Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Little Sammy Lowell is all grown up, and though his uncles Channing and Tino (The Virgin Manny) still dote on him, he now has a little sister and brother in the household so he’s not the center of attention he once was. Sammy is finishing his bachelor’s degree and will be heading into a master’s program next term. His major is music and his first love is piano; so much so, that he’s supplementing his coursework by volunteering to teach in an enrichment program for disadvantaged middle school students in a low income neighborhood. Plus, he’s planning to do a weekly gig at a pub that will let him play to a live audience and he’s psyched about it, even though it’s in a tough part of town and his uncles might object. The biggest glitch in all his plans, however, is his medical condition. He has a form of anemia that leaves him weak and exhausted if he neglects his diet and he’s the king of forgetting to eat when he’s composing or playing so he’s always suffering from the effects of low iron.
Cooper Hoskins is raising his “sister” and working to keep food on their table and clothes on her back by doing construction for the company where Brandon (Manny Get Your Man) is supervisor. Unfortunately, he loses the battle to shore up an air conditioning unit on a rooftop and when it comes tumbling down, Cooper, and all his secrets, come tumbling down with it. When he awakes in the hospital, he panics and reveals Felicity’s existence to Brandon. Unfortunately, Felicity was one of the foster kids from his last foster home and when he finally aged out of the system and left, she found out where he lived and showed up to live with him. After returning her to a foster mother who didn’t even know she’d left, Felicity showed up again and Cooper let her stay. Now, the gigs up, but after a phone call from Brandon, Channing and Tino step in, and with Channing’s wealth and connections, the two men become her official guardians. They also offer Cooper a job as their manny, to begin once his wounds heal.
It’s almost too good to be true and it takes Cooper a while to build trust in this shiny, happy family, but with Sammy’s help, Cooper begins to see his own worth and the two young men start to find their own form of happiness when they act on their attraction.
One more key piece the author has used in all the stories—both men are virgins. Slowly, a few stolen kisses lead to more and Sammy and Cooper realize they never settled for someone else because they were meant to be. Now they have to hope Sammy’s health cooperates, and that his uncles approve. And Cooper has to protect his naïve boyfriend from some of the tough guys both inside and outside the bar where’s he doing his music gig.
Some things just don’t come easy to either young man, and it’s a pleasure to watch their growth and to revisit the large extended family of Amy Lane’s Mannies books. There’s a foundation of family strength throughout the story, as well as an underlying sense of humor, and of course, the usual heartbreaking moments mixed with heartwarming romance. Amy Lane does it so well.
I very highly recommend this book. It can stand alone, but it’s really going to be so much better if readers start with The Virgin Manny and work their way through the series. For those who’ve already read the first two, you can look forward to a few enjoyable visits with all of the past characters, including Tino’s sister, who is now on baby number six. All in all, it’s a very satisfying conclusion to a terrific series.
Cover art by Bree Archer features a handsome young blond man with a baby grand piano in the background. It’s the perfect depiction of the bright and outgoing Sammy, whose love for piano stands out in this story.
Kindle Edition, 182 pages
Expected publication: May 1st 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Original Title Stand by Your Manny
Series The Mannies