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The instant number one bestseller
FROM #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR SYLVIA DAY
The final chapter in the global blockbuster Crossfire quintet
Gideon Cross. Falling in love with him was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. It happened instantly. Completely. Irrevocably.
Marrying him was a dream come true. Staying married to him is the fight of my life. Love transforms. Ours is both a refuge from the storm and the most violent of tempests. Two damaged souls entwined as one.
We have bared our deepest, ugliest secrets to one another. Gideon is the mirror that reflects all my flaws … and all the beauty I couldn’t see. He has given me everything. Now, I must prove I can be the rock, the shelter for him that he is for me. Together, we could stand against those who work so viciously to come between us.
But our greatest battle may lie within the very vows that give us strength. Committing to love was only the beginning. Fighting for it will either set us free ... or break us apart.
Heartbreakingly and seductively poignant, One with You is the breathlessly awaited finale to the Crossfire saga, the searing love story that has captivated millions of readers worldwide.
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One with You
By Sylvia Day
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2016 Sylvia Day, LLC.
All rights reserved.
New York was the city that never slept; it never even got sleepy. My condo on the Upper West Side had the level of soundproofing expected in a multimillion-dollar property, but still the sounds of the city filtered in — the rhythmic thumping of tires over the well-worn streets, the protests of weary air brakes, and the nonstop honking of taxi horns.
As I stepped out of the corner café onto always-busy Broadway, the rush of the city washed over me. How had I ever lived without the cacophony of Manhattan?
How had I ever managed living without him?
I cupped his jaw in my hands, felt him nuzzle into my touch. That show of vulnerability and affection cut right through me. Just hours before I'd thought he might never change, that I would have to compromise too much to share my life with him. Now, I stood in the face of his courage and doubted my own.
Had I demanded more of him than I had of myself? I was shamed by the possibility that I'd pushed him to evolve while I had remained obstinately the same.
He stood before me, so tall and strong. In jeans and a T-shirt, with a ball cap pulled low over his brow, he was unrecognizable as the global mogul the world thought it knew but still so innately compelling he affected everyone who walked by. In the corner of my eye, I noted how the people nearby glanced at him, then did a double take.
Whether Gideon was dressed casually or in the bespoke three-piece suits he favored, the power of his leanly muscular body was unmistakable. The way he held himself, the authority he wielded with faultless control, made it impossible for him to ever fade into the background.
New York swallowed everything that came into it, while Gideon had the city on a gilded leash.
And he was mine. Even with my ring on his finger, I still sometimes struggled to believe it.
He would never be just a man. He was ferocity sheathed in elegance, perfection veined with flaws. He was the nexus of my world, a nexus of the world.
Yet he'd just proven that he would bend and yield to the breaking point to be with me. Which left me with a renewed determination to prove I was worth the pain I'd forced him to face.
Around us, the shop fronts along Broadway were reopening. The flow of traffic on the street began to thicken, black cars and yellow cabs bouncing wildly over the uneven surface. Residents trickled onto the sidewalks, taking their dogs out or heading toward Central Park for an early-morning run, stealing what time they could before the workday kicked in with a vengeance.
The Benz pulled up to the curb just as we reached it, Raúl a big shadowy figure at the wheel. Angus slid the Bentley into place behind it. My ride and Gideon's, going to separate homes. How was that a marriage?
Fact was, it was our marriage, though neither of us wanted it that way. I'd had to draw a line when Gideon hired my boss away from the advertising agency I worked for.
I understood my husband's desire for me to join Cross Industries, but trying to force my hand by taking action behind my back? ... I couldn't allow it, not with a man like Gideon. Either we were together — making decisions together — or we were too far apart to make our relationship work.
Tilting my head back, I looked up into his stunning face. There was remorse there, and relief. And love. So much love.
It was breathtaking how handsome he was. His eyes were the blue of the Caribbean, his hair a thick and glossy black mane that brushed his collar. An adoring hand had sculpted every plane and angle of his face into a level of flawlessness that mesmerized and made it hard to think rationally. I'd been captivated by the look of him from the moment I first saw him, and I still found my synapses frying at random moments. Gideon just dazzled me.
