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The Gilded Chain (Surrender) Paperback – November 3, 2015
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About the Author
LAUREN SMITH, winner of the 2014 Historical International Digital Award, attended Oklahoma State University, where she earned a B.A. in both history and political science. Drawn to paintings and museums, Lauren is obsessed with antiques and satisfies her fascination with history by writing and exploring exotic, ancient lands. She is currently an attorney in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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Callie and Wes' story started in The Gilded Cage when Wes and his sister Hayden showed up at Callie's family ranch "The Broken Spur" looking for Wes' friend Fenn that was kidnapped twenty-five years earlier. Callie had always loved Fenn and as she watched him grow close to Hayden she felt her heart breaking, it totally broke when Wes showed up with an invitation to Fenn and Hayden's engagement party.
I love the way Wes makes a bet with Callie about how she will feel after 30 days with him, he dangles the one thing that she has always dreamed of but never thought would be a reality. He is very sure of himself, and shoot looking like he does and his dominate personality I guess it's only natural that he would be so cocky. Ok, maybe cocky isn't the right word but he is overly confident of his powers over Callie.
There is a bit of a mystery that's happening on the Gold Coast of Long Island. Someone is stealing artwork from the homes of the elite, with Wes being the one that secured the purchase of the very expensive piece of art the FBI enlists his help in finding the art thief. This was a huge mystery, at one point I thought I knew who it was but something would happen or something would be said that would make me change my mind to someone else. It was a great who-done-it.
I am looking forward to Royce's story, and yes that one will be pre-ordered as soon as it becomes available too. :)
This books is centered around Wes. One of the 4 friends who grew up together but each one was touched by a tragedy 25 years ago. Wes is wealthy, good looking, educated, dominant, and empty inside. He's never really fell for anyone. His true passion is art. He collects it, he acquires if for others, and he knows a lot about that world. But something is missing....he's just not sure how to fix/find it. Enter Callie.....innocent, lonely, gifted and heartbroken over another man she thought she was in love with. She's not rich, she's lives on a ranch and is used to chores, horses, and being around cowboy ranch hands. These two make an unlikely pair. Yet, both are missing something yet neither is willing to admit it to the other. This is a romance and it is romantic, but there is also a mystery involving stolen art. This book will remind you of the tragedy that 4 young boys suffered 25 years ago, and each has moved on in his own way. They are different, but still there for each other when needed.
This series has grabbed me from the get-go. It does contain BDSM but in a much different manner then "slave/master" that most of those type of books have. I'm loving the romance, and the suspense.
HOWEVER.....this ended on a cliffy and the next book is NOT out....which ticks me off..I hate starting a series if all books aren't out..
Having said that, I highly recommend this series.
Wes is a man, who doesn't believe in love but is drawn to Callie despite her innocence. They find passion with one another in Paris, along with deepening their mutual love of art.
The reader knows that Wes will fall hard for Callie eventually. When he finally realizes he is love, it is a hard fall.
I loved all the rich details that Smith included in this book. So far this is my favorite couple in the series, I REALLY want to see a Royce book come out.
Book #3: Surrender Series
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Wes Thorne is fairly certain that aside from his sister, Hayden he is incapable of feeling true affection toward any human. Wes is a highly successful man, wealthy beyond reason, and in control of his every action. He is well-respected, has a tight circle of trusted friends, and has never lacked for companionship when he wants it.
Callie Taylor has never left the ranch she was born and raised on. Though she certainly has dreams beyond the ranch, until recently those dreams were highly unlikely to ever come true. Dreams take both money and opportunity and both of those things have been sorely lacking in Callie’s life for a lot of years. When Wes Thorne shows up in her life, Callie is heartbroken and dejected and sure any hope of happiness flew away when Fenn fell in love and left the ranch with Hayden Thorne. In the wake of her heartbreak, Callie has vowed no one will ever again breach the walls she has erected around her broken heart.
Wes wants Callie but he is smart enough to know it will take all of his control and charm to win her over. First up on his agenda, convince Callie to accompany him to Paris. If he can get Callie away from the ranch and help her to experience some of what life with him has to offer, he may just have a shot at something special. Sure she can withstand Wes Thorne, Callie agrees to accompany Wes to Paris if for no other reason than to achieve one of her goals, to see the City of Lights. Callie is determined to resist Wes but he is a force and his every action toward her is one of caring and compassion. Oh, and there is the barely concealed sexual attraction that seems to flow in both directions.
In just a few days time, Callie realizes it is absolutely pointless to resist Wes and her attraction to him. Clearly, Wes is thrilled by this concession but his preferences lean a little toward the dominant side (OK, a lot!) and Callie is far, far from experienced. In fact, it is Callie’s inexperience and willingness to try new things that makes her so appealing and once Wes sees how she responds to him in bed, there is no going back. For the first time in his life, Wes feels something real and the thought of losing Callie is absolutely unacceptable. As the days in Paris slip by, Callie and Wes grow ever closer but their time is cut short when Wes is asked to return home to after another major work of art is stolen from a friend.
The return to the States is stressful on so many levels. Callie feels closer than ever to Wes but she is a duck out of water in his world. She is young, she is new to the kind of wealth Wes is used to, and she is the least experienced, sexually speaking among his circle of friends. She is made painfully aware of all of this when she is confronted by one of Wes’s ex-subs and his parents simultaneously. Added to the stress of that wretched encounter is the fact that Wes seems to be the target of the art thief’s anger. If she wants her happily ever after, Callie is going to have to fight for it and she is ready and willing to do so!
The Bottom Line: Oh, my! The longer Lauren Smith’s Surrender series goes on, the more I am liking it. Wes Thorne is calm, cool, and collected until it comes to Callie Taylor. Callie has the ability, with her youthful exuberance and inexperience to shake up Wes’s world and that makes her exactly what he needs. Their connection is strong almost from the beginning but Wes knows he has to let Callie set the pace no matter how much the restraint pains his manly bits When the two finally get down to it, Wes is kind and considerate and more than willing to train Callie as his sub. Though Callie is willing to play sub to Wes’s Dom in the bedroom, they both know she isn’t a full-time sub as she is far too strong-willed to live a completely submissive life. Turns out, that arrangement is more than OK with Wes. The give and take between Wes and Callie is one of the finest parts of this read. There are so many differences between Wes and Callie but their mutual respect and love for one another trumps their differences. As to the mystery, it was pretty who the big bad is the moment that person is introduced but quite frankly, I just didn’t care. The Gilded Chain is all about Wes and Callie with the mystery playing second fiddle to their fun and sexy story.
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It’s not often that I give 5 Star reviews. In fact, it’s pretty rare. But there’s no way I CAN’T give this what it deserves.Read more
The Surrender series continues with the tale of Wes and Callie.Read more