REVIEW: “Manservant” by Shari J. Ryan

“Manservant” is ridiculously “I Love Lucy” embarrassingly funny, adorably romantic, and put a sponge in your panties sexy.  Sheri J. Ryan’s a New-to-Me author but she may frequenting my Kindle more often.  “Manservant” has a wonderfully perplexing Hero who once he unravels is insatiably titillating and oh so Alpha.  The Heroine’s a level-headed, hot guy wary young woman.  Unfortunately her best friend’s going through a major crisis and has “gone wild” making Jules look guilty by association.  Liam’s the catch-all housekeeper/handyman/errand-boy.  He thinks the worst of people until they prove themselves.  Jules looks inept being hired as a summertime nanny without knowing her charge is a high functioning Autistic.  Also, she wasn’t notified that she needed to know how to swim.  Needless to say Liam’s first interactions with Jules are anything but impressive.  But their sexual tension is through the roof!  BEWARE:  The sex scenes are Advance Level intense.

Julia has the worst luck with boyfriends.  Her last boyfriend he was supposed to be packing up her dorm room while she took her last exam.  However he was caught having a three-some with two girls from her dorm … on her bed.  Since then she swore off good-looking men and relationships.  Fast forward and her father believes she’s taking a summer internship at a newspaper in Maine.  Actually, she and her best friend, Jade decided to have a last hurrah before they have to start “adulting”.  So Julia is working as a nanny for a little boy, Dylan, for the summer.  Her supposedly sweet and easy nanny gig turns out to be anything but.  Her employer neglected to tell her that Dylan, is Autistic and she is expected to know how to swim.  Plus the other person her age that works in the house, Liam, hates her on sight.

Things begin badly the moment Jules arrives in the small Maine town.  Jade who’s engaged to her college sweetheart, is incredibly drunk.  Jules learns from two guys, who are Jade’s friends, this is a regular occurrence.  Despite Jade’s eccentric and quirky disposition this isn’t like her.  Jules discovers Jade’s no longer engaged and Julia can’t get any information out of her since she’s so drunk.  The two guys’ friend Liam shows up clearly antagonistic towards Julia and the two clearly square off against each other.  Finally Jules is able to get Jade to her apartment and ends up crashing at her apartment.  Jules barely gets to her job on time and happily finds her employer’s young, vivacious, and kind.  Unfortunately Jules discovers that her co-worker is the curmudgeonly Liam.  He and her young charge wager as to how long Julia will last.

Liam and Jules have quick-paced and electric banter.  There’s a prank war that Liam’s clearly the King of, however Jules has the advantage in another category.  Despite Liam’s denials, he’s definitely not happy when he discovers that Jules has caught the interest of another summer worker.  Jules starts getting whiplash between Liam’s hot and cold mood changes.  Also both guys warn that the other guy is bad news.  In addition to man trouble, Jade’s crazy behavior and trying to learn Dylan’s habits and earn his trust.  It seems all of Dylan’s previous nannies didn’t stay long leaving him with some abandonment issues.  This seems to be a common theme for Liam and Julia as well.  Julia’s mother left her and her father when she was young also all of her boyfriends broke her heart.  Making things worse, Jules’ father’s in major trouble at home making her want to return home.

The “I Love Lucy” I-Can’t-Watch/Read moments come ironically just after or during Jules and Liam’s incredibly provocative sex scenes.  There was a lot of, “Why, just why?”  Or, “No. Oh, God No!”  Then, “I can’t watch.”  And the popular, “I’ve got to set my Kindle down for a minute.”  Which resulted in hysterical laughing.  But it’s during one of those “I-Can’t-Watch” moments that serious drama unfolds making Julia run from her job without notice.

Liam and Julia’s romance begins much like a little boy tugging on the pigtails of the girl he’s smitten with.  Their fighting of the intense attraction makes everything that much hotter.  Sheri J. Ryan really amps up the conflict and tension.  She accomplishes this by making Sterling a romantic foil, Julia loathing “self-centered hot guys”, and giving her father’s overwhelming troubles.  Liam and Julia’s characters not only grow but they unfurl revealing hidden layers of their personalities.  This is a fabulous treat.  The love/hate, give and take banter between Liam and Julia is rapid fire and fun; it’s smirk-worthy deliciousness.  The humor’s cover-your-face “Oh My God” funny.  All of the secondary characters are fantastic and actually multilayered.  It makes me hope a couple of them get their own books.  The sex scenes are incredibly intense and racy.  Beware.  But they are Oh.  So.  Good!  I ended up reading “Manservant” twice!

I’m giving “Manservant” 5 Lightning Bolts and a Hurricane Warning.

 

This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed

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