Author: Connie Bailey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: MM Contemporary
Narrator: John Solo
When you find your family, you’ll do anything to keep it.
When Charles Macquarrie inherits a fortune and an international clothing company, he also inherits three young cousins he desperately needs help raising. By a stroke of luck, he discovers and hires Jonathan Lamb, who spent his life in a children’s home due to chronic illness, to be his nanny.
If Jon thought a budding romance with his wealthy boss complicated his life, he has no idea of the hardships awaiting him when he’s charged with embezzlement and kidnapping. But even when threatened by accounting discrepancies and mob connections, Jon and Charles won’t let go of the family they’ve built together without a fight.
Those who follow my reviews know I love, love, love the Dreamspun Desires stories, primarily because they remind me of my teen years, curled up on my sofa with a decadent (at the time) romance novel. Unfortunately, this one did not have the same feel or the same quality of others I’ve enjoyed.
The story itself is mostly unbelievable and here’s partly why: A twenty-something, good-looking man, orphaned at birth, remains at the orphanage/shelter to “help out” with chores. Later in the story he reveals that he took childcare courses, however, that was not evident at the time he was hired by a pretentious, and totally obnoxious, attorney cum PA for the wealthy and clueless Charles Macquarrie, who needs a “manny” for his neice and two nephews, for whom he now has custody. Oh, and by the way, this gorgeous guy is a virgin.
I’m not even going into details about the totally ridiculous setup that occurred and Charles’s complete willingness to “go on the lamb” with the manny, Jon, and the kids. On a fun side note, I knew they were in Pike County in PA the moment the author mentioned crossing the border into a new state, and especially when “Dingman’s” was mentioned. Unfortunately, most of the departments and job titles in this story are way too metro for that rural county, so I had to suspend belief there.
And what bugged me most was Charles and his boozing. There was rarely a scene throughout 90% of the book that didn’t feature Charles either drinking or drunk, and there were a few mentions of his father’s and his uncle’s alcoholism. I was happy to hear the author allude to a “predisposition” to the disease, but I was immediately irritated by the preposterous idea that “will power” was involved. Even more so later in the story, when Charles admits his drinking is out of control, and then Jon tells him he can have wine with dinner because Jon knows Charles has enough will power to be able to stop. Honestly? If that were the case, there would be no need for 12-step programs and treatment centers. I won’t rant about this here but the info in this story is wrong, very wrong, and obviously a hot button for me.
Moving to a positive note, John Solo has greatly improved as a narrator since I first heard him. I really enjoyed his many vocalizations in this one—from the snide, snarky voice of Albert, the attorney/PA; to the snobby, snearing voice of Cretienne, the ex-boyfriend; to the voices of both girls. But I absolutely loved the voice of Holland, the smart, funny, outrageous young boy, the most. It fit his character perfectly and often caused out-loud chuckles, something embarrassing when you’re in the presence of others who don’t know you have your audiobook earplugs in. 😀
Because of Mr. Solo’s narration, I’ve moved this up from 2 hearts to 2.5. This is not a story I would recommend, however, if you are picking up as many of these Dreamspun shorts as I am, choose the audiobook for this one and you won’t be disappointed that you did.