Review: Surrender (The Dining Club #8) by Marina Anderson


Title:  Surrender
Author:  Marina Anderson
Publisher/Year:  Grand Central Publishing. 10/8/13
Length:  35 Pages
Series: The Dining Club #8


If you pass the challenges we set, a world of pleasure awaits you.

He is everything she never wanted: brooding, secretive, rich – and far-removed from her care-free artistic lifestyle. Yet David has a power over Grace that she cannot resist, a power that comes from his darker, passionate side.

And now he is ready to truly reveal himself. Inviting Grace to a weekend at the Dining Club, David offers her the opportunity to discover his deepest desires and to find pleasures far beyond her wildest imagination – but only if she if willing to play a series of sensual games.

Grace faces a choice: give in to her doubts and retreat to her quiet life, or truly embrace happiness with David and win over her mesmerising lover forever.

My Thoughts

I think that i knew the path that this installment was going to take, and i wasn’t at all surprised.  Although the one loop hole there is that i didn’t have any expectation on what the final challenge would be for the 5th table, so that was interesting.  What we get in this final installment (or is it) is Grace being forced to make the decision if she wants to take on Table 5, Amber’s Table which would ultimately mean taking Amber’s role in the club.  David finally opens up a bit more to Grace about his feelings, and what his role in all this has been (not shocking to readers i’m sure), and then we are on Grace’s journey.

What i liked about this story more so than others was 2 things.

1) we see that Grace isn’t perfect – especially in her friendships.  Because she’s choosing to go on the journey with David, it means that her own professional life is hitting a snag, and her friendship with Fran isn’t on the up and up

2) I also really enjoyed where the story seems to be going, with the bit of a tease at the end.  Between you and me, i have a feeling what the ‘smirk’ and final conversation was about and what’s going to happen, but i guess we’ll have to wait and see if there will be more to come.

This 8th story didn’t let us down in the sense of erotic sceneing and passion, although it was a bit awkward at time.  too much of a competition and less heat and romance.  but….we are seeing everyone grow a bit and that’s what you expect at the closure of a series.

Review: Submit (The Dining Club #7) by Marina Anderson


Title:  Submit
Author:  Marina Anderson
Publisher/Year:  Grand Central Publishing. 10/1/13
Length:  35 Pages
Series: The Dining Club #7


Grace has one more erotic challenge to complete. Once she proves to the Club, and to herself, that she’s truly embraced her new sensuous desires, Grace will ensure her place in the Dining Club-and in David’s heart. But after learning David’s deepest secret, Grace isn’t sure what to believe about their relationship anymore. Does he even want her to succeed? She knows this final challenge won’t be easy, especially with Club members Amber and Andrew still as determined as ever to see her fail.

Now with this final trial, David will push her stamina to its limits-and Grace must submit her body and soul to his every demand. If Grace doesn’t complete the challenge, the Club-and David-will be off-limits to her forever.

My Thoughts

Grace is nearing the end of her challenges and while each week gets harder for her since it’s so far out of her comfort zone, she slowly begins to see that David’s love is growing to a point where he might actually say it.  The question that lies ahead is whether Grace can be what David needs, if that’s what she wants to do, and what will happen.

The obstacle though that still lies in the Dining club too is Amber (and Andrew i suppose).  Amber is afraid of losing David because she’s probably in love with him even though he’s probably not with her.  Andrew also has these growing feelings towards Grace that means that he’s going to try to make her fail so that David will walk away and he can be with her.

The challenge for Table 4 leaves us in a place that’s just as curious as the prior tables.  we see that Grace has to do things that she never thought she’d do, and all the same time, David brings her to the brink of her own passion.

I’m looking forward to the conclusion in the next book.

Review: Caress (The Dining Club #6) by Marina Anderson


Title:  Caress
Author:  Marina Anderson
Publisher/Year:  Grand Central Publishing. 9/24/13
Length:  35 Pages
Series: The Dining Club #6


Part Six: Caress

Grace is starting to question her place in her breathtaking lover David’s life. While her erotic challenges at the Dining Club have brought her and David closer together, lately his heated commands feel cold and distant, making her fear she’ll lose her membership to the Club, as well as David’s attentions.

Luckily for Grace, handsome Club member Andrew reveals a few details that will help her succeed in the next sexual challenge. Unfortunately, he also reveals information about David that makes her question everything she’s ever thought about him-and herself. After learning David’s secret, does Grace have a chance at a future with him?

My Thoughts

While the story should ultimately be getting more complex the deeper we get into the trials, i feel like things are beginning to become more expected.  i’m still wondering if i’d have different feelings if i read this all as 1 book vs. chapters each week.  oh well.  anyway, we continue on towards the 4th trial this week – where Grace is really getting anxious because she knows that she’s nearing the end of things at the Dining Club.  this means that things will either get much harder and she’ll have to push herself or she’ll have to decide that she wants to walk away from David.

Andrew continues to pursue her in a way that’s even more than the physical stuff in the trials which adds a bit more complexity, but we see that it’s not the main focus here which is nice.  no need for a love triangle here especially since we have Amber/David/Grace already.

So the story continues – same old same old.  i’m glad that we get to see Grace taking risks, i feel like they could be hotter at this stage in the story though.

Review: Touch (The Dining Club #5) by Marina Anderson


Title:  Touch
Author:  Marina Anderson
Publisher/Year:  Grand Central Publishing. 9/17/13
Length:  35 Pages
Series: The Dining Club #5


Part Five: Touch

Eager to continue her sexual journey with the man she’s grown to love, Grace prepares to face her third erotic Dining Club challenge. But David seems anything but eager. He’s turned cold and controlling, and he’s making it nearly impossible for Grace to complete the test.

Enter quiet, handsome Club manager Andrew with his own agenda: he desires Grace for himself and will do anything to seduce her away from David-including revealing David’s oldest, darkest secrets . . .

My Thoughts

The journey continues – Grace continues to learn more about what David seems to need while at the same time discovering what it is that she enjoys.  The trials continue and again she’s up against Amber and Andrew who won’t make things easy, and David who turns cold and curt every time they enter the Dining Club.  It’s times like those that Grace wonders if this is what she wants, but she feels compelled to do her best since she WON’T let Amber win.

Onto trial number 3 to see what happens and if she makes it to table 4 for next month.

Review: Seduce (The Dining Club #4) by Marina Anderson


Title:  Seduce
Author:  Marina Anderson
Publisher/Year:  Grand Central Publishing. 9/10/13
Length:  35 Pages
Series: The Dining Club #4


As Grace delves further into the sensual world of the Dining Club, her passion for the devastatingly handsome David grows stronger by the day. By night, their sexual encounters-and the daring new experiences they’ve shared-both intimidate and excite her. Though the Dining Club has given her and David the connection they were missing before, she wants David to herself and isn’t sure she’s brave enough to invite another lover into their bed . . . or is she?

My Thoughts

This 4th novella installment continues the journey that David is taking with Grace and we see that while Grace is stronger than David had hoped, which should please him, that’s not necessarily what he’s realizing that he wants.  Grace goes through yet another trial that takes her deeper in her learning about what pleases her and what pleases David in an environment that’s so new to her.

Each time we get another installment, i’m left to wonder if Grace will succeed, if Amber will get in the way, if Andrew will realize what he feels and what he’ll do about it and what that all means for David.  I know that i can’t have high expectations since it’s just 30 pages or so, but at least it’s nice to see that it’s not going to be so cut and dry.  (kind of makes me wish that i waited for the whole thing to be available in a combined read)

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.