Midwest Book Review: 

Undressed by Avery Aster is Book #1 in ‘The Manhattanites’ series and offers a blend of high fashion society intrigue, erotic scenes and encounters, and fashion competition: as such, it’s a powerful pick for adult readers interested in a blend of arts politics and erotica.

The spotlight’s on Italian playboy Massimo Tittoni, who has made his money in fashion design and seems to have every toy that money will buy. He’s on the fast track to move his successful design company into the global arena when he meets his match in seductive client Lex Easton, an equally powerful personality also bent on success and fame in the fashion industry.

They are two powerful success-driven businesspeople not only bent on fame, but harboring a consuming passion for sex – and a determination not to let their interconnected business associations get in the way of both individual profit and sexual satisfaction.

The result is akin to an atomic explosion as the two vie over fashion world successes and personal tastes for pleasure.

First off: be prepared for some eye-popping descriptions as depicted not just in the body of text but in chapter headings (such as ‘PrologueScrew the Masi Salami Dildo Fantasy’). Undressed is not just swearing and sex, however: that would be too simple and shallow a plot. There’s also an underlying ribald humorous observational tone that lends depth to the characters and fun for the reader: ” …And did he say Mr. Lex? The boss? She was the boss. “Prince Massimo, you are speaking to Lex.” You buffoon—I’ve been buying fabric from you for two years.”

Secondly – enjoy a fine juxtaposition between American and Italian culture, which both clashes and melds at unexpected moments throughout the story line. The sexual tensions between Lex and Masi literally drive the plot but also reflect social tensions between two individuals from two different cultural backgrounds: “Massimo remained powerful. But Lex, she gave intensity.”

Controversial? You bet. But peppered with psychological insights on the characters’ emotional development and motivations which go beyond casual encounter and delves into life’s meaning: “Over the years, Lex questioned why her mother stayed with her father. Why her mother turned a blind eye. More than ever, why she memorialized Eddie’s death after he killed himself. Tonight the answer to her Birdie and Eddie Easton mystery found her.  It was called love. She wanted no part in it. Ever!”

Be forewarned: when this novel receives a billing of ‘erotica’, it’s not a feel: it’s hardcore reality. What elevates it beyond the ‘porn’ touch is a background plot and attention to character development that creates complexity and intrigue beyond evolving sexual tensions between two powerful protagonists. Readers who don’t like explicit sexual description should NOT be pursuing Undressed – but those who enjoy sexual tension as a part of a powerful plot and power structure will appreciate the fine line between literature and erotica.

Avery Aster literally writes highly erotic literature.

*D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, MBR