Tue
Nov 21 2017 9:30am

An Ongoing Love Affair With Sylvia Day’s Crossfire Series

Gideon.

Just his name.

Gideon.

I’ll give you a moment to sigh. (Or sweat…)

Intense.

That’s the best word for him. Also, obsessive and possessive (a side-effect of his personal struggle). Oh, and sex-crazed, through most of the five books in the Crossfire series—for his heroine, of course.

Eva.

Stunningly erratic, and yet patiently steadfast. She gets through to Gideon. The way no one else could.

Amidst their fucked-up-ness, they make an iconic couple.

I’ve tried and still never found another romance series that quite captures their similar explosivity. Because that’s what they are: combustible on every page of each book. Their emotional ups and downs are off the charts. The roller coaster ride of reading them is… well… strap in, it’s one hell of a ride.

A beautiful one.

But the thing I love most about them: the respect Sylvia Day gives to them as characters in recovery from childhood trauma. And not just giving it to one character, but two. Actually, three if you count Eva’s best friend. I’ve not found another author brave enough to take on that challenge. (If anyone knows of another series that does this well, please share!)

Some readers call Gideon and Eva’s relationship crazy, dysfunctional, and over-the-top. I’ve heard lots of people talk about how annoying and immature they are and how they wish the characters would just grow up, already.

But… I love those things about them.

Don’t get me wrong, watching them make mistakes is infuriating, since we want them to work things out so badly. Or at least, I did.

Perhaps some readers thought they should just give it up, thinking they had too much wrong with them to make it work.

That makes me sad.

Even characters who have been through bad shit deserve an HEA.

Sylvia Day does an extraordinary job of showing the nuisances of their internal struggles and how they threaten to ruin their vital relationship. The fact that she gives them five whole books to work through their issues together is wonderful. It could never be accurately done in one, or three.

The painstaking journey Eva and Gideon go through—I can’t get enough of it.

Even five years after Bared To You released, the Crossfire books are still an every year reread series for me. I’ve read the series at least five times. 

It hasn’t gotten old. My reread this month is no exception.

Immersing myself in their tumultuous world, for me, is not overwrought or overwhelming. It’s comforting.

I’m a survivor of childhood trauma, too.

And I wish I could write a giant thank you note to Sylvia Day for her representation of these characters and the truth-telling in their story. Maybe this article will count.

The experience of living Gideon and Eva’s romance is therapeutic for me.

They’re characters suffering from complex PTSD. Though I don’t think that’s ever explicitly said in the books, which I kind of love.

Their emotional spikes, their obsession with sex and needing it to feel loved. The constant fear of betrayal and abandonment. Their struggle to trust one another, no matter how deeply attached they are. The inability to know how to safely, sanely love someone in a healthy way. The fear of the relationship never working out. The false belief they are too fucked-up to be worth it. The sense of knowing a choice they made wasn’t smart, but being unable to see another option, beyond the dysfunctional response. The drama of a life plagued by chaotic impulses. The constant knowledge that yes, someday they will inevitably do something else fucked up that will hurt the other. The running from things that are good for them, and the attraction to things that are self-destructive.  

It’s all there. It’s all true. It’s accurate. Many adult survivors respond to trauma recovery this way. (Though not all. Everyone’s story of recovery is different.)

But the turmoil of Gideon and Eva’s relationship is worth it—not just for them, but to read.

After so much pain and toil, it makes the HEA experience all the more blissful. They’re desperate to find peace from the horror of their pasts and to gain relief from the tortures of their present. The joy of finding someone else who understands and can help, culminates in some heart-wrenching love scenes.

And some seriously hot sex. 

It takes them five books to accept that they deserve their HEA and believe that it’s actually happening. They’re so overwhelmed and in disbelief that their HEA is real, it takes the entire final book to experience all the emotions of that acceptance.

That it takes them five books is not just a marketing tactic for the publisher to make more money. It’s legit.

There could be more. The sad truth is that recovery never really ends. It’s a lifelong thing, and Gideon and Eva are bound to both fuck-up again.

Maybe some time in years to come, Sylvia Day will treat us with a glimpse of how Gideon and Eva are doing.

In the meantime, we can enjoy the new Passionflix movie of Afterburn/Aftershock (!), and wait for her next book. Sylvia Day is one author I’ll wait for as long as it takes.

***

Learn more about or order a copy of the books mentioned in Sylvia Day's Crossfire Series:

Bared to You (Crossfire #1)
Reflected in You (Crossfire #2)
Entwined with You (Crossfire #3)

Captivated by You (Crossfire #4)

One With You (Crossfire #5)


Robin Lovett reads romance to avoid the more unsavory things in life, like day jobs, housework, and personal demons. When not reading with her cat, she’s busy writing her own sexy books which may or may not involve anti-heroes, aliens or both. She’s on Twitter and Facebook @LovettRomance. www.RobinLovett.com  

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