The Gilded Cuff
by Lauren Smith
Series: Surrender, #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Rating: 5 Stars
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from Book Partners in Crime Promotions and the author. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".
Every passion has its price . . .
Journalist Sophie Ryder has been following Emery Lockwood’s story since she was a little girl. There has always been something in his haunted eyes that she couldn't resist and now, when she’s certain he holds the key to solving a string of kidnappings, she’ll do anything to speak to him. Even if it means venturing deep into the seductive world of the Gilded Cuff, a luxurious BDSM club on Long Island’s Gold Coast and Emery’s personal playground.
From the moment Sophie enters his shadowy, sensual domain, Emery Lockwood knows this tantalizing new little sub was meant to belong to him. However, Sophie wants more from Emery than just pleasure . . . she wants his past. And that is something he isn't willing to give—no matter who is asking. But every moment he spends with Sophie, Emery feels his control slipping and he knows it’s only a matter of time before he surrenders to her heart, body, and soul.
He slid his hands up to her wrists then connected his palms to hers. She responded, lacing her fingers through his, squeezing gently. His throat tightened and his eyes burned.
The simple connection—so sweet, so innocent—bound him to her, like a shimmering web spun between them, unbreakable and inescapable. He lifted his head a few inches, needing to see her eyes.
They were luminous, her lashes at half-mast. He was lost. A world of unimaginable beauty existed in the crescent silver of her dreamy gaze. He felt like a man from the ancient world, gazing north at the distant star Polaris, finding his way home by the loyal light that shone there. She saw him, every part of her, her light penetrating the shadows stretching out from his soul. He was open, laid bare before her, a man prostrate before a goddess.
Completely and totally vulnerable.
A tremble racked his shoulders, his muscles clenching and tensing. Then pleasure swept through him. He was in control of this luscious, precious woman. He could take her, give her such ecstasy she’d never recover.
Sophie licked her lips, her breath slightly uneven.
“You have to stop doing that,” she whispered in all seriousness, her nose wrinkling just a little.
He cocked a brow. “Doing what?”
“Kissing me like that.”
“You don’t like the way I kiss?” Her body told him otherwise as he shifted above her, the movement pressing his groin into hers. She raised her hips, seeking him, but the sheet and their clothes kept them worlds apart.
“I like it too much. That’s the problem.”
He rolled his hips again, reveling in the little hiss of frustration she made.
“What else do you like too much?” He dropped his head to her neck and nibbled on the underside of her throat. She shook slightly, her pulse leaping beneath his tongue. She was incredibly responsive and her inexperience made her reactions raw and pure. It was perfect. She was perfect.
“That. That’s definitely too good.” Her response was barely more than a breathless rush of words.
“Good. My sub has pleased me with her honest responses. You’ve earned a reward.” He eased off her and lay down beside her on the bed.
Sophie’s hands fluttered to her wrists, making contact with the gold cuffs.
“What are these?”
Sophie’s lips twitched, even as she narrowed her eyes. “Yeah, I can see that. Why’d you put them on me?”
He propped himself up on one elbow and drew a finger along the sensitive skin of her inner right wrist by the cuff.
“It’s part of our bargain. The cuffs remind you that you are mine.”
“Okay, so what’s my reward for allowing this?”
“You didn’t allow it, Sophie. You surrendered to it. Never think being a submissive is about allowing your dom to do something. You surrender. You give me your power.” Emery cupped her face and held her gaze, forcing her to confront his domination and accept it.
Her eyes—still wild, still free—darkened like a waning moon. “I surrender.”
Sophie Ryder has gone clubbing but she feels out of place. Emery Lockwood has come across a sub with some spirit. It won’t take long before the reader will feel like a voyeur. Sophie may have to learn to give a little but that doesn’t mean that she won’t be stubborn.
You’ll definitely see boundaries being pushed with this story. It’s not all about the sex or the lifestyle. There’s an actual suspenseful story going on and that’s what held my attention. Our author shows her readers that it’s ok to share your fears. If you’ve found the right partner they will share their strength and love – this will make you realize how small your fears are when you have someone to share them with.
This story is also about faith – in your partner and in yourself. There are too many people in this world that feel that you can’t be happy, or feel beautiful, unless you’re thin. This author shows us that you can be curvy and still have a good-looking guy’s attention. She also shows how nasty – and yes it can be graphic – some people can be. And sad to say we see this a lot in the news. But she also shows the other side – hope. That’s something we all live for when things go beyond our control – we have to believe and hope.
One thing that impressed me was how this author could take what becomes a very serious scene and lightens it up a little – and her name is Hayden. Someone else to watch out for is Royce. This is a hard book to put down. I hated that life had to get in the way of me enjoying this book. But once I got to the ending I noticed that it gets the reader ready for book two of the series. I would say in order to stay true to the series, read the books in order.
I’m probably one of the only few who have not read Fifty Shades of Grey and this is one reason why I’m glad I haven’t. This way I can’t compare the authors or the stories. I get to enjoy this book for what it is and I did thoroughly enjoy it. I’m looking forward to April when the next book is scheduled to come out.
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