Jeremy Linden’s a PhD student researching an HIV vaccine. He’s always short of money, and when biotech startup PharmaTek reduces funding for his fellowship, he’s tempted to take a job at a men’s dining club as a serving boy. The uniforms are skimpy, and he’s expected to remove an item of clothing after each course. He can handle that, but he soon discovers there’s more on the menu here than fine cuisine. How far will he go to pay his tuition, and will money get in the way when he realizes he’s interested in more from one of his gentlemen?
Brice Martin is an attorney for a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. When he’s asked to take a client to the infamous Dinner Club, he finds himself unexpectedly turned on by the atmosphere and especially by his server, Remy. He senses there’s more to the sexy young man than meets the eye. The paradox fascinates him, and he can’t get enough of Remy.
Their relationship quickly extends beyond the club and sex. But the trust and affection they’ve worked to achieve may crumble when Jeremy discovers Brice’s VC firm is the one that pulled the plug on PharmaTek—and Jeremy’s research grant.
2015 Rainbow AwardsThe Bobby Michaels Award for Best Gay Erotic Romance Runner-Up
“YOU EVER do any modeling?” The guy came up to Jeremy Linden in the gym locker room while Jeremy was drying off after his shower. Jeremy had noticed him checking out a few other men in the weight room and even at the pool while Jeremy was taking a breather from laps.
“I’m not interested in whatever it is you’re offering.” Jeremy had heard these kinds of offers before. Friends had taken the bait, and it never ended well. No way he’d fall for the scam. It was never just “modeling.”
“You could make some easy dough.”
“I don’t need easy dough.” Jeremy opened his locker, but he didn’t want to take the towel off in front of this guy.
“Sure you do. I’ve seen your car. Someone smashed into the side of it and you haven’t fixed it yet.”
“Too busy,” Jeremy lied. Truth was he used the insurance money for bills, but he’d never admit as much to this guy.
“Don’t you want to know what the job is?”
“No.” Jeremy didn’t have time to waste. He grabbed his boxers from the locker, turned away from the guy, and bent down to step into them.
“That’s all you’d have to do. Just take off your clothes and let people look at you.”
“I don’t strip. No thanks. Emphasis on the ‘no.’”
“Three hundred bucks for about two hours’ work, just to take off your clothes. Not stripping. You just remove one piece at a time. Five hundred if you let someone else take your clothes off for you. No other touching or funny business, unless you want. And that would pay extra.”
“Get out of here before I call the front desk.”
The guy held up his hands and backed out of Jeremy’s personal space. “Sure thing. Sorry.” He slid a hand into his jacket, and Jeremy braced for him to pull out some kind of weapon. All he had was a business card. “I’ll leave this, and if you change your mind, call me. The job’s on Friday night.” He put the card on the bench and left.
Jeremy finished dressing quickly before the guy came back or followed someone else in from the gym. He was slinging his backpack over his shoulder when he glanced down at the card. More out of curiosity than anything else, he picked it up.
The Dinner Club
He flipped it over, but the back was blank. Just a simple white card with raised black printing. For some reason the simplicity intrigued Jeremy more than anything the guy had said to him, so instead of tossing it, he jammed it into his pocket and headed out. He tossed the pack into the passenger side of his car, then walked around to look at the damage: the whole right side of the car was scraped and dented from someone opening their door as he drove by. He sure would like to get the damage repaired. He could already see a tiny telltale spot of oxidation, and even though the brutal Northern California rainy season was at least a month or so away, the exposed metal under the scraped paint would certainly begin to rust before he could afford to fix it.
Maybe he could get more hours at the tutoring center. He’d ask about it tonight when he went to work.
BUT THE center didn’t have any more students for him. They had plenty of kids who needed math or writing tutors, but he only did biology and chemistry. He met with his one scheduled pupil, then went home to the apartment he shared with Doug, another grad student at Cal.
Jeremy was starting the fifth year of a PhD in molecular biology, with a specialization in immunology. While other students in his department had a free ride thanks to government and NIH grants, Jeremy’s cutting edge research had won him a coveted fellowship from PharmaTek, a Silicon Valley biotech start-up working on an HIV vaccine. Jeremy’s work on VLP—virus-like particles—was potentially revolutionary and would help to bring their product to the testing phase and then to market more quickly than other approaches.
He was proud to be part of such an important project. While the funding covered his fees and a generous research budget, his personal stipend barely covered the basics in the expensive Bay Area. There wasn’t a spare dollar for the unexpected, like a car accident.
