On Jo Green’s twenty-third birthday she just doesn’t feel like celebrating at all. She has a bad case of the doldrums because she feels that life is passing her by. Her boyfriend of six years, Shaun, has proposed to her three times and she still can’t commit. She remembers that she had wanted so badly to go off to university, but was discouraged by her father. Now she is experiencing a major epiphany–she works much harder in her job as a nanny than the mother she is working for does, while the mother makes so much money she can afford to pay a nanny. So when she sees an ad for a live-in nanny in London, Jo decides to apply. Soon, she is packing up and leaving Shaun, her parents, and her friends in the small village of Niblet-on-Avon and moving in with Vanessa and Dick Fitzgerald and their three children.
Bowled over by her new living quarters and the car provided for her to chauffeur the children to their various activities, Jo is just beginning to settle in when her personal space is invaded. Dick’s eldest son from his first marriage, Josh, moves into Jo’s sitting area. Suddenly her spacious quarters seem unusually cramped. Jo is very attracted to the charming, sexy accountant, but for the life of her, she just can’t understand why a grown man with a good job needs to mooch off his father. Then Shaun comes to London for a visit for the weekend and Jo doesn’t know how she really feels about anybody.
The Nanny is an excellent romp; the kids are devilishly appealing, the parents have secrets from each other, Jo has a schedule that makes you tired just reading about it, and her dilemma about Shaun and Josh is delicious. Melissa Nathan creates hilarious moments, most notably Josh’s introduction into the household, which unexpectedly brings another suitor into Jo’s life. However, this book offers even more. It is very much a story about finding yourself as Jo questions her relationships and goals, while a stunning secret is revealed in her own life. Jo’s journey is one of growth, with a wonderful cast of characters helping her every step of the way. Melissa Nathan moves the story along at a brisk pace that will draw you right in and probably keep you reading into the wee hours of the night.