Review: The Dining Club (Parts 1-3: Desire, Bound, Crave) by Marina Anderson

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Title:  The Dining Club; Desire, Bound, Crave
Author:  Marina Anderson
Publisher/Year:  Grand Central Publishing. 8/20/13 – 9/3/13
Length:  30+ Pages
Series: The Dining Club (#s 1-3)


Part One: Desire

Young, ambitious theatre director Grace has no time for distractions, but she just cannot resist enigmatic city financier, David. Alluring, charismatic and an incredible lover – David never lets Grace get too close. So when he invites her to a weekend at his private club, Grace is thrilled.

Arriving at the secluded location, and excited by her nerves, David reveals the truth behind the Dining Club: a place where guests are taught to open their minds, and their bodies to erotic challenges. If she passes the tests, she is promised ecstasy beyond her wildest fantasies. If she fails, she’s forbidden to ever set foot in the exclusive club again. But even as David’s seductive commands make Grace feel more daring than ever before, she begins to fear for their future. What if she fails one of the Club’s tantalizing trials? Will David still want her or will she lose him forever?

Part Two: Bound

Grace has surprised herself by falling hard for the breathtaking financier David. But now she knows that in order to keep this man, she will have to explore his darker side.

Grace is shocked by her body’s instinctive response to the private club David has introduced her to: the Dining Club-a secret society where members can explore their most forbidden fantasies. David got her through the Club’s exclusive doors-but to stay she must pass a series of erotic trials.

Wrapped in a luxurious dress of chiffon and lace that David gave her for her first challenge, Grace is anxious and excited to enter into the heart of the Dining Club. Little does she know that one of its members, the dazzling and domineering Amber, has every intention of keeping David all to herself . . .

Part Three: Crave

Grace has had her first taste of the Dining Club . . . and she’s already addicted. Now, as she counts down the days until her next erotic challenge at the Club, she can’t stop thinking about David’s stamina and the earth-shattering pleasures that await her.

When a stunning red dress arrives from David, Grace feels more ready than ever to meet the Club’s next test. But the new challenge that awaits her is more dangerous than decadent-dazzling Club member Amber is more eager than ever to win David’s affection, and Grace must do whatever it takes to keep him.

My Thoughts

When i read the pre-cursor that it would be similar to 50 Shades or Bared to You, i thought that this was right up my alley. I’ve also learned along the way that i tend to really enjoy books that are written in a novella format where we get a few more chapters each week so that it keeps you wanting a bit more.  In this case, i stumbled upon the series when there were 3 installments out so i’ve gotten a pretty decent taste of what’s to come.

At the onset of the story, we meet Grace and David who are in a pretty decent length relationship.  It seems from the surface that all is well, they enjoy each other quite physically and what’s nice about this story’s beginning is that it seems like both have their separate lives and aren’t reliant on the other (yet).  David is a successful financier from what we gather and Grace is a play producer of sorts.  Once we learn that they are in a well standing relationship, David throws in the curve-ball of an invitation to a private club known as the Dining Club.  As you can expect from this genre, i’m sure that it’s a BDSM club of sorts.

At the club, we are then introduced to Amber (whom actually confused me for a second since i wasn’t quite sure why she was introduced quite so quickly) but anyhow, she’s the hostess at The Dining Club and has some type of relationship with David.

This story takes us through the path of David needing to see if Grace can conform to his rather kinky tastes, and Grace fighting it every step of the way since she’s quite ‘vanilla’ yet she doesn’t want to lose David.  The other piece here is that Amber considers David to be ‘hers’ and that makes for an interesting dimension of the relationship.  Grace starts to pick up on this and that’s makes the story even more interesting.

so, the question that we’ll have to keep reading on to find is what lengths will Amber go to in order to out-do Grace, and will she succeed?  The other question is whether Grace will actually ever let go enough to enjoy herself and see that maybe David’s tastes aren’t quite so ‘kinky’.

To be completely honest though, there’s a flaw that i found in this story.  While it’s a different character dynamic than other series in this genre, there’s something that i feel is kind of lacking.  It feels quite clinical sometimes, with the scenes that they engage in, and while i want to feel heat and passion since that’s what’s being written, i’m just not.  I hope that as we see these folks grow together in the next installments, that my feeling will change.  I also wish that we knew a little bit more about Grace and David since they seem very 2 dimensional.  I’m more accustomed to series like this that draw you into a deeper emotional / psychological bond at least from one of the mains.  We’ll just have to wait and see if that happens.

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