Review: CAKE by Lauren Dane

CAKEAuthor: Lauren Dane
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Pages: 87
ISBN #: 9781459245969
FTC Disclaimer: eARC was received from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.

I’ve had many of Lauren Dane’s books on my TBR list for a long time. This is the first one I’ve read, and I’m kicking myself for not getting to the others sooner!!

I sometimes have a problem with novellas, especially stand-alones. It’s very hard for some authors to create a complete, satisfying story with so few pages, especially if the story has a romantic element. Building a believable relationship is key, and rushing that relationship to fit into the length of a few chapters can kill the whole thing. This is NOT a problem I had with this book. CAKE had all the right ingredients, was cooked perfectly, and was absolutely delicious!! (Yeah, I totally went there, lol.)

By the end of the first chapter, the history between Wren, the art student/delivery girl and Gregori, the superstar artist/”eccentric playboy” is established in a way that is comfortable. It’s expanded upon in the rest of the story, but the FEELING is there from the beginning, without smothering me like an info-dump.

We join their story at the point where Wren is ready to take their playful, casual flirting to the next level. She’s a smart, talented woman, and she knows exactly what she wants. Gregori is mouthwatering, and he knows it. He’s confident and more than a bit cocky in public, but real with himself, and real with Wren. I love that “the next step” happened so smoothly for them. They spent the time, they got to know each other, and when it happened, it was so, SO good.

What killed me was the conflict tool. I know… I KNOW… every story needs conflict. Whatever… it still made me CRAZY!!! I suspect that was the point, lol!!! Well done, Ms. Dane… well done. Gregori’s insecurities are likely “normal”, but very frustrating. The saving grace for that situation was the way Wren handled his hard-headedness. Again, with the “I know what I want, and I’m going after it” attitude that I loved about her. I suppose the fact that this IS a novella made that whole part of the story go faster… and for that I’m thankful. I don’t like seeing characters in pain. It’s not fun for me, and I’m glad it didn’t last long.

As with any novella that I enjoy, I would love to see more from this story. More of Wren and her professional art endeavors. More of Gregori with his fiery sculptures and imported macaroons. More of them together, laughing and drinking champagne in bed. Just MORE. But, I have to say… I feel SATISFIED with the story as it is. I feel happy to have been able to peek into that world, and see those two, at that point in time.

I’m glad that Lauren Dane shared CAKE with me.

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