When Italy’s top book reviewer blogger contacted me wanting to review Undressed, I confess…I was a bit nervous. For two reasons, one; my Italian—did I write my hero; Massimo’s point of view authentically to how a European would think. And two; if there were any inaccuracies about Milan, the Mediterranean or the fact I gave the Pope a boyfriend—this book review for sure would bust me. LOL! Well Please Another Book’s review is out and it’s meraviglioso. I’ve translated the review as best I could. Thank you Please Another Book for talking about Undressed overseas.
Undressed is a cross between a gossip magazine, a fashion and romance in the classic sense of the term. Of course all are respected classical connotations that describe the genre. From super hot playboy who is afraid of a fixed relationship to the serious and confident girl of his charm and of their potential, but full of fear and trepidation. Nothing is missing to engage the reader in a full reading, which leaves no room for doubt, and that immerses you in a dreamlike atmosphere. We follow the story from both points of view of the main characters, one of Lex and that of Massimo, actually my favorite narrative choice.
Lex is a woman who was raised alone after having suffered the loss of her father and the subsequent financial meltdown. She began the fashion career she’s always wanted, preserved her privacy, getting the success it deserves. But Lex is a woman who has a troubled past behind, made of insecurities and doubts and is forced to start her journey to a place unknown. The girl refuses to be intimidated or charmed by Massimo’s powers as she encounters him to get what she wants; the fabric that is used for the Fashion Week in New York. Lex is in every way an American woman, self-made and struggles to assert herself to secure what she wants and it is, in a world dominated by men for a long time. She is the embodiment of tenacity and strength.
Massimo also had to struggle to assert itself and to break free from the oppressive weight of his father and to bring back into vogue the Tittoni family name. Rich, he’s used to getting what he wants and finds himself displaced in front of a confident woman who does not need anyone but herself. Massimo is heavily stereotyped by society as the classic male pleasure-loving, passionate, all fun. There are several detours in Italy wisely used by the writer to put the light on of the prince that Massimo cannot be derailed by anything and there’s more to him than meets the eye.
The secondary characters from Lex’s mother Birdie, her best friends; Taddy, Vive and Blake and Massimo’s designer friend Jemma add depth to a story.
The background is that of Milan, a unique city which brings together leading designers and preserves the details that affect one American and of course they are partial and inevitably fade into the background when the passion erupts between Lex and Massimo. The most intense scenes are at the end and where they find themselves in the bedroom. When passion calls, you must answer.
The particular fashion item not to be forgotten? A pair of shoes with the heel made of diamonds.
The story is incredibly hot. Relax and live the dream which only Avery Aster can create, that of finding happiness with a man alongside professional success as a woman who puts everything on the line and wins the jack pot finale, as this can only happen in a romance novel. I’m eagerly waiting the second volume of the series that promises to be explosive as the first.
Happy reading guys!
This is a transcript from an interview with Please Another Book and has been translated in English for your enjoyment.
When did you start writing fiction and what did you like to write about?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I typically stick to romance because I need that happily ever after. It wasn’t till I was in my thirties that I realized I could write erotica.
Where did the idea for Undressed come from?
The idea for Undressed arrived during New York Fashion Week. I attended a show and thought—what if the fashion designer’s unique fabric was to no avail days prior to catwalk? And what if her supplier ceased fulfillment, to knock her line off? I can tell you what The Manhattanites series lead diva Taddy Brill would say, “Holy Shiiit!” What about the heroine in Undressed, our fashion designer? I coupled those what-ifs with a royal saga. Right then, the world watched Prince William marry Catherine Middleton. I reflected on the devotion his great-great-uncle, Edward, Duke of Windsor, shared for his Duchess, Wallis Simpson and wondered—would you give up your lifestyle for a once-in-a-lifetime love? And poof, Avery’s characters Prince Massimo Tittoni and Alexandra “Lex” Easton leaped into Avery’s creative prowess and, with anticipation, into your hearts.
Who is your favorite character and why?
