The sixth book in the Mannies Incorporated series, Composing a Family was a blast to write. I had a good handle on Tenor right from the start, but I kind of learned about Daniel as Tenor did and it was a wonderful journey.
Composing a Family Blurb:
Tenor Abriole has just finished his stint as nanny for the Wilsons. He was with the family for twenty-one years, ever since he was eighteen. Now he’s looking for a new family, but finding that at thirty-nine, many people think he’s too old, and those who don’t think that’s a problem are balking at the fact that he’s a man, or that he’s gay, or both. He finally turns to Mannies Inc. for help finding a new position.
Daniel Thorpe is a well-known composer who lives and breathes music. He very much wants to be a father, so he goes the surrogate route, and winds up with triplets on the way. He turns to Mannies Inc. well before his girls are born, but so far has not been happy with any of the men who have applied, until Tenor shows up for an interview. Tenor’s experience being nanny to five children, as well as the fact that he stayed with a single family that long are both pluses in Daniel’s book.
Could it be that Tenor is the last note Daniel needs to compose his greatest work yet – his family?
Daniel woke up falling to the floor with a gasp, confused and lost. What the fuck?
Was he in a hotel?
Was he travelling?
The door burst open, a disheveled Tenor appearing, wearing nothing more than a pair of boxers riding low on his hips. “What? Daniel? Hey, are you okay, man?”
“I—” He blinked. “Where am I?”
“In my sitting room. You fell asleep and I didn’t have the heart to wake you up. Looks like you fell off the love seat. Are you okay?” Tenor bent, hands moving on him.
“Sorry. Sorry, I’m fine. I just… was confused.”
“And you fell. That’s never pleasant.” Tenor got an arm around him and helped him up.
He was propped up against Tenor. And that was a lot of skin. Warm skin.
“I just fell asleep? Just boom?”
“Yeah. I guess you really meant it when you said it was past your bedtime, eh?” Tenor gave him a wry grin.
And he was still leaning against the warm muscles. “I’m sorry. How embarrassing.”
Tenor chuckled. “Don’t be embarrassed—I’ve had much worse done to me.”
“I just… wow. I must trust you.” He winked, trying to keep it light.
“That’s good because I’m going to be taking care of your babies. And by extension, you.”
“Yes. And I guess I’ll be taking care of you.”
Delight filled Tenor’s face. “Nobody’s taken care of me for a very long time.”
“That only seems fair.” They were going to be family, right?
“Well, I like it.” Tenor glanced over at the clock on the cable box. “It looks like the perfect time for a midnight snack. You want cookies and hot cocoa?”
He blinked. Seriously? People did that? “Why not?”
“Good answer—I happen to be a cookies and hot cocoa expert.”
“I will have to learn all about it.”
“You definitely should—they’re a great conversation opener with kids.”
“Aren’t they supposed to be asleep at this time of night?”
“Yeah, but if they’re not, it’s either because of bad dreams or something is bothering them. And the hot milk helps get them sleepy again and feels safe and comforting and helps them talk about what’s bothering them.”
“Yeah. I can get that, I think.”
They headed downstairs into the kitchen, the lights on low.
Tenor moved efficiently, filling two mugs with milk, then pouring the liquid into a saucepan and putting the heat on low. Then he grabbed some cocoa and brown sugar and a little bit of water, putting it all together in a little saucepan and putting that on the heat, too. “You want to find some cookies? There’s a couple of the chocolate chip left, and I made oatmeal ones this morning.”
“With raisins?” He loved raisins.
“It’s not oatmeal cookies if there aren’t any raisins.” Tenor laughed softly and pointed to a cookie jar shaped like a giant chocolate chip cookie that he’d never seen before.
“That’s a cookie jar.” How cool.
“Yeah, and it’s a thick plastic that won’t break if it gets pulled down off the counter.”
“I like it.” It was a bright splash, something… new.
Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.
Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.
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