Car Wash by Shawn Lane

Amber Allure

Gay Contemporary

ISBN: 978-1-60272-529-4

Reviewed by Cassie

   

 

Kevin Flaherty’s life has taken a turn for the worse.  He’s been laid off from his job, and his new one at a car wash doesn’t pay enough for necessities—like rent and food.  Plus, his boss keeps making creepy offers and then passing them off as “jokes.”  Then Michael Bennett drives up in his Maserati, and Kevin is both attracted and horrified.  He still remembers being rejected by Michael years earlier, when he was Michael’s little brother’s friend.

Michael Bennett was forced to reject Kevin because he was only fifteen, but now Kevin’s all grown up.  Michael is instantly attracted to the sexy man Kevin has become.  He’s also concerned about Kevin’s financial situation.  Will Michael’s attempts to help ruin things with Kevin?

Car Wash is kind of a Cinderella story—if Cinderella had a pierced nose, wild dyed hair, and an attitude.  Prickly, broke Kevin was easy to sympathize with.  I felt bad for him as his life spiraled out of control.  His tendency to get mad when his pride was bruised was irritating but believable.  Rich guy Michael was harder to sympathize with, because although I could understand why he wanted to help, his methods were high-handed at best.  As the story went on, I started to like him more, despite his overbearing “help.”  While there were several times when the conflict could have been cleared up through a good long conversation between Kevin and Michael, I enjoyed the storyline.  There are some interesting secondary characters, including one of Kevin’s coworkers, his skuzzy boss, two friends (from a previous, only very loosely linked Shawn Lane story), and Michael’s brother.  Fans of rich man / poor man stories or prickly heroes will be sure to find a lot to like in Car Wash.          

     

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