In a Gilded Cage
by Mia Kerick
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Publication date: October 21st 2016
Genres: LGBTQ+, New Adult, Romance
Lucci Grimley is indeed alluring—crowned with a mane of long blond hair, and blessed with an enchanting musical talent that draws a brave rescuer to a high tower hidden in the forest.
However, this modern-day Rapunzel is a young man, sold as a child to the wealthy and childless Damien Gotham for the price of a fast car and a pile of cash. And Lucci’s heroic prince is William “Prin” Prinzing, a handsome college student and star soccer player, hired to care for the grounds of the lavish Tower Estate. Prin climbs an extension ladder rather than a long golden braid to gain access to Lucci’s second floor bedroom window, ultimately penetrating the secrecy surrounding the cloistered young man.
Friendship, and soon romance, blooms. The tower captive eagerly gives his loving innocence to his brave rescuer, which sends the strict and reclusive Gotham into a frenzy of jealous rage. With Prin, Lucci gets a taste of real life, and he wants more. Together, the young men must face Gotham’s ruthlessness and pay the price of liberating Lucci.
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Prince William is casing the joint.
This statement doesn’t meld with the way I see myself at all, but tonight it’s most definitely true. I have no interest in breaking and entering, though. I’m merely on a fact-finding mission. I need to know more about Lucci and his father, these peculiar tower-dwellers.
It takes me a while to cut through the woods and get to the place where I recently hid behind a tree and spied on my new acquaintance and his father in Lucci’s bedroom. I haven’t even settled myself on my knees behind the maple tree, when I see movement in the brightly lit room. It looks like Mr. Gotham’s huge palm is curved around the back of Lucci’s head, and he seems to be pressing it to the wall.
I thought I was shocked when I heard Gotham threaten Lucci with taking away food from his diet, and to find him blindfolded on the terrace a few days ago was just plain messed-up. But this is different. The way Gotham is forcing his adult son to stand there, stiff as a board, with his nose pressed against what looks like golden, leaf-printed wallpaper, is sort of ... abusive.
I actually rub my eyes, because I can’t quite believe what I’m seeing. This militant disciplinarian is nothing like the sophisticated Mr. Gotham who I met while landscaping the exterior of his office building this summer. His expression of fury is the virtual opposite of the smiling man who took me under his wing so kindly, stopping now and then by the planter beside the gallery’s cobblestone walkway, and enthusiastically explaining why he thinks I would be a perfect fit for Gotham Pharmaceuticals. This cannot be the same man who captivated me with his explanation of why big business is vital to small town culture.
I rise to my feet and lean forward against the tree as I’m nearly mesmerized by what is playing out before my eyes. When Mr. Gotham releases Lucci’s head, Lucci turns, and appears to plead with his father. His dark eyes are strangely hollow, almost as if his mind is miles away from this ornate bedroom and his ranting parent. Before he even finishes speaking, Gotham again has his son’s head in his hands, and is a man on fire with rage. He leans down and screams into Lucci’s ear, loud enough that I can hear the sound outside, but somehow Lucci barely flinches. Without a fight, he allows Gotham to push his face right back to the wall and hold it there.
Lucci is being punished—this much is clear. I can’t imagine what the sweet, shy, and compliant guy could have done to warrant this kind of treatment. Nor can I grasp why Lucci accepts this cruel treatment instead of saying, “F—you!” and walking out. And once I get a handle on my sense of confusion, though, I quickly slide into anger.
What I see happening, like a drive-in movie drama playing almost soundlessly in the distance, is just plain wrong.
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Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.
Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.