Review: Bored, Stroked and Blueprinted (Grease Monkeys, Inc.) by KC Kendrick

As a boy, Mick Ambrose fell in love with cars. Now he owns and operates an auto restoration shop specializing in all things American Muscle. When the black 1969 Camaro Z/28 he years ago dubbed Onyx pulls into his garage, Mick forgets his first love in favor of her driver, Logan Gregg. Mick’s interested and cruises Logan at a speed worthy of the car he drives.

Logan Gregg’s plan to avoid entanglements in his life drives away when he stops at American Muscle to ask a few questions about restoring the Z/28 he inherited from his uncle. The owner of the shop is smooth as a well-tuned V-8 engine and twice as hot. Logan is quick to shift gears and take a closer look at Mick Ambrose and the road ahead.

But when Mick wants to get too close, too fast, Logan backs off. His past holds painful memories he can’t escape and the tattoos on his arms aren’t just for decoration. Working on the Z/28 brings the men closer, but Mick makes a mistake when he confesses his knowledge of the past Logan wants to keep buried. Mick knows a man has to settle his past to step into his future, but can he convince Logan?

Publisher's Note: This book was previously released by another publisher but has been revised and re-edited for this edition.

Bored, Stroked and Blueprinted is part of the Grease Monkey’s series but can be read as a standalone.

Mick Ambrose is a small town everyman who appreciates cars like a man might appreciate a lover. He’s not just a mechanic, he truly loves the work he does and I for one, appreciate a man who can work with his hands with a passion for getting dirty and making something broken come back to life. From his childhood he’s been enamored with a Z28 that he sees cruising around town. He names her Onyx and she’s an inspiration to him. Anyone who knows a gearhead (*raises hand, I married one*) knows this to be true. It sounds super dramatic and creepily romanticized as I type the words, but it’s such a fact. A gearhead never forgets their first car crush.

One day Onyx comes cruising into his shop driven by a man he’s never seen before and to say that he noticed the driver as well as the car would be an understatement. The driver is Logan Gregg and he’s inherited the car that belonged to his uncle and has just moved into town. Mick tells Logan a toned down version of how much he loves the car and the two of them embark on a plan to restore her. Logan wants to help and Mick wants Logan, so, it’s a win-win. When Mick finds out Logan is gay, it turns into a win-win-win.

Logan has got some baggage and the story really takes on some pretty hefty topics. He’s been injured, experienced traumatic loss, made a pretty major mistake and is now trying to get his life on track. And, while the milestones he’s lived through are pretty brutal, the story doesn’t get too weighed down by them, but they are definitely there and for the bulk of the story they dictate the path of the relationship they both would like to follow if they were being completely honest.

I liked Mick a lot, he’s a good guy with a big heart, but he’s not overly sappy or dramatic. It made him a good match for Logan. There were a few times I felt bad for the guy because of a reaction that Logan had, but I couldn’t blame Logan really either, because of all his past. He was never mean to Mick, he was kind of like a raw nerve, very sensitive and he just felt like he needed to protect himself.

Throughout the story I had a great visual of Logan. The story is from Mick’s perspective, so it makes sense, but I never got a fully fleshed out one for Mick. I don’t think I ever realized how much I need that, but I really do. I mean, I felt like something was missing and I couldn’t put my finger on what felt slightly off and I think that was it. For some genres, that may not matter, but to a romance it does and to a visual person it does even more. I may not have caught on if Mick weren’t so descriptive of Logan.

This is a heavier read that really isn’t and a romance that isn’t overly romantic. It read very real and I appreciated the voice that Mick had. He’s just a regular guy and it was good to read something in a realistic tone that ends with some happiness for a couple of guys who will really appreciate it.

For more information on Bored, Stroked and Blueprinted, check it out on Goodreads.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

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