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.
I don’t know what is up with me lately reading these books where the heroines and heroes have these horrific pasts that no one should go through but all these books are incredible. And why is everything I’m reading by Lauren Smith amazing?? This novel was fantastic!! A suspense thriller thrown together with some extremely hot and naughty romance, made it terribly hard to put down. The characters jump out at you, the story grips your heart, and the ending leaves you wanting more.
Sophie Ryder is an investigating journalist who lets her failings of the past dictate her actions in the future. She carries the misplaced guilt of not being able to save her friend from a horrible fate when they were only seven years old. Sophie is an interesting mix of innocent and knowledgeable, naïve and very intelligent but above all else extremely brave. I loved her as a heroine. Not many people would painstakingly comb through years of evidence to bring a single person to justice. Not many people would devote their lives to others who no longer have a voice. But Sophie is just that type of person. She is just plain awesome.
Emery Lockwood is a reclusive billionaire. Even though he is a CEO of an amazing company he rarely leaves his home. Twenty-five years ago he and his twin brother were victims of a nefarious plot that left him a person who was forever afraid of the shadows. Emery as whole is someone who makes your heart ache. Surviving what he went through takes an exceptionally strong person even though he believes himself a coward. He is honestly the perfect tragic hero. He has a horrific past that buries a lot of good qualities about him. A sweet considerate guy with dominate tendencies describes Emery to a T.
I loved Emery and Sophie together. They both have a haunted past and are cut from the same cloth, only they just came out in different shapes. The sex scenes were on fire! And not in a really raunchy form but in an extremely sensual and titillating style. The story wasn’t super BDSM heavy but it was still present throughout the novel. The other idea that was present throughout the novel was deep rooted love and respect. I was so happy that Emery had a strong, abet small but strong support system. The few people he let in his life, had his back 100%.
The mystery and suspense thriller part of the novel was done magnificently. It made me crave each and every chapter in hopes that the mystery of so many parts would finally be solved. With the backdrop of Long Island, you are given a look at all the splendor of the mansions. Everything was described in great detail and really made you feel like you were there. However in the beginning of the novel there seemed to be a lot of information thrown at you and it was like you kind of started in the middle of everything. But as it went on and you got more information everything started to take shape and pulled at your heartstrings. The action scenes were intense and crazy awesome!
This novel was able to invoke my emotions; the heartbreak when coming face to face with your past, the sensuality of finally letting go and giving into your desires, and the elation of a happy ending. Honestly the whole time I was reading this, things in the novel would make me laugh out loud, tear up a little, yell at my computer, and squeal like a maniac! I am so freaking excited that this is a series and we readers get to see more of these characters.
All in all brava Miss Smith, brava! I don’t know what it is about Lauren Smith’s writing but I absolutely love it. The way she writes the story is that it is set in a fast pace world and has numerous fleeting situations but it isn’t rushed. It’s so weird but so awesome at the same time. I seriously cannot wait for the next book! I need it like yesterday!!
I couldn't have said that better myself! Reading is huge passion of mine. And I'm glad that books not only expand my world view but that they bring the wonderful people who created them into my life. You can always find me with a book and an eclectic mix of music on. I am a HEA junkie extraordinaire! I am a Beta reader, who loves helping authors bring their characters to life. As well as an avid romance reader (every and anything ;D) turned aspiring author.