But it was the man inside, his relentless energy and power, his sharp intelligence and ruthlessness coupled with a heart that could be so tender ...
"Thank you." My fingertips brushed over the dark slash of his brow, tingling as they always did when they touched his skin. "For calling me. For telling me about your dream. For meeting me here."
"I'd meet you anywhere." The words were a vow, spoken fervently and fiercely.
Everyone had demons. Gideon's were caged by his iron will when he was awake. When he slept, they tormented him in violent, vicious nightmares that he'd resisted sharing with me. We had so much in common, but the abuse in our childhoods was a shared trauma that both drew us together and pushed us apart. It made me fight harder for Gideon and what we had together. Our abusers had taken too much away from us already.
"Eva ... You're the only force on earth that can keep me away."
"Thank you for that, too," I murmured, my chest tight. Our recent separation had been brutal for both of us. "I know it wasn't easy for you to give me space, but we needed it. And I know I pushed you hard. ..."
My mouth curved at the quick bite of ice in his words. Gideon wasn't a man used to being denied what he wanted. But as much as he'd hated being deprived of access to me, we were together now because that deprivation drove him forward. "I know. And you let me, because you love me."
"It's more than love." His hands banded my wrists, tightening in the authoritative way that made everything inside me surrender.
I nodded, no longer afraid to admit that we needed each other to a degree some would consider unhealthy. It was who we were, what we had. And it was precious.
"We'll drive to Dr. Petersen's together." He said the words with unmistakable command, but his gaze searched mine as if he'd asked a question.
"You're so bossy," I teased, wanting us to leave each other feeling good. Hopeful. Our weekly therapy appointment with Dr. Lyle Petersen was only hours away, and it couldn't have been more opportunely scheduled. We'd turned a corner. We could use a little help in figuring what our next steps should be from here.
His hands circled my waist. "You love it."
I reached for the hem of his shirt, fisting the soft jersey. "I love you."
"Eva." His shuddered breath gusted hot on my neck. Manhattan surrounded us but couldn't intrude. When we were together, there was nothing else.
A low sound of hunger left me. I yearned for and craved him, shivering with delight that he was once again pressed against me. I breathed him in with deep inhalations, my fingers kneading into the rigid muscles of his back. The rush sliding through me was heady. I was addicted to him — heart, soul, and body — and I'd gone days without my fix, leaving me shaky and off-balance, unable to function properly.
He engulfed me, his body so much bigger and harder. I felt safe in his embrace, cherished and protected. Nothing could touch or hurt me when he was holding me. I wanted him to feel that same sense of security with me. I needed him to know he could drop his guard, take a breath, and I could protect us both.
I had to be stronger. Smarter. Scarier. We had enemies, and Gideon was dealing with them on his own. It was innate to him to be protective; it was one of his traits I deeply admired. But I had to start showing people that I could be as formidable an adversary as my husband.
More important, I had to prove it to Gideon.
Leaning into him, I absorbed his warmth. His love. "I'll see you at five, ace."
"Not a minute later," he ordered gruffly.
I laughed despite myself, infatuated with every rough-edged facet of him. "Or what?" Pulling back, he gave me a look that made my toes curl. "Or I come get you."
* * *
I should have tiptoed into my stepfather's penthouse with my breath held, since the time — a little after six A.M. — meant getting caught sneaking back in was likely. Instead, I strode in with purpose, my thoughts occupied with the changes I needed to make.
I had time for a shower — barely — but I decided not to take one. It had been so long since Gideon had touched me. Too long since his hands had been on me, his body inside mine. I didn't want to wash the memory of his touch away. That alone would give me the strength to do what had to be done.
An end-table lamp clicked on. "Eva."
I jumped. "Jesus."
Pivoting, I found my mother sitting on one of the living room settees.
"You scared the crap out of me!" I accused, rubbing a hand over my racing heart.
She stood, her floor-length ivory satin robe shimmering around her toned, lightly tanned legs. I was her only child, but we looked like we could be sisters. Monica Tramell Barker Mitchell Stanton was obsessive about maintaining her looks. She was a career trophy wife; her youthful beauty was her stock-in-trade.
