Title: The Gilded Cuff
Author: Lauren Smith
Series: Surrender Series Book 1
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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.
“What’s your name, little sub?”
“Sophie Ryder.” When his brows lowered she hastily added, “Sir.”
Emery patted his thigh with one palm. “Let us begin the contest. You will come and sit on my lap and I will command you.”
Sophie’s stomach pitched so deep it felt like it hit her toes. Emery leaned back, his arms rested on the back of the couch. He looked every bit a prince, a leader of a pride of lions, merely waiting for his conquest, his prey. His relaxed position only made her feel more helpless. She knew he could move fast, catch her in his arms and have her bent for punishment again in seconds if she dared to resist him. Her nipples pearled beneath the unforgiving leather of the corset, rubbing until they ached. She clenched her hands to stop them from shaking.
Here we go, you can do this. Sophie approached him and sat across his lap. She wriggled, trying to find a comfortable position, unable to ignore the feel of his muscular thighs beneath her.
He cocked one eyebrow imperiously, as though her restlessness had somehow offended him.
“Do not squirm.” He issued his first command.
She stilled instantly. Her only movement was her breasts rising and falling with her breaths.
“Look at my eyes, only my eyes.” His tone softened, but the rough edge still scraped over her, making her hungry for the promise she found in his gaze. The voices around them faded and she slipped deeper and deeper into his dark spell.
He would be a rough lover; carnal, quiet. He wouldn’t whisper sweet words, wouldn’t utter harsh arousing statements. He’d simply take her, take her again and again, the grinding, the pounding. The soft silence punctuated by uneven breaths, the stroke of rough hands over her sensitive skin. Everything a sensible, modern woman shouldn’t want from a man in bed. He’d be all animal in all the right ways.
She’d never been with someone like him before, might never be again, and the thought was an intoxicating one. To be at the mercy of such power, such electrifying sexual control and surrender it all to him… Her mouth was suddenly dry, her pulse tapping Morse code for help as she tried to maintain a semblance of calm. Would she be able to give in to him? To let him guide her through the dark lust that so often took hold of her when she had no way of releasing it? Yes… She could let go with him, and the uncertainty of what would happen when she did was half of the excitement that lit a fire in her veins.
His hands settled on her hips, fingers slowly stroking back and forth, teasing her skin beneath the leather mini-skirt. What would it be like to have his hands on her bare flesh? Fingers exploring between her legs.
“Tell me what you’d like, Sophie.” Emery leaned his head down, his brow touching hers, eyes still locked on her face.
She gulped, her mouth dryer than the Gobi Desert. “What would it take to make you lose control? Do you want a hard fuck? A desperate pounding? Or would you like to have your hands bound, lying face down on a large bed, softness against your belly and my hardness above you, in you?” His erotic whispers were so soft, so low that no one nearby could hear what he was saying to her. The images he painted were wild, vivid, yet blurry—like a strange combination between Van Gogh and Monet. Sweet and sensual, then dark, exotic and barely comprehendible. Emery was an artist in his own way, an erotic painter of words and pictures.
“I’d take you slow, so slow you’d lose all sense of time. You’d focus only on me, on my cock gliding between your thighs, possessing you.” His words were slow and deliberate, as though he’d given them years of thought, but the slight breathless quality to the whisper made her realize she was not the only one affected.
The first quiver between her thighs was inevitable. She shifted, restless on his legs, despite his command not to move. His breath fanned her lips. “Oh, god,” she murmured. He smiled, unblinking, and licked his lips. She wanted that tongue in her mouth, tangling with her own. She craved his hands on her bare flesh.
“Please…” she moaned. He moved his hands down from her hips, to her outer thighs, barely exerting any real pressure. That made it worse. The hint of his touch, the promise of the pressure she craved. Sophie wanted him digging his fingers into her skin, holding her legs apart as he slammed deep into her.
“Take a deep breath,” he issued another command. She obeyed. Her heartbeat seemed to expand outward from her chest until the pulse pounded through her entire body so hard she swore he could feel it beat through her skin wherever he touched her. The throb between her thighs nearly stung now—her need so great, his effect so potent.
“When I take you, no matter the position, you will like it. I’ll bend you over a couch.” He stroked one finger on her outer thigh, made circular patterns. “I’ll push you up against a wall.”
With little panting breaths she wriggled, trying to rock her hips against his lap, but he held her still. She nearly screamed in frustration at being denied what her body frantically needed.
The finger moved higher, past her hip, up to her ribcage. “Spread and bound open on my bed.” His fingertip quested up past the laces of her corset. “You’ll twist and writhe, unable to get free. At my mercy, Sophie, my mercy. You will beg and when I’m ready, I will grant your every desire, just as I take mine.”
She couldn’t breathe. The orgasm was so close. She could feel it, like a shadow inside her body, breathing, panting, waiting to be set free. She was ready; she wanted to climax in his arms, wanted to forge that connection which would tie her to him. Terrifying, shocking, intimate, but damn if she didn’t want it more than anything in the world at that moment. Wanted it more than her story, more than the interview, more than easing her pain from the past. She needed pleasure. His pleasure.
The feathering touch of his fingers, Emery’s erotic murmurs now incoherent with breathless anticipation against her neck as they both strained toward the great cliff, eagerly craving the fall back to earth. Why wouldn’t he touch her where she needed it? The slightest pressure on her inner thighs, the rhythmic stroke of his hand against her clit, anything would do it if he could only…
“Time!” Royce’s triumphant call shattered the glass bubble that had cocooned them for the last two minutes. Murmurs of shock from the surrounding crowd broke through.
“Damn.” Emery’s eyes darkened. Anger, but not at her, flared at the lines of his mouth. He bent to press his lips against her ear. “You were close, weren’t you, darling? So close I almost had you.” His body was trembling beneath hers, the little movements wracking his arms and chest. The press of his arousal beneath her bottom far too evident.
He’d been there, right alongside her, dying to come. Together. And it hadn’t happened for either of them; two minutes hadn’t been enough time.
Sophie’s legs shook as cold reality slashed through her. The climax her body had been prepared to give Emery faded away. In its wake little tremors reverberated along her limbs, made worse by the tension in her entire body that hadn’t found release. She tried to breathe, to let her shoulders drop and her muscles relax. It was going to take a while to come down from this.
Almost had her? No. He definitely had her, practically wrapped up with a bow on top, totally and completely his. No question.
The Gilded Cuff
by Lauren Smith
4.5 of 5 STARS!!!!
The Sophie we meet entering the Golden Cuff seems so very timid and unsure of herself. Quickly after she arrives at the Lockwood home we learn that she is only timid and unsure in the bedroom. She is intact a very brilliant investigative reporter. Her past has helped to make her the woman she has become. Unfortunately it has not all be enjoyable and perfect, just the opposite in some cases.
Emery Lockwood has all but closed himself off from the outside world. He works from home and only leaves when necessary except for his visits to the Gilded Cuff. He surely never thought that a game at the club would have him so intrigued and stepping so far out of his norm. To everyone's surprise he takes her to the Lockwood home.
They say that it takes a wounded soul to touch another wounded soul. These two are the helping each other in so many ways. Sophie's fear were however completely on track there is trouble brewing…Will they be able to keep on step ahead and keep everyone safe?
The character growth and the mystery in this book had me completely sucked in and I couldn't stop reading. Always wondering what would happen next and to whom. Can Emery and Sophie survive yet another tragedy?
I have already added the next book to my TBR and will wait anxiously.
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.