by Jaci Burton, contemporary (2007)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 1-59998-841-0

Amy Parker, a junior associate at a law firm, has a rather complicated thing for her colleague Justin Garrett. She loathes the younger man's smart-ass ways. He's primed to be promoted to junior associate despite being new to the firm when she had to work eight years to reach the same rank. But he's so hot that on their business trip together to Maui she ends up doing the la-di-da to herself (with the sheets covering the relevant parts from view of course) while he's supposedly asleep in the seat next to hers.

She has no idea that Justin isn't asleep. She has also no clue that Justin has received a naughty email meant for her colleague Gloria (I suppose it is easy to mistakenly type Justin@SexStarvedGits.com instead of Gloria@SexStarvedGits.com) where Amy details her not-so-hot love life and her lust for Justin. Justin, however, doesn't want Amy to think that he's porking her for a promotion - how sweet - so he doesn't know how to make the first move. But maybe it takes two men to open up Amy - eeuw, did I say that? - and Mitch, a rugged fellow whom they meet up with later - is the man for the job.

Unwrapped has a ménage à trois arrangement between Justin, Amy, and Mitch but the romance is between Justin and Amy, with Mitch being along for the ride as Justin's way to help Amy fulfill her threesome fantasy. This is a short story with a rather shaky premise concerning mistakenly sent emails. I find it hard to believe that a woman so careful about not spoiling her chances at career advancement will happily send an email with naughty details about her fantasies involving a colleague using the company email, for one. Seriously, I'd think people will know enough to get Hotmail or Gmail for this kind of thing.

But still, the author does an adequate job in making Justin and Amy come off as real and likable types for a short story. A part of me have no idea what Mitch is doing here other than for the titillation of the reader but I'm impressed at how Ms Burton manages to create a credible developing relationship between Justin and Amy despite the presence of a second penis in the bedroom.

I like this one. For its length, Unwrapped manages to entertain me and sell me a somewhat believable romance quite well despite my reservations about the whole mistakenly sent email thing.

Rating: 82

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