The first grownup book I snagged from my parents’ den was I’ll Take Manhattan by Judith Krantz. I was 12. Instantly, I was fascinated by the heroine, Maxi Amberville. She’d gone through several husbands, lived at Trump Towers and owned Buttons & Bows fashion magazine. I’d never read anything like Krantz’s work. In the seventh grade, who had? I remember asking my mom, “Do people like Maxi exist in real life?” Mom smiled and said, “Only in cities like New York, dear.” Back then, we lived on a farm outside Pittsburgh next to the Amish. Maxi Amberville was in inspiration for several of the lead heroines like Vive and Taddy, who you’ll read in later books in The Manhattanites series.
Why did you make Massimo a prince?
I wanted him to have that conflict of never being allowed true love, only arranged marriage. It certainly put a unique spin on things. That combined with the fact that he’s loaded, gorgeous and ruthless. His renaissance ways were inspired by The Book of the Courtier by Baldesar Castiglione.
Is fashion important to you? Do you buy famous brands?
As you can tell by Undressed, I love fashion! I don’t believe in shopping in excess rather buying a few quality items that can last for years. I sometimes buy vintage if it works with my look. I love Prada for shoes, Yves Saint Laurent for their silk garments and Hermes for their leather goods (non footwear).
Lex has a difficult relationship with her mother, how is your relationship with your parents?
It’s wonderful. That’s what’s been the hardest to write about The Manhattanites and the most fictional part of the books is the characters struggle with their relatives. In Undressed, (book one) Lex and her mother are trying to find their way after her father’s death. In Unscrupulous, (book two), Taddy and her family are estranged. It isn’t till Unsaid, (book three) with Blake’s story that readers will watch a healthy family come in to the picture. My own personal family is wonderful and I love my parents very much.
Who inspired you for the description of your characters?
- Lex Easton was a cross between Dylan Lauren and Chelsea Clinton
- Massimo was a mix between Giacomo Girolamo Casanova and John F. Kennedy Jr.
- Jemma Ferriti was Jinx Falkenburg
- Taddy Brill was Samantha Jones from Sex & the City
- Viveca Farnworth was journalist Cindy Adams
- Blake Morgan was Rupert Everett mixed with a little Jack McFarland (Will & Grace)
- Eddie Easton was Elvis Presley
- Birdie Easton was Lita Ford
Have you never be in Italy?
Of course! I’ve been to Milan, Rome, Tuscany, Florence, and Siena. Siena is by far my favorite as I love Il Palio!
When you’re not writing what do you like to do?
Reading. I love to read almost more than I do write. LOL!
You live in Manhattan, but if you can live in any other country where do you like to live?
I’d love to live on the island of Capri, at least during the season.
What is your favorite book?
I have a few and have listed them below:
- Best tearjerker: When Snow Falls by Brenda Novak
- Best Romantic Serial: Surrender to Temptation by Lauren Jameson
- Best Glamour: Adored by Tilly Bagshawe
- Best Erotic Science Fiction: Claimed by Evangeline Anderson
- Dishy Best Novel: Satan’s Sisters by Star Jones
- Best Sex: Swing by Opal Carew
- Best Equestrian Romp: Riders by Jilly Cooper
- Best Erotic Thriller: Lip Service by MJ Rose
- Best Bonkbuster: Temptation Island by Victoria Fox
- Best Erotica Historical: Blaze by Susan Johnson
- Best Love Story: American Star by Jackie Collins
- Best BDSM: Caught by Claire Thompson
- Best Erotic Romantic Suspense: Wicked Ties by Shayla Black
You’re in a fire…what do you want to rescue?
My Kindle, eye cream, a bottle of champagne from the fridge and a box of condoms
What is your guilty pleasure?
Writing The Manhattanites for Ellora’s Cave
Do you have regrets?
Hells Yeah! Anyone who says they don’t have any regrets…is lying. *wink*
Why readers should choose your book?
My narrative voice is different. If a reader wants to feel, hear, smell and taste their love scenes, than my books are for them.
Can you say something about the second book of The Manhattanite?
The second book in The Manhattanites is titled Unscrupulous. Check your morals at the red carpet as you immerse yourself with the returning cast. From New York City to St. Barth’s and the French Riviera, you’ll travel on a superchic lascivious journey to reveal unscrupulous behavior. Infatuation and desire weave throughout this gilt-edged tale celebrating the series’ two most notorious characters: Tribeca business magnate Warner Truman and Times Square public relations diva Taddy Brill.
