Will Lafferty and Kenny Scalia are both having sort of a day. Will gets fired for letting fifth graders read Harry Potter, and Kenny finds his boyfriend and his sex toys in bed with a complete stranger. When Will knocks over Kenny's trash can—and strews Kenny's personal business all over the street—it feels like the perfect craptastic climax to the sewage of suckage that has rained down on them both.
But ever-friendly, ever-kind Will asks snarky Kenny out for a beer—God knows they both need one—and two amazing things occur: Kenny discovers talking to Will might be the best form of intercourse ever, and Will discovers he's gay.
Their unlikely friendship seems like the perfect platonic match until Will reveals how very much more he’s been feeling for Kenny almost since the beginning. But Kenny’s worried. Will’s newfound sexuality is bright and glittery and shiny, but what happens when that wears off? Is Will's infatuation with Kenny strong enough to stay real?
WILL LAFFERTY thought his aunt Cara’s wedding was spectacular!
Held outside, in the brides’ backyard in Grass Valley, the event smelled of dusty pine trees and garden flowers. Big granite boulders littered the yard, with irises and snapdragons planted around them to make it look as though they were purely decorative, and the brides (or their faithful helpers) had set chairs and tables to look toward a nice shady spot under a great tree with tiny leaves. There was even a big porch with an extended concrete apron for dancing.
Cara wore a feminine off-white suit, with a cravat and wide-legged slacks. She wore her hair in a Gibson Girl bun, with baby’s breath threaded through the graying brown curls that surrounded her face. Her beloved, Nina, wore the full-out wedding frock, narrow around the waist, tiny embroidered daisies complete with yellow-gold centers and pale-green leaves embellishing the frothy tulle of the skirt. Her hair was cut short and colored blonde—with her piquant little face, she looked very Audrey Hepburn except with a dye bottle and a nose stud. Only the fine lines around her eyes revealed that she too was in her early forties.
Kenny cried on Will’s shoulder the entire time.
Will just beamed. He’d never seen Aunt Cara so happy.
The ceremony didn’t take long—long enough for Will to hold Kenny’s hand and watch his mother, the one bridesmaid, wipe away some happy tears herself.
At the reception, Will told Kenny to splash water on his face and gave him eye drops to clear up the red. Afterward, the two of them sat in a corner and picked at a single plate of vegetables and, together, deconstructed the wedding.
“Cara looked amazing,” Kenny said dreamily. The bride in question was making the rounds to the tables to make sure everyone was having a good time. Her laughter rang across the yard more times than Will could count. “I have to admit, when I first saw Cara, I didn’t think she’d clean up that nice.”
“You were so nervous that day,” Will said, rolling his eyes. “You thought everybody in the room was a giant Kenny-eating troll!”
Kenny sniffed delicately. “Well, yes. But she’s really rocking the suit today. And your mother—she looked thrilled.”
Will watched as his mother shooed Cara from one table to the next.
Anne Lafferty looked good today, he thought fondly—she’d actually dressed like the pretty woman he thought she was. Today, she’d worn a white fitted shell and a full skirt with daisies on it. She’d slimmed down a little, so her comfortably middle-aged body was just a little less comfortable and more svelte, and she’d actually dyed her shoulder-length brownish hair a fashionable red and let a stylist have a go at it. Until after the pictures, actually, it had looked “done,” in soft waves around her face. Once the pictures were over, she’d grabbed a scrunchie that looked like a bunch of joined daisies and pulled that mess (her words) back from her face.
“Not as thrilled as the bride,” William said warmly, and Kenny rolled his eyes.
“Nina really is everything your mom thought she’d be, isn’t she?”
William had to laugh. For about a half a minute, Will’s mom had thought she’d try to match Will up with Nina—way before anybody had come out of the closet, of course, and only because her son seemed to be terminally lonely.
Well, he had been, William thought fondly, looking at Kenny, who was pretending he wasn’t jealous as all hell.
He’d been so lonely, he hadn’t been able to see how lonely he really was.
In a swish of satin and tulle, the blonde bride with the Audrey Hepburn face and the tiny diamond nose stud rustled up to their table. With a quirky smile, she sat down at their table and made an exaggerated sigh.
“Whoo! I’m exhausted!” With that, she turned toward the preadolescent girl who had followed her to the table. “Ashley, be a luv and go get your aunt Nina a really big glass of punch, okay?”
The girl had mouse-brown hair and a thin little face. She was wearing a dress much like her aunt Nina’s, only more tailored for a little girl’s Easter and less for a grown woman’s wedding. “Aunt Nina, they only have one size glass for the punch.”
Nina laughed a little and dimpled. “Then you’ll have to get me two, precious. I’m thirsty!”
