This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Author, Leah Marie Brown. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Dreaming of Manderley by Leah Marie Brown
Series: A Riches to Romance Tale #1
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: December 26, 2017
Publisher: Lyrical Press, Inc
Source: Author, Leah Marie Brown
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Book Depository ◊ Google Play ◊ Kobo ◊ IndieBound
Going from old money to no money, the three Maxwell sisters' lives are about to change drastically. Now, one by one, each must blaze her own trail to happily-ever-after . . .
Manderley Maxwell has always been the dependable, hard-working one while her younger sisters live A-list lives, courtesy of their family fortune . . . until it's suddenly lost, leaving behind a truckload of debt! Now Mandy is faced with two choices: play perpetual caretaker to her spoiled siblings, or finally break out of her predictable routine--by way of France . . .
When Mandy's boss relocates for the summer, Mandy is really just trading in coffee runs for running errands through the streets of Cannes--until handsome, debonair Girard Fortune Xavier de Maloret sweeps her off her feet--by saving her from falling off a cliff. Mandy's walking on air--except that she's living in the chic shadow of the first Madame de Maloret, complete with whispers about the suddenly secretive Xavier's part in her disappearance. Again, Mandy has two choices: be the unfortunate, duped American--or the gutsy, fierce woman who'll track down the truth in the name of true love . . .
"Humor, heat, and a sexy Frenchman . . . Brown's nod to Daphne du Maurier's classic is a winner!"--#1 New York Times bestseller Helen Hardt
Dreaming of Manderley is a humorous story filled with romance, mystery, and some ooh la la with a certain French man! Manderley Maxwell is a well-educated woman who has since graduating college been supporting her best friend Olivia’s career since she hit it big. Manderely has no regrets being there for her best friend when she needed the help but she is getting a little tired of being the strong one that her friends and sisters rely on but otherwise no one notices. She may not have been vocal about her needs but she does have them and all she wishes for is that someone would come into her life that she could depend on and cling to when she needed that.
Still reeling from the recent death of her father and aunt, Mandy was glad for the chance to travel to France with her best friend and boss. She needed some space to think and grieve. It was while she was taking some much-needed alone time that Mandy had a near disastrous accident only to be rescued at the last minute by the most gorgeous man she had ever seen. Xavier happened to come along at the right moment and prevent Mandy from being hurt or worse. Although, he had thought she was possibly trying to hurt herself which of course he was very wrong on that account. She had just been so lost in thought that she was not being careful.
Mandy was flustered by and around Xavier because he was such a good-looking man and was she embarrassed about what had happened, her appearance, and her obvious discomfort. As embarrassed as she was, she counted herself lucky because figured she would never see him again, but she was very wrong on that detail. Xavier was in fact staying at the same hotel that she was. That was exciting to her but at the same time very disappointing, as it appeared that Xavier had zero interest in getting to know her.
Despite his seemingly non-interest in her she couldn’t help noticing him when he was out and about. Soon though, she kept having the most outrageous of circumstances occur and somehow Xavier always managed to be there to save the day. This led to a tentative friendship between the two. What started out as a friendship soon blossomed into something more with neither party really wanting to define what was happening between them. They were enjoying each other and that was good enough for them. Xavier was a sweet an attentive man who was very generous and kind with thoughtful gifts and that was not something Mandy was used to at all. He could also become closed off and brooding and that was something that did alarm her.
As their passion escalated and life altering choices were made, Mandy began to hear whisperings of something sinister befalling Xavier’s first wife. Being a private person Xavier had no desire to discuss his past and Mandy began to wonder what kind of man Xavier truly was. Did he have anything to do with the disappearance of his first wife. What was once mere suspicion soon turned into a mission to ferret out the truth as Mandy herself began to doubt if she truly knew Xavier at all. Mandy would need to find out the truth and make a choice on whether or not she could trust Xavier if she was going to have her happily ever after.
I am a fan of romantic comedies and having a mysterious element just made Dreaming of Manderley such an entertaining story for me to read. Mandy’s character was naive and full of self-doubt but at the same time she was very resilient and dependable. I loved that she decided to go for what she wanted even if it seemed too fast to her friends and family. She was tired of being the invisible girl in the room and loved that Xavier saw her, she wanted more of that no matter the risks she had to take. I loved how romantic Xavier’s character was but there were aspects of him that I was not really in to at the same time. He was a little too brooding about his past for me and I didn’t care for his telling Mandy what to do from time to time. Overall, Dreaming of Manderley is a fun read that I highly recommend to fans of rom-coms.
*Thank you to Author Leah Marie Brown for this eARC of Dreaming of Manderley*