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.
Wow, *5* kids? Really??? I have to agree with Brandon when he said:
“For God’s sake, Jakey, get off of her!”This story picked up 10 years after book 1, where Taylor had been hitting on Tino, while he was falling in love with Channing, and being manny to 7 y.o. Sammy.
Tyler had since spent 6 years in the military and, after being partially blown up, grown up a lot. But he still had tons of doubts about his self-worth and floundering as to what would make his life feel complete.
Turns out, being part of his best friend Nica's large family was just what he needed. And Jacob's cousin, Brandon.
After a short-lived initial distrust of Taylor on Brandon's part, possibly too short, Taylor gave in pretty easily to Brandon's none-too-subtle advances and decided to give "the kid" a chance for them to be together.
One thing that I truly enjoyed about this story was the power dynamic between Taylor and Brandon. At 29, Taylor was used to being forceful and in charge, and Brandon was only 22 and still trying to prove himself, on several fronts. But here, each MC stepped up to take the lead, to make sure the other got what they needed, when they needed it, whatever the situation demanded.
Both Brandon and Taylor have come from pretty crappy family situations, which we actually see in Brandon's case, but are only told about with Taylor, which I kind of wanted to be *shown* as well.
I wasn't quite as fully sold on the emotions between Brandon and Taylor as I was in the first book, between Tino and Channing, but I did still really enjoy them as a couple.
Plus, the naughty bits in book 1 were a bit steamier, if I'm remembering correctly. Still pretty decent here, just not quite *as much so*.
The one thing that I did miss a bit in this story was the actual kids. Yes, while there were spots here and there with the kids, the premise was that Taylor was a manny to 5 kids, so I expected a bit more on-page time with them and their hijinks. It was sort of like reading a shifter book, where there was very little shifting. I just wanted a bit *more* inclusion of that main premise.
As with many of the stories that I've read from Amy lately, this one was sweet, cute and mostly fluffy, with some mild angst to overcome, but not enough to feel heavy.
Regarding the ability to be read as a standalone, I suppose this story *could* be read that way; however, my friend Belen had problems getting into this story, since she felt a bit thrown in the proverbial deep end character-wise, as all of the previous characters immediately made on-page appearances. Even I was mentally scrambling for the first few pages, as it had been 7 months (and tons of books ago) since reading book 1.
Book 2 of this series rated around 3.5 stars for me and I'm looking forward to book 3, which Amy told me would be Sammy's HEA. *rubbing-hands-together*
My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.
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