Unprofessional by Allyson Young

Unprofessional by Allyson Young
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (32 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Hannah Evans is personal assistant to the very professional Benjamin Willis, and he keeps her firmly in that role. Her boss is a great man, and if he rewards himself with a large number of blondes, well, even great men can be misguided. Hannah couldn’t ask for anything more in her job—except she’s fallen for her boss. And now Mr. Willis seems to be seeking more than mere pleasure. What if he finds a woman with beauty and brains?

Unable to bear the idea, Hannah submits her resignation. Faced with losing her, Benjamin’s entire being reacts in shock, dismay and outrage, causing him to examine how he actually views Hannah. She has had months to come to terms with her strong emotions while he has had mere hours. But Benjamin is a quick study and discovers his true feelings for the woman who has been right under his nose.

Hannah has made the decision. She’s going to quit, sick of silently, surreptitiously mooning over her boss, Benjamin Willis. Having finally come to terms with the fact that nothing will ever happen between them – he’s shown zero interest in her and each of his here-today-gone-tomorrow arm candy ladies were practically her physical opposite – Hannah has decided it’s finally time to move on. While Hannah and Benjamin had both always been painstakingly professional, Hannah’s two week notice was all the incentive Benjamin needed. He decided it was long past time they both acted in an entirely unprofessional manner.

This is a steamy short story, perfect for “on the go” as described on the cover. I’m always a sucker for “secretary falls in love with her boss” stories, and this one was fun to read. I would have liked it better had the beginning moved a bit faster. The entire first chapter could have been tightened – Hannah rehashed their entire history and how she came to have the job. While this set-up to the story and background is, of course, important, I felt it could have easily been half the length, if not shorter. The scenario was in no way unique or difficult to grasp – where I often find more details groundwork needs to be laid – and for the last few pages of the chapter I was skimming to get ahead and start the drama and action of the plot. This was a bit disappointing to me and I really feel either tighter editing – or perhaps just peppering all the self-reflection and explaining it in later dialogue would have been far easier and kept the pace of the plot moving better.

That said, once Benjamin reads her resignation and the two weeks until her resignation occurs, the pace moves far better to my mind. The sex scene was hot but I found it still strongly emotional. While there’s nothing unique to the general plot, I did enjoy both Hannah and Benjamin’s characters and his realizing Hannah was more than just his PA was fun and lovely to read.

I’d be interested to look into other stories by this author. The characters were interesting and the short length of the story makes it perfect for when you want a quick, steamy read but don’t have too much time to devote to it. A good read for the train or for a short lunch break.

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