For years, Callie Taylor has been obsessed with two things: a man she can never have and escaping to Paris where she can follow her artistic passions. But everything changes when Callie meets Wes Thorne, a wealthy, mysterious art collector and famous dominant. Despite all the nights she’s spent dreaming of another man, it is Wes’s predatory gaze that suddenly consumes her every thought and sets her body on fire. One touch from him promises unforgettable passion, but Callie knows that passion often comes with a price…
From the moment he sets eyes on Callie, Wes is intrigued by her artistic talent and her delightful innocence of all things erotic. A stolen kiss leaves him aching and desperate to claim her in a way he’s never wanted any woman. But first he must convince her to surrender her control. And what better place to seduce an artistic soul like Callie’s than Paris?
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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