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The Red Diary Mass Market Paperback – January 29, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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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. --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)
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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 (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,497,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wish I could have returned the book after the first page turned out to be cheesily written porn. This is one of those books I'm trying to get off my ereader. Would love there to have been an X rating in this so I wouldn't have wasted my money. Maybe the author told a good story, or had excellent character development, but I couldn't tell you. Didn't bother to read on.
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This is one of Toni Blake's earlier novels, written in 2004 and recently re-released. It's a very steamy read and while there were things I loved, there were things I didn't love, but still, all-in-all, an enjoyable story.

The plot:

Lauren Ash is the daughter of Ash Builders owner, Henry Ash. On the outside she's prim and proper, but Lauren has a naughty secret - her red diary, in which she pens all her deepest, most erotic fantasies, never in her wildest dreams thinking that anyone else will ever read them.

Nick Armstrong is the owner of Horizon Painters, and he has a secret too. His company has been hired to paint Lauren's house and Nick takes the job himself, wanting a glimpse of her life - a life that should have been his. But twenty years ago Lauren's father cheated Nick's father out of his half of the business, and now just a glimpse of the life he missed out on isn't enough. Now Nick wants revenge, and he thinks he might just have found the way to get it - Lauren's diary.

The characters:

Nick is a likeable character - very sexy, very smart - though I wasn't completely on board with his reasons for wanting revenge, or the way he was going about getting it. But, he's a man with a lot on his plate: running his own company, and helping support his sister Elaine and handicapped brother Davy. And he's got a lot on his mind: the grudge he's been holding onto, one that's turning him into a bitter, angry man.

Lauren's character started out very weak, in my mind. She was easily led around by her friend, Carolyn, never really standing up for herself or making her own wants known. As the story progresses, she becomes a much stronger woman, but still, I never really connected with her or saw her.
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