Daddy & the Manny, Bella Flint

Daddy and the Manny by [Flint, Bella]

This was lighthearted, sweet, and very simple.  Angst was seriously low and there were a few passionate moments but what was all throughout the story was about learning to love and be a parent and navigating life while getting that hands-on education.

Being set in today's time it makes it easy to see that coming out might not be as much career suicide as one might think, but that doesn't take away the inherent fear that those who support you will turn away and make your life more difficult.  Because Hayden has a little girl in his life to care for and support he's even more concerned that his career will fail because of his feelings for James.

James cares for his charges, all of them, but he's growing especially fond of Violet.  Her precociousness, intelligence, vulnerability, and love of books all speak to a special place in James' heart because he sees so much of himself in her.  He feels deeply for her.  He's also growing some pretty deep feelings for her father as well.  Understanding that his physical attraction for his boss is natural because of his undeniable hotness doesn't make the attraction any easier to navigate.  There are many complications that stand in the way, like his job and Violet's possible reaction, but nothing is more of a problem with it than Hayden's orientation - he's very, very straight.  Or is he?  Could the lingering glances and tension in the air not really be a figment of James' imagination?

Hayden doesn't struggle with his attraction as much as we would think and I actually like it.  It's not really realistic to think that there's little to no angst about revelations about your sexual identity, but it doesn't change the fact that sometimes I just like to read about someone who likes themselves enough to acknowledge change and roll with it because they don't have any deep seated fears or dislike toward who they are and who they might grow to love.

With these types of stories that have a Hollywood star falling in love with someone unexpected we usually think media will play a big role in outing them or making their life hell while they're trying to figure things out.  That wasn't exactly how this played out here though.  Instead, they were a bigger threat to Hayden's daughter and the way the two men came together to protect her was sweet and spoke to where they placed their hearts.

Now, that's not to say that everything went perfectly as Hayden fit James into his life, not at all.  He gave in to the frustration and lashed out when James attempted to push for something he wasn't feeling comfortable about and it caused Hayden to run.  I don't really approve of running away, but sometimes distance is what's necessary to see what really matters and what you're willing to do to get it back and keep it.  Their resolution was sweet, full of lighthearted feels and warm family fuzzies.  I appreciated the groveling and the heartfelt confessions.  All of that made me really fall for their little family and the book gave me such a nice happy, warm feeling that I couldn't help but love it.

 Daddy & the Manny, Bella Flint

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