Review: The Virgin Manny (The Mannies #1) by Amy Lane

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 am going to warn you, this review could end in you catching a bit of the adorbs because this book was so stupidly cute, adorable and yes romantic that I can’t handle it. I am totally turning into Agnes from Despicable Me right now over this book. Yup, it was that fluffy.
When I saw Amy Lane was jumping on the Dreamspun Desires train I had to get on board and fast. Honestly, there hasn’t been a book of hers that I haven’t liked or that has not given me all sorts of emotions and this gets tucked on the shelf with the rest of her stories I adore.  It gets its own tag though because where I associate Amy Lane with major angst, this was fluffy AF with no angst in sight.
Martin “Tino” Robbins was at the right place at the right time and it pays off in spades. You see, Tino is an amazing young man of 22 yrs who is only weeks away from graduating college but when his sister needs help with her dinner delivery service, of course he is going to step up and help out. When he’s sent to the posh neighborhood of Granite Bay, delivering dinners mostly to housekeepers at the door, he is surprised when a gorgeous man answers on his last delivery and the 7 year old boy who is at his heels.
The meet cute of Tino and Channing was just that… CUTE. It was adorable and set the tone for what would become their relationship throughout the book.
Channing Lowell is in over his head at the age of 32 with his nephew after the death of his sister a month ago. He and Sammy have always had a great relationship but things change when you go from Uncle to pseudo parent and have no clue what you are doing. When Tino shows up, he and Sammy have an instant connection that Channing notices and makes Tino an offer: become Sammy’s Manny over the summer and Channing will pay off Tino’s school loans. How can a dude refuse, right? Of course, the UST is present fast with these two and while Tino doesn’t realize the signals he’s sending Channing, Channing picks up on it and puts his offers on the table.
I liked that Channing offers Tino a huge opportunity, but Channing isn’t doing it to get into Tino’s jeans, or sleep pants or even briefs, he truly needs help with Sammy and the evil housekeeper Mirella that he latches on when he sees promise in Tino. AND… I like that Tino doesn’t jump at the job simply because of the money because he has ethics and morals and really needs to think before he decides. Neither Channing nor Tino are helpless. Just because Tino is a virgin and in student loan debt doesn’t make him a doormat, and just because Channing is rich and has available means, doesn’t mean he will take advantage of situations. Both men are just lost and need help and thank goodness they find it on one another. It helps that Channing tells him he can research him and his company to see what sort of business man he is and that Channing will be doing the same with Tino. It also freaking helps that Channing really is amazing and does the right thing by just about everyone he comes in contact with. The deal with Artie was beautiful and so sweet that I would have quit the damn Panini job just like Tino did because of it.
What this story really has is the sweet romance that I’ve come to expect from this series. It’s that feeling I adore about romance, that finding someone you genuinely like as a person in oh so many ways and falling head over feet for them. This is one of those curl up with a good book and fall in love stories and I curled up until way past my bedtime reading about Channing and Tino and let me tell you, I don’t do that for every book. They took the time to get to know one another, to become friends before they became lovers and more and it made for a wonderful romance.
So anyway, back to the gush fest.
Tino obviously takes the Manny position to take care of Sammy, being his taxi and really becoming a united front with Channing in making decisions for Sammy as well as consequences as they allow the boy to grieve the loss of his mother and move forward with his life. It really was sweet how much Channing wants for Sammy and how much he depends on Tino to simply be there for both of them. But the UST moments that yeah were killing Channing AND killing me gave me the feelings I needed and kept me reading nonstop.
Speaking of moments… Jacob blurting out Tino’s virginity, Tino learning about Channing’s bisexuality, Channing’s confessions over breakfast and promising Tino that he can wait, Tino taking his damn time deciding what he wants and all that comes before, during and after those moments have me grinning like a lovesick fool because they were special and boy did they make me feel. Sigh. Yeah, this was a good one and I really should stop rambling now.
The additional story line of Tino’s sister was a bit over the top but not as OTT as the whole housekeeper/security guard deal but both lead to moments I adored so all is forgiven. Really, this could have been a Lifetime or Hallmark Saturday night movie if only either network would move to the non-straight side of romance. *taps foot impatiently*
So, the Virgin Manny had it all. Meet cutes that truly were cute. UST up the wazoo with an older man/boss and a younger man/employee. And adorable 7 year old who is really good at higher math but not so good at bartending, cultural sensitivity and sex-ed but loves his Uncle and Tino. An older man who is willing to take it slow and wait for the man he wants and a younger man, who wants to make his own way in the world but fall in love with the one who will wait for him. And emotions of all sorts that gave me truly feelings down to my toes…
Oops, rambling Red was supposed to stop but got on a roll.
This was good and I can’t wait for what comes next in the series. I am kinda hoping the next book is Taylor because that boy needs a firm hand… *nods*

Find on Dreamspinner Press or Goodreads!

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