What a Woman WantsManley Maids
by Judi Fennell
PENGUIN GROUP Berkley  04 Mar 2014
ISBN 9780425268292
Mass Market Paperback 336 pages & E-Book formats
Galley provided by publisher  via NetGalley for review purposes.  No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.

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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. At Penguin’s Book Page

square "my take"A quirky woman with her own menagerie, and a business minded ma with successful siblings are living in her late grandmother’s house as she tries to find the clues to her inheritance.  He’s out to get the house and she is in his way. Will his morals win over business dealings?

Sadly, this story didn’t hold my interest.  Sometimes the first thing I see when I am reading is who would play the cast in a light romantic comedy. I could see the main parts being played by Amy Adams or Isla Fisher.  And Josh Duhamel or any of the hot young guys from Hollywood could play the male lead. I think this might be my brains way of getting me engaged in a story by involving more of my imagination,  but  it didn’t work here.

I thought this had some original aspects but the whole thing worked out along a totally predictable path. There’s a lot of slapstick humor and the hook-ups are lacking in  sensual depth.  It is more a sweet romance than a steamy one.  It reminded me of an old Harlequin romance, with the tiniest bit more sex.  It was very unrealistic as to the will and the disposition of property, the behavior of adults with a child, and investing in a business venture.   The whole poker bet scenario didn’t work for me at all.

It’s entirely a matter of personal taste but this just didn’t do it for me at all; while I could clearly see the characters in my head, I felt no connection to them.