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I definitely think you need to have read “The Virgin Manny” for this to make a lot of sense. While I suppose there’s enough information for it to be a standalone, really, the first part of the story and all the background is found in the earlier book.
We met Taylor when he was young and dumb and full of … well, spunk and attitude. ☺
He didn’t make any friends with the way he was hiding and that sense of self-loathing has lingered. Now he’s a new man with a ton of baggage. It wouldn’t be an Amy story if we didn’t have some baggage, right?
Well, Brandon has his own issues, but really, he’s quite stable and he’s definitely the rock in this relationship.
Because the Dreamspun genre really supports this type of plot, our guys get together and fall in love with ridiculous ease. However, there are some really great moments between them and their families. It’s not just “blink and it all goes away.” This story, as compared the “The Virgin” has a lot more steam in it (much appreciated!!) and our MCs have a ton of chemistry.
I think I like this book better than book 1 because the characters felt more solid to me and the situation, while still a bit predictable, was unique enough and had some very “real life” elements in it that made it feel authentic.
As always, it was great to revisit the characters from book 1, and I found it fascinating how different Jacob was in this story versus the first book. Besides the passage of time, I think fatherhood absolutely shaped him a lot!
If I have any problems at all it’s that the initial reaction of Brandon to Taylor never made sense to me – I wasn’t ever quite sure where his anger came from, so I was glad it went away quickly.
All in all, highly recommended to fans of the author, book 1, sweet but hurt veterans, and stories with kids.
John Solo does another nice job with this. He doesn’t do a lot with any sort of accents or anything but he makes the female voices unique, handles the children’s voices well enough and did a nice job with the emotions and pacing.
I enjoyed the tone quality of his narration and liked the voice he chose for Taylor.
This was an enjoyable way to experience this story.
4.5 of 5 stars
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I received a free copy of this audiobook to listen to and review for Wicked Reads.
Having loved The Virgin Manny, I was excited for the chance to review Manny Get Your Guy, the second installment in The Mannies series. Unlike Tino and Channing from the first book, the sparks that fly between Taylor and Brandon are not the good kind, not at all. While Brandon might find Taylor attractive, he does not like the idea of the recovering veteran taking on the position of manny for his cousin Jacob’s children. Mind you, part of his dislike for Taylor is colored by Jacob’s attitude, who is still angry with Taylor for leading Nica on all those years ago – despite that fact that Taylor’s coming out enabled Jacob to make his feelings for Nica known and led to their marriage and subsequent family. But it’s an easier excuse for Brandon to latch onto, rather than having to acknowledge his attraction to a man who could throw a wrench in his plans for his future.
I enjoyed getting to know both men immensely and getting to know more about Taylor, who we had met previously in The Virgin Manny. While it was nice to see that Taylor had indeed grown up a lot in the time between the two books, the circumstances that forced him to do so are quite sad and have done significant damage to the former playboy’s self-image. And it’s because of that, that Brandon not only has to overcome the wretched first impression he made, but he also has to fight against Taylor himself in order to build a friendship and move it beyond that. As with the first book, Lane does a wonderful job of weaving Nica and Jake’s brood throughout the story, making them important to the storyline without allowing the children to overshadow the budding romance between Taylor and Brandon. On the other hand, Brandon’s family left me wanting to skip parts on the second listen through because they were so freaking frustrating. Although his family didn’t turn their backs on him like Taylor’s did, Brandon’s family tied themselves in knots trying to shame him for being gay and making him feel unwelcome, while at the same time practically demanding that he give up the life he has and move home to help out his parents. And the stunt his mother pulls… AAAAARGH!!! I wanted to reach into my Kindle to smack some sense into the woman, all while giving her my two cents. I can only imagine how many different ways Lane wrote that scene to be far more scathingly satisfying, but in the end managed to rein it in so that it fit with the Dreamspun Desires theme. Well done, Amy Lane, well done.
Even though the Dreamspun Desires books guarantee a happy ending, it’s the journey that makes them so enjoyable, and Manny Get Your Guy is no exception. Making the audiobook experience even more entertaining is the solid and always impressive vocal performance by John Solo. The manner in which Solo brings the various characters to life makes it easier to keep up with who is who in the story. What complicated it for me were the FIVE children – Nica and Jake’s four and Sammy (from book one). But I don’t feel too bad about that because even Jake had a hard time keeping up with his four charges in the beginning. As much as I enjoyed how Solo made Taylor and Brandon seem so real, it was drunk Taylor who I enjoyed the most. Manny Get Your Guy was a wonderful addition to The Mannies series and I look forward to Lane and Solo’s next collaboration on the series.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful