Review: What a Woman Wants by Judi FennellWhat a Woman Wants by Judi Fennell
Series: Manley Maids #1
Published by berkley, Sensation on March 4, 2014
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemp Romance, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Advance Reader Copy

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.

This book has all the makings of being fun, and while it had its funny and light moments, it didn’t do it for me. While the beginning was fun and entertaining, I found it all too easy to put down.

Basically, Livvy has just inherited a huge manor house, money, property, everything from her grandmother. But this is the same woman who never gave Livvy a single scrap of attention. Livvy’s mother got knocked up with the Martinson’s only son, the heir to the kingdom, so to speak, and instead of taking her anger out on her son, Merriweather Martinson took it out on Livvy. But she also took care of Livvy. She took her from her mom (who was an angry bitter addict), at age 5 and had Livvy put in a boarding school.

This is where Livvy gets the chip on her shoulder from. And it’s big. Huge. She not only hates her grandmother, but anything to do with the family. So when she finds out that in order to obtain her inheritance, she has to go on a scavenger hunt, she’s not thrilled.  She feels that Merriweather is messing with her from beyond the grave just to be a jerk. It isn’t until the end that she sees the real reasons.

Sean, for his part, flips houses. Well, technically he flips B&Bs, and he’s heavily invested in the Martinson estate. Merriweather had gotten everything ready to sell, but it was only on the condition that Livvy didn’t fulfill her end of the scavenger hunt. But Sean didn’t know that.

He’s lost a bet and has to help his sister’s maid service by cleaning the Martinson estate-he’s thrilled because he wants the property, so it seems like fate. Until he meets Livvy. And all of her animals. Then fate shows him another direction. Does he sabotage her scavenger hunt, or does he help her?

The animals drove me nuts, Sean was a good hero, but by the end, Livvy still didn’t know he had severe dyslexia, which was integral to the plot, so I feel he should have said something to her. They spent more time repetitively lusting after each other that I got annoyed. It wasn’t fun after a while,it didn’t help build sexual tension, it just kept interrupting the flow. And Sean should have told Livvy all sorts of things. He’d say I’m going to tell her when I get back. And then he wouldn’t. Got annoying.

For someone who’s a real contemporary fan, or who likes zany antics and lots of animals causing those antics, this is for you. It definitely wasn’t for me.

I will say that I like the idea of the guys losing the bet and having to work as maids for their sister. It’s a fun idea, and I think I’d like to read the next in the series.

***ARC courtesy of Berkley Sensation

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