Hey bookies! Welcome to my stop on the readalong for the first two novels in The Surrender series!
Check out chapter 13 to 15 of The Gilded Cuff below!
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.
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.
ENTER THE RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY HERE!
The Gilded Cuff Ch. 13-15
Short Overview of Chapters
This set of three chapters opens with Sophie, the investigative crime journalist finagling having sex with the brooding, sexy, and reclusive billionaire Emery Lockwood. She has just given him his family back after his ears of self-exile and Emery is feeling incredibly close to her. He wants to complete the bond that’s been forming between him and Sophie and now is the perfect time. She gives into her submissive nature and lets him gently dominate her in bed to their mutual satisfaction. While Sophie and Emery are getting intimate, Emery’s resident hacker and technology expert, Cody Larson is secretly tracking a bugging device that he found in the house after the assassin/kidnapper broke into Emery’s home to taunt him. Cody follows the bug’s signal to a local bar in town and is drugged and kidnapped by the man he is tracking. When he wakes up, the man tortures him for information about Sophie and Emery and then rigs the old warehouse where he has Cody tied up, to explode after he leaves. Hans, Emery’s bodyguard and Cody’s friend, realizes that Cody has been kidnapped and he wakes Emery and Sophie up telling them the bad news. Emery calls his two best friends from childhood Royce and Wes to come and watch over Sophie while he and Hans go rescue Cody. While Sophie and Emery’s friends wait for Emery to return safely, Wes’s little sister Hayden arrives and convinces Royce and Wes that they, along with Sophie need to go after Emery since he’s in more danger than they thought.
- She wanted to melt into him, merge with the passion he drew forth from her, and be the wild, wanton creature he summoned with his smile, his kiss, and whisky-rough whispers of what he was going to do to her. Bad things. Deliciously bad.
- A lock of burnished gold hair fell into his eyes and lent him a boyish look, not like that of the hardened wealthy recluse who’d insisted he’d never let her inside his heart and soul. That wounded man had vanished. The man above her in bed was fresh with passion and emotion. His hazel eyes were warm as honeyed chestnuts and his lips were just as sweet as he murmured sweet nonsense.
- “Shit, he’s in shock. We’ve got to get him out of here.” Hans grabbed Cody’s body and with a mighty heave, lifted him up over his shoulder in a fireman’s hold.
“Get him to the hospital and come back for me,” Emery said as he checked his own gun and eyed the open door where the only source of light slithered out from the shadows.
Hans paused, hesitation and wariness in his gaze. “Emery…”
“Hans, we always knew it would come to this. I’m not asking you to save him. I’m telling you. So get the hell out of here.”
In that silent moment, Hans studied him with a mixture of pride and regret. After twenty-five years, this could be the end of the line and they both knew it.
“See you on the other side, Emery.”
- A silent scream tore through his mind at the thought of never seeing her again. What he wouldn’t give for one more touch, one more smile. To see her silver eyes looking at him with passion, with something more, something he’d been too afraid to hope for. It was the only thing that mattered now, to see the love shining from her eyes. Was dying really like falling asleep? He was barely aware of drifting away.
Fun Facts and Challenges in writing these chapters:
- There were a lot of fun things about writing this set of chapters. First I got to write the full love scene between Emery and Sophie. It included lots of BDSM but I keep it fairly light since Emery isn’t a very strict Dom and Sophie is only learning to be a submissive. One of my favorite little parts is when Emery strips her down to nothing but then he puts his red tie around her neck as her only item of clothing. It’s sexy and flirty and all too fun! I also loved writing Sophie’s vulnerability here. She reveals her physical scars that she has been hiding from Emery since the beginning of the book. These scars are wounds she got when she was cut by a serial killer years ago that she was trying to expose to the police. They’ve always bothered her and made her a little shy since she doesn’t feel as beautiful or perfect. Emery tells her scars are a sign of strength.
- One of the challenges of these chapters was writing Cody’s kidnap scene. He is take by the evil Antonio, the man who kidnapped Emery and his twin brother Fenn when they were children all those years ago. The tough part of this scene was the torture. I’d never written a torture scene, but Antonio’s character is truly evil and dark and he needed to do something despicable and horrifying to put Emery in danger when he came to rescue Cody. I was a bit squeamish writing the scene but I knew it was necessary to write it the way I did.
- One of my favorite parts of this set was writing the rescue scene with Hans and Emery finding Cody in the warehouse just moments before it blows up. What I love about this scene is that it reveals the depth of emotion between Emery and his loyal bodyguard. Hans has been protecting Emery for twenty-five years, ever since the day he escaped the kidnappers and his parents hired Hans to keep him safe. There is a loyalty, a brotherhood between the two men that can’t be broken, even in the face of impending death. Hans takes Cody’s body to carry him outside and Emery needs to stay inside to find clues about the kidnapper, knowing he might not make it out in time and he tells Hans that they always knew this day might come. I think these types of scenes are incredibly powerful and really give the characters something beyond the simple romance for readers to root for.
About the author:
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.