Okay–so, remember Jakey and Nica in The Virgin Manny?
Well, it’s ten years later, and they’re working on their fifth kid! Nica has helped Jakey build his businesses until they’re solid, and they have a nice house in the suburbs but it’s filled to bursting.
So Jacob’s cousin, Brandon, who lives over the garage suggests that he helps build an addition to the house, and that they get a nanny. Nica–who has been in touch with her friend Taylor and has forgiven him for leading her on in high school–knows just the guy.
Taylor hasn’t had it easy since he came out to Nica. His folks weren’t awesome, and his time in the military ended with an RPG explosion. He’s back at home, building up his life, and he needs a job until his grant kicks in, and he can start school. But still… he feels bad enough for how he treated Nica in high school, that he’s a little bit leery about watching her children. He’s a soldier–and an ex-player– what does he know about kids?
Well, a surprising amount really. He watched Sammy and Nica’s little sister–and frankly, smart, compassionate men can watch children. It’s not rocket science, it’s human science, and I’m always surprised at the people who think it’s funny to watch guys make asses of themselves in the child-rearing front. If women can walk into a computer science firm and make the men look like weenies (and they can) men are perfectly capable of getting kids dressed and out the door. (Honestly–perpetrating the “men are idiots around children” myth does not do women’s rights any good.)
Taylor’s problem isn’t in the logistics of the kids–it’s in the emotional consequences of being a part of Nica’s family again. HIs heart is bruised, and he was such a little shit as an adolescent, he’s pretty sure he doesn’t get nice things.
Brandon is a nice thing. He is, in fact, a nice boy on the whole. And once he realizes that his OWN preconceptions about Taylor were way off base, he realizes what Taylor really DOES need help with.
The loneliness that wraps like Kevlar around his heart.
I loved writing this book. The kids parts were fun–and I wish there’d been room for more of them–but the Taylor and Brandon parts were my favorite. Every time they were on page together, I felt like they were the only two characters in the book.
I hope you guys love them–enjoy them–and this series as well.
For those of you who have already fallen in love with the Mannies, Sammy (who we see here as a high school student) is next, in Stand by Your Manny, and after that we have Dustin, who is MORE than a handful at nine in Manny Get Your Guy, and will continue to be an ornery little prick in A Fool and His Manny.
But for now, just enjoy Taylor and Brandon. Brandon has a morbid metaphor problem, and Taylor has never met a problem he couldn’t throw himself on top of and let detonate. They were great fun for me to write–and hopefully for you to read!