Sunday, 28 February 2016

'SILK' BY RUPERT JAMES


 

2009 SILK tells the tale of three ambitious women on a quest for fulfillment in the world of fashion, politics and wealth.  Victoria loves money.  Problem is she doesn’t have any.  Relying mostly on her looks gets her what she wants. Until the expensive rug is pulled from under her, that is.  Then scheming becomes a must to get back in the game; Christine is a renowned barrister and divorcee in her early 50s who yearns to reach the highest echelon in the law system while banging the hot and younger gym instructor in her spare time.  When a suave Mafioso enters the picture all hells break loose; Isabelle is an up and coming designer and the daughter of Christine.  She despises her mom deeply, blames her mostly for her unhappiness.  Cocaine and the support of her gay business partner are what keep her afloat. But how long before the dam breaks?
 
Rupert James (aka Rupert Smith or James Lear) channels Jacqueline Susann and delivers a crackling tale of lost ambition and second chances.  But contrary to the all-time classic, the women in this one are all strong individuals despite the many bumps coming their way. Though the story could have been told in fewer pages the plot never deviates too far, making the end-result a celebration from cover to cover.  Crisp dialogue, clean narrative, over-the-top situations, it’s all there for you to enjoy.  This is a debut novel from this author's nom de plume  and this reviewer can’t wait to feast his eyes on his second effort.  Hope there is a third one coming soon.
 
 
 
You can still catch SILK wherever paperbacks or digital books are sold.
 
 
 
Until next post—Martin
 
Paperback/digital edition
 

Monday, 15 February 2016

'UNDRESSED' BY AVERY ASTER



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