Title: The Red Diary
Author: Toni Blake
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Pages: 389
Book Source: Paperback from author


The Red Diary, an erotic tale from rising romance star Toni Blake, takes readers on a sensual adventure in a story of seductive retribution.

Lauren Ash keeps a private journal filled with her deepest, most intimate sexual fantasies… When house painter Nick Armstrong finds it, he plans to use the red-hot content to break Lauren’s heart—a proper revenge for the wrongs his family suffered at the hands of Lauren’s father so many years ago.

My Review:

The Red Diary is marketed as an erotic tale, and there are very steamy sex scenes, but there is so much more to this book than just erotica. It is a very well written story filled with revenge plots, domestic violence, addiction, and romance.

It’s really cold here in Wisconsin, so it was a treat reading a book where people are enjoying their pools and eating outside. One of the ways I judge a romance is if I cry, and this one did have me shedding some tears at the end. That’s a good thing.

While the plot, at times, may be predictable, I was easily able to overlook it because the two main characters have so many dimensions. Lauren and Nick were constantly changing during the book, and they were helping each other to do so. Just like any good couple should do for each other.

It was wonderful to see Nick’s siblings change as well, going from people who stay in their own small world, dealing with their alcoholic father, to starting relationships with other people.

When it came to Lauren’s friends, I didn’t enjoy them as much, and didn’t feel as if they added much to the story. They were constantly partying and having one night stands. Lauren, herself, didn’t even want to hang out with them. Her best friend, Caroline, does grow up a bit at the end, and I am wondering if Toni Blake will be writing a story about Caroline in the future.

Now for the sex scenes themselves; I really enjoyed the technique Blake used to write them. Having Lauren write her fantasies in the diary enabled the author to write more than just a sex scene. The scenes themselves were able to incorporate lush scenery and more emotion, instead of what body parts do during sex.

But there were regular sex scenes too, and they were written just as well. Some were really hot, while others were more sensual. It was just interesting to see the difference between the two ways of writing.

All in all, a very enjoyable read, and I’m looking forward to trying another book by Blake. From what I’ve read, The Coral Cove series is supposed to be really good, so perhaps, I’ll start there.

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