Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
Any recent stories that involve the reverse age-gap trope have a commonality. They tend to have a cinnamon roll hero: gooey on the inside, yet solid on the outside. In fact, in most of the stories I’ve read, the hero is the highlight of the romance. Kandi Steiner’s Washed Up is no different. Her Greg is the best part of the story because he’s tenacious and pursues a very reticent Amanda. In this book, Amanda’s perception of the thoughts of others, both her son, David’s, and society’s, wreak the havoc of Washed Up. What Greg does to remedy it isn’t becoming physical in a bedroom sense; instead, he woos her with friendship. This creates these moments in Washed Up that feel very innocent, yet their chemistry adds depth to them.
For me, the partnership between Amanda and Greg feels balanced. Steiner has made some choices that allow her reverse age gap romance to work: Greg is a physician which gives him the financial edge over Amanda. Amanda has more relationship experience than Greg; however, Steiner has granted him more life experience. Again, this balances out their relationship. Lastly, Steiner identifies the weakness in both of them (Amanda is carrying PTSD from her marriage, and Greg is hyperfocused on his job), and the other person has the capacity to help bring harmony to the relationship.
Each of the moments of Washed Up is a delight. As Amanda and Greg grow closer, while also growing as individuals, you cannot help but fall in love with their relationship. Even when you know the test is coming, there is a promise that the resolution will be grand. And Kandi Steiner’s Washed Up does not disappoint.
In love and romance,