Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review of Cake by Lauren Dane

Lauren Dane
Harlequin | September 15, 2013 | 85 pages

Author’s website | Goodreads | Buy book here

She won’t be satisfied with just one bite...
Art student-slash-bike messenger Wren Davis pursues what she wants. And what she wants now is Gregori Ivanov, rock star of the Seattle art scene. With his tattoos, piercings and sensual sneer, Gregori is the ultimate bad boy. Wren’s gotten to know the man beneath the body art, too—and it only makes her crave him more.

But Gregori loves women like he loves cake and champagne—intensely, but only for the moment. And after Wren experiences just how scorching sex with Gregori is, she’s determined to show him that just one taste won’t be enough...

Genre & Keywords: Contemporary Romance, M/F, Art Student, Successful Artist, Tattooed & Pierced Hero

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3 flames
This long novella is as delicious as cake and its main characters are as addictive. I'm a fan of Lauren Dane's writing and Cake only confirms why. She writes unique and sexy heroes and heroines, even in a shorter book like this one, although I must admit that the characters aren't as well-developed as I've seen in her other books. But that's understandable given the shorter length of these Cosmo Red-Hot Reads.

With Wren we get a confident and lovable heroine who is an art student earning her money as a bike messenger. She runs messages for her niece who's the assistant of the successful Russian artist Gregori Ivanov. Wren loves delivering his letters and packages because then she gets the chance to watch him work. He's not only an amazing artist and an inspiration to her, but also a hot and sexy man. And Wren wants him.
Gregori likes Wren's visits too but he's a bit of commitment phobic since his marriage blew up in his face. But Wren is on a mission; she wants the tattooed and pierced artist in her bed. And she succeeds of course, or else this wouldn't be labeled a romance story. And what follows after a nice build-up, are some steamy scenes in which the couple get addicted to each other.

This set-up is pretty standard procedure in a romance novel, just like the tension afterwards when the hero has to overcome his fears and admit to his feelings before the couple can has its happy ending. But not so standard is the backdrop of the art world and the portrayal of the main characters which makes this story more unique. Wren's determination to win Gregori for her is a nice element and also how she gets his art. Additionally, Gregori is not your typical hero, with his piercings, tattoos, Mohawk and beard. Not all readers will instantly think of him as a sexy hero. I admire the author for her choices and for the skill to make her stories special.

Dane's writing is fluent and engaging. By giving us the POV of both the heroine and the hero it's easy to empathize with them and to understand their feelings. We see them falling in lust first and then in love. Somehow the sex scenes aren't as unforgettable as I remember from other novels but they are still Lauren Dane trademark hot.
For a story with this length Cake is definitely a satisfying read and I can only hope that the other books in this Cosmo Red-Hot Reads line are as good and as fun as this one. Some sure look promising, especially for whenever you're in the mood for a hot and quick fix of happy ending.

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