Everyone at Jim Irving’s garage is gung ho about Wrench Wars, a new reality show featuring mechanics. Everyone, that is, except talented mechanic Chandler Scott, the sole employee who has refused to sign the contract. The rest of the mechanics are pressuring him too, because without Chandler—and his volatile interactions with his boss—no one’s getting on the show.
Chandler’s one ally is Jim’s son, Mark, who’s being forced to work for his dad until he pays down his student loans or finds a better job—and who’s been Chandler’s secret lover for a while.
Then a playful tryst in the garage blows up in their faces, giving the network ammo to blackmail Chandler by threatening to out Mark to his father. Now Chandler is backed into a corner, and Mark needs to decide how far he’s willing to go to protect the man who’s been sharing his bed… and may have stolen his heart.
I was surprised by this one. And I’m not sure why, because every single time L.A. Witt hits the mark for me. She has an incredible ability to not only create characters that I care about, but to put them in situations that are challenging in ways I can’t always understand, and make them fall in love, still giving me my HEA.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy a book about a reality series, and men that are mechanics, but I really did. Chandler was an honorable man, willing to stand up for his reputation, and not allow himself to be bullied into doing something he had no desire to do. But his downfall was being in love with Mark, who not only needed the show, but needed his job under the crushing student loans he had. Blackmail, however, only ever hurts people and clearly it does nothing but hurt these two men.
I loved though, that they found a port in the storm of this reality show in each other. They didn’t turn on each other. Instead, they turned to each other when they needed to be centered, and to feel safe. That was refreshing. It showed that their relationship could stand the difficult challenges that come with a work romance, in a highly stressful situation. They supported one another, and didn’t allow others to pull them down.
Every read by L.A. Witt is one in which I am continually surprised, not because she is not a fantastic writer, but because she makes me care about characters that I might not have ever thought of as one’s I would connect with.
4 pieces of eye candy