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A novel of sexual encounters set mainly in MAYFAIR, London

20th March 2024

Naked in Mayfair by The Secret Socialite, a novel of sexual encounters set mainly in Mayfair, LONDON.

How high society hobnobs between the sheets.

Meet Ava, blonde bombshell and intellectual highflier (who reads about quantum mechanics in her leisure time). At heart she sees herself as an “unreconstructed schoolgirl swot” and an unwilling singleton. She is newly divorced with two children, living in Mayfair and is on the look-out for “the” longterm new man in her life. She is described as having “...carnal, masculine energy and …inviting female sexuality“, which probably tells you everything you need to know.

She has been to see a psychic, who assures her she will indeed meet a man who will nourish her soul and stimulate her senses (you know what I am saying here 😉) and that his name will start with the letter ‘H”. She encounters both Harry and Hugo – could either of them be her knight in shining armour, to wit, THE one to rescue her from her grinding life in the single lane?

Ava grew up with her sister, who was the cherished sibling, and in fact her mother saw fit to divulge that Ava had never been wanted by her father. Her drive, therefore in adult life, is to find the love that was denied her in childhood but until now she has confused sex and love. She has a voracious appetite for the former and we accompany her in her intimate moments when she appraises and engages with tumescent trousers and pulsating pants, in all their throbbing glory. Insatiable, I would say (or let me suggest that sexual addiction is probably at play here). The author further underlines Ava’s Jewish heritage and how the horrors of the mid 20th Century have rattled down the generations and form an unconscious element in her psyche. However, neither this, nor a brief mention to see a psychotherapist gain traction within the unfolding story. She has a sassy outer shell but a very vulnerable and fragile inner persona.

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She is all for women’s empowerment and as a family unit, she and her two daughters sponsor a couple of young women through university, they are after all philanthropists. She has encouraged her teenage daughters – Sasha and Khassya (that’s a mouthful!) – to stand on their own two feet, both in their academic lives and in relationships with handsome young men (which only serves to highlight the lack of a partner in Ava’s own life, a theme on repeat throughout the novel).

However, whenever she dives down the rabbit hole of sadness at her situation, she quickly finds the wherewithal to pull herself up by the bootstraps (or any other straps) and gets back in the saddle, and soon there is another old Etonian-type in the frame.

Before you know it, yet another handsome man has accosted her on a Mayfair street (the Mayfair streets are clearly paved with eligible and randy men), they have exchanged phone numbers, and soon Ava is engaged in a threesome, with yet another glass of Ruinart to lubricate the proceedings. On to Eren from Turkey and an evening at The Araki (a Japanese restaurant that seats only 12 (or 9 if you look on their website – and should you want to visit, you need to be quick as the chef is returning to Japan quite soon). Upon returning to her house, they discover she has been burgled (but between calling the police and the officers arriving, there is still time for a quickie  – would you, really, if you were stressed post burglary, honestly? 🙄). But, as Eren’s name does not begin with “H”, the reader can be tempted to rattle through his manoeuvres, knowing he will imminently be hung out to dry.

Mayfair hotspots get a good look-in: 5H is Ava’s favourite drinking place, Cristal and Ruinart are on tap and Annabel’s is a hot favourite. There are plenty of descriptions of designer gaffs, clothes, and yachts, paintings, and upmarket hotels (around the world)…

As one of her daughter’s says of Ava’s dating patterns “It’s like Groundhog Day, the same thing over, and over again“, which actually sums up the book. Towards the end, the story gets a little chaotic as Ava tries to shift into a different gear.

If you have enjoyed EL James (50 Shades) and The Bride Stripped Bare (which made its debut in the early 2000s, penned by “Anonymous”, and exposed as Nikki Gemmell), then you will probably enjoy this. Similarly, the erotic novels, full of couture clothes, fine art and luxury travel by L S Hilton may appeal. This novel is a reasonably well written manifestation of the same iteration.

It says in the book blurb “It gives us a unique insight into the secret life of a 21st-century woman’s unwavering search for love, meaning, inner peace – and ultimately, self-acceptance” – does it, though, really? That is a stretch too far.

Tina for the TripFiction Team

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