The Red Diary

Sun, sand, and one woman's private fantasies recorded in a seductive red book.

Prim and proper Lauren Ash has a secret side no one else sees – she records her sexual fantasies, in intimate detail, in a very personal book meant for her eyes only. 

When hired-hand Nick Armstrong finds the red diary, he's shocked…and aroused. Never before has he come across anything so private—or so sensual. And given the way the Ash family has hurt his, he soon begins to see this as a potent weapon for righting an old wrong. Wouldn't it serve the haughty Lauren right if he used her own fantasies to seduce her, make her fall in love, and then break her heart? 

But there's much more to Lauren than Nick expects, and before he quite realizes it, he's opening himself – and his heart – to her. Can Nick let go of the past and surrender to Lauren, body and soul?

Read a preview of The Red Diary



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A Note from Toni

Words cannot express how thrilled I am to see a new edition ofThe Red Diary being released. I'm excited to share this book with my newer readers, and also glad it will be available again for my long time readers who want to revisit my first single title novel. Below is what I wrote about the book back when it was originally released, and it all pretty much still holds true.

I can't say where I first got the idea for The Red Diary, but I know I dreamed it up about ten years ago, deciding it would be a great hook if I ever wanted to break into single title and write longer books. Of course, a finished book is never exactly the way you first imagine it, and The Red Diary, changed a lot along the way — but I think, and hope, that it's a better book than the one I first envisioned, with a lot more layers and character depth.

Clearwater Beach, Florida and the surrounding area seemed a natural setting for this book. First, I love the beach — I’ve always felt there’s something very sensual about all the elements there: the heat, the water, the rhythm of the tide, the sand beneath your toes. And second, Clearwater Beach has been a home away from home for my husband and I ever since we met. Our aunt and uncle live in the area, and not only have we vacationed there frequently, but staying with our relatives has given us a chance to learn about the community outside what most tourists see. So it was a joy to put all that accumulated knowledge to use.

I knew from the start that Nick would be a very dark character, but it was only as I wrote the book that I really understood the things that had happened in his past. And I discovered that I really enjoy writing a “meatier” story like this. I hope readers like the results!

Awards & Honors

  • Road to Romance's Reviewers Choice Award
  • Favorite Hot Contemporary on Pat Rouse's Top Romance Picks of 2004

Trivia & Extras

Below is the cover that The Red Diary was first published with back in September of 2004.

Cover that The Red Diary was first published with back in September of 2004.

Reviews for The Red Diary

“On the surface, THE RED DIARY is a fun, sexy read about finding a guy who is more than happy to fulfill your fantasies. But at the core, it's an emotional story about acceptance, forgiveness, and trusting love.” ~Maria Munoz, Fresh Fiction

"Toni Blake has written an unforgettable, blazing erotic story that is hard to put down. THE RED DIARY has it all: a solid romance, strong and resilient characters, lots of drama, and sex so hot it sizzles off of the pages." ~Chris Mead, Romance Junkies

“Blake writes some of the hottest sex scenes I've ever read!  For a smartly written romance that is uninhibited by boundaries, try THE RED DIARY!” ~Annie Tegelan, Fresh Fiction

“This beautiful story…will bring tears to your eyes…writing (that) comes from the heart.” ~Rendezvous

"A mesmerizing tale filled with mouth-watering sensual fantasies, family relationships, and a heartwarming love story that makes you laugh, cry and feel so good when you turn the last page…THE RED DIARY is a true masterpiece of writing!" ~Suzanne Coleburn, Reader to Reader Reviews

"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." ~Paula Klug, A Romance Review, 5 ROSES

"One hot story…very sweet and quite lovely." ~Susan Mobley, Romantic Times Bookclub

"(An) amazing mainstream debut…THE RED DIARY should catapult Toni Blake's writing career with its unique concept, red hot passion, and poignant love story. THE RED DIARY is simply Must Read Romance!" ~Patricia Rouse, Rouse's Romance Readers Groups

"The most poignant story of love overcoming past anger and regret this reviewer has read…incredibly well-told…an amazingly touching story that will stay with the reader long after it is finished." ~Gina, Love Romances

"From page one, Toni Blake captures her audience with THE RED DIARY. With heat, sexual tension, smoldering passion, compassion, and writing that speaks to a reader, THE RED DIARY is one story that just can’t be missed! Truly a class act. This is an author to put at the top of one’s auto-buy list! ~Tracey West, The Road to Romance

"…An emotionally packed story that had this reviewer glued to her seat. Toni Blake has penned a romance that has it all. THE RED DIARY is no sexy little read - it is a romance with depth, and worthy of a spot on any romance reader's book shelf." ~Livia Holton, The Romance Readers Connection

"Be prepared to be completely bewitched by this absolutely stunning book…truly engrossing…amazing." ~ Robin Taylor, In The Library Reviews

"Something special…Fantastically erotic, yet warm and touching. This book has it all." ~ Romance Reviews

"A wonderfull sensual and emotional read that will draw the reader in until the final page…Incredible ..." ~Kristi Ahlers, Romance Designs

"Captivating ..." ~Michelle Shealy,

"THE RED DIARY is HOT, HOT, HOT…a good story with a lot of hot, steamy scenes." ~Lydia Funneman, Writers Unlimited

"A cleverly sexy novel, with charming characters readers are sure to enjoy." ~Shayne Sawyer, The Best Reviews

"THE RED DIARY is hot and erotic from the first page. You will become more intrigued by each passage in Lauren's diary. Toni Blake's first single title was well worth waiting for." ~Barb Hicks, The Best Reviews

"This enjoyable contemporary romance focuses on a deep message. Lauren is a wonderful protagonist, with her theurapeutic love saving (Nick) from himself." ~Harriet Klausner

"THE RED DIARY is…a one-of-a-kind romance. The character definition is excellent." ~Carolyn Crisher, Romance Reviews Today

"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

Song List

Toni has always used music to set the tone of her books. Enjoy this playlist of songs featured in The Red Diary:

Sour Girl – Stone Temple Pilots
Girl's Got Rhythm – AC/DC
Little Red Corvette – Prince
Wicked Game – Chris Isaak
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds – Elton John
Jeremy – Pearl Jam
Brilliant Disguise – Bruce Springsteen