The Gilded Cuff (Surrender #1)
by Lauren Smith
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 would you do for me in return?” His eyes promised he meant something sexual. Something that might shatter her lonely world into pieces and leave her craving him for the rest of her life.
“D-do for you?” Sophie stuttered. That was becoming an irritating habit she needed to fix. The man had the ability to tie her in knots when he got her thinking of other things besides her job.
“I’m a dom, darling. Your needs should involve me, and your thoughts should be about what I need and want. If I am nice and give you what you need, you must give me something in return. And no… I’m not talking about money or anything so trivial as that. My story, as you call it, is worth something beyond money. I will need something just as important from you in return.”
She hesitated. What could she give him? She had nothing to offer. Nothing but…herself. She could give herself to him. A scolding voice in her head warned her that it would be a devil’s bargain. But she silenced the voice. Damn the consequences; her body wanted him. Never had she crossed a line before, never had she wanted to. She was tired of being the good girl, tired of playing it safe. The hint of danger and the thrill of dark passion in Emery’s eyes was an escape, one she needed more than her next breath.
“I’ll give you anything. Name it and it’s yours. I came here knowing what to expect.” She threw a glance around the room, eyes touching briefly on the spanking bench before settling back on him.
He chuckled and brushed the pad of one thumb over her lips. “That’s a dangerous offer.” His hand dropped to her neck, his fingers curling around her throat, the touch a warning, but he didn’t hurt her.
“What if I demand you strip completely and I tie you to a St. Andrews cross and fuck you senseless? Or if I require you to walk through the main room and accept any intimate touch another dom wishes to give you? Would you agree to that? There are a thousand things I could ask of you that would not just push your limits but break them. You were spooked at the sight of one little bench, and that tells me everything I need to know. You may have studied domination and submission, but you haven’t lived it. The importance of this particular lifestyle is that one must always be safe, sane and consensual. Your offer shows no consideration for any of those, and half the doms outside would do things you might not consent to. You have natural submissive tendencies. It’s clear from the way you responded to my commands, but we aren’t in a vanilla sex world, Sophie. While this life demands trust, it is a dark world, full of fire, passion, loss of control. Are you truly ready for that?” The bite to his tone made her arousal sharp; her womb clenched in eagerness, even as she felt a cold sweat dew on her body as trepidation set in.
Sophie breathed deeply. He’d warned her, hadn’t just accepted her blanket offer. Trust. Even as scary as what he’d mentioned sounded, she also longed for a taste of that forbidden passion. She was hungry for it. But she needed to trust him in return.
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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