Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
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?
The Virgin Manny is full of those wonderful things I like to think of as Amy Lane layers. One, its those friends and families she memorably creates that orbit one or both of our main characters. We always want to get to know them more too. They are often as interesting, adorable, irascible (fill in the verb) and believable as our leading men. We often come to love them so much that it does them a disservice to call them secondary or support characters. Tino’s sister, his best friend, his mom, his dad….ala familia? Yes indeed turning into ours as well. Two, its not just one storyline. Yes, there’s a main one. But Lane weaves a tapestry of entertaining and emotional threads for the reader and characters to follow. It keeps both our hearts and minds involved as we wonder how Tino and Channing are going to handle a grief stricken child and their own evolving feelings for each other. Its a tricky situation, especially as its only supposed to be temporary. The possibilities for hurt are huge and the frailties of the child are acknowledged.
Tino also has his own issues and insecurities that he needs to work through. Channing too. How they maneuver through their maze of emotions, questions about the future of any relationship, status issues and still make their connection to each other seem real and sexy? True Amy Lane!
Do I heart this story? Yes, I do. And I loved Sammy, poor Sammy, lost, angry and grieving who has to learn to adjust and become a part of a new family. Well, I adored him.
There’s some suspense but its the love and family at the heart of this wonderful story that sings. I can’t recommend it enough. Plus its the start of a new series! Can’t wait for the next to appear. Pick it up if you haven’t already and be prepared to fall in love.
Cover art by Paul Richmond. Honestly? Not my idea of Tino. Its just ok.
ebook, 228 pages
Expected publication: January 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634776801 (ISBN13: 9781634776806)
SeriesThe Mannies #1