A compilation of three previously published stories, this book is primed to push your buttons and titillate your senses. The Dining Club is the place where your sexual boundaries are expanded and tested, and we meet all of the characters in the story through their introduction to the various offerings and trials that are held in the club.
First up are Grace and David – she is convinced he is what she is looking for in a man: successful, in control, knows what he wants and how to get it. What I didn’t find in Grace was a great deal of sense or experience, or even a fairly solid grasp of determining the intentions of others. David is, for lack of a better word, flat. Cold and rather reptilian in his demeanor, none of the small details that showed me a breathing, warm-blooded creature existed beneath that over-bearing dominance. I really didn’t like David at all, and found his pushing of Grace’s boundaries to almost feel abusive, something that isn’t close to the usual or normal in a BDSM relationship.
Secondary characters Amber and Andrew were better fleshed out, and Andrew did seem like the better “fit’ for Grace, with his gentler demeanor, even though he does not lack in the dominant gene. I can’t say that these two arrived or developed into three-dimensional beings either, but these two were further from completely flat.
Sadly, that lack of emotional and character development kept the story and the heat from the various positions, requirements and tasks at a simmer rather than a full-burn. Much like other more famous titles of this genre, the scenes and background knowledge in the lifestyle do not feel honest or real, in fact they are reminiscent of a slightly detailed fantasy, not grounded in any realism at all.
Narration is provided capably by Lulu Russell, who manages to insert emotion and excitement into what is a rather lackluster story. She brings some character interest and affability with her voicing and her changes to delineate different characters and action are well-presented. Although nasal and whingy for Grace, and a bit aged for David, the narration provided needed variation that kept me from shutting the story off and moving to something else.
If you want a read that will excite or provide some distraction, this could well be it. But for the pure adrenaline rush that is a punch to the gut and stirs libido, there are other more suitable titles out there.
Stars: Overall: 3 Narration: 3 Story: 2
Title: The Dining Club
Author: Marina Anderson
Narrator: Lulu Russell
Published by: Hachette Audio
Source: Hachette Audio
Audio Length: 9 Hours
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ iTunes ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound
You are invited to the Dining Club.
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.
Indulge yourself in this seductive tale, perfect for true lovers of E L James and Sylvia Day.
A copy of this title was provided via Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.