This review also appears on Steamy Guys After Dark
, the third installment in the Dining Club
series picks up right where Bound
ended. This one has Grace's friend, Fran, warning her that even though David is a rich financier, he's got a reputation for being a ladies' man and never having any intention of settling down. I thought Fran was a total bitch to Grace, and I was surprised that she was giving her all these warnings six months
after Grace started dating David. Fran asked Grace repeatedly if David was good in bed, and that was kind of weird to me.
We also see Amber, the girl that runs the Dining Club, explaining to Andrew that she's going to do her best to be sure that Grace fails so that David doesn't fall in love with Grace. David goes to the Dining Club to be sure everything is set up for Grace's weekend and is tempted by Amber, but decides to go home instead of having sex with her, which I liked. The fact that he kisses Amber before he leaves just proves how manipulative he truly is, though.
When it's finally time for Grace's next trial, she expresses fear to which Amber lets her know:
As always, should you wish to quit the trial at any point you only need to say the word and you'll be released from this room. Naturally you would then have to leave the Dining Club immediately. No one can attempt the trial twice, meaning this is your only opportunity to learn if you can take pleasure from something that your respective partners enjoy.
Which. I'm not even going to say it again.
I liked Grace the best in this novella so far. She actually asks what we've been wondering all along:
Yes. I don't understand how, if you truly feel anything for me, you can take pleasure in seeing me hurt. It doesn't make any sense. That's not what a loving relationship is meant to be about."
"I don't want to see you hurt," he said softly, one hand stroking her long, dark hair. "I want you to learn that immense pleasure can come through just a little pain."
"I don't believe that's true. It's cruel and you're being unkind," she retorted, on the edge of tears.
He bent lower, until his mouth was against her ear. "It is true, my darling. If you really loved me, then you'd trust me."
This one ended pretty abruptly, moreso than the other novellas, and didn't seem to end in a place that made sense. Pretty much like the rest of this series doesn't make much sense.