NEW YORK >> With the release of "One with You," romance novelist Sylvia Day closes her five-novel Crossfire series, which follows the love story between Gideon Cross and Eva Tramell.
Day said in a recent interview that she'd taken the story of her protagonists — both survivors of childhood sexual abuse — as far as she could.
"I have given them all of the skills that I could possibly give them, but they're at the point where the next step forward is entirely theirs," she said.
However, it's too early to say whether her fans are ready to let go of the popular couple. The Crossfire novels, published since 2012, follow Gideon and Eva from June through September of one year.
"You could write dozens of books about this couple. We can follow them through the first year of marriage, their first Christmas together, their first Easter," said Day, adding that fans would be happy to read about everything from them having children to starting a business.
"One with You" picks up after Eva and Gideon have eloped. Day said the idea was to show how their struggles continued into marriage.
"Especially in writing love stories, there's always the assumption that once you've said, 'I do,' once you get to the point where you're married, well, the hard part is over. In their case, the easy part came before they got married, and getting married created a whole new set of issues for them. It didn't make their relationship easier. It made it harder," she said.
At the end of "One with You" is an excerpt of her next book, "So Close," from her new Blacklist series, which follows Kane Black and Lily over a decades-long relationship.
"It starts with Kane and Lily in college," Day said. "Then we see them later — they're damaged by things that they did to each other. The relationship didn't work the first time around." She said the issue becomes, "What do you do if the baggage you're bringing into a relationship is given to you by the person you're having the relationship with?"
Day said she realizes it's not a given that Crossfire fans will cross over to her Blacklist series, but said it's her "job to make you love it more than you loved Crossfire and I'm game for the challenge."
And for the hopeless romantics still stuck on Gideon and Eva, Day says her new series is set in New York, as are the Crossfire books.
She writes in one fictional universe that includes all her characters, Day says, "so, we'll see them again for sure and we can look forward to that."