Bared to You
“Full of emotional angst, scorching love scenes, and a compelling story line.”
“I love the writing, the sexual tension, and the intricate dance the characters do as they get together.”
—Carly Phillips, New York Times bestselling author
“So hot it practically sizzles, Bared to You charts the life of Manhattan newbie Eva and her steamy romance with the unspeakably dashing Gideon. Move over Danielle Steel and Jackie Collins, this is the dawn of a new Day.”
“The secondary characters are just as flawed as Eva and Gideon, which makes Bared to You richer and more real to me than many of the contemporary books I’ve read in a while.”
“Day writes indulgent fantasy at its most enjoyable, in a story populated by high-society beauties and rakes, all of them hiding dark passions and darker secrets behind their glittering facades . . . Filled with catty socialite drama, dysfunctional personalities, and deliciously explicit love scenes, Bared to You takes a sensual look at a darker side of love.”
“Bared to You was getting tons of fanfare on Goodreads. People were going crazy over it! It didn’t take long for me to understand why . . . This book was just incredible. I couldn’t put it down! The sex was so hot and the relationship was so juicy that I just had to know what was coming next!”
—Read Our Lips
“Filled with equal amounts of emotion and heat, Bared to You can easily be devoured in one evening. Day creates two multidimensional characters in heroine Eva and hero Gideon, whose successful and attractive exteriors hide traumatized pasts. These layers will help readers connect with the pair, and make this a story that sticks in the mind.”
—RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 stars)
“I read this story over a sweltering weekend. And I was glad I had the air conditioner on full blast since this book cranked up the heat even more! Reaching the last page in this lusty, earthy book was sweet yet sad. I wanted more time with these fascinating characters.”
—FIRST for Women
“Bared to You obliterates the competition with its real, emotionally intense characters that deal with pain and pleasure with honesty. I felt these characters bare their hearts and souls in this story. Sometimes it was so intense it was painful to watch as they hurt themselves and each other with actions or words. Yet, this is what makes the story unique and unforgettable. I became so attached to Eva and Gideon that I actually hurt for them. I shared their pain and their joy as they fought to keep each other.”
“Bared to You is an intense novel full of hardships, heartbreak, overcoming obstacles, trust, and most of all . . . trying to find love in a relationship that may seem hopeless. I truly and wholeheartedly was amazed by this book. It literally blew my mind and after finishing it, I wasn’t able to stop thinking about it!”
—Happily Ever After
A Touch of Crimson
“Will rock readers with a stunning new world, a hot-blooded hero, and a strong, kick-ass heroine. This is Sylvia Day at the top of her game!”
—Larissa Ione, New York Times bestselling author
“Angels and demons, vampires and lycans, all set against an inventive, intriguing story world that hooked me from the first page. Balancing action and romance, humor and hot sensuality, Sylvia Day’s storytelling dazzles. I can’t wait to read more about this league of sexy, dangerous guardian angels and the fascinating world they inhabit . . . A paranormal romance lover’s feast!”
—Lara Adrian, New York Times bestselling author
“Explodes with passion and heat. A hot, sexy angel to die for and a gutsy heroine make for one exciting read.”
—Cheyenne McCray, New York Times bestselling author
“Sylvia Day spins a gorgeous adventure in A Touch of Crimson that combines gritty, exciting storytelling with soaring lyricism. Adrian is my favorite kind of hero—an alpha-male angel determined to win the heart of his heroine . . . This is definitely a book for your keeper shelf.”
—Angela Knight, New York Times bestselling author
“Absolutely perfect! There are so many levels to this book—plots, subplots, shades of gray—it was brilliantly constructed and written . . . Not only is the story magnificent, but it is truly one of the hottest books I’ve read this year.”
—Rage, Sex, and Teddy Bears
“Catapults you headfirst into the action from the very first page . . . A Touch of Crimson had everything I could hope for in a book. Fantastic characters, a hunk of a leading man . . . a sympathetic and headstrong leading lady and an awesome story line . . . It is packed with action, killer one-liners, and gripping cliffhangers.”
—All About Me
“A gripping, touching, and scintillating page-turner. [Day] skillfully blends a timeless tale of love lost and found. [This] is a perfect romance with excellent world building that’s rich with angels, lycans, and vampires.”
—RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 stars)
Berkley titles by Sylvia Day
The Crossfire Novels
BARED TO YOU
REFLECTED IN YOU
HOT IN HANDCUFFS
(with Shayla Black and Shiloh Walker)
MEN OUT OF UNIFORM
(with Maya Banks and Karin Tabke)
THE PROMISE OF LOVE
(with Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy, Kathy Love, Jamie Denton and Kate Douglas)
Reflected in You
BERKLEY BOOKS, NEW YORK
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This book is an original publication of The Berkley Publishing Group.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
Copyright © 2012 by Sylvia Day.
Cover design by George Long.
Cover photograph: Shutterstock.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
BERKLEY® is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA
Berkley trade paperback edition / October 2012
Berkley ebook ISBN: 978-1-101-60491-5
An application to register this book for cataloging has been submitted to the Library of Congress.
This one is for Nora Roberts, an inspiration and true class act.
Praise for Bared to You
Also by Sylvia Day
About The Author
I’m so grateful to Cindy Hwang and Leslie Gelbman for their support and encouragement, and most important, their love for Gideon and Eva’s story. It takes passion to write a book and passion to sell it. I’m very thankful they have it.
I could write an entire book about everything I need to thank my agent Kimberly Whalen for. The Crossfire series is a massive multinational, multiformat endeavor and she never misses a trick. Because she’s always on the ball, I’m freed to focus on my part of our collaboration—the writing!—and I love her for it.
Behind Cindy, Leslie, Kim, Claire Pelly, and Tom Weldon are dynamic teams at Penguin and Trident Media Group. I wish I could mention everyone by name, but really, it takes a village. There are literally dozens of people to thank for their hard work and enthusiasm. The Crossfire series is being cared for and looked after by Trident and Penguin on a worldwide scale and I’m so grateful for the time you’ve all spent on my books.
Big thanks to my publicist, Gregg Sullivan, who makes my life easier in many ways.
I must also thank all of my international publishers (over three dozen of you at the time I’m writing this) for welcoming Gideon and Eva into your countries and sharing them with your readers. You’ve all been so wonderful and I appreciate you.
And to all the readers around the world who’ve embraced Gideon and Eva’s story—thank you! When I wrote Bared to You I was so sure I’d be the only person who loved it. I’m so thrilled that you do, too, and that we’re following along on Eva and Gideon’s journey together. Hot, bumpy roads are best traveled with friends!
I loved New York with the kind of mad passion I reserved for only one other thing in my life. The city was a microcosm of new world opportunities and old world traditions. Conservatives rubbed shoulders with bohemians. Oddities coexisted with priceless rarities. The pulsing energy of the city fueled international business bloodlines and drew people from all over the world.
And the embodiment of all that vibrancy, driving ambition, and world-renowned power had just screwed me to two toe-curlingly awesome orgasms.
As I padded over to his massive walk-in closet, I glanced at Gideon Cross’s sex-rumpled bed and shivered with remembered pleasure. My hair was still damp from a shower, and the towel wrapped around me was my only article of clothing. I had an hour and a half before I had to be at work, which was cutting it a little too close for comfort. Obviously, I was going to have to allot time in my morning routine for sex, otherwise I’d always be scrambling. Gideon woke up ready to conquer the world, and he liked to start that domination with me.
How lucky was I?
Because it was sliding into July in New York and the temperature was heating up, I chose a slim pair of pressed natural-linen slacks and a sleeveless poplin shell in a soft gray that matched my eyes. Since I had no hairstyling talent, I pulled my long blond hair back in a simple ponytail, then made up my face. When I was presentable, I left the bedroom.
I heard Gideon’s voice the moment I stepped into the hallway. A tiny shiver moved through me when I realized he was angry, his voice low and clipped. He didn’t rile easily . . . unless he was ticked off with me. I could get him to raise his voice and curse, even shove his hands through his glorious shoulder-length mane of inky black hair.
For the most part, though, Gideon was a testament to leashed power. There was no need for him to shout when he could get people to quake in their shoes with just a look or a tersely spoken word.
I found him in his home office. He stood with his back to the door and a Bluetooth receiver in his ear. His arms were crossed and he was staring out the windows of his Fifth Avenue penthouse apartment, giving the impression of a very solitary man, an individual who was separate from the world around him, yet entirely capable of ruling it.
