My current novel, The Nanny’s Texas Christmas, is part of the Lone Star Cowboy League series about a ranch for troubled boys. Flint Rawlings, the ranch foreman, is having trouble keeping a babysitter for his mischievous five-year-old. So he hires his son’s first-grade teacher as a temporary nanny during the Christmas holidays.
Sounds simple enough, right? But Lana Alvarez was left at the alter, and although she adores little Logan, she’s resistant to her own feelings about Logan’s dad. As for Flint, his wife abandoned him and Logan as soon as the boy was born, leaving Flint a bitter single dad. It takes a Christmas miracle—and a dog named Cowboy—to help Flint, Lana, and Logan form a family.
The main features of The Nanny’s Texas Christmas were planned by the editors who developed the Lone Star Cowboy League novels. So it’s kind of weird that my previous book, which I planned myself, also features a nanny. And although the personalities, setting, and conflicts are quite different, there are some features in common.
Susan Hayashi is also a schoolteacher, in need of a summer job. Unlike gentle Lana, though, Susan is outspoken and blunt… which gets her fired from her waitressing gig (even though her offense was protecting a younger waitress from being groped by an obnoxious customer). Through her best friend’s machinations, Susan gets an interview with traditional, conservative CEO Sam Hinton, and although their personalities clash, her obvious ability to help his daughter, Mindy, makes him decide to hire her for the summer. Of course, in the end, romance ensues!
Why do nannies and romance go together? I can think of at least three answers:
- Any book with a nanny has to have a child, or several. And, especially in inspirational romance, both authors and readers love kids.
- It’s a practice family. With a single dad hero and one or more adorable kids, the nanny is a stand-in mother. As family activities take place, it only makes sense for the nanny to join in. The hero and heroine can play-act being a family. If all goes well, they discover that they’re a fantastic fit… and they decide to make the arrangement permanent. When they do, readers believe in the success of the family-to-be, because we’ve already seen the new family together.
Do you like nanny books? Why or why not? I’ll give away a copy of Small-Town Nanny to a random commenter who enjoys romances featuring nannies… please comment today, Friday, December 9, before midnight.
By the way… if you like short Christmas books, I have two novellas on sale right now. Both A Christmas Bond and A Bond for the Holidays are quick reads that can give you a boost when you only have a little bit of “me-time”–like most of us during the holidays. Check them out, and let me know if you enjoy them!