"Before you start," I began, "yes, we have to talk about the wedding. But I really have to get ready for work and pack up my stuff so I can go home tonight —"
"Are you having an affair?"
Her curt question shocked me more than the ambush. "What? No!"
She exhaled, tension visibly leaving her shoulders. "Thank God. Will you tell me what the hell is going on? How bad was this argument you had with Gideon?"
Bad. For a while, I worried that he'd ended us with the decisions he made. "We're working things out, Mom. It was just a bump in the road."
"A bump that had you avoiding him for days? That's not the way to deal with your problems, Eva."
"It's a long story —"
She crossed her arms. "I'm not in a hurry."
"Well, I am. I have a job to get ready for."
Hurt flashed across her face. I felt instantly remorseful.
Once, I had wanted to grow up to be just like my mother. I spent hours dressing up in her clothes, stumbling around in her heels, smearing my face with her expensive creams and cosmetics. I tried to emulate her breathy voice and sensual mannerisms, certain my mother was the most gorgeous and perfect woman in the world. And her way with men, how they looked at her and catered to her ... well, I'd wanted that magic touch of hers, too.
In the end, I had matured into her spitting image aside from the style of our hair and the color of my eyes. But that was just on the outside. Who we were as women couldn't be more different and, sadly, that was something I'd come to take pride in. I'd stopped turning to her for advice, except when it came to clothes and decorating.
That was going to change. Now.
I'd tried a lot of different tactics in navigating my relationship with Gideon, but I hadn't asked for help from the one person close to me who knew what it was like to be married to prominent and powerful men.
"I need your advice, Mom."
My words hung in the air, and then I watched comprehension widen my mother's eyes with surprise. A moment later she was sinking back onto the sofa as if her knees had failed her. Her shock was a hard blow, telling me how completely I'd shut her out.
I was hurting inside when I took a seat on the couch opposite her. I'd learned to be careful about what I shared with my mom, doing my best to withhold information that might start discussions that drove me crazy.
It hadn't always been that way. My stepbrother Nathan had taken my warm, easy relationship with my mother away from me, just as he'd taken my innocence. After my mom learned of the abuse, she had changed, becoming overprotective to the point of stalking and smothering me. She was supremely confident about everything in her life, except for me. With me, she was anxious and intrusive, sometimes bordering on hysterical. Over the years, I'd forced myself to skirt around the truth far too often, keeping secrets from everyone I loved just to maintain peace.
"I don't know how to be the kind of wife Gideon needs," I confessed.
Her shoulders went back, her entire posture shifting to one of outrage. "Is he having an affair?"
"No!" A reluctant laugh escaped me. "No one is having an affair. We wouldn't do that to each other. We couldn't. Stop worrying about that."
I had to wonder if my mother's recent infidelity with my father was the true root of her concern. Did it weigh on her mind? Did she question what she had with Stanton? I didn't know how to feel about that. I loved my dad so much, but I also believed that my stepfather was perfect for my mom in just the way she needed a husband to be.
"Gideon and I eloped a few weeks ago." God, it felt good to put that out there.
She blinked at me. Once, twice. "What?"
"I haven't told Dad yet," I went on. "But I'm going to call him today."
Her eyes glistened with welling tears. "Why? God, Eva ... how did we grow so far apart?"
"Don't cry." I got up and went to her, taking a seat beside her. I reached for her hands, but she pulled me into a fierce hug instead.
I breathed in the familiar scent of her and felt the kind of peace only found in a mother's arms. For a few moments, anyway. "It wasn't planned, Mom. We went away for the weekend, and Gideon asked me if I would, and he made the arrangements. ... It was spontaneous. Spur of the moment."
She pulled back, revealing a tear-streaked face and fire in her eyes. "He married you without a prenup?"
I laughed, I had to. Of course my mother would zero in on the financial details. Money had long been the driving force of her life. "There's a prenup."
"Eva Lauren! Did you have it looked at? Or was that spontaneous, too?"
