon’s and Eva’s behavior throughout the two books should have been sufficient to clue us in to what could and did occur to remove any obstacle to Gideon’s possession of Eva. All the talk about the ending actually led my mind to even more drastic outcomes – I thought one or both would harm themselves physically. This ending is much better to recover from. And really, it’s a book, not real life – I likes that Day “went there” as some say – there is no reality to the obsession, possession or sexuality exhibited here. So why ding the book for this equally unreal ending?

  3. Jane
    Oct 03, 2012 @ 09:00:17

    @Stephanie Brown: I’m not dinging the book for the ending at all.

  4. missy
    Oct 03, 2012 @ 20:32:08

    I loved it. I couldn’t stop reading, just couldn’t and it was over far too quickly.

    The ending shocked me, it didn’t surprise me because it fitted with who Gideon is, but it shocked me that the book would go that far. And I think it will raise HUGE issues for the next book and wonder how the series can really reach a satisfying ending.

    This is NOT Fifty Shades. It’s about a thousand times better. Eva is someone I LIKED and the book is probably the hottest thing I have ever read, just wow. I felt like I couldn’t breathe in some parts and I’m hardly an innocent little prude!

    It was fantastic, the characters are insane and their relationship is at times utterly awful, it almost would be better for them both to move on and try and live healthy lives. But what a brilliant read, I wish Fifty Shades had never happened and that this kind of book had not hit mainstream because I hate dirty little secret books being held up to public scrutiny. This isn’t literature, it’d be freaking scary if it happened it real life, but it’s fun and enjoyable and hot and that’s all it needs to be!

  5. Karen
    Oct 04, 2012 @ 11:24:53

    My first reaction was that I didn’t like it. I loved Bared to You so much. Even though Gideon was intense, there were some light moments in the first book. Reflected in You seemed darker and was such a rollercoaster ride that it was stressful to read. But with that being said, it made Eva and Gideon seemed more human and real, less fantasy. They both truely have alot of issues that need to be resolved individually as well as a couple. I hate that we have to wait until December 31st for book 3.

  6. Lou
    Oct 04, 2012 @ 12:41:06

    I feel the same about the ending as Kati. Day has got to work hard in the next book to even remotely make me want to carry on reading about the series with Gideon and Eva. The relationship between these two is so unhealthy, and with how psychologically scarred Gideon is already, I don’t know if I’m comfortable with the direction the author went in the end.

    Oh, and I hope Day doesn’t get an army of rabid fangirls for this series. She really doesn’t need them.

  7. Paula
    Oct 05, 2012 @ 10:57:22

    God I just could stop aching for them both, my emotions were all over the place. I still not sure if I like Gideon, but I so want them to get themselves together. The ending was shocking and like a lot of you I’m not sure whether this is going to work out for them without it dragging on.

    I read the book so quickly and have re-read it, and don’t agree that there’s no humour in it. When Gideon talked to her about sending him his own body guard I just though it was hilarious and so well written you could feel his discomfort.

    Just can’t wait until 31 December, will be down loading it to my kindle at the stroke of midnight.

  8. Bubbles
    Oct 17, 2012 @ 23:39:14

    I completely agree with everything you have said jane! Their relationship is unhealthy and wild, which is great! who wants to read about a normal relationship anyway?!

  9. orlandofit
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 15:58:08

    I hated the ending! The ending is a deal breaker for me. So many more attractive ways Gideon could have handled the situation. I loved the book all the way up to the last few pages. It was so wonderful that finally Gideon discussed his past more fully. but Nope. I’m totally turned off now with what he did.

  10. Nic
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 20:32:35

    Is it just me but i dont get what Gideon is doing with Corrine?? I dont like the way this ended at all… The book started off good then everything just changed. Not for the better either

  11. Chris
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 23:32:42

    @missy: I agree absolutely with your comments…there is such earthiness to these characters – and intensity and Day’s writing style propels you along the narrative…these are huge WOW – Just WOW books for me!!

