The Virgin Manny
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 her premade Italian 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 to live his promising tomorrow?
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So, of course tomorrow is Kermit Flail, and you'll see this again, but I was blogging tonight anyway--and I thought I'd put it up there. *bats eyelashes* Cause it's out. *bats them moar* And you can buy it if you want. Just sayin'. (By the way-- if you love the idea of a M/M Harlequin Presents style release, DSP offers a subscription to these particular books for both e-books and paperbacks-- THE LINK IS HERE. )
So, I was hanging out tonight, watching Troll Hunters on Netflix (btw-- this is a great animated show, both older kid friendly and entertaining for adults, created by Guillermo del Toro-- his love of fairy tales is writ large in every animated frame) when it occurred to me how much of your family time is just... ordinary and wonderful at the same time.
Of course, there was sort of a precursor to this thought.
See, I had purchased from yarn for Zoomboy, who wants his OWN epic hat of epicness. I let him pick out the colors--red, black, and blue-- and one of the skeins of yarn had ended up on the floor. I could tell because I felt it with my toe.
"Here, Squish--grab this," I said.
And then I fwooped it right over the couch.
Mate and I looked over the couch with big eyes.
"Did you just...?"
"Go fwoop and toss the yarn over the couch with my toes?"
"You did that."
I nodded. "Yeah. I did."
Mate put up both is hands. "GOAL!"
Also, last night, Mate and I had planned for just an ordinary quiet night at home. We were going to watch movies, let the little kids drink sparkling cider until their eyeballs floated, and then see Kathy Griffin flirt with Anderson Cooper until the ball dropped.
That is and is not what happened.
First, we took Alexa (my bio mom) out to lunch. She gave the kids presents. Now I may have mentioned this before--she's extremely crazy. Mentally disturbed. Schizophrenic. Choose your euphemism. Either way, you never know what she's going to say, and presents are extremely interesting.
Last year, she gave the kids broken watches. They were thrilled.
When Chicken was 10, she got a Ken doll. She was puzzled.
One trip, after Big T had matured a bit, I was showing her pictures of the family in San Diego, visiting Chicken. She said, "That's nice honey, but who's this big scary dude in all the pictures?"
"That's Big T, your grandson, Mom-- he's sitting right behind you."
Once, when I noticed that her adult care home seemed to have adopted a cat, she said, "Oh, him honey? Yeah. He's my cat. He's a real motherfucker."
I could go on.
Anyway-- yesterday, she gave the kids sparklers for Christmas.
"And make sure you use matches on those, kids, cause lighters don't work at all. Did you hear that? Have your parents give you matches."
The kids thanked her delightedly, and after we dropped her off I told them, "We're not giving you matches."
"What should we do with the sparklers?"
"Save them for the 4th of July and grandma and grandpa's house."
Where, I assume, an adult with matches will light them.
So, after we dropped her off, we also dropped Mate and Squish off at light rail so they could go to the King's game, then ZoomBoy and I came home.
When we got here, the big kids were here. They had ten loads of laundry to do, and no plans for New Years Eve at ALL.
So I took them shopping and when we got home, it was chicken night--but fried chicken night, cause, holiday style.
Mate and Squish got home and we watched a zillion movies--a lot of old favorites. And everybody drank carbonated apple juice until their eyeballs floated. And we put a dent in the COPIOUS amount of holiday sugar we had left. And we watched Anderson Cooper and the ball drop. And the big kids did laundry.
And Mom was happy.
Because things like fwooping a ball of yarn and family jokes that only we'd understand and watching a movie like Brooklyn and going "Awwwww...." at the end-- that's stuff Mate and I do with our family.
And this year they got to all be--voluntarily, I might add--at home.