"I read every word."
"You're not an attorney! God, Eva ... I raised you to be smarter than this!"
"A six-year-old could've understood the terms," I shot back, irritated by the real problem in my marriage: Gideon and I had way too many people meddling in our relationship, distracting us so that we didn't have time to tackle the things that really needed work. "Don't worry about the prenup."
"You should've asked Richard to read it. I don't see why you wouldn't have. It's so irresponsible. I just don't —"
"I saw it, Monica."
We both turned at the sound of my stepfather's voice. Stanton entered the room ready for the day, looking sharp in a navy suit and yellow tie. I imagined Gideon would be much like my stepfather at the same age: physically fit, distinguished, as much an alpha male as ever.
"You did?" I asked, surprised.
"Cross sent it to me a few weeks ago." Stanton crossed over to my mother, taking her hand in his. "I couldn't have argued for better terms."
"There are always better terms, Richard!" my mom said sharply.
"There are rewards for milestones such as anniversaries and the birth of children, and nothing in the way of penalties for Eva, aside from marital counseling. A dissolution would have a more than equitable distribution of assets. I was tempted to ask if Cross had his in-house counsel review it. I imagine they argued strenuously against it."
She settled for a moment, taking that in. Then she pushed to her feet, bristling. "But you knew they were eloping? You knew, and you didn't say anything?"
"Of course, I didn't know." He pulled her into his arms, crooning softly like he would with a child. "I assumed he was looking ahead. You know these things usually take a few months of negotiating. Although, in this case, there was nothing more I could've asked for."
I stood. I had to hurry if I was going to get to work on time. Today of all days, I didn't want to be late.
"Where are you going?" My mother straightened away from Stanton. "We're not done with this discussion. You can't just drop a bomb like that and leave!"
Turning to face her, I walked backward. "I've seriously got to get ready. Why don't we get together for lunch and talk more then?"
"You can't be —"
I cut her off. "Corinne Giroux."
My mother's eyes widened, then narrowed. One name. I didn't have to say anything else.
Gideon's ex was a problem that needed no further explanation.
* * *
It was the rare person who came to Manhattan and didn't feel an instant familiarity. The skyline of the city had been immortalized in too many movies and television shows to count, spreading the love affair with New York from residents to the world.
I was no exception.
I adored the Art Deco elegance of the Chrysler Building. I could pinpoint my place on the island in relation to the position of the Empire State Building. I was awed by the breathtaking height of the Freedom Tower that now dominated downtown. But the Crossfire Building was in a class by itself. I'd thought so before I had ever fallen in love with the man whose vision had led to its creation.
Excerpted from One with You by Sylvia Day. Copyright © 2016 Sylvia Day, LLC.. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed the Crossfire series. I was really anticipating this book, but it fell short. There was unnecessary plots twists that the series really didn't need and left A LOT of things unfinished. I really enjoy Gideon and Eva. I will miss them and the rest of the characters but I wish I could have had some closure. I won't get into much detail but I'm disappointed with the lack of finality the series needed. It was an exciting ride and get me at the edge of my seat but I really hoped for more.
The series started out great. First 3 books were good. Book 4 was a filler. I expected book 5 to actually answer some questions, but sadly it didn't. We waited 18 months for 3/4 of a potentially good book to be ruined by the last 1/4. No answers to any problems that came before. I feel robbed of $50 since this series really had no end. In fact SD comments at the end that she took the characters as far as she could ??? Ummm no you created them....give them a good ending. I will never read another book of her's again.
This series started out so great. Drew everyone in to a well written interesting story line and then just died. We waited a year and a half for this story and i don't feel like it was worth the wait. So many questions left unanswered. I was so happy to see an epiloge included, i checked for that before reading. But the epiloge was terrible! It leaves hints to what may happen but leaves you to basically draw your own conclusion. A lot of new drama with many unresolved issues. I wont be starting another series by this author. Too drawn out and feeling short changed after a $50, several year investment!
First 4 books were great! Probably my favorite series. This one was a mess filed with unecessary storylines and what seems like random unfinished thoughts. Wish i could get a refund!
