Book Reviews

Night of the Living Manny by Julia Talbot at TurtleHat Creatives

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Zombies / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 14-January-2020

Book Blurb

He has many jobs. Hero is just one of them. 

Manny Brenden Torrance is good at his job. He's dealt with all sorts of children and parents, but he's never met anyone as intriguing as Liam Whitehouse. Liam is a scientist with three kids, whose job is keeping him away from home more and more. That's where Brenden steps in to help.

Liam has secrets, though. He's working on a project for a pharmaceutical lab that could change disease management. Or destroy it. While he and Brenden start a romance they both want to continue, things at Liam's job come to a head, and suddenly the whole family of Dad, manny, three kids, and a big drooly dog is on the run from the one thing that might keep Brenden and Liam apart. And infect the world.

First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, June 2018.

Book Review

While I never watched Night of the Living Dead (the 1968 independent horror movie by George A. Romero) because it is way too scary for me, I figured that a somewhat humorous version in the ‘Dreamspun Beyond’ imprint might be more up my alley. Especially since there are: a manny with a big dog, an adorable father in desperate need of help with his somewhat chaotic kids, and some sort of threat from a pharmaceutical company researching a virus. Nothing much good can come from that, and I was curious to discover the story Julia Talbot was going to come up with using those ingredients.

Brenden is an experienced manny just about to go on a few weeks’ much-deserved vacation after his contract with his previous family ends. Then his agency calls, begging him to take on an “emergency” assignment – just a few weeks with a widowed scientist who needs someone to watch his three kids while he focuses on the final stages of a secret project at the pharmaceutical company he works for. Brenden isn’t happy about not getting any time off, but he’s not going to let a family fend for themselves if he can help. And once he meets the kids – and their gorgeous father – Brenden quickly falls for each and every one of them, if in very different ways.

Liam is a brilliant scientist, but he has a secret. It’s pretty obvious he is a good guy who is right in the middle of a very, very bad situation. He is determined to do the right thing, but when someone at work betrays him there is nothing left but to pack up and run for the hills. Liam is prepared and takes it all in stride, but the worry about his children is worse than the mess he faces. And while he thought a manny could be useful while he worked things out at his lab, he is more than grateful for the way Brenden manages what turns out to be an increasingly perilous situation.

Everything seems to be rather normal for quite a while, even the mysterious events starting in chapter three don’t necessarily mean that something otherworldly is going on. But things slowly and unavoidably get stranger and scarier, and I found myself right in the middle of a monumental sh*tstorm before I knew it. By the time it got to “This was like the beginning of a zombie movie, and that was ominous enough with what Liam did for a living….” I was pretty sure where this was heading. The suspense as Liam and Brenden race to save what has quickly become their family (and the world, while they are at it) almost killed me. What a ride!

If you like thrillers that make you want to hold your breath and close your eyes, if you think that nail-biting suspense is the spice of life and only makes a sweet romance even better, and if you’re looking for a read that is just this side of too scary (by less than a millimeter), then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. For someone who doesn’t like horror, this is about as far as I can go without having nightmares for more than a week, but I enjoyed it because there was some sound science at the core of it – and because Brenden and Liam are just perfect together!





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the publisher for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 193 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-November-2019
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link