Monday, July 16, 2018

ARC Review: A Fool and His Manny (The Mannies 4) by Amy Lane

Dustin Robbins-Grayson was a surly adolescent when Quinlan Gregory started the nanny gig. After a rocky start, he grew into Quinlan's friend and confidant—and a damned sexy man.

At twenty-one, Dusty sees how Quinlan sacrificed his own life and desires to care for Dusty’s family. He’s ready to claim Quinlan—he's never met a kinder, more capable, more lovable man. Or a lonelier one. Quinlan has spent his life as the stranger on the edge of the photograph, but Dusty wants Quinlan to be the center of his world. First he has to convince Quinlan he’s an adult, their love is real, and Quinlan can be more than a friend and caregiver. Can he show Quin that he deserves to be both a man and a lover, and that in Dusty’s eyes, he’s never been “just the manny?”

Dani's rating:

OMG, I'm MELTING from all the sunshine.

A Fool and His Manny is the sweetest story, with the hottest sex scenes I've read in a while. When Dustin and Quinlan come together, it's intense and dirty and all consuming. And HAWT, so goddamnfucking hot, I can't even.

Let's get this out of the way: This book cannot be read as a standalone. To understand the dynamics of this crazy, wonderful family, you need to start with Channing and Tino in book 1; at the very least, you have to read Sammy and Cooper's story in book 3.

Thus far, The Mannies series spans some twenty years. Since Tino and Channing were married in the first book, it must have been at least 2008 (the book is set in California, and that's the year same-sex marriage became legal in that state), which means this book is set circa 2028.

In the hands of a less experienced author, the commingling of decades could have been a disaster, but Amy Lane keeps her stories timeless. There are some references to cars and cell phones, but it's all vague enough to be believable. Nothing stands out as archaic or, heaven forbid, futuristic.

It's just the world as we know it. After all, family, laughter, love, tears—these things are immutable.

Quinlan is Sammy's friend from book 3. He's the one who caught Sammy when Sammy collapsed on tour. Thanks to Sammy, Quinlan becomes the manny for Nica and Jacob's six children, the oldest being Dustin, who is 14 when Quin takes over childcare duties.

Dustin is a surly teenager with a chip on his shoulder, but Quin earns his respect, and at age 18, Dusty decides Quin is his one and only.

Quinlan trembled in Dustin's arms because he was a man to tremble for - not a boy who would toy with his heart.

This book has a few flashbacks, which I actually liked because they showed the beginning of Dustin and Quin's relationship and allowed us to catch up with the other MCs.

Most of the story, however, is set in the present with Dustin claiming Quin and Quin giving in to the inevitable. Quin can't deny that he doesn't see Dusty as a kid any longer. Dustin is all man, and he knows what he wants.

We get a good dose of hurt/comfort as Quin falls ill with dysentery and Dustin nurses him back to health. Quin's nasty bitch of a biological mother also makes an appearance, wanting Quin to sign some legal paperwork and essentially give up his rights to his deceased father's financial assets. But she picked the wrong family to mess with. The Robbins-Graysons do not suffer fools gladly.

The scene at the end in the lawyer's office with 30 people, kids and all, squeezed into a conference room had me beaming. Because, man, to have all those people in your corner ... that's what life is all about.

A Fool and His Manny asks you to believe in a world where all children are loved and wanted, all marriages are happy, all parents have unlimited patience, everyone loves babies, money is never an issue because Uncles Channing and Uncle Tino rule the world, and a HEA is not just a thing. It's the ONLY thing.

That is not my world, but it is the reason I read romance.

Get the book:

I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.
~Jane Austen

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Download links are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with the book, author, publisher, or website listed.

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