The Nanny Rules
A super-hot football player with trust issues and his daughter’s super-hot nanny with secrets ‘tackle’ each other between the sheets in Melynda Price’s fumbling sports romance, The Nanny Rules.
Single dad and star quarterback of the Browns, Brody Evans vows to never love again after his wife’s fatal car accident. As the football season starts, his top priorities are spending time with his grieving four-year old daughter, Lily, and positioning his team to win the Super Bowl. When Brody returns from training camp, he finds that his sister has hired her former college friend, Mia, to care for Lily. Brody resents the intrusion, but allows her to stay for his daughter’s sake.
After graduating with a master’s degree in child psychology, Mia Renshaw arrives at the Evans household carrying financial debt and a mysterious past. She is immediately distracted by her insanely intense attraction to her new boss. As Mia and Brody co-parent Lily, share the same living space, and breathe the same lust-filled air, sexual tension escalates. The two succumb to desire with the understanding that sex is the only thing on offer from Brody. He no longer believes in love. Somehow, between watching Survivor marathons and having explosive sex, Mia and Brody begin to fall for each other. Now, Lily wants all of Brody – his tattooed muscles and his heart. She is determined to fight for her man, but can Brody learn to love again?
The Nanny Rules is neither well-crafted, nor emotionally engaging. A flimsy plot, underdeveloped characters, and a practically non-existent setting make this a forgettable read. To Price’s credit, the naughty sex scenes and sexual tension showcase her erotic writing ability.
It’s disappointing when the lover-protagonists are not entirely likeable as individuals, or as a couple. When Mia isn’t being “orally dominated” (yes, her exact words) by Brody, she spends her time crying over his perceived disregard and throwing shade at him for not wanting to pursue a relationship. (At this point in the story, Mia has only been the nanny for a few month, andBrody’s wife has only been gone for one year.) Meanwhile, Mia repeatedly agrees to have no-strings-attached sex with Brody. But is it? Really?
Although Price writes in alternating points of view, she frequently favors Brody, so he is naturally a more sympathetic character than Mia because the reader often shares his headspace. Brody’s reluctance to enter into a relationship after his wife’s death is understandable. Even though he sends Mia mixed messages about his intentions, Brody clearly considers her feelings and makes a concerted effort to not treat her as a casual booty call. The biggest flaw in Brody’s character is his speech, which consists primarily of f-bombs and crude language. He projects more of a dull Neanderthal vibe than that of a sophisticated romance hero.
Setting is one of those literary elements that you don’t miss until it’s gone. A well-constructed setting establishes atmosphere, sets a mood, and provides the reader with an intimate sense of the physical world in which the characters live. Unfortunately, Price doesn’t appear to agree.
If I weren’t married to a Browns fan, then I wouldn’t have known that The Nanny Rules is set in the state of Ohio until I read Chapter 20. And, I wouldn’t have had a clue that Mia and Brody live in the city of Cleveland until Chapter 26. (As a point of reference, the novel only has twenty-six chapters and an epilogue.) I don’t recall any mentions of weather or the time of year. Stories set in Cleveland during football season should mention weather because it impacts residents on a daily basis. (I know. It’s my husband’s hometown.) Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you anything about Brody’s house, which I can only assume is a mansion because he’s a professional football player and I’m pretty sure that Mia’s bedroom isn’t a windowless cell. But I don’t know for certain. Of course, her bed is mentioned several times because that’s where all of the sexing takes place.
The Nanny Rules is not recommended reading for those who seek a captivating romance with a substantial love story. But, if you’re a Cleveland Browns fan who longs to experience a reality in which the team, historically one of the worst in pro football, wins lots of games, then maybe it’ll be worthwhile.