This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on June 3, 2014
[quote]He was giving her an out. It made sense to take it. After all, this wasn’t some novel where the suburban housewife ended up with The Sexiest Man Alive and lived happily ever after. Not with five kids, the dog and the disaster zone. p. 90 Beth from What a Woman Needs[/quote]
The above quote sums up this story exactly. No, a suburban housewife and a box office star shouldn’t stand a chance, but that was the fun of reading this one because due to the machinations of a sister and a lost bet, Bryan Manley has entered Beth Hamilton’s sphere and magic happens.
This was the second book in the Manley Maids series. I didn’t read the first one, but had no trouble jumping into this one. This is mostly because the stories of the brothers taking on their housekeeping tasks all seem to happen at the same time. There’s a bit of mingling, but this can definitely standalone.
The story opens with Bryan arriving on the doorstep of widowed Beth Hamiliton’s doorstep. Ever since the death of her husband in the plane crash two years ago, things have been let go and out of control. Her five kids, the multiple pets and the house are a disaster which is why her friends bought her a month of housekeeping from Manley Maids. Never in her wildest imagination did she see her new hired help being the famous movie star that is the heart throb of every teen girl and woman out there. However it came about, he’s there to do a job and she has to remember that even if it means ignoring the strong flare of attraction she feels just at the thought of him. A two year drought will do that for a woman.
Bryan is there to fulfill his end after losing the bet, but it doesn’t take him long to see that he is really needed. Cleaning up kid and pet-made disasters and repairing things that have been let go since the man of this house, Mike Hamilton, died is something he finds himself enjoying instead of it just being a tedious job. The children all accept his presence in their various ways. He curbs the twins fighting and impulsive ways, he gives little Maggie the extra care she needs through playing tea party and toss in the air, he works to shows Jason the teenage oldest son how to be a man and Kelsey the teen daughter how to be around guys, but all the while, he really works to remember the reasons why he can’t start something up with their mother.
As Bryan works his way through the housekeeping tasks and becomes someone important to her kids, Beth struggles. She can only worry about what will happen when he’s gone, the reporters who sniff around looking for something juicy and her sexed up female neighbors who all envy her. Not that it is all fret and worry. Bryan joins them on perfect family outings and is there for her kids whether its soccer games or building projects. Soon it all must come to an end and she daren’t even dream because Bryan makes it clear that suburbia and a ready-made family aren’t for him with the career he has always wanted on the rise and she made it clear that living in a fishbowl wasn’t for her.
The plot on this one was the fairytale romance type that just is so heartwarming and sweet. It was full of lots more though with the lovely family moments and the everyday life of ordinary people. It developed slowly as a result and it slowed the pace way down. I am a fiend for cute family togetherness scenes so these I didn’t mind.
Beth tends to be a worrier so that got annoying at times, but that was only because I wanted her to grab this lovely chance at happiness with both hands. Just the same as Bryan’s determination to deny himself for a career had me grinding my teeth.
The romance as I indicated was a long developing thing. Attraction and like were always there and love wasn’t far behind, but the disparity of their lives held them back. Bryan was aces in my book because he kissed Beth, but he wouldn’t let things run to the physical because he respected Beth and knew that she was a long-term relationship sort of gal even if she seemed willing. The story isn’t totally devoid of the steam, but it was just a late proof of how good these two are together.
So all in all, I enjoyed this family-friendly fairytale style romance and my first occasion to read a book by the author. Contemporary romance fans who like a slow build story and a bit of passion might want to try this one.
My thanks to Penguin Group and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this one in exchange for an honest review.
Need a Manly Maid? Well we have one copy of What a Woman Needs by Judi Fennell up for grabs to one lucky commenter. To enter, comment below.
US only. Giveaway ends June 17, 2014 at 11:59 pm.
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