by Judi Fennell
Series: Manley Maids #1
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Contemporary Romance
What happens when three irresistibly sexy brothers lose a poker bet to their enterprising sister? They get hired out for her housecleaning venture. Now, the Manley Maids are at your service. Satisfaction guaranteed. It’s what a woman wants... Resort entrepreneur Sean Manley was all set to buy an historic mansion at a great price, making a name for himself while making millions, when the seller and a poker bet change the game. Now he’s in the place as a hunky male maid and there’s one more complication: Livvy Carolla. The house is Livvy’s inheritance. Her plan? Unload it to the highest bidder and use the cash to start her own bakery business. One look at "the help” and she’s hot to take him with her. Until she finds out he’s got a secret agenda. But when Sean falls for the free-spirited, strong-willed Livvy, he has new ideas for the estate—and Livvy’s part in it. If all goes well, they’ll both be getting what they want. And then some.
What a Woman Wants is the first novel in the Manley Maids series by Judi Fennell and when I read the synopsis I immediately wanted to read it. Three brothers dressed as maids? At the mercy of their sister? Count me in! Fennell made me laugh, swoon and giggle as we watched Sean Manley become the hunky maid at the Martinson estate. Mini review: Sweet, suspenseful, hot and humorous from a crazy animal herd to change in plans this tale was delightful.
The prologue shares how the three Manley brothers’ find themselves working as maids for their little sister and I will leave you to discover the how and why. Sean Manley is a resort entrepreneur and decides to pay his dues at the Martinson estate. He has big plans for the estate and none of them include Livvy. Livvy Carolla hasn’t been back to the estate since she was a child and now it’s her inheritance. She fully intends to sell it to the highest bidder and say good riddance. Her grandmother has other plans, and in order to inherit the mansion, Livvy will have to meet the conditions of the will. Will Sean help or hinder her? Will Livy run from her past or embrace it? The tale that unfolds has a quest, an unusual herd of animals and quite possibly a happy ending.
Fennell presented us with two lovable and flawed characters. Sean Manley looks dreamy in his tight maid uniform. I envisioned Sean vacuuming while I watched from my chase lounge by the fire. He is successful, confidant and close to his family. Livvy lives in a co-op and bakes the finest desserts and breads you have ever tasted. She is a free spirit, lover of animals and very organic. She has abandonment issues thanks to her parents and grandmother. The physical attraction between them was electric from the beginning providing us with some delicious chemistry. Livvy was enchanting despite her issues, and you couldn’t help but smile at her antics. Sean struggles between his business aspirations and his attraction to Livvy. We see character growth as the relationship develops. While the romance developed quickly, Fennell did a good job of making it feel genuine. We briefly meet Sean’s brothers, sister and grandmother, and I am looking forward to learning their stories. The herd, oh my! Calling all animal lovers, you will adore the herd. From peacocks to a dirty mouthed parrot they were a hoot and added humor and tenderness to the story.
What a Woman Wants was a delightful tale that is sure to make you smile. The terms of the will were interesting and added a little suspense and a twist for the romance. The overall ARC of the series regarding the three brothers as maids is hilarious. I really connected with Livvy and enjoyed her from her naughty thoughts to her crazy herd. The romance was sweet, with moments of heat. It was a feel good romance with some sappy, gooey moments that made me smile. There were threads that were left unanswered which disappointed me. Sean has a disability, and I wish it had been more thoroughly addressed. We learn a little about the sister and grandmother scheming, and I would have loved to learn more. I am hoping we get the details about this scheme in a future novel. The pacing was well done, and I easily consumed this. The conflict and climax were enjoyable although we knew all along what could shatter this relationship. What a Woman Wants left me with a smile on my face.
Fans of romantic comedy and adventure will enjoy What a Woman Wants. What a Woman Needs is the next book in the series and will release on June 3, 2014.
Three and half cups of coffee out of five
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