Book Review, Giveaway: The Gilded Cage by Lauren Smith

THE GILED CAGE by Lauren Smith is a dark and erotic story about a solitary bullrider who finds out he is the heir to a vast fortune and a family he never knew he had. Readers will be enthralled with the second installment in the Surrender series which is told in the vein of BARED TO YOU by Sylvia Day and SECRETS EXPOSED by Lisa Renee Jones.
 
Praise for the Surrender series:
 
“The Gilded Cuff is a dark, sensual tale that teases and tantalizes the senses. It’s all about anticipation, seduction, and surrender. You will be every bit as enthralled with the story as Sophie is with Emery.” – Give Me Books Blog
“From the very first page I was lost to the suspense, romance, thrills and chills of this intriguing story. In fact, I was so engrossed in the dramatic plot that I stayed up all night to finish the story. There was no way that I would be able to sleep without knowing how everything played out.” – Sizzling Hot Books.com
“If you love a great mystery with a giant dose of steam and a beautiful love story, you will swoon over this novel!” – The Reading Cafe
Title: The Gilded Cage
Author: Lauren Smith
Series: Surrender
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Publisher: Hachette Book Group USA
Print Length: 110K
Synopsis:
 
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…
 
Find out more at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks
Excerpt from The Gilded Cage:
 
               Hayden Thorne’s heart was still pounding a little hard, her breath a little shallow, and her palms still hurt from scratches she’d received when she’d climbed over the rail to avoid death. Had she really jumped into an arena to challenge an angry bull? A little half-hysterical giggle escaped her as she collapsed onto the small twin bed in her cheap motel room in Walnut Springs, tugging her red dress down her thighs. Her hands still shook from the adrenaline.
               Yeah, she had actually done it.
               She’d saved Fenn Lockwood’s life. The missing boy in the pair of twins kidnapped at age eight, twenty –five years ago. Emery, the younger of the twins, had miraculously escaped, but never spoke of what might have befallen his brother Fenn. The world had assumed his silence meant Fenn was dead. How wrong they’d all been. He’d been here in Colorado all along, living as a rancher. He was alive. A fact that still shocked her and filled her with a sense of wonder and excitement. Bringing Fenn home could do so much—for him, for his family, for his brother. Fenn’s loss had devastated so many people, including her brother, Wes, who was Fenn and Emery’s childhood friend.
               She reached down and tugged off her Jimmy Choo pumps. The black leather was badly scuffed. She’d have to get another pair soon. They were probably ruined by the crowd during the panic following the accident when the stupid bull had thrown Fenn like a sack of potatoes. Why couldn’t he just play polo like his twin? Why did he have to be a bull rider?
               She let the shoes drop to the floor. She still couldn’t relax. She was too keyed up for anything else. What she wanted to do was find Fenn and tell him everything. She had tried to find him after she’d gotten out of the arena with the help of a couple of riders. They had enjoyed leering at her chest before she’d gone to find her heels. They’d even trailed after her, making all sorts of comments that would have made her blush if she hadn’t had other things on her mind.
               Once she’d found her shoes, she’d asked around again for where Fenn had gone after he’d left the arena, and she’d been pointed toward the medical tent. By that point, it had been empty except for a polite middle-aged doctor who was busy packing up his supplies. A couple of giggles, a smile, and she’d earned decent directions to a place called The Broken Spur, a place where Fenn worked.
               She slid her hand into the tiny, almost hidden pocket of her dress and touched the slip of paper she’d scribbled the directions to Fenn’s ranch on. Fenn’s residence at the ranch was not something she had shared with her older brother Wes. He could try to bully her into going home all he liked, or into staying out of the way, but she didn’t care. This was her mission and she wasn’t going to give up without a fight. She wanted everyone back home to take her seriously.
               Being a daughter of one of the richest families on Long Island’s Gold Coast was not the perfect dream most people might think it would be. She was a bargaining tool, a pawn for her parents to gain political power and influence. She was marriage material, nothing more. She wanted to shake her parents up, get them to open their eyes and see that she wasn’t just a frilly dressed ninny, but a woman who could actually change the world. Bringing home the long-lost golden boy might just change their minds about her, and doing so would also make sure the people she cared about were finally safe. It wouldn’t be easy, either. Someone wanted to kill Fenn Lockwood and she would not only bring him home but save his life. Just like she’d done tonight—even though tonight she had not expected Fenn’s potential killer to be a damn bull.

 

 

 

 

My Rating:

5 hearts

 

Favorite Quotes:

 

“Words – not his – scratched across the back of his eyes and burrowed into his mind like scorpions, leaving only stark fear behind.”

 

“He kissed her like a man savoring a rich glass of wine, or a favorite dish of food.”

 

“There was such an intense and refreshing aspect to men who said what they meant and didn’t try to play games.  Not like the men back home, who spent more money on mistresses than wives and didn’t know the first thing about working hard at anything.”

 

“A woman never jokes about chocolate or ice cream and certainly not when they’re together.  That’s serious business.”

 

My Review:

 

The Gilded Cage was an action-packed, romantic-suspense, thrill ride.  It was much spicier than The Gilded Cuff, which was also intriguing and suspenseful, although the protagonists of this volume were more adventuresome and prone to risk taking, in all settings.  There were assassination attempts, abductions, bar fights, rodeo bull-riding, a bar brawl, car accidents, bombings, shootings, long-lost relatives found and reunited, love and lust sparked and ignited, phew… while all that sounds exhausting… I loved it.   The story was well-plotted and emotive, the writing was compelling and insightful.  Lauren Smith’s characters are smart, witty, and uniquely compelling… being somewhat volatile, yet secretly soft and tender marshmallows.  I adored them and look forward to more of this series.

 Empress DJ signature

 

 
Other Books in the Surrender
Series
THE GILDED CUFF
Book
1 is available at
Amazon
|
Barnes
& Noble
| Kobo
|
iBooks
|
Audible
THE GILDED CHAIN
Book
3 is available for pre-order at
Amazon
|
Barnes
& Noble
| Kobo
|
iBooks
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. 
 

 

Connect with Lauren at her website | blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon
 
Follow the tour from June 9th – 26th! One grand prize winner will receive a $25 gift card for Amazon or B&N and two runner-ups will receive a signed, print copy of THE GILDED CUFF, book 1 in the Surrender series!
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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