Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
Synopsis for The Gilded Cuff (from Goodreads):
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.
Author: Lauren Smith
# of Books: 6 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Connected but Chronological Events
Complete? 2 more books are planned
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Erotica, Suspense
Heat Rating: hot (BDSM: high, Kink: mild)
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: Februrary 2015 – ongoing
Source & Format: Author–eARC; Newsletter Freebie (#4)
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
I read and LOVED Lauren Smith’s Her British Stepbrother Series last year. She writes addicting romances and I couldn’t wait to see what she could do with a full length trilogy.
I’m slowly getting into the world of romantic suspense but haven’t been overly successful. Either you get a thriller that is more thrills than romance or the complete opposite, with an erotica that only has a dash of a plot. So trying to find that perfect series was seeming like a fruitless effort but this one seemed more than promising…
I don’t overly enjoy BDSM novels. Alpha males are something that–obviously–come with the territory and they more often than not irk me. However, BDSM novels are the ones that have the exciting and dangerous plotlines that I adore so I pick them up and hope for the best.
This one had the right balance between sexy times and suspenseful ones. I’d say the first 20% is dedicated to the sexual tension, the next 50% is a mix of plot and romantic developments and the last 30% is the suspense. It has that little bit of everything to satisfy the various audiences that will be drawn to this title.
The first two novels have an overarching plotlines so it was exciting to watch it develop. Whereas the third has its own suspenseful plotline though I didn’t find it as dangerous as the previous two.
Regardless, as I said before, all the books had the right balance between romantic developments and dramatic ones. I found these books to be really addicting and I enjoyed them immensely.
I really liked all of these characters–even the alpha males. They all have their flaws and their strengths and that just made them all seem genuine to me. I also liked that they were all unique. I didn’t feel like I was reading carbon copies of the previous leads–they all have their own personalities and thought processes so I never got bored with them.
While these romances are based on insta-connections, I really didn’t mind them as much as I usually do when I come across insta-love stories. All these pairs just work together and I think knowing the characters’ histories as you do really helps to establish these romances. Sure, I would have liked the characters to have known each other more than a few days before they are professing their love for each other, but their fast feelings made sense to me.
My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:
I’m really hoping a certain character will be getting his own story sometime soon!
–September 28, 2019– Book #4: The Darkest Hour
I was super excited when this book popped up as a freebie on one of the email Romance Clubs I subscribe to. I had been waiting for Royce’s story so when I needed another sequel book to read that was on the short side, this fit the bill.
Unfortunately, I think I would have enjoyed this more if I had read it closer to the other novels. I often get this series mixed up with Lauren’s Her British Stepbrother Series–even though they are completely different. But that’s what time away from a series does to my brain.
Regardless, I did enjoy the novel. I thought some of the plot points didn’t seem necessary and were only added for the romance–but they didn’t need to be.
Series Rating: 4/5
The Gilded Cuff 4/5 | The Gilded Cage 4/5 | The Gilded Chain 3.5/5 | The Darkest Hour 3/5
I finally found a contemporary romantic suspense novel that strikes the right balance between romance and plot line!
Read if You Like: romantic suspense
Avoid if You: dislike BDSM based novels