Welcome to our second week of celebrating the fabulous
In today's post, we'll look at The Mannies series, with some excerpts, plus five little-known facts about Amy. There's also a chance to win one of her Mannies books!
First up, The Virgin Manny
Growing up and falling in love...
Sometimes family is a blessing and a curse. When Tino Robbins is roped into helping his sister deliver premade dinners when he should be studying for finals, he’s pretty sure it's the latter! But one delivery might change everything.
Channing Lowell’s charmed life changes when his sister dies and leaves him her seven-year-old son. He’s committed to doing what's best for Sammy… but he’s going to need a lot of help. When Tino lands on his porch, Channing is determined to recruit him to Team Sammy.
Tino plans to make his education count—even if that means avoiding a relationship—but as he falls harder and harder for his boss, he starts to wonder: Does he have to leave his newly forged family behind in order live his promising tomorrow?
“I haven’t said I’d do it.” Tino crossed his arms in front of his chest, like his youth was the problem—his narrow chest and rangy shoulders were far too exposed and he was tempting this probably straight man into perdition.
Channing laughed, and it wasn’t Tino’s imagination. The laugh was vaguely predatory, and this time, as he raked Tino with his eyes, Tino was aware of a half-mocking sort of assessment.
“You’ll do it,” he said, sounding insufferably smug.
“Why?” Tino threw back, determined not to take another penny from Channing Lowell if he bought all his sister’s dinners for a year. “Because I’m poor? Because I’m young? Why am I going to—”
Channing took one more dangerous step forward and Tino’s shoulders bumped against the wall. That thunder-mountain of a chest and those deadly eyes were advancing on him and he had nowhere to go.
“I’ve told you,” Channing rumbled, sounding angry for the first time, “that’s your chip, and not my mindset. And you’re not going to take the job for the money, or the car, or even the letter of rec, although that’s all I’m offering.”
His heat and his mild aftershave and even his deodorant filled Tino’s senses, and he was having trouble breathing. The full presence of this man was pressing down on Tino until he felt trapped like a rabbit with no place to go.
So, like a rabbit, he held himself very still. “Then why?” he whispered, wondering when he’d be able to catch a full breath. “What makes you so irresistible?”
Channing’s full lips quirked into a smile. “I don’t know, Tino, you tell me. You’ve been staring into my eyes all night, and touching your lips, running your fingers through your hair, touching your cheeks. I’ll be honest—I’m flattered as hell. But you need to be honest with yourself. What exactly do you want from me that you are not going to get from Panera, no matter how long you work there?”
Tino’s breath caught, and for a brief, suspended second, there existed only the two of them, Tino’s rough, ragged breaths pumping his chest in and out against Channing’s brick wall of a chest that rose and fell evenly.
“Uh….” Channing lifted his thumb to rub it back and forth over Tino’s lower lip—and that was all. “Uh….”
“Think about it,” Channing whispered. He lowered his head enough that his breath brushed Tino’s temple. “Just think about it.”
Channing backed away, dropping his hand, breaking all contact, and Tino felt absurdly hurt. No kissing? No plundering? No forsaking his chaste values as the world’s oldest virgin in the heat of Channing Lowell’s predation?
Channing bowed at the waist and gestured past the dining room to the living room and the main exit, and Tino glared at him.
“Good night, Tino. You left your sister’s card. I’ll e-mail her the contract for you to look over, and get some information from you so I can run a background check, because I’m not stupid. After that, you have two days to give me an answer.”
Tino gaped at him. “But… but….” But you were going to kiss me!
Channing winked. “I promise, taking advantage of people isn’t my style. Not that it’s off the table, but I’m very sincere. Sammy’s well-being is my top priority.”
“But….” What if I wanted you to kiss me, dammit!
When Channing spoke next, his voice dropped silkily. “I promise you, young Mr. Robbins, if you ever come asking me for extracurricular activity, I’m not going to turn you down. But it has to be your choice. Right now I’m just offering a job. A very good job.”
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Second in the series, Manny Get Your Guy
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.
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Third in the series, Stand By Your Manny
Learning to trust and falling in love.
Sammy Lowell has his hands full juggling his music, college, some pesky health problems, and making the uncles who raised him proud. He needs help fulfilling his after-school duties with his siblings. Nobody can be in two places at once—not even Sammy!
An injury puts Cooper Hoskins in a tough spot—if he can’t work, the foster sister he’s raising can’t eat. But years in the foster system have left Cooper short on trust, and opening up to accept help isn’t easy.
Luckily, family intervenes—Cooper needs a job so he can care for Felicity, and Sammy needs someone who can see past his illness to the wonderful things he has planned for his life. Each heals the damaged places in the other’s heart. But falling in love is a big responsibility for young men deep in family already. Can the two of them get past their fear of the immediate future to see forever with each other?
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And the fourth book, A Fool And His Manny, coming July 17th
Seeing the truth and falling in love.
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?”
“So,” Dustin had asked the weekend before, as they were hiking out at Calcutta Falls, “gotten laid lately?”
