Monday, 7 January 2013

Mannies Incorporated, Sean Michael

A male nanny and a bad-ass former cop reluctantly come together to take care of three small children when their mother is deployed.  

- Review by Cindi

Mannies Incorporated
Slayde loves his job.  He has been the live-in nanny for an army widow, Mindy, and her three small children for years.  Mindy is an army nurse and has recently been deployed so Slayde is on his own with the children for what could be up to a year.  Slayde's routine is precise and it's rigid.  There is no room for disruptions.  Having Mindy's brother, Drake, show up out of the blue to help with the children?  Not only does it throw everything off with Slayde's routine but the man is a jerk from the minute he knocks on the door.  He treats Slayde as hired help instead of a member of the family and makes it clear immediately that he does not take Slayde or his job very seriously.  A true member of the family should be the one taking care of the children, not someone not blood-related.

Drake gives up his job as a police officer in California to go to Texas to take care of his nieces and nephew.  He barely knows the children as he has only seen them on the occasional visit to his sister.  Each visit always coincided with Slayde's vacation so the two of them have never met... until the day that Drake pops in without warning.  Drake is gay but is deeply in the closet.  He has never told anyone his sexual orientation... his family, friends, co-workers... no one.  When he meets his sister's nanny he is instantly attracted but knows that making a move on the other man could have his world crashing down around him.  The police force is not gay-friendly and he is unsure of how his sister would react if she knew her big brother was anything other than straight.  

A reluctant routine is established as the weeks go by.  Drake becomes aware that Slayde is not simply a babysitter to his sister's children... he is the glue that holds the family together.  After one too many beers one night when the kids are all asleep, Drake makes a move on Slayde.  This begins a secret relationship that is only acted on late in the evenings when the children are in bed.

I love books with children in them.  I always have.  Very rarely will I say that the children in a book are too much.  I definitely have to say that about this one.  While the author did an outstanding job in explaining the day-to-day routine in caring for small children, I feel that he explained it too well.  That is the entire book for the most part.  As much as I enjoyed watching Slayde and Drake get together, I felt that their relationship was thrown into the background and not fully realized.  Every minute detail of the children's days are explained, from the moment they wake up until they finally go to bed in the evenings.  The only time Drake and Slayde had any time was late in the evenings and then it was rush, rush.  I never truly felt the connection between the two men.  Connections with the children, absolutely, but not between the two main characters.

I also had a problem with Mindy, the sister.  She is deployed overseas and is forced to be away from her small children for several months.  She is only able to spend time with them via Skype. As a parent myself it was not difficult to sympathize with her.  But.... the way she treats Slayde is inexcusable.  Sure, she appreciates him and she loves him as not only her children's nanny but also as a close friend and family member.  But she takes him for granted.  She never stops to think that he has completely given up his entire life for her children.  He gets no days off.  He's not in a position to go anywhere or do anything without the kids in tow... at least not until Drake shows up and manages to learn the routine.  He is not even allowed to do grownup things when the kids are in bed.  No beer in the house.  No grownup food in the house.  She constantly adds more and more responsibilities to an already stressed man.  No plastic baggies, no store-bought food, etc.  When it comes out that she will be retiring from the military in a few months, she brushes off the fact that she will have to lay Slayde off after he has been with her since the birth of her first child.  It was "Well, it will be hard on all of us."  Hmm.. okay.  Just basically throw out the one constant in your family and "it will be hard on all of us" like it's nothing?  I did not like the sister at all.  

I really liked Slayde.  As mentioned above, he completely gave up his entire life for Mindy and her children.  He never complains. He just does what he knows needs to be done.  He goes into the secret relationship with Drake knowing that Drake will probably disappear when Mindy comes home.  He allows himself to fall in love knowing that his heart will more than likely be broken.  

Drake was okay.  I'm not a fan of closeted characters in books and I felt that part of the story dragged on a bit too long.  I understood his fear of being found out but I did not like the way he handled certain things once the secret was revealed.  

This book needed major editing before it was published.   There are misspelled words throughout.  AND is used in place of AN often.  There is bad punctuation and sentence structure.  Travis (a secondary character) is called Trevor several times.  I do not claim to always have perfect grammar or to not make mistakes when I type my reviews but I do not have books published.  When I pay $6.99 for a book I expect it to be edited.  This book read like a first draft.  Seriously, the editing was that bad.  I have read other books by this author and have never come across one of his that needed an editor as much as this one.  Having to reread sentences multiple times took away from the story. It was frustrating and it was distracting.  I am not sure how this book was published with so many errors.

Overall, I have to say Mannies Incorporated was simply okay.  This is not one of Sean Michael's sex-fest books.  While there is quite a bit of sex the book is more about family.  I have read both (his family books and his sex-on-every page books) and I find myself reading the ones more along the lines of family.  It amazes me how one author can have two such different writing styles.  

I wish this book had been edited.  I wish the author would have focused more on Slayde and Drake instead of just the children.  I wish that one of the characters would have actually spoken the words of love instead of thinking them constantly.  I am one of those... I need to see the character say the words, not just think them.  I wish I would have felt the emotional connection between Slayde and Drake.

I will continue to read Sean Michael's books about family as the others I've read up until now all were rated 5 stars for me on Goodreads.  I will chalk this one up as a fluke and hope the next one is better and is proofread instead of rushed to publication.

I do, however, love the cover.


  1. Excellent review. Not for me - even the cover, lol

    1. Oh I love the cover. It's very sweet. I just normally like covers for 'other' reasons... lol

      Nah, I'm thinking this one wouldn't be for you. :)