4 star

The Gilded Cuff

Surrender, Book #1

By Lauren Smith

ISBN# 9781455532759

Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

the-gilded-cuffEmery and Fenn Lockwood were only eight years old when they were abducted from their home during a party their parents were hosting.  One brother has never been seen since, but miraculously Emery managed to escape, but was too traumatized to ever discuss his captivity.  Now 25 years later, he lives as a recluse in the Lockwood Mansion, never completely forgiving himself for leaving his twin behind, and only living half a life.

Sophie Ryder is an investigative journalist who combs through cold cases, finds patterns in them, and helps the police to solve them.  She specializes is kidnapping cases after witnessing her best friend’s abduction and not being able to do anything to stop it.  Now Sophie is in search for Emery Lockwood, if she can get his story, she’s sure she can find his kidnapper and bring them to justice!  But how do you not only find a rich hermit, but to convince him to share his greatest pain?  Well in this case you go to the BDSM club he occasionally visits and offer your complete submission in exchange for all the horrid details.

Oh and did I mention that Emery could still be in danger from the man who harmed him all those years ago?

I just recently discovered author Lauren Smith, and I must say she has skills:)  This is the third book of hers that I have read, and I just don’t want to put them down once I start reading!!

BDSM is far from my usual genre, but the publicist raved at how good this book was and I was intrigued by the kidnapping storyline.  I’m happy to say that I was not disappointed!

The BDSM aspect of this book does require you to tweak your way of thinking a bit, or at least it did for me.  This book gives you a lot of information about the lifestyle without immersing you into it too deeply.  Being an independent female, and a bit stubborn myself, I do find some of this doing whatever the dom says to be a bit demeaning, being there fully for their pleasure, even though the sub does walk away with pleasure of their own, it’s sometimes hard to see that.  Luckily our male lead isn’t into the pain aspect of BDSM and really seems to do BDSM lite… pleasure, a little light bondage, an occasional spanking, but not much more.  I do worry that readers may get the wrong idea about the lifestyle, romancing it a bit based on books like this one.  I don’t think Emery is the normal dom, and is much more compassionate than the reality.  I’d hate people to read this and think it would be fun to try and encounter a much stricter kind of dom.  I realize as an author though, you have to write a character the reader can like, and if he was too cruel it would be impossible.  Emery does try to warn Sophie about how some of the other masters are, but I don’t feel it really sinks in.

“There are a thousand things I could ask of you that would not just push your limits but break them.  You were spooked at the sight of one little bench, and that tells me everything I need to know.  You may have studied domination and submission, but you haven’t lived it.  The importance of this particular lifestyle is that one must always be safe, sane, and consensual.  Your offer shows no consideration for any of those, and half the doms outside would do things you might not consent to.  You have natural submissive tendencies.  It’s clear from the way you responded to my commands, but we aren’t in a vanilla sex world, Sophie.  While this life demands trust, it is a dark world, full of fire, passion, loss of control.  Are you truly ready for that?”

I hope that this series does touch on the ugly side of this lifestyle before its completion, maybe in a villain or a dom that one of the characters escapes from?

“Go home, Sophie.  Forget me, this place.  Let it be a peculiar dream, nothing more.  I’m not the man for you.”

But after all that talk, I have to say the BDSM is prevalent in parts of the book, but it really does take a backseat to this amazing plot about the twin kidnapping!  The abduction is definitely the main focus of the novel, each chapter beginning with a news snippet about the tragic event.  This story was so wonderfully weaved that it kept me enthralled, not being able to read fast enough, until the final word.

From Sophie’s first encounter with Emery, I found him to be nothing short of captivating.  I do like my cocky sexy male characters after all, and Emery has that in spades.  He’d have to be cocky to agree to the contest she was dragged into.  TWO MINUTES??  But besides his self-assured dominating attitude, Emery also has a gentler, more caring side as well that I enjoyed exploring.

I found that I really enjoyed some of the secondary characters as well, such as Cody and Hayden, and I’m excited to learn more about them.

“Stay, Sophie. Looking at you makes me feel better.” Cody shot a more energetic grin at his employer and friend.

“Why?” she asked.

“You’re hot, babe.” Cody shot a wicked smirk at his boss.

“Cody, find your own hot woman to drool over.” A war of looks began between the two men, half sneers and mockingly threatening scowls.

“Can’t. Stuck in this damn bed. So I’ll borrow yours.”

The revelation at the end of this book is our segue into book two, The Gilded Cage.  It promises to be even better than this installment and I can’t wait to start this next adventure with Lauren Smith!  But just a  warning … don’t read the synopsis of book 2 until you’ve finished reading The Gilded Cuff, it’s a bit of a spoiler afterall… I speak from personal experience!

In closing, I really hope you don’t let the BDSM aspect of this book put you off from reading it, you will be missing out on an amazing read!

Thrills. Adventures. Mystery. Intrigue. Emotions.  What’s not to love?  And if that isn’t enough … there’s sex too!

“As long as you don’t tell your father that I seduced you, tied you to my bed and made love to you, then treated you like my personal sex slave, I’ll probably make it through the meeting alive. Explaining dominant behavior isn’t exactly easy. I’ll be lucky if he doesn’t kill me.”

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*