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Chocolate Cake For Breakfast (2013)

by Danielle Hawkins(Favorite Author)
3.75 of 5 Votes: 3
Allen & Unwin
review 1: Review by Stevie O'Cuana for Hopscotch Friday: Thinking about it, it’s not often that I read a book about New Zealand, or set in New Zealand, or that has anything to do with New Zealand. Danielle Hawkins’ Chocolate Cake for Breakfast is the story of Helen McNeil, a country vet in, you guessed it, New Zealand, who quite literally trips over All Black Mark Tipene in a place you’d hardly expect – a small town at her cousin’s party. What ensues is a whirlwind romance interspersed with the daily life of a country vet. That is, until a ‘little something’ changes everything. If you haven’t figured out what the ‘little something’ might be then you aren’t familiar with chic lit tropes, or for that matter any trope relating to romantic comedies aimed at women.... more Why can’t she just enjoy the whirlwind, chalk it up to experience and live a happy life? Why can’t they figure their differences actually complement each other, get married and live happily ever after? Or why can’t he turn out to be a bit of a jerk, she breaks it off, is heartbroken but gets over it because she loves her life, and is a strong woman? /rant. Instead Mark and Helen become forever linked, like it or not. I liked Helen. She’s intelligent, well spoken, humourous, and independent. I found her to be both familiar and relatable. If Helen is not a reflection of you, then she is definitely someone you know. The development of Helen as a character is far more rounded than that for Mark, which can probably be attributed to the fact that it’s Helen’s perspective we’re taking. It does seem a shame though, as Mark is relegated to tall, dark, handsome and mysterious. Although, to be honest in the absence of any further detail, I imagined him to be far less 'mysterious' and a little bit one note, in a very stereotypical and possibly unfair conception of rugby players. I was struck by two things when reading Chocolate Cake for Breakfast; first, the intimate detail given to some of the veterinary procedures including those that are particularly stomach churning. Hawkins herself being a vet, this is understandable. But secondly, the lack of any detail of Helen and Mark being intimate, properly intimate. The tracking of events ends just as one flops into the bed beside the other. Maybe this is just me, but why all the detail on one aspect of Helen’s life but not the other? Not that it needs to be in graphic detail, but surely sex is an integral part of romance? As a result a lot of the romance is based on the conversations Helen has with other people about her relationship, or her own internal monologue, as opposed to the relationship itself. This, I believe, is inherently female, in that us ladies like to over think things and twist them into situations that may or may not exist. For example, what could this famous, wealthy and sought after sports person who can have any lady he wants possibly want with me, a country vet? We all do it, we all know we shouldn’t and so does Helen. All in all I enjoyed Chocolate Cake for Breakfast, it’s an easy read with a familiar plot line. It's a bit of escapism that's perfect for a holiday read or a break at the weekend with your feet up.
review 2: I read a review in a women's mag and thought I'd give this a try. Glad I did! I loved the rural 'Kiwiness' of it - especially some of the great Kiwi vernacular. Try explaining "rough as guts" or "munted" to friends who may not be familiar! Very down to earth and gave me some moments to really smile at. The storyline was not all that strong IMO, but it was charming all the same. My favourite character - the cat breeder lady. Made me laugh - I've bought cats of breeders just like that. Ha ha, can just imagine the conversations around the vet clinic. Will be recommending this to my vet friends - Danielle writes great descriptions of vet stuff. And yep, it's what it's really like down on the farm folks. A nice easy read - keep it up Danielle! less
Reviews (see all)
New Zealand chick lit with great humour and thankfully not full of soft core porn
Fantastic read! I really didn't want it to end.
Heart warming and funny love story.
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