The Gilded Cage
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 . . .
A very sexy smile curved his lips. “Sure, come on in, honey,”
“Uh, thanks.” The way he said honey this time felt much more like a warning.
Fenn stepped back and allowed her to climb into the trailer. The husky backed up, too, still peering around her master’s knees, ears back, but no longer growling. Hayden let out a breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. It was clear the dog no longer thought she was a threat.
Hayden loved animals, but her parents had never allowed her to have a pet. They ruined nice houses, at least according to her mother. Therefore she’d never spent much time around dogs, especially none like Coda, who looked like a wolf…one that could eat her.
“You want something to drink?” Fenn asked as he closed the door behind her.
A stack of empty bottles littered the tiny counter next to the sink.
“No thanks. I think you’ve had enough for the both of us,” she muttered.
“Probably true.” He sighed and lifted his jeans on the left side to show a tightly bandaged ankle. “Hurts real bad,” he explained with a curt nod at the beers and the half-full bottle of whisky.
“So…what can I do for you, Miss Red Dress?” He leered openly at her, but she caught the faintest playful hint of teasing in his gaze.
“Hayden. Please, call me Hayden.” She tried to move past him, but the cramped confines of the trailer wouldn’t allow her to pass without fully grinding her body against his. As she did so, she had to tilt her head back. He was the same height as his twin, six-foot-three, easy.
“Hayden,” he murmured, one of his hands coming to rest on her hip. His large palm squeezed lightly as she wriggled, fighting off the invasive touch. She was a little ticklish. When he touched her there, she flinched as a bolt of arousal shot from the tips of her breasts down to between her thighs.
The swift movement of her hips brought a sudden change in him. His eyes darkened and his lips parted as he drew in a deep breath, his grip tightening. Fenn pressed his body to hers, pinning her against the fridge behind her.
Trapped. She was trapped and it was the most erotic thing she’d ever experienced. Nothing at the Gilded Cuff had ever made her feel like this…flushed and all too aware of herself and his close proximity. Instinctively she tried to dart around him and escape. But there was nowhere to go.
“Where are you going? I thought that’s what you wanted. A buckle bunny looking for a good hard fu—”
Crack! She slapped him hard across his face before she could think twice, and his head whipped sideways. He didn’t move away, he only turned his face back to hers. There was a handprint-shaped mark on his cheek. He reached up and touched the spot, the intensity of his stare burning through her.
Wow. She was so not the violent type when she was angry, but to insinuate that she…oh yeah, slapping him was the appropriate reaction. She may go to a BDSM club frequently, she may do a few scenes with doms, but she rarely went all the way with those men. She didn’t just sleep around like that. When she went to bed with a man, she wanted a deeper connection. For him to call her a…what was it? Buckle bunny? Red tinged her vision as she seriously considered slapping him again.
“So that’s how you want to play?” His lips firmed into a hard line.
As he spoke, he reached up and collared her throat—not squeezing it, but the possessive hold was fully dominant. Little flutters of excitement stirred in the pit of her belly and a shiver rippled through her. Arousal pulsed to life between her thighs at the gentle domination. She tried to retreat, but couldn’t. He must have sensed her need to resist because he leaned over her, reminding her just how much taller he was. Her whole body flashed with heat and arousal at his silent show of power. It was impossible not to imagine him in full control of her: the way he might pin her down on the bed, his muscled arms twining with hers as he held her captive beneath him. Restrained for his pleasure, and hers. He was a natural dominant. It was obvious in every sweeping gaze, the flex of his muscles, the way he looked at her as if he could not only read her mind, but glimpse her soul. Another thing he and his twin apparently had in common. Dominant, alpha male instincts. She was a submissive but she’d not yet found a dominant who could top her and make her truly want to submit. The way Fenn stared at her, like he was furious and yet aroused, and the gentle grip on her throat? What if he unleashed all of that control on her? It was enough to make her light-headed.
This was a fairly decent standalone book and I finished it in a couple hours which is about average for me lately. The only issue that I had was that the title to the book doesn’t really make sense in context with the rest of the book until the very last chapters. I was very confused because I kept waiting for it to make sense to me why the book title was “The Gilded Cage” and I didn’t get my wish until the end of the book.
Fenn and Hayden come together because Hayden is helping her brother search for Fenn. He was kidnapped along with his twin, Emery, when he was 8 and never returned to his family. His family thought he was dead for the past 20 some years and have just recently found him when their kidnapper came back to kill Emery and finish the job he didn’t finish when the twins were 8.
Hayden has been wanting a guy to dominate her in the bedroom for a long time and none of the Doms at the local BDSM club she frequents can handle her but Fenn can. This is more a soft core erotica rather than a hard core one. There isn’t much BDSM involved other than a little tie me up action but it was very well written what was included in the story.
For me, this wasn’t what I’ve been craving as far as BDSM books go BUT it was well written and well executed so I have to give this book a 4 just for that.
ARC received in exchange for review.
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. Lauren loves hearing from readers and can be reached through her website www.laurensmithbooks.com.