Undressed: The Manhattanites Series, Book 1 Avery Aster
I received this from the author, via Edelweiss review site in return for an honest review. I don’t gush and give false praise – I don’t believe that helps readers or authors so what you read is what I truly feel about a book.
I’ve mixed feelings about this book, parts of it I loved and parts just made me cringe a bit – possible yet again the USA and UK “divided by a common language” problem. I’ll come to that further on – first off the story – Lexi is travelling to Italy on the spur of the moment to meet Prince Tittoni, playboy prince and owner of prestige fabric company. He’s stopped her much needed fabric consignment and she doesn’t know why – she needs in quickly – and he says he’s on holiday and won’t change his mind. I loved the descriptions of the fashion world, the characters Avery has created and the whole over the top flamboyance of it all – but although fiction means suspending belief, its a step too far for me to believe that she can jump on a plane, book into hotel etc for a week and yet discover her mum has used up all the funds from her million dollar fashion company phoning psychic hot-lines – how did she pay for the tickets and hotel? And her mum must have been on phone for Days and Days….that sort of thing lets the book down to me. Then there’s the humour – sometimes very funny and yet at other times the characters seemed like high school kids with their language, and the constant flirting, even right on first meeting the prince when the outcome result will be make or break for her business. Maybe its English Reserve but I’d be so furious that flirting and working out whether the prince has an erection or not would be the last thing on my mind…
Anyway the Prince (Massimo ) persuades Lexi to stay for a week and the plot develops. He wants her in his bed, so does she, so when it came to a halt for what seemed like weird reasons Lexi wasn’t the only one confused…still the tale continues and is very funny at times, and sexy at others. There’s lots of sex but maybe because of the language ( constant pussies, creaming, wet knickers for every little look, and the word Titties – urghh, and Baby and Daddy – seems all US books use the term and yet it pretty much got left back in the 60’s here. I couldn’t keep a straight face if I was called Baby (irritated me in 60’s when I was a teen, it would drive me nuts now and equally I couldn’t call a lover Daddy, far too weird) ) Then there’s Lexi’s inner thoughts and aside commentaries – reminded me far too much of the Shades Of Grey inner goddess irritations, it was superfluous much of the while, and I think would have been better left out. Much of the sex was more Softrotic (soft+erotic) than Erotic, and had me squirming in my seat for all the wrong reasons. Stomach twisting and churning, wriggling in my seat restlessly, dry mouth and throat – am I turned on ? nope, just in need of a sick bag, and that’s much of the US/UK language problem!
As ever the course of true love never runs smoothly and Lex and Massimo go through some bad times that lead to Lexi backing off. This part was really excellent – I felt for poor Lexi, and having been given her background Avery let the reader know exactly how difficult the situation was for her. The two sisters and the media scandal was really well written and I could see that happening all to easily given peoples and the medias devotion to scandal – sadly it seems like nothing sells so well as bad news ( : That part was really easy to get into and feel devastation at the turn of events for both of them. Massimo had seemed a little callous but I understood he had faced the situation before, and was dealing with it as he knew whereas Lexi knew just how bad it would be for her business and what she stood to lose. Massimo redeemed himself in the end though and Avery outdid my expectations with the way she brought all the threads together into a tear-jerking ending. I love plenty of drama and angst and a HEA and this book has it.
Well written and edited, lots of sex and its quite graphic at times so be warned if that’s not your scene, though as I’ve said it wasn’t always erotic to me….but we’re all different. Its £3.34 for 247 pages on kindle so a decent length and I enjoyed it as a one off read but its not one for keepers file. So stars from me are..I’m hovering between 3 and a half and 4 …yes, four it is.