Saturday, July 11, 2015

Readalong of THE GILDED CUFF & THE GILDED CAGE by Lauren Smith - #READALONG #GIVEAWAY @LSmithAuthor @inkslingerPR

Title: The Gilded Cuff
Series: The Surrender Series Book #1
Author: Lauren Smith
Release Date: February 10, 2015

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.

Title: The Gilded Cuff
Series: The Surrender Series Book #1
Author: Lauren Smith
Release Date: February 10, 2015

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 . . .

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 Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.

The Gilded Cuff Ch 19- End

Short Overview of Chapters:
In order to separate Emery and Sophie emotionally to put them at risk, Antonio the assassin sends a video recording showing Sophie and Cody talking about discovering Fenn being alive. Once Emery sees the video, it calls into question his trust of Sophie and he now doubts her motives with regard to his tragic past. When he and Sophie attend a fancy party at his parents’ house he confronts here with what he knows about her and Cody conspiring behind his back about Fenn. Hurt by what he believes is the ultimate betrayal, he doesn’t give Sophie time to explain anything. After they fight, Sophie flees the party, knowing she and Emery are over, but she warns Hans to still take care of her stubborn Dom even if she can’t be there to help protect him from the danger she worries is coming. Antonio is lying in wait outside the party and abducts Sophie, then calls Emery to tell him to come and fight to save her life. Emery and Hans rush to an old abandoned mansion where they know Antonio must be holding Sophie captive. A bloody battle leaves Antonio dead, Hans with several broken ribs, Emery shot in the arm and Sophie fatally wounded. They have to rush her to the hospital where she barely survives Emergency surgery. After Sophie wakes up, Emery is there and he confesses he was wrong about her and Cody, and wrong about everything he’d said when they’d fought and that he needs her in his life. She agrees to marry him and they start to plan how they are going to find his twin Fenn in Colorado and how they will save him since Antonio warned with his dying breath that another man would take his place and kill both Fenn and Emery at the behest of the man who hired them. The adventure continues in the Epilogue where Hayden Thorne, Sophie’s friend flies out to Long Island to rescue Fenn herself which leads readers into the next book The Gilded Cage.

Favorite Lines:
“The realization hit him like an avalanche, knocking him sideways.  Christ.  He cared about her.  No… He loved her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.”

“She’d breathed life into him.  She’d taught him to love, to laugh, to trust his heart again.”

“Please take care of him.  For what it’s worth… I still love him.  I’ll always love him and I don’t want him to get hurt.”

“No matter what happens, I belong to you, Sophie.”

“Warmth was flowing into her from wherever his body touched hers.  She liked it when he held her in his arms; she felt safe, protected, loved.”

“His eyes blinked, revealing their lovely shade of hazel.  The world shrank in that single instant.  She could see nothing outside his eyes and the same look of wonder reflected in his gaze as his lips parted in a soft rush of air.”

“When all the world seemed to have gone to hell and back, she took comfort in his embrace and the way it made her feel safe, secure, whole.”

Fun Facts and Challenges of writing these chapters
-          The fun part of this set of chapters was definitely the action scenes with all of the fighting and the suspense. It’s the climax of the book and the end scene.

-          One of the most important parts of the book though was that while Sophie is dying from her wounds in the fight, she passes out and has a sort of near death experience where she sees her childhood friend Rachel again, the friend who was kidnapped and killed when Sophie was a child. Rachel’s murder has been the force which has driven Sophie’s life to this point, why she needed to help Emery, why she felt compelled to save him and solve the kidnapping. In a way this final scene was incredibly hard to write emotionally, because Sophie talks to Rachel and finally comes to terms with her friend’s death and all of the guilt Sophie carried all these years for not being able to held the police find the man who took her. One of the important parts of writing this for me was delving into my own painful past where I lost a childhood friend to a murder. She was killed when she was in her 20s but I’d know her all my life and would always think of her as the little girl I was friends with. Drawing upon such dark emotions in myself was what really made the scene with Sophie and Rachel that much more meaningful.

-          It was also really important while writing this to give Emery a sense of closure. He discovers his twin is alive, so the guilt he’s been carrying around all these years is lifted, and he’s also killed the monster that’s haunted his nightmares since he was eight years old. Antonio had tortured and abused him while Emery had been his prisoner and now Emery is finally able to kill him and know that the nightmares of being kidnapped by that man again are over or at least he thinks.

-          I loved writing the epilogue where we introduce Hayden and Fenn the next couple in the next book. The epilogue is of Fenn while he’s bullriding and was inspired by a real rodeo I visited while I was in Steamboat Springs (the town that inspired Walnut Springs where the second book takes place).

ReadAlong Schedule:
July 6th
July 7th
July 8th
July 9th
July 10th
July 11th
July 12th
July 13th
July 14th
One Guy's Guide to Good Books
July 15th
July 16th
July 17th
July 18th
July 19th
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