  12. GiGi
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 03:02:26

    Hi everyone, I read the second instalment of the series and I have to say I loved it. Sylvia Day’s writing style, kept me on the edge of my seat. She was able to “activate my inner detective”. While reading the book, I found myself trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle together (who did what to whom, etc.), which for me is a mark of a good story.

    I read everyone’s comments on the ending and I have to say that for me the ending wasn’t a surprise or upsetting. What I am wondering is if everything really is as it seems? So many times in the book Eva assumed something, rightly or wrongly, about Gideon which created more conflict in her relationship. Could it be that the author has the “reader” assuming things that may not be accurate?

    Sylvia Day has done a good job thus far keeping my interest and writing relevant story lines that I am hopeful the Gideon and Eva will make it in the end. I want a happily ever after for these two! If they don’t deserve it, then who does? I can hardly wait for the third instalment. :)

  13. rachael
    Oct 29, 2012 @ 04:55:41

    I loved everything about the book, i love the charachters and how much eva and gideon are intensley in love with each other. The ending was superb i see where the other comments are coming from with gideon already being so screwed up but i dont think this should matter for him or add to his screwed upness. I just really hope they progress further in there relationship because i am definately routing for them. Im not excited for christmas i just need to read the third book QUICK

  14. asees
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 14:37:17

    i everyone

    I think everyone overthinking or they just wanted non – stop sex in the book and wasn’t bothering about the characters feelings if i am right then why did you just stick to 50 shades grey because i have read everyone’s comments and they all seem negative expect the comments from (gigi,racheal& paula) thank you to giigi , racheal & paula i am grateful to you 3 . Call me crazy but it was like a stab in my heart when i read those negative comments am sorry again i understand everyone has a right to their opinion. But i just couldn’t stand it i guess i have just grown to attached to the fictional characters of Gideon & Eva or would i say ace & angle. My point is the author said she tried to write a story on 2 characters that both are broken but still want to be together that is what the crossfire series is. So the stories filled with their feelings, conflicts & obstacles they have to face together yes Gideon is still secretive but does everyone open themself up so easily? Why is no one thinking in Gideon situation the only reason Eva is open because she has Cary and even Peterson, a loving father & over protective mother, Stanton. she has a family and Gideon does not if no one remembers let me remind you Gideon did say he never thought shutting down his feeling s where a problem until he met Eva who really wanted to get to know the real Gideon . I also felt and hoped Eva will stay independent/strong which she did and she never proved me wrong she took a stand and got Gideon to tell her some of the truth. She also showed him she loved him by showing her confidence and proving to him she strong because she faced all those people Gideon hate . So overall i would say Sylvia day you did a fantastic job , i felt thrilled, giggled , happy, angry , cried and at the end i got that warm feeling you get while watching or reading a romantic you gave the readers a roller coaster of feelings just like Gideon & Eva where facing in their relationship , but in the end you gave us readers the gift both Eva and us reader where waiting for the promise Gideon confirmed what the relationship meant to him and what Eva means to him just by making Gideon say “I love you” thank you Sylvia for creating such loveable, realistic characters now all i hope is that you keep your promise and give Gideon &Eva a happy ending even if you have to write 2 more books please give them a good ending with the future happy and resolved issues . I just hope you don’t leave as hanging the last book thinking and imagining our own happy ending or what are they doing??? PLEASE Don’t do that.

  15. asees
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 14:43:44

    btw can anyone tell me when the next book out ?