Quinlan tripped on a rock and would have gone sprawling, but Dustin turned around with that maddening grace he had and caught him. For a moment they were two sweaty male bodies underneath the Gold Country sun. Something odd shifted in Quinlan’s stomach. Something unfamiliar and alien, and as he pushed himself off Dustin’s hard chest, he found himself reflecting on how square Dustin’s jaw had become in the past few years, and how appealing the lean lines of his mouth could be, especially when he was looking at you side-eyed, like he knew something funny you didn’t.
“That is not your business,” Quinlan said primly, finding refuge in the four years of being Dusty’s guardian. The truth was, Dustin wasn’t a kid anymore, and Quinlan was, more and more often, thinking about his mouth, or his jaw, or his bold no-bullshit nose, or—holy crap he was going to hell—his ass, which was lean and hard from all the walking and karate teaching the kid did after work.
Quinlan needed his thoughts to not get more personal than that, and Dustin’s question wasn’t going to make that happen.
“Your happiness is my business,” Dustin replied smoothly, apparently taking a page from Quinlan’s own book. “So is your health. If all you do is masturbate, your dick will fall off.”
Well, maybe not Quinlan’s book, but somebody’s book.
“Really?” Quinlan asked with an ingenuous smile. “Is that what happened to you?”
Dustin snickered like Quinlan had passed some sort of test and turned back down the path, wielding his walking stick like a weapon. Quinlan had given him the stick the Christmas before—it was made from a hand-polished piece of driftwood he’d found when Jacob and Nica had taken the entire family—grown-up children included—camping one spring break.
Dustin used it every time they went hiking.
A comfortable silence descended again, and Quinlan hoped maybe Dustin’s not-so-subtle prying was over with.
They got to the falls and stood for a moment, panting in the pine-scented air.
“The thing is,” Dustin said, like they’d been talking about something for the past half hour, “that you need a relationship.”
“Yes. Yes you have us. That’s not what I’m saying.”
“So, Mom, what are you saying?” Quinlan smiled, hoping Dustin would take the hint and butt out.
Dustin turned toward him, hazel eyes intense, scowling in irritation. “I’m saying that you need someone to love you. To kiss you, to touch you, to hold you down and make you feel something, Quinlan. And don’t tell me you feel things now—I know you do. But you’re afraid of getting hurt, afraid of change, and you are going to grow old and die over my parents’ garage, thinking that’s the best you can do. And it’s not.”
As Quinlan gaped at him, he turned on his heel and went back the way they came, when Quinlan had a lunch in his backpack that they were supposed to eat in this very spot.
“Dustin!” he called. “Dustin! Dammit! I packed us sandwiches! And dessert!”
Dustin stopped and dropped his head, rubbing the back of his neck. He turned around again and started toward the picnic area that was a little to the side of the falls.
He plonked down at the picnic table and glared. “Okay. Fine. Food.”
Quinlan felt like an idiot trotting over to the table, but, well, what else were they going to do?
“Petey isn’t even in middle school,” he said, a conciliatory smile on his face as he drew near.
Dustin’s eyes got even narrower. “Quin, I’m giving you an out here. I’m trying to be noble. I’m giving you a chance to find someone else, but if you think I won’t move in on you in a hot second, you’re sadly mistaken.”
Quinlan gaped. “Uh….” He swallowed past a dry throat and tried to still the wild heartbeat that had started in his stomach. “Dusty, I know you get lots of offers—you don’t have to resort to dating the babysitter.”
He started pulling food out of the backpack with assiduous care. Three sandwiches—two for Dustin. A bag of trail mix with cashews—for Dustin. Cookies—the Mint Oreos Dustin liked. Even sparkling water, Dustin’s preferred beverage.
Quinlan stared at the offering on the picnic table and tried to ask himself when his world started centering on the kid he used to quiz on his vocabulary homework.
Who was gazing at him with an expression that was not at all childish.
“If you think you’re my last resort, Q, you really weren’t paying attention.”
Quinlan grabbed one of the apples he’d actually packed for himself. “I should be,” he said, darting a glance at Dustin’s face. “I’m… you know. Bachelor uncle—”
“We’re not related,” Dustin snarled.
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Five little-known things about Amy Lane:
- I’m actually sort of good at math.
- I fell off a horse in middle school and broke three bones, and haven’t been on one since college.
- I write short stories for a yarn magazine in Australia.
- In high school I wanted six children—I had four, so not bad.
- I taught myself how to knit and crochet after I dreamed my grandmother taught me. She’d been dead for two years at the time, and had really never had the patience when she’d been alive.
More about Amy:
Amy Lane has kids, cats, a computer and an indeterminate number of Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance--and if you accidentally make eye contact, she'll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She'll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.
Find out more on her website and her blog.
Amy is offering one e-copy of any one book from The Mannies series, winner's choice.
(Yes, even the new one!)
Thanks for celebrating this amazing author with us. Come back next week for more of Amy's book, a personal story she's chosen to share, and another chance to win!
Until then, happy reading!