At thirty-three Warner is of the richest men on the planet, a spa mogul who buys and sells resorts at will. He holds powerful executive’s careers in his well-groomed hands. Nothing is beyond Warner’s reach…until he meets her. Stunning, tantalizing, and perverse, Taddy captivates Warner’s carnal desire like no woman he’s ever met. A self-made millionaire, Taddy’s tougher than steel, more brilliant than diamonds and at twenty-eight she’s never depended on a man for anything…until she meets him.
The more Taddy plays with Warner’s affections, driving him to erotic heights, the more she is confronted by a dark past. But before she can love him, Taddy must meet her worst fears head-on or risk losing it all, including herself.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again…any author who claims they don’t read the reviews of their own novels is f’ing lying through their veneers. They just are! I love analyzing them, especially the good, the bad, the funny and yes even the snarky ones (you know who you bitches are and I love you regardless).
Why do I care? As an author my job is to entertain you. To make you laugh, cry, snort, and turn you on. I’m not a narcissist and don’t seek praise, rather I look for response. I’m honored anyone spent time with my characters because in essence you’re sharing moments with me. We’re having thoughts and ideas together.
For me, the reviews for Undressed have been very telling. I’ve learned you readers like it dirty. Seriously, smut to the max. Some love my use of the C, F, and P words, while others…not so much. Some reviewers have thought the nuts into the vajayjay thing was hysterical (as it was intended) while others were flat on their backs horrified and came after me with the intention of nailing me to Saint Andrew’s Cross. I say, lighten up! The Manhattanites series for Ellora’s Cave is escapism fiction, not realism.
Regardless, we’re all in this together. And just like we remember our first kiss, screw, love, std, and heartbreak…authors remember their first review. Mine was with I Love Lady Porn! Tracie Lampe read Undressed in one night and said, “One smok’n hot book. I couldn’t put it down. Undressed has lots of hot steamy raunchy sex, not to mention a lot of sexual tension before the fabulous ending.” I adore that, don’t you?
Do you know what I love almost as much as that delicious review? The Fiber Ju Ju Kindle Case I received from her as a gift. You can request custom colors too. Mine is in what I call Bergdorf Goodman purple with hints of lavender. Isn’t it gorgeous? It keeps my Kindle safe during crazy cab and subway rides.
Be sure to join us today for our Dylan’s Candy Bar giveaway and read an excerpt of Undressed at I Love Lady Porn as our blog tour continues.
Be sure to follow us today on the thirty-two blogs below. We’ll be announcing the winner of the six-month membership to Dylan’s Candy Bar soon.
1 Wicked Wolves & Dreaming Dragons
2 All I Want and More
3 Books Amour
4 Books to Light Your Fire
5 Fantasy Powered by Love
6 The Book Enthusiast
8 Sugarbeat’s Books
9 The SkylarVerse
10 Francesca’s Mindstream
11 Harlie’s Books
12 Bunny’s Review
13 Farm Girl Books
14 You Gotta Read Reviews
15 Desiree Holt Tells All
16 Wickedly Wanton Tales
17 Dawn’s Reading Nook Blog
18 Wake Up Your Wild Side
19 Wicked Readings by Tawania
20 Long and Short Reviews
21 Musings of Mistress of the Dark Path
22 Under the covers book blog
23 Jodie Pierce’s Ink Slinger’s Blog
24 United By Books
25 A Day in a Book
26 Tory Richards
27 Author Raine Delight’s Blog
28 Sexy Adventures, Passionate Tales
29 Deal Sharing Aunt
30 London’s Scribbles
31 Nightstand Novels
32 Krystal Shannan – Where Love and Destiny Collide
The question for this giveaway is…who is your book boyfriend? Naturally as a New Yorker I’ve had several. LOL! Let’s take a look at the men I’ve crushed on over the years.
The House at Pooh Corner
Both books by A. A. Milne
The Clue in the Diary
The Secret at Shadow Ranch
Both books by Carolyn Keene
Sweet Valley Senior Year by Francine Pascal (1983)
Christopher “Chris” Dollanganger, Jr.
Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews
Star by Danielle Steel
Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice
Prince Massimo Tittoni
Undressed by Avery Aster
To learn more about this blog hop and great giveaway please click here.