What a Woman Needs
Author: Judi Fennell
Reviewer: Jen Twimom
Bryan Manley, youngest of the Manley brothers, is on break from his busy movie career. While home visiting his siblings, he loses bet to his sister and has to work for her maid service for four weeks. His plan is to get in and get done quickly. But then he meets Beth, and he doesn’t know if he can hold back his uncontrollable attraction.
Beth Hamilton, widowed (for 2 years) mother of 5, is barely keeping her household together. She’s abandoned her own wants and needs to ensure her kids are doing “okay” without dad in the house. So when her friends hire help from the Manley Maid service, Beth isn’t going to say no. That is until she sees famous movie star Bryan Manley come to her doorstep. Painful memories of the press that hounded her after her husband died piloting a plane surface, and she isn’t sure she can relive anything like that again. Luckily for readers, Bryan sticks around to help with the household upkeep and a lovely romantic comedy ensues.
What a Woman Needs is a delightful, light-hearted romance that I recommend to anyone looking for a happy story which will make you smile. But don’t assume that just because the book is on the lighter side that the author doesn’t insert some tough moments and real emotions behind her characters. There are moments my heart ached for Bryan and Beth as they discussed their impossible situation and what was best in the long term. It’s moments like those that give this book something extra special and made it such a true joy to read.
Right from the start there is a strong attraction between Bryan and Beth. As the pair get to know one another, their mutual feelings intensify, and the reader is privy to every feeling thanks to alternating point-of-views. While I appreciate the hesitation and corresponding frustration when each thinks about “hooking up” with the other, I will say that is the one thing that started to bother me after a while. The constant battle between thinking sexy little thoughts about the other followed by chastising him/herself for those thoughts got a bit old after a while. Luckily, the story moves away from this type of inner monologue and onto more concrete actions before the midway point of the book.
Bryan and Beth are both insanely well-mannered and good-natured. The pair are just so darn sweet and kind, but not in a roll-your-eyes kind of way. I liked that each had little baggage that would weigh down a potential relationship. They do have their individual issues and concerns, but they aren’t over-the-top or obnoxiously contrived. In fact, their problems are based in some very real concerns that made the characters and storyline more relatable. Ms. Fennell pens a few well-timed and wonderfully written intimate moments between the pair that really pulled on my heart strings.
I also appreciate that Beth’s children are not relegated to the sidelines; they are not mere props for the setting or story. All of the kids factor into the story and each have some fun and touching scenes. And surprisingly, I also admired Beth’s friendship with Kara. While Kara annoyed me to no end for most of the book, her blunt discussions with Beth, telling her to live a little, are words from the heart of a true friend.
Overall, I throughly enjoyed What a Woman Needs. From the humorous start to the sweet ending, the story provides the reader with a fulfilling break from reality for a few hours. Even though there are some slower moments, in general I really liked Beth and Bryan both as individuals and together. The story is light-hearted, fun, and enjoyable, accentuating the positives in life and love.
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 needs…
Big shot movie star Bryan Manley is destined for fame and fortune, not a repeat of his penny-pinching “normal” childhood. But a bet is a bet, so he agrees to play maid for Beth Hamilton—as long as he can use his servitude as research for his next role, and then resume his life in the spotlight.
After her husband’s death and the publicity surrounding it, all Beth needs is a quiet, normal life for herself and her children. She never expected a new Prince Charming to show up at her door, let alone as the new maid. But when the paparazzi follow, Beth is sure of one thing: Bryan has to go.
Then flirtation turns into seduction, and Bryan needs to convince Beth he’s more man than maid—or an actor playing a maid. Because this latest gig as the love of Beth Hamilton’s life just might be the role of a lifetime…
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Series: Manley Maids #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format(s): paperback (320 pages), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
What a Woman Needs (Manley Maids #2)
Reviews in the Series:
What a Woman Wants by Judi Fennell (Manley Maids #1)