Series: The Manhattanites #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Ellora’s Cave on February 15, 2013
Purchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble
Book Links: Goodreads
Milan's notorious playboy, Massimo Tittoni, seems to have everything--Lamborghinis, exotic women, palaces throughout Europe and business success. Ramping up his fabric company to go global with a new apparel brand, he ruthlessly stops supplying fabrics to the American client who inspired the collection. But once they meet, what's he willing to give to get her in his bed?
Upper East Side designer Lex Easton will be damned if she'll let an Italian stud muffin knock her down. So what if she named her favorite vibrator after him. With Fashion Week approaching, she'll do whatever it takes to secure the fabrics she needs to become the next Diane von Furstenburg-- even sleep with her rival. But when she arrives in Europe the paparazzi chronicles her every move and she finds herself in a situation never imagined. Lex’s Louboutins stilettos are dug in deep to win this war. All’s fair in love and fashion!
Content Warning: due to graphic sex scenes, strong language, suggestive themes, mature humor, and just about everything your mother ever told you not to do -- including wearing a see-through dress, this novel is for adults only.
–deep breath– Ok… I will admit to liking this book. The characters are fun, the banter is witty and the sex scenes are (for the most part) pretty hot.
Lex Easton’s character goes a little deeper than you first imagine, and it was nice to know and helped the character — however the character background and building seems to come in late in the book.
The same goes for Massimo “Massi” Tittoni. Again, his character goes deeper than first perceived but the depth comes late in the book.
The story line is a good one and although I am in NO way a fashionista (in fact, people who know me would probably laugh at my name and the word “fashion” being used in the same sentence) I was able to understand the book, what they were doing and what the characters were aiming at. And though I couldn’t tell you by looking at them who designed certain shoes or a dress, it’s not necessary in this case, so I was appreciative of that as well.
The issue I have with this book is that it doesn’t mesh well… It seems as if the book were written in small bits here and there and then put together to make a full length novel, but little-to-no effort was put into transitions.
There are also single words that don’t mesh with the world and situations and characters written in here… as if someone thought “I shouldn’t use that adjective or word again… let me look up a new word in the thesaurus.” — or the writer thought there should be a more exotic word in there, so it was used. These words aren’t ones that I’d expect them to say or use in their inner monologue.
In example, “Sucking his fingers, pretending it was his cock fucking her mouth, she tasted vetiver.”
Now, I’m willing to admit that I had to look that up because I lead a fairly sheltered life and have only been to two countries outside the US (and one of them is Canada, which we don’t really count since it’s so close). Vetiver is a long fibrous, aromatic root of an East Indian grass, used for making hangings and screens, and yielding an oil used in perfumery. While Lex is the daughter of a deceased rock star and a former 80’s playmate, not once was it mentioned that she ever visited East India, or has any knowledge of what vetiver is, or where it would come into her life.
Again, I’m willing to admit here that I’m wrong and maybe I miss something by not growing up in NYC, especially the Upper East Side. I live in a small town in Western Upstate NY, so take I take this all with a grain of salt, as should everyone.
The random words and ill-matched, skipping-around scenes aside, there were things I liked about this book: In the opening of the book, you get a list of characters, major and minor. I was amused by this, especially one description of an “obsessive masturbator”. Granted, in this particular book, you don’t see that side of the character (and that goes for many of the characters listed) but as this is only book one, I would hope these descriptions are matched in the upcoming novels.
Overall, I did enjoy the basis of this book, the heart of it. But the lack of flow and form to the book made it a bit distracting, causing me to go back a page and think, “Wait, what? What just happened?” … and one particular sexual act that I’ve never before seen, heard of or read about and, honestly, given my propensity of reading anything and everything, I’ve heard of and read a lot… and also given just how large Massimo is described (I believe the words “Evian Water Bottle” were used), it just seems impossible, if not painful – especially for him.
So 2.5 out of 5, but a 5 on the sensuality and pure sex of this book.