Toni Blake is just amazing with emotional and provocative tale. The Red Diary is not just an erotic story but a story that will touch the reader’s heart.Lauren Ash is tired of everyone assuming she is like her best friend, Carolyn. She is far from the wild and sensual type. In fact, she is pretty boring. Sure, her clothes are sexy and she goes to wild parties with her friends but she doesn’t see the appeal to it. She much rather stay at home with her cat but deep down she longs for a man who bring forth those dark and sexy fantasies she writes in her red diary.Nick Armstrong is not pleased to be painting Lauren’s house. Her family has cheated his family out of money and a business. It was a long time ago but Nick is having a hard time letting it go, especially since his family is still struggling to put the pieces together after all the years of pain. Revenge should be on his mind but Lauren’s kindness and sweet nature moves him. When he stumbles upon her little red diary full of fantasies, Nick decides he wants to be the man to make all of them come true.I admit that I expected a hot erotic novel. I got that and so much more! The emotions that are evoked while reading this crept up on me. Toni is masterful at weaving the heartbreaking back story for all the characters and the sensual motions together. Great job!The chemistry between Lauren and Nick is combustible. I believe that even if Nick didn’t read Lauren’s journal, he would have fulfilled each and every one of her fantasies. Nick’s family is an added bonus to the story and is very emotional. His little brother, Davy, really got to me and I was glad that he made a new friend. The only reason I held back from giving this a full five stars because it takes some time to get into Nick’s personality. He is not a warm and fuzzy guy and understandably so. Also, the friends of Lauren got on my nerves. It was like watching high school students again. There was no substance to them and they added peer pressure to Lauren. They could have been scrapped. The storyline with the embezzlement didn’t really add anything to the story but I can see how it made Nick and Lauren’s relationship stronger.Good and steamy story that will pull on a reader’s heartstrings. I’m glad that I finally got to read The Red Diary.