A “manny” should always mind his own business. And he definitely shouldn’t fall in love with his boss.
Gwen Stone has secrets she’s not ready to reveal. After a recent promotion at work, she needs a caretaker for her children. She’s frenzied and in a lurch and pretty much ready to hire the first person who comes along. So she does.
Andrew Lyons needs to get out of his sister’s apartment, and a Craigslist posting may be the answer to his prayers. But what he thought was an ad for a room rental turns into a job offer he can’t refuse. Accepting the nanny position could change his life, if only he had a clue how to be a grownup.
A working mother, a shirtless “manny” who looks good in a towel, two children who need more than a babysitter, and hours of kids’ TV can only spell disaster for everyone involved. Because a manny should always mind his own business. And he definitely shouldn’t fall in love with his boss.
~Today at pakwanstripes, the kittens and I are very excited as we host our very first interview! Clap your hands or raise your paws (whichever is applicable) and welcome the beautiful MS. GWEN STONE! ~
Hi Gwen, it’s so nice to finally meet you. We really appreciate you chatting with us today. What have you been up to these days?
Thanks so much for having me! Life has been really busy, as you might expect. I cut back on my work hours so that I can be home more. Andrew is busy at school all day so it’s important that we get as much family time as possible.
And adult time. Adult time is very important too.
How have the kids changed your life? Was it hard juggling your new promotion and them?
I have loved Bree and Brady since the moment they were born. But helping on weekends and holidays was nothing compared to being responsible for their lives. I was overwhelmed, to say the least. As a woman you want to be successful, but they needed someone who could be there for them every moment of every day. I hated that it wasn’t me. At first.
But they never made me feel bad for it. They’ve shown me what true unconditional love is.
What’s the best thing about raising those kids?
They keep me on my toes. We’re always laughing now, and through them I’ve been able to feel what it’s like to have that kind of happiness.
Not many people get Manny’s, what made you go for Andrew, originally?
*laughs* I don’t know that I was even thinking clearly by that point. I needed someone and needed them immediately. I don’t remember thinking too much about it when he showed up. But he seemed nice and ‘said’ he had credentials. Plus, I knew about him through Cece, so that made me feel more comfortable with him.
When you first laid eyes on him, what were your first thoughts?
Oh, god. I was so tired that day. So tired. When he showed up I don’t know that I was paying all that much attention to how cute he was.
Okay, that’s a lie. He was cute … but I thought he was a lot younger. And he kept staring at my boobs.
He started off very immature, how did you help him grow?
It had to start off with Bree and Brady. The responsibility he took on was a lot in a short amount of time. But I don’t think anyone had ever made him accountable for his actions. Our big fight… I hate to even think about it… but in my mind, that was the moment when he had to make a decision to be honest. To be the person we all needed him to be. Even himself.
What do you love most about him?
I could say something inappropriate here, but I won’t. We all know there are certain things about Dee that a girl could love, right?
But aside from the obvious? His heart. The way he is with our kids makes me love him more every day. Plus he’s the funniest person I’ve ever met in my life.
If you could, would you change anything in your life?
Right now? Not a thing. I think if you start to wonder what life would have been like if you’d made just once simple decision to go in another direction, then you can’t appreciate how great things are now.
I am a huge Beatles fan myself and I have a lot of favourite songs. Which one is your favourite and why?
At one point it would have been Something in the Way She Moves. It’s so beautiful and I always hoped one day that I’d meet a man who felt that way about me. But now? Nothing could ever compare to In My Life. Hearing Bree sing that song to us, on the happiest day of my life, has seared it into my brain. And now whenever I hear it I am so happy I want to cry.
Between you, Andrew, Bree and Brady, which Beatles would each of you be and why? And do you think Cece would be a groupie if you guys formed a band?
Oh…Bree would be John. So insightful and sees the world in ways I’m just trying to keep up with. Brady would be Ringo, I’m sure. Just happy to be making noise. That leaves Andrew to be Paul. Funny and leading us with his excitement. I’m George. Contributing quietly but an integral part of the band.
Would Cece be a groupie? With her Big Sister Complex? No. Cece would be the manager. I swear, if my job ever opened up she’s be the first person lobbying for it. She needs to call the shots.
