Friday, July 6, 2012

Good in Bed

Bared to You (Crossfire, #1)Bared to You by Sylvia Day
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wasn't going to write a review about this book, but then I got to thinking about the popularity of books like this one (#4 on the NYT Bestseller's List) and the Fifty Shades trilogy.

Fifty Shades is poorly written, but it's scratching an itch, if you will, much like Bared to You, which touches on that something that women readers crave every now and again. They crave it so much so, it was recently reported that the Fifty Shades author is pulling in a cool million a week this summer.

When I was growing up in the late '80s, my mom read books about sexy highlanders or some such dominate male who would "claim" and "possess" said heroine.


We look at modern romances and find very similar situations. The differences are minor. Instead of the highlands of Scotland, we have the skyscrapers or Manhattan. This is where our warrior/hero/misunderstood man waits.

The women in our modern romances are only slightly different from the bodice rippers of the past. Sheading petticoats for sheath dresses, these women are beautiful and smart. They might make more suggestions concerning their desires, but in bed, they are typically submissive.

So why is there a sudden a backlash against these modern romances when we've been reading them for years? Is it just the writing or is it the subject matter?

Women are still not supposed to be as sexual as men. Women are supposed to be above it all. When we read, we shouldn't give in to our baser desires, but read something more enlightening--something worthy of our sex. Sigh. Isn't this the same bullshit society has been pushing for decades, if not centuries? Women should read contemplations concerning Christ or needlepoint. Yawn.

It seems that today it is other women sending the message that women should avoid these topics, rather than men.  In our desire to get away from fantasies of the past, we tell other women that they must avoid such dribble.  How can women want a man who is controlling and possessive?  That isn't the modern woman's fantasy!  Well, according to sales, yes it is.

Bared to you takes a modern woman who is smart and beautiful and screwed up and places her with her soul mate, an equally screwed up dominate male. Hold up reader! These two have more in common than looks and money. Both Eva and Gideon have been sexually abused in their pasts. And this is what makes Day's book both compelling and emotional. These two survivors are learning to make their way in a relationship while also being in the limelight. It's an interesting concept that works.

What we have is a book that is pro-human and possibly, for some, worthy of our sex.

For those female readers who are hung up on what we as women should be, I ask you to question those values. At the end of the day, we are still sexual human beings, who might crave a little fantasy. And that does not make us less intelligent. Women can be both smart and sexy, not sexy, but also smart--as though being smart is something rare when discussing a woman who is beautiful. Gak.

If you can unshackled yourself from both modern and antiquated conventions, you might enjoy this book quite a lot. To read is human, and when we read, our human craves a variety of subjects. Giving it the occasional romance should not be held against us; it should be just one more subject that titillates and excites our largest sex organ, the brain.

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