Well, he could just ignore the car. As he stared at it before going inside his apartment building, he thought he could see the rust spot growing before his eyes. Maybe he should just sell the damn thing and use his bike to get around. He’d long passed the point where he could ask his family for money. At twenty-seven he was supposed to be self-sufficient. He could try to get a loan from the university, or… he dug his hand into the front pocket of his jeans and pulled out the little white business card.
Three hundred bucks just to take his clothes off? A couple of hours of being naked didn’t really seem so bad. He was in good shape. He cycled and swam. He’d even done a triathlon before his research ate into his training time. Nothing wrong in just checking out this Dinner Club. He was staring at the card when Doug, his roommate, came through the front door with a pizza.
“Leftovers, want some?”
Doug worked at one of the best pizza places in town, and even their leftovers were better than fresh pizza from almost anywhere else.
“Sure.” For the next thirty minutes, Jeremy forgot about Thomas from the Dinner Club and concentrated on double-crust pizza with chicken, tangy tomato sauce, and marinated artichoke hearts. And they shared a few beers. By then Jeremy had already started working on his reading for class the following day and didn’t have time to google the Dinner Club. He’d research it tomorrow.
This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.
This book was a pleasure to read. The dinner scenes were hot and sexy. It was nice that Jeremy didn't seem embarrassed by his job and he talked openly about it with his roommate. He seemed to fit in with the dinner club boys extremely well. No jealous backstabbing going on there either, which was nice. The boys were having a good time and making money as well. The club environment could have gone in a completely different, darker direction and I was expecting it. I'm not sure I trusted it at any point during the story. Thomas seemed too good to be true, but maybe because I've read too much dark m/m. ha!
Based on the blurb, I was expecting more drama, more angst, more relationship problems with the whole funding issue, but it didn't come up until about 70% into the book, after a mostly hot buildup of Jeremy and Brice's relationship. Then it was resolved quickly with little drama and angst. More details of how it was resolved would have been nice, rather than it occurring off the page then being "filled in" about it when Brice explained to Jeremy. But I guess that wasn't quite the focus of the story, so it's forgivable.
Overall, it was a low angst, low drama sexy read.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Jeremy is a twenty seven year old doctoral candidate who is a bit in need of cash so when he's approached by a stranger about a job at The Dinner Club (doesn't sound so bad does it?) that pays well he's a bit wary. But he decides to give it a try anyway and is opened to s totally new way of dining.
Brice is s venture capital lawyer. He's first introduced to The Dinner Club via a coworker and this serves serves as his first meeting with Jeremy (his first day on the job). It's on his second visit with a client that makes him realize no server will do but Jeremy. The rules of The Dinner Club is very clear cut but Jeremy works his way around it and pretty soon the two are seeing each other outside the club. That is until Jeremy and Brice's jobs get in the way (in Jeremy's case it's more his on HIV research).
Jeremy and Brice were fun characters to get to know. It was interesting to see their interaction with each other and their building/budding attraction towards each other. Jeremy feelings in regard to having to service guest was a bit weird to me and felt a bit flimsy. He seemed uncomfortable but he was opened towards it. The voyeurism and how open the boys of The Dinner Club were made me feel awkward at portions of the book. One part of me felt it was hot but another part felt a bit embarrassed? (I guess) at the acts they were willing to go through for money in front of others. There was also a sort of embarrassment for the assumption that Jeremy made about his Mr. Green (Brice) for his second time at the club.
I found myself intrigued by Mr. Sky Blue.
I was left with a few questions: who was the private donor? Was it Mr. Sky Blue (he's my guess anyway)? Was he going to confess at the dinner that Brice dragged Jeremy out from? Will he be getting his own little story with another boy from the club?
THIS BOOK WAS DELICIOUS!!
Beginning to end, I adored the heck out of the absolutely sexy, filthy, fun kinky book.
Jeremy is a grad student working on his PhD at Cal in San Francisco. He's
a good-looking 27 y/o gay man, and, struggling with his finances, he's been recruited to work as a server at The Dinner Club--an establishment for titillating dining. The job is, essentially, to be scantily clad and deliver each of six courses to his assigned diner. As each course is passed, the diners get to remove an article of their server's costume--until the servers are all nekkid.
Oh, and the diners can pay for the servers to "perform" for them. And, to spend a night with the server of their choice--if the servers should so choose. There's lots and lots of tip money, and Jeremy's scared but willing. It's not as if he hasn't had anonymous hook ups before. And his first diner, "Mr Green" is so handsome, and nearly as bashful as Jeremy.
