Every time someone asks me to plug his or her book on my blog I always cringe at the thought of it. Firstly because it means that I have to read the darn thing which rarely suits me. I always prefer marching to the beat of my own drum, meaning I get to choose what to read and when to read it. Secondly, how do I go at it if I end up disliking the book? The last thing I want is to hurt the writer, even though we all know it comes with the territory. That is probably the reason why I ended up debating reading UNDRESSED by Avery Aster. The novel has been in my possession since its publication day back in 2013 by Ellora’s Cave Pub. Two years later Aster goes indie and republishes it with an added 200 pages. This is the novel I’m going to review.
Indeed, in concordance with his latest Manhattanites novel UNCONVENTIONAL, now available on Amazon, I finally took the plunge and dwelled into the first book in the series, UNDRESSED. Well, what I thought to be the first book. According to many websites, it is actually the second one. But as it is a standalone novel, in the end who gives a flying whoop—just as long as it delivers that hot and bothered stance expected. And if judged solely by that cover shot (I would grate more than cheese on that washboard stomach), we sure are in for a wild ride.
UNDRESSED follows established designer Lex Easten on her way to Milan to meet ladies’ man and paparazzi fave Prince Tittoni whose garment company failed to deliver her needed fabrics for New-York Fashion Week. What ensues is a battle of the horniest as both parties fail miserably in keeping it in their pants. As much civility Lex tries to show during her sojourn in Massimo’s villa, the sight of this man candy brings out just about every wanton behavior known to a woman. And Massimo’s one night fling motto might still be oh-so on, but watching Lex going at it with or without clothes may indeed change his mind—if he just can let go some of his troubled past, that is.
Overall, I had a relatively good time with UNDRESSED, most specifically with its strong narrative and glam prerequisite which never veer off court. Moreover, Aster knows the ins and outs of the fashion industry and weaves a subplot worthy of any Krantz novels. As it is called UNDRESSED you’d expect a lot of raunchy sex to go along with it and again the author delivers. The ménage à trois bit (man on man on girl) as the heroine becomes our voyeur really got me going to the point of needing a complementary cigarette afterwards. Just wish the novel had more scenes like that. But being targeted mainly for women, I completely understand. As a whole the story kept me interested despite the two main characters falling flat mostly. A little more heart there would have been so much nicer. But as it is the author’s first novel—or second?—I’m prepared to give him another go since pluses win over minuses. Besides, I’d really like to know more about those colorful secondary characters of his who are all featured in the subsequent books. So there you have it, my two cents.
Until next post—Martin
|The Ellora’s Cave Pub edition|