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The Red Diary Kindle Edition

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Length: 389 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this debut mainstream romance from Harlequin Temptations author Blake (Hotbed Honey, etc.), a racy journal inspires sexual adventure. Longing for love and excitement, rich girl Lauren Ash commits her erotic desires to a velvet-covered diary, which is surreptitiously read by painter Nick Armstrong as he works on her Florida home. Unbeknownst to Lauren, her wealthy builder father once betrayed Nick's dad. Nick violates Lauren's privacy intending revenge, but he can't resist using the diary to seduce her instead. Lauren melts at Nick's uncanny understanding of her needs, while he is won over by her tenderness and sensuality. Abundant diary excerpts slow the story's momentum and never ring true: surely no 27-year-old would use words like "thrice" or "lave," or phrases like "soaking in every glorious affection my woodland lover imparts." Only in the second half of the book do the couple's frantic gyrations slow long enough for them to connect in a warm, meaningful way. Unfortunately, few readers may make it past the purple prose that mars the early part of the story.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"A cleverly sexy novel, with charming characters that readers are sure to enjoy." -- Shane Sawyer, The Best Reviews

"A one-of-a-kind romance. The character definition is excellent." -- Carolyn Crisher, Romance Reviews Today

"An evocative and touching novel that will clog your throat with emotion even as it simmers through your blood." -- Paula Klug, A Romance Review, 5 ROSES

"One hot story ... very sweet and quite lovely." -- Susan Mobley, Romantic Times Bookclub

"THE RED DIARY should catapult Toni Blake's writing career with its unique concept, red hot passion, and poignant love story." -- Patricia Rouse, Rouse's Romance Readers Groups

Product Details

  • File Size: 1017 KB
  • Print Length: 389 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (August 28, 2012)
  • Publication Date: August 28, 2012
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,997 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Toni Blake's love of writing began when she won an essay contest in the fifth grade. Soon after, she penned her first novel, nineteen notebook pages long. Since then, Toni has become a RITA™-nominated author of more than twenty contemporary romance novels, her books have received the National Readers Choice Award and Bookseller's Best Award, and her work has been excerpted in Cosmo. Toni lives in the Midwest and enjoys traveling, crafts, and spending time outdoors. Learn more about Toni and her books at
To join Toni's mailing list, cut and paste this URL into your browser:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Lieberman on March 25, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book by Toni Blake is NOT your typical erotic romance. It has warm endearing characters and a really touching story.

Nick is a housepainter with a wounded heart. Lauren writes her sexual fantasies in a Red Diary which Nick finds while painting her house. He is enticed by what she has written. He knows he shouldn't keep invading her privacy but continues to read the diary. They have some history and at first Nick wants to get even for a past wrong.

Lauren's love teaches Nick that love can heal even the worst of wounds. I definitely recommend this book!!!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Vest VINE VOICE on September 19, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Nick Armstrong hates anything to do with the Ash family. After his mother died, his father took to the bottle and was ousted from a partnership with now multi-millionaire builder, Henry Ash. When Nick is hired to paint the house of Henry's daughter Lauren (whom he has not seen since they were children), he's instantly attracted to her, but can't fathom a relationship with the daughter of his enemy. When Lauren is out, he snoops in her house to get a glimpse of what "should have been his," only to find her diary. When he opens it, he discovers her erotic fantasies, and sets a plan in motion to seduce her with her own fantasies and break her heart. He doesn't factor in that his own heart might become involved. Lauren is not what Nick expects, and he soon finds himself falling for the one woman he doesn't feel he can have. When she discovers his deception, will she ever be able to forgive him?

While the plot itself is a bit predictable, the story is very engaging, and keeps the reader hooked. Nick has so many layers - he's both a tough guy and has a huge soft spot for the disabled brother he supports, while trying to find it in his heart to forgive his father for allowing their lives to be ruined. And Blake can really up to steam quotient - this is one hot book!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jonetta on November 12, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
From the beautiful red rose cover to the end of the story, Toni Blake's THE RED DIARY is sexy, sweet and hot! A contemporary romance combines with a good old fashioned love story between two unlikely people. Even the secondary characters have a story you'll want to know more about--BIG HINT, WARNER! Overall, a very satisfying read and a story that will stay with you. Did I mention the sex? It's amazing. Thank you, Toni Blake!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 29, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In Clearwater Beach, Florida, Nick Armstrong blames his family's misfortune on his father's business partner of two decades ago, Henry Ash, who took advantage of a grieving man (Nick's mom had just died). Henry swindled Nick's dad out of his share of their business. Nick's father became an alcoholic, his brother became mentally unbalanced and his sister gave up her plans to attend college. Nick worked like a dog to keep the family alive and recently his Horizon Painters firm has had success.

Henry's daughter "Princess" Lauren hires Nick's firm to paint her house. Nick's first reaction to seeing her highness is that she is the prettiest woman he ever saw, but assumes she is a shallow man-eater. As he works on her home, he finds her RED DIARY in which she fantasizes about lovers similar to that of her loose best friend. Nick decides the best way to avenge his family is to give Lauren everything she asks for in her diary. However, as he succeeds in his quest, he falls in love with his victim and fears how she will react to the truth.

This enjoyable contemporary romance focuses on a deep message that destructive negative emotions by one person have a downward impact on other family members. Henry's collapse takes his children down with him in different way with the plot predominantly looking at Nick, who has a cancer inside him until Lauren's love begins to heal him. Lauren is a wonderful protagonist, perhaps too good for Nick even with her therapeutic love saving him from himself. Still Toni Blake makes it quite clear that revenge harms the culprit as much, if not more, as the intended target.

Harriet Klausner
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By BeretBrenckman on February 10, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book opened with a fantasy. It was relatively tame and satisfyingly short. Lauren Ash has only had three lovers but everyone in her life believes her to have many. Her best friend is very sexual and has many sexual experiences and because Lauren spends time with her people think she is similar in her sexual past. The fantasies were similar all throughout the book.

Lauren Ash was too insipid in the beginning of the book. It seemed as if every person in her life completely overrode her constantly. Her father was a philanderer, the company partner was slimy, her best friend was obnoxious. She changes throughout the book, for the better, but the change seemed insincere and probably short lived. I really didn't like her all that much. She was so clueless when it came to Nick it wasn't funny.

Nick Armstrong was not a hired hand. He was the owner of a successful painting business and creepy as all get out. He was by turns petulant and pissy and I wouldn't have had a thing to do with him. The fact that he kept breaking into Lauren's house to read her private diary freaked me out. He never explained it or let his admittedly small conscience make him stop. I understand that he felt Lauren's father had contributed to his family's misfortunes but he didn't let a little thing like having an intimate relationship with someone stop him from going through with a revenge that wasn't all that complete.

Toni Blake has been writing and been published since at least 2000, yet this book felt like it was written by a new, inexperienced author. Lori Foster is quoted as saying "Heart-stopping sensuality." I'll admit the fantasies were sensual but the rest...not so much.
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