Show Me
by Jaci Burton, contemporary (2007)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 1-59998-526-8


Two of the most successful authors at Samhain Publishing get together to present Sneak Peek, a series of two stories. Watch Me by Shelley Bradley comes first, followed by Show Me by Jaci Burton.

Show Me, unlike Watch Me, doesn't try to insult my intelligence with a stupid excuse of a storyline in order to get the characters naked and shagged. Not that I'm saying that this story is free of silliness or anything, of course.

Janine Bartolino has always kept herself responsible. I don't know why. She's clearly not happy since she's always trying very hard to be responsible and well-behaved. She moans that she's hitting thirty and she's always five pounds overweight. Five pounds overweight. Call the ambulance, somebody, Miss Piggy here is clearly eating herself to death! And all that money and she can't get a face-lift, liposuction, boob job, or anything that will make her happy? What a loser. Just give me that money already!

Janine has outgoing friends who are self-assured and fun. I don't know why these friends will want to hang out with the killjoy here but maybe they know they can always pretend to need some money to donate to some orphanage in Timbuktu and Janine here is always ready to whip out a blank check to them. Who knows? At any rate, I can't fault Janine for one thing: she manages to get a man to boost her self-esteem without paying for at least a boob job and the tab is on her friends. By accident, Janine can be so sneaky sometimes.

Her friends take Janine to the sex club Sneak Peek. Since it's a surprise, Janine doesn't know at first of what Sneak Peek really is. She ends up getting co-owner Philippe Delacroix to convince her what everyone else already knows: she's hot, she's beautiful, and she's begging for it. Janine has some concerns about her reputation - she's all about charity and what-not, you see, like a 19th-century damsel intent on skewering herself on the sword of martyrdom - but Del just has to whip it out and she's all ai-yai-yai in his arms.

There are plenty of sex scenes that take place outdoors and under the threat of discovery by unsuspecting members of the public, so if you are into that particular kind of thrill in your stories, you may like this one. I believe I will appreciate the love scenes better if Janine isn't such a joyless stereotype of a frigid nitwit who only needs the hero's prodding to turn into a nymphomaniac who wants to take it everywhere. Del can speak a little too much like Pepe le Pew at times but compared to Janine, he's actually pretty bearable as a character.

If you are looking for a quick sexy read and don't care too much about the characters being very familiar stereotypes reenacting the same old song and dance, you can do much worse than Show Me. I'm just that person who find that heroine too much of an irritating stereotype to get into the mood and the author doesn't do much to give the overused storyline an interesting twist, so Show Me is somewhat out of luck when it comes to me.

Rating: 56


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