Last Mechanic Standing (Vallie’s Review)

mechanic coverTitle: Last Mechanic Standing (Wrench Wars #1)
Author: L.A. Witt
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 6, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 80
Reviewed by: Vallie
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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.

This was a cute novella. The blurb pretty much spells out what is going to happen so there isn’t much suspense in terms of plot. However, it was still enjoyable to read.

Chandler worked as mechanic in Jim’s garage and had a secret friends-with-benefits deal with Jim’s son, Mark. In the midst of the pending reality show, which absolutely craved Jim and Chandler’s volatile working relationship, Chandler was coming apart at the seams from the pressure. The only good thing was his relationship with Mark. The relationship was underpinned with feelings on both sides but they were both too reluctant to reveal them to each other.

Mark and Chandler were good together. The steam was spot on and there was some obvious affection that made me root for them, even if it was not spoken out loud until the end. Mark’s father and the reality show staff were a little OTT in my opinion but served the plot well. Just suspend disbelief a little and you’ll enjoy it just fine.

I would have liked a bit more info on the overall set-up of the story. The town they were in was never mentioned by name and when they discussed another garage a couple of hours away, it was “in the town a couple hours away.” Nothing happened outside of the garage or Chandler’s apartment anyway, so I don’t see what a real place being mentioned would have hurt. I also didn’t feel like I could visualize the characters very well. Aside from hair and eye color, and I think one mention of Chandler looking all broody against a wall in the garage, I didn’t have a good grasp of what they looked like and that’s very important to me. If I can’t conjure up an image in my head, I feel like I don’t know the characters and can’t really connect to them.

Overall, this was a pleasant, quick read that was excellent to pass the time. It’s not meant to be deep or insightful -just a fun story that sets up the series nicely. There was an excerpt from the next one at the end and it looked quite appealing so I think I’ll continue with the series.


Wrench Wars Series

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Galley copy of Last Mechanic Standing (Wrench Wars #1) provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.

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