Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Virgin Manny by Amy Lane Dual Media Review

Growing up and falling in love...

Sometimes family is a blessing and a curse. When Tino Robbins is roped into helping his sister deliver premade dinners when he should be studying for finals, he’s pretty sure it's the latter! But one delivery might change everything.

Channing Lowell’s charmed life changes when his sister dies and leaves him her seven-year-old son. He’s committed to doing what's best for Sammy… but he’s going to need a lot of help. When Tino lands on his porch, Channing is determined to recruit him to Team Sammy.

Tino plans to make his education count—even if that means avoiding a relationship—but as he falls harder and harder for his boss, he starts to wonder: Does he have to leave his newly forged family behind in order live his promising tomorrow?

Audiobook Details
Length: 6 hrs, 14 mins
Narrator: John Solo

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Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Amazon Audiobook  ~  Audible  ~  Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Audiobook Review

I want to begin by thanking the author for not taking the easy or predictable route and making this a super cheesy romance. The Virgin Manny has an almost obligatory scene or two that nears the cheesy romance territory, but Lane does a great job of keeping the tone more serious than I expected it to be – especially as it’s a modern-day take on the clichéd scenario of the single dad falling for his child’s nanny.

Reluctantly agreeing to make his sister’s dinner box deliveries for the evening, Tino finds himself face-to-face with one of the most gorgeous men he’s ever met. But Channing’s attractiveness is quickly put aside when Tino is thrust into the unexpected role of nurturer as he tries to soothe a distraught Sammy (whose mother died less than a month ago); as a life saver for the overwhelmed and hungry uncle-now-single dad, Channing; and as a momentary house manager as he takes the ill-behaved maid to task for her insubordination and dereliction of duty. While his actions earn him a job offer as a highly-paid manny, Tino is reluctant to accept because he doesn’t think it will look good on his resume when he begins looking for a job to put his newly earned degree to use. After a series of events at his current job (including an incident which had me wanting to strangle his female co-worker) enable Channing to eliminate Tino’s main objection for leaving, Tino embarks upon a summer of childcare, chauffeur duties, schedule juggling, maid wrangling, romance, falling in love, and learning that “Plans are what you make when you are starting your life, Martin. Life is what happens when you’re making your plans.”

I adored The Virgin Manny. It’s almost a coming of age story for Tino as he has finished his education and is preparing to take his first official steps into adulthood, only to find love when he least expected it. Despite the instant attraction between him and Channing, their situation is such that they get to know one another before their relationship is consummated. Because of this, we get to know both men and watch as they each change their priorities for one another and for Sammy. The intrigue with the maid was a nice nod to soap opera style drama and set the stage for some amusing ribbing at Tino from his mother. Tino’s friends and family add to the richness of the story and provide for more than one chuckle-inducing scene. While annoying in the beginning, Lane did a nice job with Sammy’s early acting out and gradual settling into his new normal as he came to terms with his mother’s death and his uncle becoming his guardian. As expected, John Solo did an outstanding job with the narration, especially as there were far more female characters than I usually encounter in a m/m romance – and not once was I confused as to who was speaking. The Virgin Manny was another enjoyable addition to the Dreamspun Desires collection and a great start to The Mannies series. I’m look forward to the next book in the series.

Ebook Review

This is the sweet, fluffy side of Amy Lane. For this Dreamspun Desires release, she mixes classic romance tropes with one of her own special families for a heartwarming and almost fairytale romance.

Wealthy business owner Channing has been pulled straight from a classic Harlequin. Skip that – he’s a modern day Mr. Rochester in need of a nanny to help him care for his nephew, Sammy. We’ve read this character many times before but Amy Lane makes Channing sweet and good and kind in her own way.

While we’ve all read about the billionaire and the governess, Tino definitely isn’t a shrinking violet. He has worked hard for his degree and he is ready to start life in business – until a chance meeting with Channing kinda sideswipes his plans. Confident and funny, sweet and caring, Tino is a special character and I fell for him hard.

Amy Lane’s fans will love the way Tino’s large, loud family engulfs Channing and Sammy in warmth and friendship. The relationship between Channing and Tino progresses slowly from an employer/employee relationship to companionship to more. The heat is low in this book. There is some sex, but it isn’t explicit and it doesn’t dominate the story. The age and power gap is acknowledged to some extent but not fully explored. This is easy, gentle romance with a generous benefactor and a ready made family.

Honestly, I don’t expect realism from the Dreamspun Desires books. Classic romances are allowed to avoid grit and flirt with plausibility. The focus is the fairytale and this one is sweet and satisfying.

AMY LANE is a mother of two college students, two grade-schoolers, and two small dogs. She is also a compulsive knitter who writes because she can’t silence the voices in her head. She adores fur-babies, knitting socks, and hawt menz, and she dislikes moths, cat boxes, and knuckle-headed macspazzmatrons. She is rarely found cooking, cleaning, or doing domestic chores, but she has been known to knit up an emergency hat/blanket/pair of socks for any occasion whatsoever, or sometimes for no reason at all. Her award-winning writing has three flavors: twisty-purple alternative universe, angsty-orange contemporary, and sunshine-yellow happy. By necessity, she has learned to type like the wind. She’s been married for twenty-plus years to her beloved Mate and still believes in Twu Wuv, with a capital Twu and a capital Wuv, and she doesn’t see any reason at all for that to change.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Virgin Manny (The Mannies #1) by Amy Lane, Narrated by John Solo to read or listen to and review.

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