Title: The Gilded Cage
Series: The Surrender Series #2
Author: Lauren Smith
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 9th, 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…
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.
Other Books In The Surrender Series:
The Gilded Cuff (The Surrender Series #1)
The Gilded Chain (The Surrender Series #3)
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.
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The first book I read by Lauren Smith was The Gilded Cuff and I completely fell in Love with her writing. The story of Emory and Sophie was so intriguing and heartbreaking that I simply couldn't put the book down. And I immediately knew that reading Fenn's story was simply a must. That's why I was so happy when I got the chance to review The Gilded Cage. True to the style I got to know with the first book in The Surrender Series, I was captivated by the first few words and I simply couldn't stop reading until I reached the last page. The writing is simply superb and in my opinion it cannot get much better than that. The characters are well developed, complex and very interesting. The story line in itself is quite captivating, full with a healthy dose of danger and suspense which are nicely balanced with the extremely hot, sometimes fun but always explosive interactions between Fenn and his other half Hayden.
Fenn is definitely one alpha dominant male that you will salivate after. Even though he is physically identical to his twin brother and they share some character traits (such as their dominant nature), they are also quite different. I was left with the feeling that he is a little bit wilder than Emory. Where Emory closed off himself from the world and the danger, Fenn, in a way, went seeking it (bull riding is not exactly a safe sport). I have to say that finally reading his story and what exactly happened all those years ago, broke my heart and brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion. I cannot imagine how difficult it could be to have to live through all that.
Fenn's relationship with Hayden is the perfect addition to the suspenseful and dangerous story. The chemistry between them is explosive and the sparks fly from the first moment their eyes meet :) and I cannot say that I blame Hayden :) I will also want to lick that fine specimen of a man from top to bottom (although I am not really sure whether I will start with Fenn or with Emory :D). As you probably already figured out, I am definitely a fan of the Lockwood twins but I wasn't sure that I would like Hayden. In the first book I was left with the impression that she was a little bit too much of a drama queen in a way. So I was pleasantly surprised when I got to know her better in this story. It is true that she is a little bit reckless and sometimes she acts before she thinks but she is also strong, independent, smart and very loyal. She is also ready to do everything for the people she loves, and in specific on Fenn Lockwood :) In a way she is Fenn's perfect other half and exactly what he needed to help him through the nightmare he has to live through once again.
In addition to all that, I loved getting small snippets of Emory, Sophie and Wes (I can't wait to read his story :)) and also meeting Callie and her father :) These scenes made the whole book just perfect :) And I don't think there is much more I can say about the story :)
So in a few words if I have to summarize, I will just say that The Gilded Cage and The Surrender Series are phenomenal. The Gilded Cage is one of the best books I've read so far this year (together with The Gilded Cuff) and I definitely recommend them to everyone who enjoys their books with fast-paced action, healthy dose of suspense and danger and all that topped with off the charts chemistry between the main characters and scenes that will melt your panties and leave you breathless. I can guarantee that you won't regret reading this series and this author. I just hope that the next book in the series (Wes and Callie's) story will come out soon because otherwise I will be suffering from withdrawal issues :D