Readalong for The Gilded Cuff & The Gilded Cage by Lauren Smith

The Gilded Cuff & The Gilded Cage Synopsis

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.

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Passion that takes no prisoners, and love that tests the limits of ecstasy . . .

Fenn Lockwood comes alive in the shadows. Though he might have physically survived the kidnapping that stole his childhood, the trauma and pain he lived through have marked him forever. Now the only place where Fenn can be himself is within the walls of his private BDSM world—a place of erotic obsession, where desire isn't just captured . . . it's bound. 

Hayden Thorne knows that behind Fenn's hardened exterior is a man worth fighting for. Yet to save him from the past that still haunts him, Hayden will have to abandon every inhibition she's ever had and venture into Fenn's intoxicatingly sensual world. Each tantalizing second she spends in Fenn's searing embrace is more delicious than the last and soon Hayden begins to think that she may never want to leave such torturous bliss . . .

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Read Along - The Gilded Cuff Ch 5-9

Short Overview of Ch 5-9

Sophie Ryder, the investigative crime journalist, has finally gained entry to the reclusive billionaire Emery Lockwood’s home. He’s agreed to give her an interview in exchange for lessons on submission in the bedroom. Their first night together Emery gives Sophie her first submissive lesson. To follow his orders. What happens next is one of the steamiest scenes of a woman undressing a man slowly and getting turned on by it. But sex isn’t on the menu yet. Emery wants Sophie’s trust and knows that intimacy in bed will only come after he’s earned her trust. But late into the night Emery suffers from a nightmare sleepwalking episode where he flashes back to the time when he was kidnapped as a child.

When Sophie tries to help him, he is dazed and still in a dream-like state and locks her out of the house during a thunderstorm. Sophie narrowly misses being killed by a man named Antonio who was Emery’s kidnapper twenty-five years before. When Emery realizes his mistake, he brings Sophie back inside and they share a tender moment as he takes care of her. We also get to meet Emery’s faithful body guard Hans Brummer and Cody Larson the resident computer hacker and technology expert, another of Emery’s trusted friend circle. They help Emery secure the house and discuss Sophie’s past where she lost her friend as a child. The next day while Emery meets with his cousin Brant and the board of Emery’s family’s company to discuss company issues, Sophie and Cody have a secret meeting of their own where Sophie tells Cody she thinks Emery may still be in danger from the original kidnapper. Cody agrees to help Sophie solve the old mystery and protect Emery from future harm. This set of chapters closes with the kidnapper setting fire to the Lockwood stables and during the distraction this causes, he leaves behind one of Fenn’s shoes from twenty-five years ago, just to upset Emery.

Favorite Lines

-    Emery froze, his languorous movements ceasing as he turned to face her. Behind him, at the top of the beautiful stairway hung a massive portrait. Two young boys, twins, with fair hair and ready smiles, stood frozen, gazing out through the layers of dried oil. Sophie stared up at Emery, his face just beneath the two children from where she stood. The same eyes…eyes that followed her in dreams of empty halls and lonely graveyards. The boy on the right, half an inch shorter than the boy on the left, the one with a crooked smile. had to be Emery. Such mischief, such wonder, all captured in that innocent gaze. Sophie’s heart clenched and her eyes burned. That child would come to lose all he held dear.

-    “Tonight is not about sex. A dominant/submissive relationship isn’t always carnal. Sometimes a dom just needs to hold his submissive close at night, and the sub’s need to be held is just as strong. The best relationships are symbiotic.” As he spoke he slid his hands behind her back and gently pried her away from the door.

-    It made no sense, her obsession with him. They were as different as could be and she’d never believed opposites attracted each other. She’d especially never been drawn to bad boys, or brooding men. But maybe that was because she’d never looked deeper. Beneath the wicked glint in Emery’s eyes and the layers of his seductive smiles, there was a storm in his heart. One born of passion, loss, pain, and tragedy—all churning together, on the verge of devastating everyone and everything around him. Could she find a way to get into the eye of that storm? Nothing mattered more to her in that instant than finding a way to him, and maybe then she could escape her own nightmares and guilt.

-    Emery bent his head to hers and nuzzled her throat. His lips left ghostly kisses. The world shuddered, light flashing and dimming, as she was lulled into the enchantment of his touch, his kiss. Any wish, any command, she’d obey so long as he never stopped touching her.

Fun Facts and Challenges 

-    What I love about these sets of chapters is that I got to showcase Emery and Sophie’s growing intimacy. When Emery brings her inside after the storm and runs her a hotbath and has hot tea made for her, he gets to show his truly soft and nurturing side, which some dominant men tend to have for the women they love. And Sophie in turn, shows her strength in these chapters by facing her fears of learning to submit to Emery (she receives her first spanking, obeys his orders to undress, and learns to let him take over in their kisses), but she also shows even greater strength by reaching out to Cody to try to solve Emery’s kidnapping. 

-    I loved writing two stereotype characters here, Emery the Alpha Dom and Sophie the reporter, but then flipping their characteristics on their heads by showing a thoughtful side to Sophie and a tender compassionate side to the hardened reclusive Emery.

-    One of the challenges was writing from the villain’s perspective and partially revealing his plans without showing the truth of who really hired him to kidnap Emery and his twin Fenn when they were just boys.

About Lauren Smith

Amazon best-selling author Lauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She’s a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets—a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She's won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including being an Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.

You can connect with Lauren via Website | Facebook | Twitter