Leaning into the doorjamb, I drank him in. I was certain my view of the skyline was more awe-inspiring than his. My vantage point included him superimposed over those towering skyscrapers, an equally powerful and impressive presence. He’d finished his shower before I managed to crawl out of bed. His seriously addictive body was now dressed in two pieces of an expensively tailored three-piece suit—an admitted hot button of mine. The rear view of him showcased a perfect ass and a powerful back encased in a vest.
On the wall was a massive collage of photos of us as a couple and one very intimate one that he’d taken of me while I was sleeping. Most were pictures taken by the paparazzi who followed his every move. He was Gideon Cross, of Cross Industries, and at the ridiculous age of twenty-eight, he was one of the top twenty-five richest people in the world. I was pretty sure he owned a significant chunk of Manhattan; I was positive he was the hottest man on the planet. And he kept photos of me everywhere he worked, as if I could possibly be as fun to look at as he was.
He turned, pivoting gracefully to catch me with his icy blue gaze. Of course he’d known I was there, watching him. There was a crackling in the air when we were near each other, a sense of anticipation like the coiled silence before the boom of thunder. He’d probably deliberately waited a beat before facing me, giving me the opportunity to check him out because he knew I loved to look at him.
Dark and Dangerous. And all mine.
God . . . I never got used to the impact of that face. Those sculpted cheekbones and dark winged brows, the thickly lashed blue eyes, and those lips . . . perfectly etched to be both sensual and wicked. I loved when they smiled with sexual invitation, and I shivered when they thinned into a stern line. And when he pressed those lips to my body, I burned for him.
Jeez, listen to yourself. My mouth curved, remembering how annoyed I used to get at pals who waxed poetic about their boyfriends’ good looks. But here I was, constantly awed by the gorgeousness of the complicated, frustrating, messed-up, sexy-as-sin man I was falling deeper in love with every day.
As we stared at each other, his scowl didn’t lessen, nor did he cease speaking to the poor soul on the receiving end of his call, but his gaze warmed from its chilly irritation to scorching heat.
I should’ve become used to the change that came over him when he looked at me, but it still hit me with a force strong enough to rock me on my feet. That look conveyed how hard and deep he wanted to fuck me—which he did every chance he got—and it also afforded me a glimpse of his raw, unrelenting force of will. A core of strength and command marked everything Gideon did in life.
“See you at eight on Saturday,” he finished, before yanking off the earpiece and tossing it on his desk. “Come here, Eva.”
Another shiver slid through me at the way he said my name, with the same authoritative bite he used when he said Come, Eva, while I was beneath him . . . filled wi
th him . . . desperate to climax for him . . .
“No time for that, ace.” I backed into the hallway, because I was weak where he was concerned. The soft rasp in his smooth, cultured voice was nearly capable of making me orgasm just listening to it. And whenever he touched me, I caved.
I hurried to the kitchen to make us some coffee.
He muttered something under his breath and followed me out, his long stride easily gaining on mine. I found myself pinned to the hallway wall by six feet, two inches of hard, hot male.
“You know what happens when you run, angel.” Gideon nipped my lower lip with his teeth and then soothed the sting with the caress of his tongue. “I catch you.”
Inside me, something sighed with happy surrender and my body went lax with pleasure at being pressed so close to his. I craved him constantly, so deeply it was a physical ache. What I felt was lust, but it was also so much more. Something so precious and profound that Gideon’s lust for me wasn’t the trigger it would’ve been with another man. If anyone else had attempted to subdue me with the weight of his body, I would’ve freaked out. But it had never been an issue with Gideon. He knew what I needed and how much I could take.
The sudden flash of his grin stopped my heart.
Confronted with that breathtaking face framed by that lustrous dark hair, I felt my knees weaken just a little. He was so polished and urbane except for the decadent length of those silky strands.
He nuzzled his nose against mine. “You can’t smile at me like that, then walk away. Tell me what you were thinking about when I was on the phone.”
My lips twisted wryly. “How gorgeous you are. It’s sickening how often I think about that. I need to get over it already.”
He cupped the back of my thigh and urged me tighter against him, teasing me with an expert roll of his hips against mine. He was outrageously gifted in bed. And he knew it. “Damned if I’ll let you.”
“Oh?” Heat slid sinuously through my veins, my body too greedy for the feel of his. “You can’t tell me you want another starry-eyed woman hanging on you, Mr. Hates-Exaggerated-Expectations.”