Brice Martin is a patent attorney. He's mid-thirties and newly returned to San Fran after he and his long-term BF split. One of the partners at the venture capital firm where Brice now works has sprung for a fun night out--at The Dinner Club. Brice isn't really a fan of voyeurism, and even less a fan of paying for a man's company, but he is in a bit of a bind what with his boss urging him on. He's mesmerized by the nubile young man, "Remy," who arrives with the starters--and thankful for his colorful pseudonym--Green with envy, actually.
Jeremy and Brice are far more tame at the table than their boisterous diners/servers, but plenty turned on, as well. Brice's boss comps a "nightcap" (overnight stay) for Brice to further enjoy Jeremy, but they are equally tentative behind closed doors. Their caution underlies the uncertainty of their feelings--Jeremy doesn't want to feel like a prostitute, and Brice wants a lover who desires him of his own will--not for cash. Still they relish each other a bit, and Brice realizes his attraction hasn't waned. He wants more Remy.
On his next visit to The Dinner Club, this time with a wealthy closeted client, Brice chooses a different server, hoping that his attraction was simply a novelty. Watching Remy serve another man, however, is aggravating. And Jeremy's a bit hurt that he wasn't requested by the lovely Mr Green.
Thing is, there's so much else going on--while Brice and Jeremy are learning to connect and bond with each other, Jeremy's research is progressing--and, yet, suffering. He's studying a novel approach to HIV vaccination and the results are SO promising, but his finances are drying up--a joint Biotech/academic partnership pays for his research but the biotech firm is losing its venture capital. Meanwhile, Brice's firm is in a position to fully fund Jeremy's research, but a miscommunication throws all that into jeopardy.
Brice and Jeremy may have a chance, if they can only learn to trust one another's intentions. Jeremy doesn't want to be "kept" and Brice doesn't want to "share" him with The Dinner Club. Their feelings develop over a period of a few months--as they make an effort to meet outside of The Dinner Club illicitly.
It's a fun, fun story with a tender plot and delicious smexytimes. For real. Fans of 80s romances will dig the movie references, and be thrilled by the the spectacular HEA.
4.5 stars !!!!
The premises of this book is really interesting and the story keeps you wanting to read without stopping.
Jeremy Linden’s a PhD student researching an HIV vaccine.
Brice Martin is an attorney for a Silicon Valley venture capital firm.
Jeremy needs to find a second job to be able to keep up with his expenses and decides to take an opportunity at the Dinner Club ... Serving gentlemen and taking his clothes off. Anything else is up to him.
The first time and night he meets Brice, who's there with a coworker.
They are fascinated with each other...
Jeremy and Brice start taking the meetings outside of the Dinner Club doors, risking breaking the rules... But they can't resist each other ... They can't resist the feelings they are developing.
When Brice makes a decision that affects Jeremy's research and the confession of their line of work comes out the relationship between them changes ... The results were devastating.
Brice tries to do everything possible to save and help Jeremy ... The results ... Beautifully designed for a romantic rescue.
This story is full of hot ... hot sexy scenes ... Laughter between the Dinner Club boys and promises of a forever...
The author also reinforces the story with the technical aspect of both Jeremy and Brice's professions ... The way it's done keeps you interested.
Complimentary copy received from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Honestly? I'm totally shallow enough to admit the cover snagged my attention and pulled me in for more. How could it not? That guy is hawt. Hands down. Yummy. Plus, I do enjoy an EM Lynley story, so I figured this was a total win-win. As always, I was right.
It was delightfully easy to adore Jeremy, from the get-go. What was even better, was how much I liked Brice, right away, also. I respected both of these men, their ideals, their morals, and I found them refreshing. Don't get me wrong, they were also sexy, gorgeous, a little shy, smart, and funny. So in my world, that made them just about perfect. Jeremy and Brice each recognize in the other the same loneliness and vulnerability, making watching them fall in love a real treat for the senses. It also, however, made for some moments where I wanted to smack them for not just coming out and talking about their concerns. Ah, communication. Still difficult no matter what the genders in the relationship are.
'Dirty Dining' definitely had its moments of dirty, believe me when I say I'd love to have watched one of those meals, but in my opinion, this book was far more about the sweet and lovely romance this attorney and graduate student found themselves in. I really enjoyed the way the author focused so much on their feelings and their thoughts, and combined it beautifully with some very intense, sexy scenes. A delightful read which I can easily recommend.
NOTE: This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews
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