Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway:The Gilded Cage by Lauren Smith



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
Format:
Paperback and Digital
Print ISBN:
978-1-4555-3277-3
Digital ISBN:
978-1-4555-3278-0 


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:  


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.

 What I thought about The Gilded Cage
In this second book in the Surrender series, Finn Lockwood, Emery's twin brother has been located in Colorado and Hayden Thorne runs off to find him. She's determined to bring him home and prove to her worth to everyone. The only problem is the kidnapper/killers are still on the loose and determined to finish the job. Hayden could end up being collateral damage.

I loved Finn and how he struggled to deal with the reality of reconciling his current life with his past. The reunion with his family was both touching and tender and I loved those scenes. Hayden was a strong character throughout  and I felt like I was just getting to really know her by the end of the story.  

As for the kidnapping mystery, it wasn't hard to guess the culprit, and the ending had me holding my breath for a few pages even while wondering how the Lockwood family didn't see it coming.  The action scenes were very well done in The Gilded Cage. 

There are three strong elements to this story: the Lockwood kidnapping and the reunion of Finn with his family, the romance between Finn and Hayden, and their dominant/submissive relationship.  Of these, I loved the first and second, and thought that the D/s part of their relationship really didn't add more to the story and kept me from rating this higher. The romance and suspense was strong enough for this story. 

While this series isn't perfect, I do like the dynamic story of the Lockwood Brothers. If you like romantic suspense with light BDSM, you might like this series. 

ARC provided for review.
*****

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THE GILDED 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



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!

Visit the following blogs for your chance to win!

6/9/2015         Red Hot + Blue Reads     Review
6/10/2015      The Sassy Bookster   Spotlight Post
6/10/2015      Romance Junkies        Spotlight Post
6/10/2015      The Lusty Literate      Spotlight Post
6/11/2015      Lisa's Loves (Books of Course)         Spotlight Post
6/12/2015      Books for Company   Guest Post
6/12/2015      Living In Our Own Story         Review
6/14/2015      Books and Warpaint Review
6/15/2015      Jen's Reading Obsession        Spotlight Post
6/16/2015      PBC       Spotlight Post
6/16/2015      BB's Book Reviews    Spotlight Post
6/16/2015      Kitty's Book Spot!      Guest Post
6/17/2015      Gemma Reads Too Much For It To Be Normal Book Blog    Review
6/17/2015      Happily Ever Chapter   Spotlight Post
6/18/2015      Lush Book Reviews   Spotlight Post
6/19/2015      Monlatable Book Reviews     Review
5/20/2015      Southern Yankee Book Reviews       Review
6/22/2015      Reese's Reviews          Review
6/23/2015      Just Booked    Review
6/23/2015      Mommy's a Book Whore        Review & Guest Post
6/23/2015      Rockin' & Reviewing Review
6/24/2015      Those Crazy Book Chicks      Spotlight Post
6/25/2015      Oh My Growing TBR  Review
6/25/2015      The Consummate Reader      Review
6/26/2015      t'irla's talk book blog               Review & Guest Post
6/26/2015      Jeri's Book Attic          Author Interview
6/26/2015      Naughty Moms' Story Time  Review
6/29/2015      Spicy, Small Town Romance Served Here   Review

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

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