Author: L.A. Witt
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 07/06/2016
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance
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.
Last Mechanic Standing was a well-written and highly enjoyable story. I’ve been a big fan of L.A. Witt for years but some of her recent stuff hasn’t hit the mark for me. This one is another of her high standard stories.
I liked that the story is about an established couple—Mark and Chandler. That means we get to skip the is he gay or not? And the does he like me like I like him? stuff. It can be difficult to have an established couple because the readers aren’t there to watch them fall in love. But Witt manages to show their connection and love through simple things such as everyday interactions.
Mark and Chandler are both in the closet because they work for Mark’s homophobic father. They fear coming out would cost them both their jobs as well as Mark’s place to live. Chandler would be fine coming out but he cares about Mark and is willing to do what he needs.
The story is set around a reality show called Wrench Wars and it figures prominently into the relationship aspect of the plot without seeming unrealistic. The beats of the story played well and it all moved along quickly.
I loved the happy ending and look forward to the other stories in the series.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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