The Gilded Flower Trilogy by Vivian Winslow
Gilded Lily (#1) released May 18, 2014
Calla Lily (#2) released June 22, 2014
Tiger Lily (#3) released July 20, 2014
Reviewed by Sarah
On the Flap
After catching her fiancé Jack in bed with her sister the day before her wedding, New York socialite Lily Baron escapes to Rio, her honeymoon destination—alone. There, Marcelo, the dark and sexy hotel masseur, releases a heated passion Lily had never experienced with Jack. When Lily meets handsome and powerful Brazillionaire Gustavo de Lima, she can hardly resist him. There’s just one problem. He’s married. In this uber-sensual city, will Lily’s reluctance to be with a married man, in light of her own fiancé’s betrayal, give way to her burning desire for Gustavo?
Weary from battling a hostile takeover attempt of her family’s company, Lily seeks a distraction in Todd, an erstwhile bartender with a large trust fund and magical tongue. Meanwhile, a connection seems to be developing between Lily and Alejandro, a wealthy and gorgeous Cuban-American, whose brother, Rodrigo, is dating Lily’s twin sister, Dahlia. When Alejandro unexpectedly rebuffs Lily one night, she is deeply dismayed. But, after seeing Alejandro’s picture with a gorgeous Latina model in the gossip pages, Lily thinks it wasn’t just a misunderstanding. When the sisters and brothers reunite in Aspen for a ski weekend, will Lily’s heart remain frozen or will the fire between her and Alejandro rekindle and melt away the ice?
Having experienced a profound personal and sexual awakening during her solo honeymoon to Brazil, New York socialite Lily Baron rushes back to New York upon hearing the news that her father has fallen ill. Now, Lily must take the helm of the Baron Media empire and fend off a high-stakes hostile takeover attempt. With the fate of the company hanging in the balance, will Lily be able to resist the advances of the luring, unwanted suitor in the boardroom as well as the bedroom? Things get steamy in this highly anticipated sequel to Gilded Lily.
The Gilded Flower series is a trilogy of novellas surrounding the life and loves of Lily Baron. She was born into privilege in New York City, but with her high social status comes complications. As a child, she spent more time with the nanny than with her mother all while her father ran a media empire. Initially she comes across a bit meek and subservient but throughout the three books she grows a bit of a backbone.
In Gilded Lily the series is set when Lily calls off her wedding to Jack, an even higher level of Manhattan’s social elite, after catching him in bed with her twin sister. She runs away from her troubles and heads to her three week Rio honeymoon alone. She meets and has a bit of a one sided dalliance with her masseur, Marcelo. It is such a nice change to see a man wanting to pleasure a woman without receiving something in return. She also encounters Gustavo, a Brazilionaire, and happens to be very married. She has immediate passion and chemistry with him considering the situation Lily left in NYC, Gustavo’s proposition of an affair presents an interesting moral dilemma of whether or not she should participates.
Calla Lily picks up with the Baron patriarch in the hospital which means Lily is now at the helm of his media empire. She quickly learns that a few bad purchases haven’t panned out making the entire corporation vulnerable to a takeover. Lily also learns Gustavo isn’t quite done with her yet as he continues to chase and try to persuade a relationship with her. Since Marcelo is still in Rio and she needs the kind of stress relief he provides, there is a very capable substitute with Todd whom we met briefly in Gilded Lily. In this installment we see a solidification of the female characters relationships with one another including her twin. Seriously, I’m not sure how she can forgive and forget so easily.
With a decision on the fate of Baron Media, the final book Tiger Lily continues with the theme of Lily’s transformation. She has become more independent but is still tied by the strings her family places on her. Antonio, the beautiful Cuban doctor turned entrepreneur, is back and is central to the story. While Lily struggles to decide what she wants to do with her future, she leans on him for advice and comfort. Has she finally found the man she will end up with?
I found the repetitive usage of names in the dialogue a bit distracting but I it’s a good way to ensure clarity within the conversations. I wish there was more of a conclusion to the plot line with Gustavo although it might be left open for future books. I can see how all the characters could still be entangled in future installments regardless of the focus of the book. I loved the series is just this side of being smutty but with a storyline which has thought provoking moments and some laughs too. It’s a fascinating look at people you think have everything but has made many compromises to get it.
All three novellas are just over seventy pages apiece and, man, are they ever page turners. I finished them in record time and was left wanting more. You’ll want to set aside an afternoon or evening to read them all at the same time. The first two installments end with understated cliffhangers. From someone who has read a fair amount of the genre, I could easily see how we can get three more trilogies out of this brand; we need to get the stories for Dahlia, Violet, and Rosa.
Rating: 4 Stars
Gilded Lily Calla Lily Tiger Lily
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I have a large appetite for books with pensive alpha males. I tend to lean towards erotica and contemporary romance. I am completely addicted to my Kindle and feel naked when it’s not with me. If you have any recommendations, feel free to email them. I’m a single-ish woman with two crazy dogs. I also love football and basketball. Living in Oklahoma City, my teams are the Thunder and Sooners.