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The Red Diary Mass Market Paperback – January 29, 2013


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (January 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062229575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062229571
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,327,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Toni Blake is a star on the rise! Her books are sexy and full of heart!” (NYT Bestselling author Teresa Medeiros)

“Toni Blake writes wonderful books!” (NYT bestselling author Jennifer Crusie)

“Toni Blake writes the kind of book I want to read!” (NYT bestselling author Elizabeth Bevarly)

“One hot story” (Romantic Times BOOKclub praise for THE RED DIARY)

“A book you will not want to put down…Nick and Lauren’s encounters scorch the pages…an evocative and touching novel that will clog your throat with emotion even as it simmers through your blood.” (A Romance Review, 5 Roses, praise for THE RED DIARY)

“Heart-stopping sensuality! A sexy, compelling romance you’ll want to savor!” (bestselling author Lori Foster)

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, and announced to her mother over breakfast one day that she was going to be a writer when she grew up. Since then, Toni has become the author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels. Her work has been excerpted in Cosmo, she's been a recipient of the Kentucky Women Writers Fellowship and a nominee for the prestigious Pushcart Prize, and she's also had more than forty short stories and articles published. Toni lives with her husband in the Midwest and enjoys traveling, genealogy, crafts, and snow skiing. Learn more about Toni and her books at http://www.toniblake.com
To join Toni's mailing list, cut and paste this URL into your browser:
https://confirmsubscription.com/h/r/277543535B878884

Customer Reviews

Very realistic love story.
TracyD
I gave this novel four stars because it was a really great read and we'll priced.
DW
Lauren's love teaches Nick that love can heal even the worst of wounds.
Patricia Lieberman

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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JenB on November 16, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When they were children, Nicks father and Lauren's father were business partners. Fast forward 20 years and Lauren's Dad has built a hugely successful home construction enterprise, and Nick's Dad is a barly functioning alcoholic, his life pretty much in ruins. Lauren lives the life of luxury in a small mansion with a pool, fancy car, jet-set style social life of parties and hanging by her pool. Nick works hard as a painter, owning his own small business, supporting his sister and his disabled brother in their small ranch home. Their lives went in very different directions but Nick and Lauren are about to cross paths again as Nick is the painter who is hired to paint Laurens house.

At first Nick is consumed by envy and angry over the injustice of their circumstances. He want to see for himself a glimpse of the life he thinks should have been his. He has no interest in Lauren besides snooping around her house to see how the better half live, but then he finds a diary she keeps, and in it is written all of her sexual fantasies. He is hooked and sees a way to mess with her and shock her. In spite of himself the more time he spends with Lauren the more he finds himself caring for her and falling for her. The details of what happened between their fathers years ago is slowly revealed as the romance between Nick and Lauren unfolds. He finds himself painted into a corner (no pun intended), caring deeply for Lauren but wondering if their differences are too great. And then of course there is the issue of the diary looming over him, and the huge secret that he keeps every time he reads it and betrays her trust.

This is a book where the underlying theme is people are not all that they seem.
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