Undressed – Review

Undressed CoverNOTE: Undressed is #1 in the Manhattanites Series and was read AFTER book #2 Unscrupulous.

WARNING: Quotes may not be sufficient for young readers. This book is strictly ADULT READING. AKA Very sexy stuff goes on in this book and the rest of the series.

Let me just come straight out and say it right at the beginning. I don’t know what it is about Undressed let it be the writing or the characters, maybe the story progression, but there was just something about this book that I didn’t quite sit with me well in comparison to Unscrupulous. BEFORE you jump to any conclusions that I think this book was bad, DON’T. I absolutely LOVED Undressed. So let’s get that out of the way. My guess is I’m a little more biased towards Unscrupulous since I read it first and had a bit more background to all the characters which might have thrown me off a little. There was a lot of information tossed around, pre-conceived notions, etc. But that TINY INKLING is not going to stop me from giving Undressed the fabulous review it deserves and the amount of praise I have for Avery Aster.

Lex Easton hasn’t had an easy life. She’s lived on both sides of the financial spectrum. She’s gone from richer than God to poorer than dirt. Everything she has in life she’s worked hard for and it hasn’t been easy. But with the help of her best friends, Taddy, Vive, and Blake she’s created her own clothing line, Easton Essentials, and is determined to be a big name in the fashion industry. However there are complications… You can’t be big in the fashion world without materials for your clothes and that’s where Lex’s problem lies. Massimo Tittoni, Prince of House Tittoni and CEO of Girasoli Garment Company. He’s the only thing that stands between Lex and her fashion line. But it isn’t all his fault. Her poor financial standings are the result of her mother’s incompetence and no money means no materials. In order to be of use to one another they spend a few days in Milan in attempts to strike a deal that they both can agree on Massimo wishes to acquire Easton Essentials, but Lex knows his company won’t survive with no good PR. But more than a deal is struck when Massimo and Lex’s feelings are suddenly thrown onto the table. They’ll have to sort out their feelings for one another before the week is up or they could lose each other forever. After all, it’s not easy mixing business with pleasure or vice versa.

Lexi is a STRONG, CONFIDENT, BUSINESSWOMAN. She is a BEAST and not someone I’d ever want to piss off. In that sense I think I admire her just as much as I’m afraid of her. I think like Taddy, I’d love to work for her but I’d be scared out of my mind of pissing her off or screwing something up. It’s like walking on eggshells. She’s worked hard to get to where she is now and she is not going to let anything or anyone screw her over. But you also have to respect her. Coming from such riches to the lowest of the low, you have to admire her spirit and passion she has for her company. She will not back down, and she will fight for what is rightfully hers. No matter how dire the situation.

“I’ll sue you if I have to.” She glared at him with burning eyes and threatened, “Let’s go to court. Girasoli doesn’t stand a chance.”
He about choked. Massimo heard the word “sue” and realized he sat with an American.
The United States of America, otherwise known as the sue-happy nation, a place where legal action became a celebrated sport. No wonder she didn’t agree to a work out with him. She’d rather litigate.

Now when we look at Prince Massimo I think I have…some issues. I don’t know if I’m expected to like every billionaire or prince I read about. I don’t know many rich people in real life so I wouldn’t know how to act around them, even though they are still REAL PEOPLE. But from first impressions I DO NOT LIKE THIS PRINCE GUY. I get that he’s coming from a business standpoint and he’s only doing as the contract between him and Easton Essentials states, but he’s coming off as a total ass. I mean really…. He seems to only want Lex because she’s pretty. I can’t condone men lusting for a woman based off her looks alone. I don’t care if he is a prince, he could be a little nicer and could show a bit of compassion and empathy towards her situation. Business or not. Then again, I don’t think many cocky princes have met Lex Easton. She is quite a handful.

HOWEVER, there are times where I will give Masi brownie points for being a sweetheart. But not that many… I think if I was in Lex’s position I’d be dangerously frustrated with how he acts. Sweet one minute and confusing the next.

“Lex reached for her iPhone and pulled it from her bag. A text from Massimo read, “Jemma playing nice?” She typed back, “Jemma is amazing. Lucky to have her. xo” Lex slipped her iPhone in her bag and turned to get back to work.
She turned back around and grabbed her phone. A message again from Massimo read “xoxo”. Lex felt fifteen again.

For reasons I can’t understand Lex wants this Prince yahoo even though he threatens to ruin her life and her career. Alright maybe…ruin her life is a bit extreme but he wants her company! Everything she’s worked so hard to build. To people like Lex, Taddy and Vive, their company, their work, is their life. THANK GOD he wants her just as badly as she wants him otherwise this wouldn’t work out… I just wish there was more than looks, money and business between them. And later there really is just a huge amount of feelings that stir between them that have nothing to do with those three things but for now it’ll do. At least when they’re together they’re just downright sexy.

“Mmmmm,” she mumbled. Sucking his fingers, pretending his cock fucked her mouth, she tasted him. His skin felt calloused, rough, and yet his nails groomed and smooth. Lex swallowed, imagining for a second it was his load going down her throat. “This is what I’ll be doing to your cock soon enough.” She spoke with confident poise. Unsure where in the hell it came from, she’d run with it.”

I may have to admit to being a bit biased towards this book, but I much prefer the couple in Unscrupulous (although that may be because I read that book first…). Lexi and Masi are very…wishy washy with their feelings in comparison to Taddy and Warner. One minute I feel like he (Masi) wants her and then he pushes her away. Lex isn’t as complicated but I’m assuming that’s because the story is mostly told from her POV. Essentially what I’m saying is their feelings aren’t clear or not AS CLEAR as Taddy and Warner. But perhaps that’s the point. People are different and show affection differently. Masi and Lex remind me more of a teasing high school couple than business partners, so I shouldn’t expect an easy romance from them like I did in Unscrupulous.

In the end… I have to admit both Lexi and Masi come through for each other. You know and can feel that they GENUINELY love and want to be with each other. And YES we all know that they too get their happily ever after at the end of the story. But it was definitely not a walk in the park to get there. Aster doesn’t continue to amaze me…she WOWs me. From business deals to big parties and bad press, Lex and Massimo definitely deserve and have earned each other’s’ love and devotion. I look forward to more from the Manhattanites and what love has in store for Blake in book #3 Unsaid.

5/5 Hearts of Love

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