Loved this series.....until this last book.very disappointed. Won't go into it.....no spoilers, but it left so many unanswered questions. To have waited that long, to just be let down.... shame on you Ms Day. Maybe consider a follow up sometime down the road. I think you are gonna get a lot of bad reviews if you don't. Avide readers need an ending they can live with, not having to write the ending in our own head..... thats your job to leave us satisfied.....not hanging!
Waited so long for this story and was very disapointed no closure most of the book was retelling what happened in the other 4 still so many questions left unanswered and the most disapointing part was no epilogue it just drops off while your waiting for closure.
I am so disappointed in this book. Waaay too much drama, strange plot twists and a lackluster ending. It was a total waste of my time and I am so bummed.
What can i say? I am finished with Ms Day. There are many good authors out there. They will get my money from now on. Ms Day needs to find a day job.
How to say I did like this series and I will not be reading another series by this author again very disappointed about how the book ended. A lot of questions as to what happened with Carrie, I know that the story was about Gideon and Eva but what about her best friend? Child abuse is a huge thing and I felt like it needed to be dealt with a little bit better than with him just having it out with his mother, and I think she should have had closure on that with them being able to sleep in the same bed together. I just wish the book was better I felt like she wrote another one just because
It was bittersweet to end this series. Sylvia Day created characters that were incredibly lifelike to me. I loved the things she did to humanize them. She always creates drama for our couple, Gideon and Eva, but that tends to make them more realistic. I loved the addition of a pet to the couple, but was always bracing for what motivated mom, Monica, to make the choices that she did for her life. The last book kind of left us hanging in that it was unclear if our focus couple would persevere. I like that the story is about 2 abuse survivors and takes us through their journey. I was surprised by the way that she decided to bring drama into the story toward the end. I did not feel that it was necessary for the story line. But life goes on and I like that the characters have grown and healed. It would be better to address issues with Gideon's mom by the therapist in our story. Abuse does get ignored by family members, but that it is something that should be acknowledged and put in perspective. There could be spin off stories about related characters in their sphere. I would think a nod to these characters would be a nice way to allow them to continue in their journey.
I just don't even know what to say. I am so sad to see this series end but I am thankful also that it is over. I have became very vested in Gideon and Eva. I loved their story (though the fourth book was a little lack luster). However, Ms. Day has done a pitful job giving us closure to their story and Cary's. SPOILERS ALERT!!! What happens with Cary and Trey? Cary and Tatiana? Cary and the baby? What happened to Christopher at the hands of Hugh? Does Gideon and his mother ever re-concil? Does Elizabeth final admit she knew about the abuse and why she pretended not to believe Gideon? What happened to Anne Lucas after her basically trying to have Gideon killed off? And an epilogue that basically picks up where the story ended?? Seriously, what happens to Gideon and Eva one year down the road? Five years? Do they have children? What happens!!! And why did we need to spend the last 15% of the book focusing on Monica?? Sorry, even now knowing her background, I still don't like her character. Ms. Day could have used the last part of the book tying up lose ends instead of leaving the strings just blowing in the wind. I gave the book 3 stars because I can not give it the 3.5 I wanted too. Ms. Day has left me hanging and I don't like it. I will miss the characters and the story line. I will miss the characters I have grown to love. But I will not miss another let down by the hands of Sylvia Day. Sadly, she has sealed her fate with me as this will be the last book I read by her. Her writing has left me flat too much. I don't want to invest time in more characters that we will never get closure for in the end. I just hope one day she will think about her readers and give us some closure to Gideon and Eva!!!
Throughout this series Ms. Day has done an wonderful job of endearing both Gideon and Eva to me. The complex dynamic between the two of them as well as their individual strengths and flaws capture my interest since the beginning of the series. It's disappointing to me that I'm left underwhelmed and unresolved after reading OWY. While the book did provide some powerful moment of emotional growth; the majority of the novel felt like fluff and fillers. As mentioned in another post the additional storyline didn't contribute to the overall story. After waiting an extended time for this series to conclude I'm sorry to say I wish the novel was push back further to complete some necessary revisions.
