Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
[xrr rating= 5/5]
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.
Amy Lane can tug my heartstrings better than any other author in the history of ever! I love connecting with the personalities of her MCs, getting their family backgrounds, their emotional struggles—past and present—and watching as they meet, and hopefully, connect with a man who will be perfect for them in every way, despite the fact they often can’t see that for themselves.
This story is no exception, other than it was more emotionally compelling, with more endearing characters, and family, family, family—another thing she does so well. Ahh…loved it!
If you’ve read book one, you may recall Tino Robbins, the manny who met and was hired by Channing Lowell, a stunning and wealthy man, when Tino was doing his sister Nica a favor by delivering a home-cooked meal—a business she started as a teen. Well, we do get a quick peek at both Tino and Channing again, now together ten years, married, and with another child besides Sammy, who’s now a teen. But this story is about Nica and her family, and in particular, her former boyfriend and BFF, Taylor, who never told her he was gay until they graduated from high school and he broke her heart. Thankfully, Jacob Grayson was there to pick up the pieces and they’ve been happily married for years now, with baby #5—surprise!—now on the way and Nica finally admitting she needs help. Taylor Cochran is now back in town after spending two years recovering from a roadside bombing where he lost his eye and suffered major burns and muscle loss all along one side of his body. Taylor doesn’t think much of himself, but Nica is about to prove him wrong. First of all, he is indeed good-looking—even with the eye patch he’s sporting—but mainly because he has a good heart and an excellent work ethic and she trusts him with her children. Repeat for him a few times—she trusts him with her children. It takes him awhile to agree to do the job and to trust in her trust, but eventually he capitulates.
Jacob’s cousin Brandon, on the other hand, does not trust Taylor. All the younger man knows is what he observed when he was a teen and saw the heartbreak Jacob suffered when Nica didn’t look his way, and the heartbreak she suffered when Taylor left. He doesn’t trust the former soldier as far as he can be thrown, and he doesn’t fail to let Taylor know about it the day Taylor shows up to meet the family. Taylor takes one look at the big and brawny, wide-shouldered, handsome man, and after he gets his pulse under control, he allows himself to get angry at being judged so harshly. A poor start for this couple, but don’t worry—in the hands of this incredible author, we’re in for a treat.
Over the course of the book, longer than most Dreamspun Desires books I’ve read, the men change their opinions and do fall in love. In fact, they realize they are each exactly what the other needs and are there to offer love, support, and companionship when each needs it. And when Taylor unconsciously proves how much he truly wants Brandon when Brandon returns from helping his family, the big guy simply melts. There’s lots of sweet moments and life lessons learned and underlying it all is the importance of family.
I have tons of passages marked in this story, yet I can’t pick only one to quote in this review, so I’ll just say that this story is a keeper. It’s all good. It’s amazing. It’s highly recommended!