5.4.13

THE LAST NUDE, by Ellis Avery

This subtly (and no so subtly, as well) erotic novel is based on the true life of famous/notorious Polish painter Tamara de Lempicka, and set in anything-goes 20's and 30's (“between the wars”) Paris. Rafaela Fano, a young American runaway, bumps into Lempicka and becomes her model and lover. Lempicka's painting of her, nude, becomes the celebrated painting of the artistic season, and two millionaires vie for its possession. Young, na├»ve in spite of her sexual freedom, in love, and vulnerable, Rafaela must deal with far older and destructive passions that mere lust. Much of the writing is sublime; the last portion of the plot I found frustrating and cloudy. But still, a 5.