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Feature book: The Nanny’s Family Wish

30 September 2020

The Nanny’s Family Wish by Helen Lacey

Series: The Culhanes of Cedar River #3
Subgenre: contemporary romance
Release date: 1 May 2020
Publisher: Mills & Boon
Format: ebook and print
Length: 288 pages
RRP: $5.99 (ebook); $11.99 (print)

This is a continuation of The Culhanes of Cedar River. There is a rather big info dump about family at the beginning, and it seemed such a big family with lots of cousins and other relations that I thought I might not get my head around everyone—even having read the first two books. Happily, it all worked out and really, I was truly focused on David and the nanny of his children, Annie.

David’s wife and his mother died together in a light plane crash four years previously. How absolutely awful; a double whammy for the poor guy. Fortunately for him and the children, after a few stops and starts, Annie came along as nanny and has been with them for most of those four years. The truth is she loves eight-year-old Jasper and four-and-a-half-year-old Scarlett as though they were her own.

Which is part of a bigger issue. Annie wants her own husband and children to love, but she doesn’t really have a life to call her own. On weekends, when she has days off, she often keeps company with the children anyway. They live on a working ranch; lots of room for everyone. David has his own accountancy and financial practice in Cedar River, but also maintains the ranch—an ideal place for the children to grow up side-by-side with the animals and space to enjoy. To find someone special Annie is going to have to leave the ranch and find her way in the big, bad world outside Cedar River.

David’s always treated Annie with absolute professionalism and respect. They’ve lived in reasonably close quarters, but he’s been scrupulous in maintaining professional boundaries for her as an employee. A valued and trusted employee, but an employee nonetheless. Which is a wee bit of a problem for Annie, because over this time she has fallen in love with him. It is very obvious he doesn’t reciprocate her feelings. Not by a look, a word, anything. (‘Me Too’ points to David here, even though it has been tricky for Annie.)

Young Jasper and Scarlett are thriving under her care. They love her as a mother, and of course vice versa. And that’s another terrible issue. Annie doesn’t want to leave them; her heart is broken at the thought. And yet she needs to leave to find a husband, which means walking away from the children. I have to say, they sound like terrific children. Little Scarlett is a sweetie, bubbly and fun, and Jasper is a hero-in-making, with a quiet eight-year-old dignity that absolutely tugged at my heart. If they were bratty it would be easy to leave them, but they’re incredibly lovable, wonderful kids, and I think I’d love them as my own, too.

Annie tenders her resignation to David with a heavy heart, catching him completely unawares. He demands to know who she is marrying, which is of course none of his business, and still rather hypothetical. He realises he has overstepped the mark, and he panics a bit about the children and wants to do anything to keep Annie on. Which is natural! From that tense moment on, the relationship between Annie and David changes and he sees her in a whole new light.

Ooh.

The romance blisters into life here, and it is a truly heart-warming story. I loved it, loved the honesty between them, loved the children, loved Annie and David’s love story. Thanks Helen Lacey!

reviewed by Malvina

A review copy of this book was provided by the author.

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