Brandon lives above the garage at the home of his cousin Jacob and his wife Nica. He’s been there two years while he finished college. Jacob and Nica have discovered they’re having another child (number five!). Brandon is working in construction and agrees to build an addition onto Jacob and Nica’s house.
Taylor is a wounded veteran returning home after a horrifying injury overseas. He’s scared, missing an eye, and emotionally damaged. He’s been Nica’s best friend since forever. At one point, Nica was in love with him, completely unaware he was gay. She was incredibly hurt when she found out, but Jacob was there to comfort her, and as far as Nica is concerned, all is forgiven. Jacob’s not so sure though, so when he suggests they hire a nanny and Nica wants Taylor to fill the position, there is quite a bit of fuss.
Brandon is especially distressed. He’s very protective of Jacob, Nica, and the kids, and he doesn’t want Taylor anywhere near them. However, he feels a pull toward the man and finds his resolve to hate him falling away. Meanwhile, Taylor is determined to push Brandon away, but he too is finding it difficult to fight their mutual attraction. The question is whether they can get past their differences and make their budding relationship work.
I’m going to start by telling you Amy Lane is an automatic buy for me. I have loved everything she’s written, and she’s never disappointed me. She keeps up with that streak with Manny Get Your Guy. This book had everything. Damaged hero? Check. Jealous conflict? Check. A rowdy supportive family? Check. Two men who start off of the wrong foot but discover they’re perfect for each other? Check and double check!
This is the perfect book to have around after you’ve had a difficult day. You’ll have all the warm fuzzies. There’s only the teeniest amount of angst…just enough to keep the story flowing. It’s sweet, funny, and sexy. Brandon and Taylor are charming and play perfectly off each other, and the background characters all played their roles in just the right way, including the brood of children.
I liked Brandon from the start. He was all about family. Jacob and Nica supported him when he needed it, so he wanted to be there for them. If an author wants to hook me, that’s exactly the sort of character they should write. I love loyalty, and I love someone who wants to help people. I do confess to being a bit put off by him in the beginning. His hostility toward Taylor seemed to be over the top. For a man who’d been given a chance to make something of himself in the wake of adversity, he was a tad on the unpleasant side. It didn’t take long for him to change, though. In fact, it was nearly a blink of an eye. Just as I was ready to reach through the kindle and shake him a bit, BOOM! Instead of shaking, I wanted to start hugging.
I loved Taylor right away. He realized he was a jerk ten years ago, and he wanted to make it right. He returned from his time in the service a broken man, physically as well as emotionally. All he wanted was to get a job to tide him over until his GI Bill money could come through and he could go to school. He felt like he was groveling when he went to Nica’s mother for a job and when Nica offered to bring him on as the “many.” I have a soft spot for guys like Taylor. I want to love them, and fix them, and help to make them whole.
Brandon and Taylor come together is a relatively quick manner. As I mentioned, there is a bit of conflict and angst, but because Manny Get Your Guy is on the shortish side, it had to be that way. It didn’t feel rushed at all and seemed natural. I enjoyed the road they traveled to find each other and to stay together. They were romantic, and very sexy.
There were a bunch of background characters. If you read Amy Lane’s The Virgin Manny, you’ll recognize them. This story takes place ten years after that one, but Channing, Tino, and the others are still great. They don’t take control of the book. Instead, they enrich the book. Also, it’s not necessary to read The Virgin Manny to get a feel for all of them (I recommend it though, simply because it’s a great book as well).
The plot moves on in a clear, steady pace, leading to a satisfying end. Amy Lane is skilled at pulling everything together perfectly. It felt like I was a part of that big, happy family, not like an outsider peeking into their lives. I highly recommend you pick this one up. Grab it, sit in a comfy chair, pour a glass of wine, and enjoy!
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.