  16. GiGi
    Nov 02, 2012 @ 03:03:13

    @asees: Hi Asees, The next installment of the Gideon and Eva saga is Due May 2013. It was originally scheduled for December 2012 but the publishers pushed back the release date. I have to say that I am somewhat bitter about that…sigh! :) I, too, am waiting to see how Gideon and Eva’s story will turn out. I want these two to have a happy ending! I too, loved the fact that Gideon told Eva that he loves her. I also love Sylvia Day’s writing style. I don’t judge a book based on its literary prose but by whether I can picture myself in the story. Is the author taking me on a literary ride and for me I have to say that Sylvia Day did just that. I felt like I was in the story just sitting back and watching everything unfold. That is the mark of a good author. I felt the same way when I read other more traditional classics like “Wuthering Heights and Anna Karenina”. Thanks everyone. :)

  17. asees
    Nov 05, 2012 @ 13:54:31

    @gigi, yes your so right I hate it when folk think about the writing style etc when a author writes there main focus is to make the audience love the characters they’ve created and your right Sylvia achieved that expertly. I mean when eva was describing how she enjoyed the beach to Gideon and when Sylvia started the descriptation of how eva feeling when she’s on the beach I could literary close my eye’s and picture myself on the beach feeling the wet sand & water slipping under my feet now thats the effect I call true writing :-)

  18. GiGi
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 00:37:04

    Hi everyone,
    I was just sitting and thinking about Jane’s review of the storyline and something occurred to me. The relationship between Eva and Gideon is complex yes, but I am not sure whether Eva is learning to manage Gideon’s behaviour to some extent. I think she is learning to trust not only herself but Gideon as well. When she let her guard down and allowed herself to be loved, Eva starts fighting for her relationship and for Gideon. She fights for him in a way that no one ever has.

    First and foremost, she knows that Gideon has been abused even though, up until recently, never directly stated that he was abused and realizes that this unspoken truth is affecting their entire relationship.The most important thing to a person who has been abused, is to be believed (and I secretly wonder whether he doesn’t state what happened to him earlier because he is vulnerable and doesn’t want to open himself up to more emotional pain… to Eva’s reaction, etc….just a thought).

    Second, although Eva has been saying “I love you” early on, she starts showing her love by confronting Gideon’s mother, and Dr. Lucas. She picked the verbal “sword” as the saying goes and begins to slay Gideon’s demons…or at least confronts them for him. Those public confrontations let everyone around know that she Eva Lauren Tramell is standing beside the man she loves and will protect and defend him whatever the cost. Eva also has a “friendly” chat with Corinne and Magdalene and further cements her place in Gideon’s life. In doing that she learns to stand in her own power. The only power that Corrine and Magdalene had over Eva were her own insecurities.

    Those were just some of my thoughts and I welcome the discussion. Thanks. :)

  19. Sandra Hicks
    Nov 26, 2012 @ 16:56:53

    Im confused which book should I read next Deeper in You or Reflected in You

  20. Jane
    Nov 26, 2012 @ 17:06:55

    @Sandra Hicks: The first book is Bared to You followed by Reflected. I think Deeper was the original name of the second book and that was changed. The third book is Entwined in You.

  21. asees
    Nov 28, 2012 @ 06:48:10

    One thing I don’t understand is was Corrine with Gideon when eva saw corrine messed up coming out of crossfire, I mean obviously she was by the state of her & Gideon office but what happened there? I mean we know he spent time with Corrine publicly to deceive Nathan but that wasn’t public? And if it wasn’t her then who was it? Gideon never really clarified that? I hope it does get clarified in entwined to you and I also wish Sylvia would write another book on seven years to sin cx I want to know how is jess & Alistair marriage are they still the same lovers & handling society?

  22. Jane
    Nov 28, 2012 @ 07:41:48

    @asees – I think (although someone else may come in with a better explanation) that Corinne was upset and had come to Gideon for comfort?

