For those of you who have ever wondered if I am inspired to read books after reading a review, the answer is yes, sometimes. I'd heard of Chocolate Cake For Breakfast around the time when it was released and after reading this review on Book'd Out I was fairly certain that it was one that I would enjoy. Then again, I guess that is the purpose of a review, to share our thoughts on a book so that we can recommend it (or not,) to other readers and help them make up their minds whether or not it is something that they might enjoy. (Hmm. Did I just state the obvious then?)
Anyway, Chocolate Cake For Breakfast is a bit of unique read. It tells the story of Helen McNeil, a somewhat clumsy, insecure and ultimately likeable vet who lives in a small town in New Zealand. Into town comes Mark Tipene, who plays rugby for the All Blacks. Mark and Helen meet at a party, Helen does not recognise Mark and he thinks this is absolutely wonderful. Under the watchful eyes of some very quirky locals (which includes Helen's nymphomaniac--well, almost--stepmother,) Mark and Helen begin an unlikely relationship. Then something happens to throw the pair together that I can't mention without totally spoiling the plot, and we get to look at the implications of two people from very different backgrounds trying to make their relationship work. Mark feels like a very distant character at times, though this may be due to the fact that we see him through the eyes of Helen, who feels very insecure about their relationship. We also see a huge contrast in their backgrounds--although quirky, Helen's family are a warm and wonderful bunch, while Mark's family is quite distant and selfish.
There is a little bit of gore, but I kind of liked that because it made the book feel a bit more realistic and moved the book away from the possibility of dragging into sappy romance territory. I really liked this one and recommend it to anyone who is looking for a romance with a bit of guts. Literally.