As a final question, what does the further look like for your family?
Umm. I’m not supposed to tell anyone yet… but our family is growing. By two. Who knew twins ran in his family?
That is such wonderful news! We are so happy for all of you! Thanks so much, Gwen for giving us the honor to be our first interview and for joining us today! We at pakwanstripes love you guys so much!
Okay, I am a Beatles fan here. Eight Days A Week was one of those special Beatles song because it was one of the first songs to introduce a fade in intro. I confess, I requested for an ARC of this book because the publisher is TWCS and chiefly because of the title. Named after a special song, must be a special book, right?
I so enjoyed reading this book. It is an excellent read and and I am so glad this was my first Amber L. Johnson. The chapters are titled after songs from the fab four (with a couple of my favourites coming out). I must’ve read it with a grin plastered on my face the whole time. You know when you read in the bus and suddenly you find a funny part in the book and grin at nothing, making you look like a crazy person? Yup, that was me all the time.
In Eight Days A Week, Johnson fills her book with a great ensemble of characters who compliment, contrast, tease and assist each other. Best friend Xander, bossy sister Ceecee, the beautiful Gwen and the adorable Bree and Brady. But it is Andrew who steals the show for me. Written in his point of view, Andrew begins the book as a jerk and a bum. I pretty much hated him at first, but that was just a front. In the background, Andrew is being pressured by his parents to be something he doesn’t want to be. And as he accidentally finds a job as a “manny”, he learns more about himself and about the family he has begun to love.
Filled with humor, I loved how clueless Andrew was and how he tries to figure out how to interact with the kids, Bree and Brady. The pranks and games are also part of what endeared the book to me. And those reactions with the children shows? It pretty much hit the target. Nice touch with the manny logs too. They may be laugh out loud readings, but you also get a glimpse of how Andrew is changing as person.
I also love how Johnson made Gwen such a loving person specially to the two kids. And Johnson doesn’t decorate the life of a single parent. Reality is, it is not easy. But part of that reality is that single parents, like Gwen would do anything and everything for them. She is just love over flowing.
The book also has some serious themes. It talks about finding a purpose in life, finding acceptance to be who you are and sticking together in the face of sadness. Andrew was a ray of sunshine in Gwen’s household. He just charms the pants (or skirts) off of her as he pulls the kids closer to him with the warmth of his personality. His strenght sustains them and fortifies their relationship. Gwen, Bree and Brady in turn become Andrew’s compass, pointing him to the right direction to becoming a better person. And although his family keeps telling him to be something else, Andrew realizes that his best path to his happiness is to be himself.
Of couse, the sexy times are also there. Johnson makes Andrew such a tease, pulling out all stops (and that towel) to make Gwen fall for him. I love a man who likes to tease and I so loved the teasing between Gwen and Andrew and how he always, always corners Gwen.
But most of all, the book is family and finding your home. What makes a family? People don’t have to be blood related to be a family. All it takes is a lot of love and a lot of patience. And when you find that love and have that patience, you find your home. Its difficult work, yes, but the promise of the book is, its all going be worth it, even if it takes eight days a week.
Amber is a full-time mom and a full-time wife who is employed full time and writes when she can. She believes in Happily Ever Afters that occur every day—despite the obstacles real life serves up on a regular basis. Or perhaps they’re sweeter simply because of them. She always has two rubber bands on her wrist, a song in her head, and too much creamer in her coffee cup that reads ‘Cocoa,’ because she’s a rebel.If she’s not at her desk, with her boys, or behind the computer, she’s supporting live music with her arms raised above her head and her eyes closed, waiting for the drop.
Praise for Eight Days a Week
“Laugh-out-loud story about a guy who goes to look at a room to rent and discovers it comes with a job – that of live-in nanny to two damaged kids. So Andrew Lyons accidentally becomes the “manny”. Written in his POV, this book chronicles his hilarious escapades as he looks after and grows to love Bree and Brady, and his employer, Gwen. His pranks and spot-on observations about kids’ TV shows had me giggling, but there were a few serious moments worthy of a sniffle as well. The star of the show may be Don, though – you’ll just have to read this book to find out about him! Highly recommended.”-Andrea Goodreads review