Wednesday, June 11, 2014

**Review & Giveaway** What A Woman Needs ~ Manley Maids 2 ~ Judi Fennell

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…

In the 2nd installment of Manley Maids, we get to see hot shot movie star Bryan in action. Bryan  has no idea what he's gotten himself into when he reports for duty on Monday morning. But a deal is a deal, and he will follow through. He had the time off anyway. When sexy mom, Beth, answers the door, Bryan has to constantly remind himself that 1. She's a mom. 2. She's a widow.

Beth has been living in a fog. In a constant reminder of her lost love. Her constant battle day to day with her 5 kids to keep her head above water. It seems like everything goes wrong all at once, and as soon as she fixes one thing, another tornado happens. Life with kids! Having her friends order a Manley Maid seems too good to be true. When THE Bryan Manley shows up on her door step, things start happening to her body that she's not quite ready to deal with. 

Bryan and Beth become closer and deal with some seriously funny situations that would come with having a movie star in the house. Beth finds herself more and more ready to make a move where Bryan is concerned. 

Step up to Manely Maids! Judi Fennell will have you laughing out loud at the antic of the kids and the dog as your transported back to when you yourself was a kid driving your mom crazy. Fantastic addition to the Manley Maids series. The link to book one in the series is below - although all of them can be read as standalones, I find them better if you read them in order with the series. 

What a Woman Wants ~ Amazon

Judi's Top 5 Must See Movies This Summer

#5 – This is a toss up and it has to do with hot guys: Neighbors with Zac Efron who is now of legal enough age that I can ogle and not feel like a dirty old woman, or 21 Jump Street with Channing Tatum whom I ogled quite a lot in Magic Mike. So maybe I’ll go see both.

#4 – Hercules – Because I love the old stories and The Rock just looks amazing! It’s nice to see him bulked up and being an action hero again. The special effects look amazing and it looks to be an edge-of-your-seat ride. Well worth the gazillion dollars you have to pay to see movies these days.

#3 – Maleficent – I’m not a huge Angelina Jolie fan (still have issues with the whole cheating with a married man thing, but that’s just me), but I do love me some fairy tales. I can’t wait to see how they tell this story because we always hear it from Aurora’s side. And after seeing WICKED, I am very psyched to see the spin. Plus the special effects look awesome.

#2 – Xmen, Days of Future Past. First reason I want to see this? Hugh Jackman. Need I say more? Do I even need another reason? Okay, well here it is. Kid was in basic training for the Reserves and loves these movies. Said Kid is now home so this is our Mother-Kid celebration. My treat to take Kid, and my treat to enjoy the time with Kid since I don’t get a lot of it. Oh, and there’s action , adventure, excitement, adrenaline, superpowers, and did I mention Hugh? ;)

#1 – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I’m a HUGE fan of the original Charlton Heston version. Loved loved loved it. Not so keen on the others that followed it because they just couldn’t hold onto the fascination of this whole new world we were introduced to in the first one. So when Rise of the Planet of the Apes with James Franco came out in 2011, I didn’t hold out much hope. Boy was I wrong. I LOVED that movie! They took the important parts of Charlton’s version and really tied it in well. And the scene when the credits are rolling… eerily possible. .That was the thing that got me that I don’t know was really considered back in the late 60s when the first one came out. Back then, it was nuclear holocaust that did the world in—or at least intimated that it was. The explanation in the James Franco version was so possible it’s scary. And the nods to the original in 2011’s version were wonderful (I’m all about nods. Read my I Dream of Genies and see how many nods you can find to the tv show. No one’s gotten them all yet.) So now, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is coming and I have very high hopes that it’ll be good. Though, given that it’s the second in this series, I am trying to reign in my expectations because rarely is a second film as good as the first. But this one is definitely #1 to see this summer because all of us liked the last one and the kids really want to see it. So this is our family outing, which, given their ages, is a tough thing to arrange these days.

