Reviewed by Tori (Vicki)
TITLE: Manny Get Your Guy
SERIES: Dreamspun Desires, Mannies #2
AUTHOR: Amy Lane
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 236 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 1st, 2017
Starting over and falling in love.
Tino Robbins’s sister, Nica, and her husband, Jacob, are expecting their fifth child. Fortunately, Nica’s best friend, Taylor Cochran, is back in town, released from PT and in need of a job.
After years in the service and recovering from grave injury, Taylor has grown a lot from the callow troublemaker he’d been in high school. Now he’s hoping for a fresh start with Nica and her family.
Jacob’s cousin Brandon lives above the garage and thinks “Taylor the manny” is a bad idea. Taylor might be great at protecting civilians from a zombie apocalypse, but is he any good with kids?
Turns out, Taylor’s a natural. As he tries to fit in, using common sense and dry wit, Brandon realizes that Taylor doesn’t just love their family—he’s desperate to be part of it. And just like that, Brandon wants Taylor to be part of his future.
Manny Get your Guy takes place ten years after The Virgin Manny, the first book in this series. This is not a stand alone book, you have to have read the first one to have any hope of understanding who these characters are.
The first book was about Tino and Channing, as they met and fell in love. Tino’s sister Nica, had a crush on a boy named Taylor. Taylor had a crush on Tino. Taylor came out, broke Nica’s heart, which was repaired shortly after by Jacob, whom she married and has had maaaaaany babies with. So Taylor became a man whore, joined the Army, got blown up, spent a year recovering, and is now living in a crappy apartment waiting for school funding to come in so he can go to school to become a teacher. Meanwhile….
Jacob’s younger cousin Brandon, has been living over Jacob and Nica’s garage while he goes to school, helping out with the kids, and working a construction job. Brandon’s family wasn’t overly excited about the gay, and told him to take a hike, so it’s worked out quite well to have Brandon with Jacob and Nica. Then, Nica and Jacob manage to get pregnant AGAIN! They decide the solution to the housing situation is to build on to the house, and hire the company Brandon works for to do the job, but that means Brandon needs to work on the house, not watch the kids. Still with me?
Soooooo…. Nica and Jacob, with the help of Nica’s mom who owns a domestic help management company, hire Taylor, who seriously needs a job, to be the manny for the four kids. Taylor is concerned, since he’s got some physical issues, and he’s also not sure he would be a good addition to the family. But Nica and Jacob are very insistent that he be part of the family. But Brandon, being a total dick, takes an immediate dislike to Taylor and thinks he would be horrible as the family’s manny. Brandon is overridden, and Taylor becomes the manny. This gets Taylor the family support he needs, the job he needs, and as Brandon comes around, the love that he needs. Yes, there’s lots more to it than that, but you’ll have to discover that on your own!
This story is all about family. We see the insane but loving family focusing around Nica and Jacob, but we also see Channing and Tino and their little family. They are raising Channing’s nephew, but also have a daughter now. They pop in and out frequently in this book, so lots of good family and kid activity. Then we have the opposite type of family. There is some drama with Brandon’s family, and we see quite clearly why he left. What we don’t see much of, but is mentioned briefly, is Taylor’s family. We know they are awful, but we don’t get much detail. So it’s an interesting mix of families, the good, the bad and the ugly.
So I had some issues with this story. First, I found myself wanting a better understanding of Taylor. We are told he’s got some issues, but we don’t ever really see that. We know his family was awful, and he was a man whore, and he had trauma from his military service, but I didn’t feel like I got to know him that well. I liked him quite a bit, but he seemed pretty calm and stable, when I think he was supposed to be more traumatized. My BIG issue was Brandon’s animosity towards Taylor. I could see absolutely no reason for it. It felt fake and contrived, and was over and gone so quick, it didn’t even make sense why it was there. He wants nothing to do with Taylor, doesn’t think he should have anything to do with Jacob and Nica and their kids, then bam! He realizes Taylor is hot, he’s good with the kids, and we have an insta-love romance. I was actually fine once we got to that part, I’m always up for some insta-love, but I had a hard time letting go of my strong dislike of Brandon for a long time. I wish the beginning hadn’t gone that way, and I could have just liked Brandon from the beginning.
Once the two get started on falling in love, I enjoyed the story. I liked the interaction with the various families, both good and bad. I liked the care that Brandon shows Taylor with his injuries. I liked the bond that forms between them, and that even though Brandon was younger, he was the more dominant partner quite often. I liked the banter between them, and the lack of filter that Brandon displayed. I loved the relationship between Nica and Taylor, by rights she should not like him, but instead she’s the only person initially who cares for him. I loved how Taylor opens up as the story progresses, and he is more comfortable with his acceptance by the family, and by Brandon. I think the ending was a little rushed, but it still worked for me.
This is an Amy Lane book, so it’s obviously well written, and overall I liked it. I had a couple of issues, and I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first book, but it’s still a good book! If you have read The Virgin Manny, you have to read this one to see what happens next. If you haven’t, you really need to before you read this one. I do recommend reading them both!