  23. asees
    Nov 28, 2012 @ 09:23:25

    @Jane maybe if we want be naive and believe that lol but how was he comforting her that he had to change his shirt? Ok you could also say maybe Corrine seen eva walking towards the building and decided lets look messed up or maybe she went to meet Gideon with that motive I don’t know it was just a thing that came to my mind I mean every others action or his behaviors were explained expect from that

  24. GiGi
    Nov 28, 2012 @ 23:12:38

    @asees: Hi Asees,
    I reread the book and that part in particular. Eva believed that it was lipstick on Gideon’s collar, but it was blood. I think when Nathan came to Crossfire to threaten or blackmail him, they got into a fight which would explain why the sofa and the pillows got messed up. Due to the fact that Eva was very jealous and insecure she automatically assumed that Gideon was cheating. Just think about it for a second why would Gideon has lipstick on his cuff(close to hand) not on his collar(around his neck which is closer to his lips…). But his cuff on the other hand is closer to his fist which could certainly have wound up across Nathan’s face after seeing photos or video of Eva being abused. Those are my thoughts on the matter. I hope I didn’t overstep by throwing my two cents in. :)

  25. jane
    Nov 28, 2012 @ 23:14:21

    @GiGi: Not at all. I remembered something like that. I think that Eva even makes the comment that the lipstick looked like a blood stain. I remembered that there was a plausible explanation but I couldn’t remember what. So thanks.

  26. GiGi
    Nov 28, 2012 @ 23:47:38

    Hi Asees,
    I don’t think that Gideon spent time with Corinne to deceive Nathan I think he did that to set up his alibi if he were to kill Nathan. This is evidenced at the Vodka party Gideon attended with Corinne. Gideon publicly avoided Eva and recoiled from her as well. All of those things would have been caught on tape at Crossfire, etc., so if the police were to investigate, which I am sure they did, they would have seen Eva’s reactions and Gideon’s thereby establishing credibility to his alibi…if he were to kill Nathan, which one is led to assume/believe at the end of the book.

    I also think that maybe Corinne and Magdalene concocted some time of scenario to make Eva jealous. If the two of them could make Eva jealous enough then maybe she would walk away from Gideon and they could then fight amongst themselves as to who would get Gideon.

    In response to your other question, I think Corinne knows that Eva is insecure and she used that against her. What better way to get under another woman’s skin than to imply that she is having an affair with that woman’s man. Corinne dumped Gideon in the hope that he would chase after her and it backfired. She’s been kicking herself ever since. Other than “friendship” Corinne doesn’t have a leg to stand on. He isn’t in love with her.

    What I wonder is:
    1. When exactly did Gideon decide to kill Nathan?

    2. Does anyone else think that the Nathan issue won’t be laid to rest? After all, there is no statue of limitation on murder. My inner detective is working overtime today….:)

  27. asees
    Nov 29, 2012 @ 11:53:40

    thanks gigi you have answered my question but if it was Nathan then where did he go or did he hid from eva but come on its Nathan would’nt he want to annoy or scare eva by showing up ??? i mean that would make gideon even more pissed off that Nathan was near Eva ?

    Come to think about it Gideon must of seen pictures etc i mean Eva step father seen them so yes maybe gigi your right but Nathan seeing Gideon in the office but come on is’nt that a very easy guess? it’s Sylvia Day she won’t make it that predictable she’s supurised all this time it want be that easy lol

    !. When exactly did Gideon decide to kill Nathan?

    That was explained in the book by the female officer when she had a chat with Eva in the gym remember ? Yes you might only believe it when it comes from Ace mouth but that might happen or might not happen at all because maybe Eva won’t want to revisit that part of the past. It does make you feel how loved you are by someone it shows Eva the depths of Ace love but at the same time its dangerous the danger she saw in Ace eyes when she first met him that was a glimpse maybe we will see more ?

    2. Does anyone else think that the Nathan issue won’t be laid to rest? After all, there is no statue of limitation on murder. My inner detective is working overtime today….:)

    Maybe it won’t we now very little of Nathan but he did seem like a psycho and Eva had no idea of the picture etc what if there not all distoried ? i mean he came planned black mailing both Ace and Eva step father , attacking Cary all that was pre planned so obviously he must have thought about if Gideon was to get him killed i need a back up some proof to someone who might help him ? maybe Corriene ? or leave it to Ace bro Christian ? he could also some how expose it too Eva real father ?

  28. GiGi
    Nov 30, 2012 @ 00:36:52

    @asees: Hi Asees,
    Thanks for your comments. I have been thinking about what you said and what I think is that Eva was a means to an end. In a way Gideon was the golden goose. He is the billionaire that could pay out extortion. At the end of the book the police detective talked about how Nathan had photos and videos of Eva…she doesn’t go in to details…i.e., was there explicit evidence of her past abuse at his hands(which could…incidentally explain why the detective decided to cut Gideon some slack…the detective realized just how violent and abusive Nathan was…and which lengths he would go to get to Eva…)

    I think that is why Nathan approached Gideon first. If Nathan’s motive were to harm Eva, then I believe he would have made a direct violent moved against her. I think if Nathan was truly after Eva, the book would have taken a completely different turn and we would have been reading about Eva being in the hospital and not Carey. I think Carey was the warning sign to Gideon….smarten up, start paying up or this could happen to your girlfriend….just a thought. I also think that when Eva’s stepfather did not pay his extortion demands and he got into the scuffle with Gideon, everything escalated. I don’t know if Nathan had everything planned out; extort Gideon, Eva’s stepfather, attack Carey, etc. That doesn’t make sense to me.

    The reasons for my thoughts for extortion are as follows; Nathan’s dad settled out of court for the wrongs of his son and I have to wonder if he, at some point, washed his hands of him. Which means if Nathan’s dad disowned him then his funds would potentially be cut off. That could/would be a drastic change in lifestyle for someone who thinks that they are untouchable. Therefore he would be looking for another potential source of income. Eva’s stepfather also didn’t succumb to Nathan’s threats, so that was limiting Nathan’s options for more potential sources of “extortion income”.

    I don’t think anything is going to be simple as far as the third book is concerned. If anything, I think that several of the issues that were discussed in the first and second book may come back in the third. We saw a snippet of drama between Dr. Lucas and Gideon in the first book and then more things were revealed in the second book, I think even more will be discussed in third book. That is what I love about Sylvia Day. Her books are not only erotic romances but mystery novels as well. Those are just my thoughts. :)

  29. asees
    Nov 30, 2012 @ 05:28:51

    I think Sylvia might explore Gideon dark & dangerous side we got a glimpse of it but I want to see more & I also want Eva to resolve this conflict Ace & chris have between them I know Ace said he was left with the doc how abused him or am I wrong? Anyway I think Chris got abused to which has lead him to hate Ace I mean it can’t just be because Ace got more attention !that just doesn’t make any sense you can’t hate someone for those reason Chris is fond of Eva if she tries she could get the truth out of him , I know Ace told her to stay away but if it was just jealousy the cause then he would try to brainwash Irland to make her hate Ace ? But Irland loves him too bits so obviously there’s a stronger reason therefore he hasn’t shared his hate if only Eva tries I know she wouldn’t want to flirt with anyone but if she uses her beauty or gets chris drunk she could get the truth out & whats if Ace mum her son’s where a mess as children instead of finding out why she leaves them with strangers? I know the doc & psychiatric where help but come on therr children? And why leave chris to? Ace was the one having problems with his real fathers dying etc why put chris in that situation? There’s more secrets need digging and I hope Eva shows her determination she has had before to digg these out the past? & ok Ace hates his mum why does he hate stepfather? Has he got something to do with this and Chris doesn’t seem so close with his father either why? Did Ace kept one link with his stepfather the business relationship instead of cutting him completely off is it to keep a close eye on Ireland safety?? I mean how can to children get soo messed up maybe he’s concerned of his sis?

  30. Ana Lara
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 14:48:35

    Does anyone has Reflected on You in PDF willing to share it with me?
    THANK YOU SO MUCH.

  31. Jane
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 14:50:08

    @Ana Lara: It is available in digital formats at most retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

  32. charlotte
    Apr 24, 2013 @ 08:23:50

  33. Ros
    Apr 24, 2013 @ 08:27:58

    @charlotte: Wait, you’re commenting on a public blog, owned by a lawyer, asking someone to send you an illegal copy of a book? Good luck with that.

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