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.
Review by Beth
This is a great hurt/comfort story. Taylor was injured in the war, but that only accounts for his physical scars. His family life and his hiding his sexual orientation has scarred him just as deeply.
Brandon has spent the last 2 years living over his cousins garage being drawn into the day to day life of his cousins family. When his adopted family suddenly need help wrangling the 4 children he is against Taylor being that person.
We then see the 2 MC’s start by not liking each other to liking each other, to loving each other. Both deal with painful pasts, both have support from the core family they are now attached to. I love how the secondary characters teach acceptance by their actions more than their words.
As I said I really liked this story and will go looking for more of the stories centering around this family in the storyline.
4.5 of 5 stars
Review by Morgan
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.
4.5 of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review