Review: Chocolate Cake for Breakfast by Danielle Hawkins



Title: Chocolate Cake for Breakfast

Author: Danielle Hawkins

Published: Allen & Unwin November 2013

Status: Read from November 17 to 18, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

I was charmed by Danielle Hawkins debut novel, Dinner at Rose’s last year and so was eager to read Chocolate Cake For Breakfast, a delightful, contemporary romance set in rural New Zealand.

Country vet Helen McNeil is trying to avoid a dull acquaintance at a party when she trips over the outstretched legs of a man lurking in the shadows. After their brief conversation, she is surprised to learn the man is All Blacks player, Mark Tipene, a national sporting hero, and even more shocked when Mark turns up at the practice to invite her for a drink the next day. Despite their differences, and endless interruptions from autograph seekers and emergency calls, a whirlwind romance ensues, and though Helen can’t quite believe that the man who could have any woman on his arm would choose her, she resolves to enjoy their relationship for as long as it lasts. Then Helen unwittingly makes a tiny mistake and suddenly everything is different…

I have to mention that Chocolate Cake For Breakfast has one of the most unusual first date scenes I have ever read, where Helen and Mark are forced to deliver a dead calf. Hawkins, a vet herself, describes the scene quite graphically and it is a situation completely devoid of any romance, yet it somehow naturally leads to Helen and Mark’s first kiss.
Chocolate Cake For Breakfast is primarily about romance, focusing on the development of the relationship between Helen and Mark. The couple are faced with a number of obstacles, the romance is strained not only by the practicalities of distance, especially given Mark’s frequent traveling, but also Helen’s insecurities about dating a famous rugby player and Mark’s emotional reticence. These issues become critical stumbling blocks when the relationship is barely three months old and both are forced to reevaluate their future plans.

I liked Helen a lot, she is smart, capable and warm, though occasionally plagued with the insecurities common to most women in a relationship. I loved the glimpses of her relationship with her friends and family, especially her much younger step sisters. I also found Helen’s work as a vet interesting, despite some fairly unpleasant scenarios where Hawkins spares few details.
Mark is a bit of an enigma, the strong and silent type, his emotions are never really on display. Largely I think because the story is told in the first person by Helen, and as a consequence I think his character was a bit underdeveloped.

Hawkins writing style is relaxed and warm and I think dialogue is a particular strength of the author’s. I particularly enjoyed the lighthearted banter between characters and the occasional pointed but well deserved snarky comment. The pace is good and I happily escaped into the story for a few hours, without putting it down.

Chocolate Cake for Breakfast is a delightful and charming novel which I really enjoyed and I’d happily recommend it to fans of the romantic comedy/chick lit genres.

Available to purchase from

Allen & Unwin I BoomerangBooks I Booktopia

 Amazon AU I Amazon US

via Booko




5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn White (@KathrynsInbox)
    Nov 20, 2013 @ 20:56:46

    This one sounds like a fantastic read. These days I like chick-lit that has something a little bit different to offer readers and this one sounds really original.



  2. 1girl2manybooks
    Nov 20, 2013 @ 20:59:02

    I have this one to read and I’m really looking forward to it.



  3. Sheila (Book Journey)
    Nov 25, 2013 @ 14:02:08

    That sounds good!



  4. samstillreading
    Nov 25, 2013 @ 22:07:15

    Oh this sounds fun! Love the cover too.



  5. Trackback: Review: When It All Went to Custard by Danielle Hawkins | book'd out

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