The book is neither as bad as to deserve 1 star, nor the jewel we were all hoping for. I actually read the previous 4 books again to make sure I was providing adequate context. Here is the thing: the book is, for the most part, a slow epilogue, where the two main characters seem to finally leave insecurities aside, trust each other, and solidify their relationship. Then, in the last 4 chapters, there is this attempt to change the pace of the story with something shocking and all falls apart. It comes out of the blue, makes no sense, and makes you wonder what the heck was the author thinking. In my opinion, this story should have been wrapped up in book 3. Book 4 was an add-on and a missed opportunity to finish it before it was too late. Book 5 was an overstretch and a reminder that author's greed (I paid a whooping $50 for the series) comes at the expense of quality. I will not be buying any more books from this author.
I was looking forward to this book, but unfortunately I am very disappointed. The story seemed disjointed. It didn't seem to have the flow the previous books had. Besides Gideon and Eva, all the other characters were mentioned at least once, even if they had no point in the storyline at the time. Nothing felt resolved at the end. I'm not sure if the book had too many minor story lines or if the alternating POV's just didn't work, but something was missing to make this book cohesive and a true conclusion to the series. I'll probably go back one day and re-read the series from the beginning and hope this will help this book make more sense. But, sadly, I have a feeling I'll just end up regretting the $10 I spent!
Ms. Day should have left this a three book series. Am very disappointed and finding am having to make myself read. There are not stop endless thoughts and no character growth. Refund...Don't waste your money or time.
I was waiting so long for this book to come out and i am so dissapointed
Sad....so many unanswered questions.
I love Gideon and Eva and I will miss them for sure. As long as I have waited for their ending, this has been a disappointment. I love how she brought the focus of their trust and love in one another together and they were in unity, but I would have liked more of that. There are definitely plot twists and parts that made me laugh and cry but overall sad that Day did not give them their due in the last book. Way to many questions still remain and too many plot twists given but not completed. If you are looking for a nice ending with everything wrapped up in a bow, this is not the book for you. I felt very frustrated when I finished because there were simply too many questions I still had! There could have at least been another epilogue allowing us to see them a few years down the road as them working together at Crossfire etc with some answers... This has been my only Day series/books that i have read of hers and my last.
Not what I expected for the final book in the series. There were more story lines introduced in the book but they were left unresolved. The tone of this book was also different from the previous books. I see this was a collaboration so it left me wondering about the extent of that collaboration. I was so looking forward to this book but felt let down at the end. I love these characters, but just wanted more
I felt let down by the ending, like this all encompassing passion they have is still up in the air. There were quite a few loose ends that I didn't feel were tied up. But still an enjoyable read.
Too many unanswered questions. No Epilogue. The sex was not as steamy.
I absolutely loved and enjoyed reading and listening to the audio version of the outstanding, intriguing, spellbinding, captivating, and engaging Gideon and Eva sequel written by the best selling, phenomenally talented Sylvia Day. Even though obstacles try to pull Gideon and Eva apart, their love for each other strengthens as the two of them grow even closer together. The story is beautifully written, mesmerizing story line, and the reader becomes a part of Gideon and Eva's lives. Read and/or listen to audio version of the tantalizing, highly recommended, must read love story of Gideon and Eva.
Waited so long however I feel as though I was left with more questions than answers.
I was so excited for this book and after finishing it im a bit mad. This was not a wrap up...not closure...things were left dangling. And the thing with Monica was just dumb. As if it was just thrown in to fill pages. There was other stuff that could have done that...such as...what about Cary and Trey...did the book get published...and so on. Ms. Day said she couldnt fit all she wanted into 3 books so it was extended to 5 and it still wasnt done. Very dissappointed. I get that life doesnt wrap up in a neat bow but the epilogue should have a year later..not 2 weeks. Sad.
I waited forever for this book to come out and I have tried really hard to slug through it I've picked it up & put it down several times and reached the point where I'm about to give up. The story has become too drawn out and disjointed I feel like it's trying to be a copycat of Fifty Shades and it fails miserably