“Okay! I’ll be back!” And the girl skipped gaily away.
Nina turned those devastating dimples on William and Kenny, and William had to admit, even though she was about ten years Will’s senior, she was a very pretty woman. It was a good thing William had met Kenny first, or that gamine face and blinding smile might have made Will forget some very important doubts he’d had about himself—and women in general.
“Okay, boys, so here’s my chance. For an entire month, I hear nothing from Anne and Cara but what a wonderful boy Will is, and how he and I would make this stunning couple, and then suddenly, poof!” She waved her fingers and laughed at the pun. “And then, you know, Cara and I hook up, and by the time we come up for air”—she smirked—“you’re a couple. How did that happen?”
Will smiled sunnily at her. Oh, she was wonderful—he’d enjoyed her company pretty much from the moment they’d met. He loved people with a sense of humor and who loved a good story. He’d heard her story already. The first time he’d met her at his mother’s house, Kenny and Will had heard all the details—and they’d been sweet, exactly what he wanted for his beloved aunt Cara who had snuck him sweets and hugs and who had taken him out to her farm since he was very small.
“You don’t want to know that story,” he said, not wanting to intrude on her perfect day.
“Of course she does!” Kenny said, straightening from his slouch at the table. His dark hair—which sort of artfully tumbled from standing up straight on his head—was perfect, and the tiniest bit of guyliner he’d used that morning made his blue eyes stand out. His face was all hooks—chin, nose, cheekbones—and Will sometimes told him that it was a great face because it had just hooked Will right in, hadn’t it? He was wearing a truly shocking turquoise suit jacket with a lime-colored paisley liner displayed at the collar, and a lime tie. His pants were race-car red, and he looked like the thin, artistic swirls of color on a birthday cupcake. William was wearing a basic navy-blue suit, but he’d been following Kenny’s bright plumage with his eyes all day. That much color attracted him like a big red plastic flower full of sugary goodness attracted a hummingbird.
“No, she doesn’t,” Will protested, blushing, and Kenny went from insouciant party observer to center of attention in 0.05 seconds flat.
“Of course she does!” Kenny repeated, sitting up excitedly. “You haven’t heard this story? Not at all?”
Will blushed even more. “Kennnneee! My mother hasn’t even heard this story.”
Kenny grinned wickedly and Will covered his face in mortification. “Oh come on, Will—you’ve got to admit, it’s a great story!”
At that point, Ashley returned with two glasses of punch, and Nina set the cups down and grinned at the two of them. The crowd was starting to dance, and the DJ was playing at just the right tempo and volume—not too loud to talk and fast enough to make dancing fun. “I’ll tell you what,” she said, clearly enjoying herself. “I’ll have Ashley keep us supplied with cake and punch if you tell me the story of how you met.”
Kenny looked up at the little girl sardonically. “Okay, sweetcheeks, but I’ve got to tell you—she’s going to be run off her little tushie, because a lot of this story is not suitable for children.”
Ashley grinned. “My aunt’s a lesbian and my dad’s in prison for tax evasion. Try me!”
Nina grimaced. “Yup—she’s pretty savvy. I’ll just bet you won’t shock her.”
Kenny shrugged. “How ’bout you go get us some cake for the first part, short person. The rest of it is probably pretty PG.”
“Did you want the chocolate or the vanilla parts?” Ashley asked, all attention.
“Chocolate!” Kenny said at the same time Will said, “Vanilla!” and Nina threw herself back into her chair and clapped her hands.
“This is going to be some story!” she chimed.
Will patted Kenny’s knee. “You’ve got to start it.”
“Yes, yes I do.” Kenny nodded. “Okay, Nina, you asked for it. Can you remember the worst breakup you ever had?”
Nina pursed her mouth. “You mean when I told my husband I was a lesbian?”
“Oh, ouch! Yeah, that hurts, but Will and I? We got that story beat.”
“Oh man. Well, get to it, boys. I’ve got my niece on retainer, we’ve got a sugar rush barreling down at us in a tulle dress, and Cara is going to be dancing with her uncle for at least another fifteen minutes. I have got to hear this!”
Kenny grinned salaciously, and Will couldn’t decide whether to groan or kiss him. Kenny really did love telling this part first.
“Okay,” he said. “It all started when I got home early one day to surprise my boyfriend….”
Holy shizballs, this was soooo freaking awesome!!!
Read the full review at
So another hit from Amy Lane and one I think you all will love.
I laughed my way through this from start to finish
Through her unique writing style Amy Lane has written a wonderful story of self discovery and falling in love.
SHINY! is just a happy book and it made me feel happy to read it. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone.
I cannot recommend highly enough that you read Amy Lane’s Shiny!
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