Note from Judi~ 

In my latest release, I give a nod to a few of my favorite movies. There are five kids in this story: Kevin who’s fourteen, Kelsey almost-thirteen-going-on-thirty, twin boys who are eight: Mark and Tommy, and five-year-old-Maggie. They are huge fans of the Harry Potter series, and the twins happen to have a set of light sabers, which Bryan, the hero of WHAT A WOMAN NEEDS, uses for a good explanation of watching each others’ back. Mom Beth is feeling decidedly un-Princess-Leia-ish, what with being a widow with five kids, a hyperactive dog, a cat who sheds all over the place, and two hamsters who may end up as lunch for the dog if they get out of their cage. So Beth’s friends decide she needs some help around the house and they call in the cleaning company. But not just any cleaning company; they call Manley Maids. Hunky brother, Bryan, who lost a poker bet to his sister, the owner of Manley Maids, shows up to pay off his debt.

And meeting Beth might be the best hand he's ever been dealt.

Taking a deep breath and straightening his shoulders, Bryan bit the bullet and rang the bell.

Instantly a chorus of barks, shrieks, and a couple of “Expelliarmus!” spells erupted, followed by a nasty crash and some muttered cursing.

Then she opened the door.

For a moment, Bryan just stared.

Then his PR training kicked in and he ramped up the Charmer smile that was not only his signature look, but one that came naturally around beautiful women.

And she was stunning. From her artfully messy, wavy brown hair, to the curves just hinted at beneath the open neckline of the mis-buttoned blouse, to the yoga pants that hugged shapely legs that went on forever, the woman was almost as tall as he was and built like a woman should be, rounded in all the right places with just enough to hold on to for the ride of a lifetime.

Maybe this wasn’t going to be such a bad gig after all.

Then the kids hit the scene, heads popping out behind her like some dance number in a musical.

And they didn’t stop popping. Three. Four. Five. She had her own basketball team.

Bryan reined in the smile. He didn’t hit on married women, and he didn’t hit on moms.

He especially didn’t hit on married moms.

Of five.

“Who are you?” Kid number two, or maybe three, asked.

“Honestly, Kelsey, that’s no way to greet someone.” The woman rolled her gorgeous coffee-colored eyes as she flicked her finger under the girl’s chin, then she wiped away her annoyed look and smiled at him.

This time his Charmer smile appeared of its own volition. Bryan couldn’t help it. When she smiled, she was beyond stunning, and it made him glad he was a man—but annoyed she was married.

And a mom.

Of five.

“Can I help you?”

Let me count the ways. Bryan caught himself before he started spouting sonnets. “I’m here to clean your toilet.”

Way to go, idiot. Brilliant opening line.

“I beg your pardon?”

She could beg for whatever she wanted, and he’d give her every single thing.


I have been writing for as long as I can remember, winning my first writing award in a second grade Caldecott Medal contest. Readers' Digest gave me my very first publishing credit in April, 1994, and I was hooked. I seemed to have followed writing contests around, being a finalist in such online contests as American Title III, sponsored by Romantic Times BOOKreview Magazine and Dorchester Publishing, and two First Chapters contests, sponsored by and Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books.

My imaginary friend was Casper the Friendly Ghost. The little ghoul even had a special place set for him at our dinner table and got blamed for many of my childhood mishaps. I grew up watching Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie and The Addams Family--my mom looked like Elizabeth Montgomery and I had a special Barbie outfit that looked like Morticia Addams' dress. My favorite books are Bewitching by Jill Barnett and A Knight In Shining Armor, by Jude Devereaux, so it should come as no surprise that I like to write tongue-in-cheek lighthearted paranormals.

I love pop culture and manipulating language, so you'll find lots of puns, double entrendre, plays-on-words, alliteration, clich├ęs, and twisting of phrases, as well as several one-liners in my stories that give me a few chuckles. I studied Spanish at Penn State (Go Lions!), lived in Spain and traveled throughout that beautiful country.

I've always written and still have my journal from fourth grade where, even then, my stories were full of fantastical creatures, whimsy and magic. I wrote my first romance in 9th grade and still have that story in my memory chest. Even back then I dreamed of being a writer.

Now with kids, a husband, a house, a social life (Go Survivor Girls!), and two cocker spaniels named Vixen and Raven, I get to live my dream of being a writer!

I've also published, under the name J.A. Fenn, a horror anthology. Yes, a bit different from light-hearted romance, but just as much fun to write. Hope you check out Off The Beaten Path, A Terrifying Tales Anthology.
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