PJV QUICKIE: Lauren Dane delivers a very robust romance novella with all the passion, romance and angst of a full length romance novel. CAKE is a not to be missed read for Romance fans. 

If you are looking for great, quickie romance titles, Harlequin has launched a new line called RED HOT READS and with Sylvia Day at the helm, you know these novellas should be something to look forward to reading. My first foray into the new line was a title by author Lauren Dane called CAKE. She delivered a great read, a hot, quick romance with surprising depth that you don’t usually get in a romance novella. If CAKE is an example of the kind of reads we’ll be seeing from RED HOT READS, this new line is going to be good.

Review: In a robust tale, that speaks volumes about the craft of Lauren Dane, you have the story of Wren Davis and her crush, the very distinctive, Gregori Ivanov. Wren is an art student and bike messenger that has been delivering items to Gregori for the last year, courtesy of his manager. Gregori is considered one of Seattle’s hottest artist, considered a local celebrity. He is Russian, usually sports a mohawk and is covered in piercings and tattoos. He is also Wren’s eye-candy of choice, even though she doesn’t think she has much of a chance with the playboy artist. She might get a night or two with him, if his flirting can be believed, but that might be all she’ll achieve.

The problems arise as their flirting leads to contact…and then to more, Wren finds that their easy friendship before could turn into a good relationship. Unfortunately, Gregori isn’t of the same opinion. It is now up to Wren to show Gregori that their friendship can possible translate into love and not just friends that had sex a few times.

CAKE was a good novella, the romance had enough angst to make it just the perfect blend of swoon and sulk moments. The characters were phenomenally portrayed, both with well-established personas that were three dimensional and real.

Gregori was over-the-top sexy, an artist and just someone I would love to meet in real life and maybe ogle. His inner thoughts were well-crafted and seemed so real, his fears and emotions were actually highly-relatable for myself and its the first time that I’ve actually identified with the male in a romance novel. I enjoyed the experience.

Dane had established an existing relationship with Wren and Gragori, as they were established sd almost-friends, but that did not detract from the story. Having this sort-of relationship before the novel begins, led Dane to be able to write a very back-and-forth romance, instead of the whirlwinds that I usually get in romance novellas. The novel had the passion and flavor that you will find in a good full-length romance, the plot was seamless, I do believe the novel was only shortened to filter out all the fluff that you find in a usual romance novels. It was well-done and I can’t wait to read more RED-HOTS.

Recommendations: For fans of romance, this an adult read with hot-sexy times and lot of romantic goodness. If you have read Lauren Dane before you know she delivers a quality read, but for fans of authors like Sylvia Day, Nora Roberts or other great romance writers, Lauren Dane’s CAKE is not to be missed. Red Hot Reads are now on my “gotta read” list.