Mal is living a relatively happy life, working as a mechanic in a small shop in a small town surrounded by ranch land. His hand is mangled thanks to an accident with a baler when he was young, but he takes it in stride and is a hard and talented worker. The only thing missing in his life is someone to share it with. Mal’s got a bit of a crush on Dan, a rancher who brings his trucks into the shop when they need repairs…and it seems like he needs a lot of repairs on his new pickup lately.
Dan owns the Flying W Ranch. He takes pride in saying he doesn’t have employees, he has friends. However, he’s also got some sort of enemy because Mal and the shop’s owner are able to prove his new truck is being sabotaged. He comes up with a plan to have Mal come out to the ranch to go “undercover,” so to speak, to see if he can catch the bad guy in the act. Mal agrees to do it, even though he’s not sure if he’ll be able to handle being around Dan because of how he feels about him.
Mal fits in well at the ranch…working and keeping company with Dan. What will happen when the saboteur is caught? Do the men have a chance at romance, or will Mal return to the shop while Dan stays lonely on the ranch?
I really enjoyed this little novella. Mal and Dan are great characters and I wanted to get to know them. They seem lonely, almost married to their jobs, but they both had the desire to have a special someone in their lives. I think Mal is the type of person others would completely look past if they saw him in town, quiet and unassuming, while Dan would capture everyone’s attention. He’s wealthy and handsome and a genuinely nice man. I liked how there was a bit of give and take with their relationship. They’re attracted to each other, but both seem shy, especially Mal. I grew very fond of them in the short time I got to spend with them. I seriously would have loved for this book to be longer so I could get to know them even deeper.
There’s a bit of a mystery in the story. Someone is sabotaging Dan’s truck. The bad guy is predictable, but that didn’t bother me in the least. He was sufficiently evil, so it was satisfying when all was revealed and he was led away in cuffs. Even though I figured out the whodunit, I was able to appreciate how well written it was. The author is very good at setting up a situation and following through on it.
Now…on to the romance between Mal and Dan. It was awesome! It was a very slow burn. Once again, this is a novella, so there wasn’t much time, but what time there was was used wisely. They didn’t even kiss or become intimate for quite a while and it didn’t matter. It gave me time to become invested in their relationship. The single sex scene takes place at the very end, and it was super hot. Mal and Dan are men of few words, so when the dirty talk began, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed.
I’m very happy to have been able to read and review Wrenching. It was a wonderful way to spend a half hour, and I will most definitely read it again. I’ll also gladly check out other books by Deidre O’Hare. I highly recommend this one.