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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.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
What do you get when Amy Lane is given some “parameters” and a directive to write a sweet, low-ish steam romance with a classic trope?
Well – you don’t get any “C***s” – which I found hysterical!
You get a 22 year old virgin!
You get Channing – an older man who holds out on physical intimacy til the younger guy’s willing to commit!
And very little (really almost no) angst!
In other words, a lot of stuff that this author who tends to put a lot of “grit and real” in her stories, would typically avoid.
As far as the story goes, it’s sweet, light, and lovely. It absolutely follows the “troptastic” theme of the good-hearted virgin who lives with the billionaire and all his/her heart’s desires are fulfilled. (I was SO ENVIOUS of the student loan thing – OMG – that’s so REAL!!!)
The tension only made sense in this “line” of books. I think these boys would have been boning early on! In fact, the actual status of his virginity didn’t add much or detract much from their decision making process. I think they moved at a pace that made sense simply because of the importance of moving forward given Sammy’s presence.
I cannot tell you how much I loved the side story of Jacob and Nica – it added back into this story some very needed reality and I loved the family’s response to this as well.
I’m not sure what purpose the evil maid served – especially the break-in. I didn’t see it bring our boys closer together – but I do love –again – the family’s response to the news ☺
So… I’m totally hoping Taylor gets to be MC in Mannies #2 – I can totally see him with a very Dominating MC who pulls him back in line!
I devoured this in one sitting. It’s fantastic and wonderful and anyone who loves the Dreamspun series, Amy Lane or the virgin/billionaire trope will love this!
I really hope Taylor is our MC in book 2!
5 of 5 stars
John Solo is not my favorite narrator, but he isn’t bad at all. His voice is easy to listen to and he does a nice job with the humor and dialog. He doesn’t do accents in a way that I’d wish he’d do and I didn’t care for his “Sammy”. His non-dialog narration was too “upbeat”, however. There were times that the “scene” was more profound or serious and he sounded the exact same as when the characters were joking or making love or… While it wasn’t really distracting, it definitely didn’t add to my overall enjoyment.
3 of 5 stars
Overall 4 of 5 stars