Bared to You, a romance audiobook by Sylvia Day, has been compared to both Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey. However, most critics agree that the tight, evocative writing of Bared to You is superior. In the scene where the heroine first sees the hero, Day writes, "As he stared back, he altered...as if a shield slid away from his eyes, revealing a scorching force of will that sucked the air from my lungs. The intense magnetism he exuded grew in strength, becoming a near tangible impression of vibrant and unrelenting power." Day's prose is almost poetic and sucks you in, just as her hunky hero sucks the heroine in.
Eva is a 24-year-old who is determined to make it on her own even though she comes from a rich family. She starts working at an entry level job in an advertising agency and meets the head of the agency, Gideon, who is 28 and already a billionaire. So we have a naïve, inexperienced girl meeting a man of the world—a scenario that seems to resemble the plotline of Fifty Shades of Grey. But this is where the similarities end.
As the book progresses, we learn that both Eva and Gideon have a history of abuse. As they learn more about each other, they must reveal things about themselves that they would rather lock away forever. Their physical chemistry is immediate and the sex is amazing, even cathartic, for both of them. But emotional connection is harder to come by and their relationship is fraught with ups and downs. Gideon can be a jealous alpha male type at times but Eva also has to control her feelings when she learns that Gideon is on platonic terms with his past sexual partners.
The story is told from Eva's point of view and so, Gideon often appears to be blowing hot and cold, a sure-fire way to keep the story intriguing. However, Day claims that her heroes are always fully immersed in the relationship right from the beginning. They see what they want and they go for it. It's the heroine who isn't entirely sure if this is the man for her. The rest of us wouldn't dare turn up our noses at a hunky billionaire but Eva is looking for a soulmate and needs to be convinced that Gideon is that person.
There are some interesting supportive characters in the book, such as Eva's bisexual roommate Cary who has romantic issues of his own, wanting what he can't have and not wanting what he can. There is a short mention of S & M in the book but the story doesn't appear to proceed in that direction like Fifty Shades of Grey. Overall, this is a sophisticated book by an author who has proved herself in the past over and over.
Sylvia Day has written contemporary romance for Berkley Books, speculative/paranormal romance for New American Library, historical romance for Kensington Brava and futuristic romance for Zebra. It's no wonder then that her voice comes through as polished, refined and yet conversational. She's a Japanese American who lives in California and loves to travel. She is also a wife and a mother of two. Bared to You and its sequel, Reflected in You have both been bestsellers and a third book in the trilogy is upcoming.
Download Bared to You from The Audio BookStore for a steamy, romantic read written in spare, evocative prose.