Author: Wendi Cassel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publication Date: October 10, 2012
Rating: 3.75/ 5 Stars
After being abandoned by her parents at a very young age, Hailey Nix has worked hard to get through school and make something of herself. Her lifetime alone has taught her that it’s better to be self-sufficient and not depend on anyone for anything.
When Hailey’s job leads her to renovating the historical Windhaven Manor in London, she has no idea just how much her life is about to change. She’s impressed by the manor’s owners, the highly influential Grayson family, and their attractive son, Andrew. She’s shocked at how quickly he slips through all the defenses it’s taken her a lifetime to build. But can Hailey overcome her feelings of abandonment long enough to open her heart to the one man she knows has the power to break it?
Just as she’s finally ready to take a chance on love, Andrew discovers the truth about a family secret that has altered the entire course of his life. Feeling betrayed, he leaves Windhaven in a fit of anger, leaving Hailey behind and abandoned all over again.
Is the love they share strong enough to bring them together and survive the family’s secret past, or is there a limit to the forgiveness someone is capable of?
What if love isn’t always enough?
A couple of weeks ago I asked our Facebook followers to recommend a book I should read, and an author with hutzpah recommended her own book. The book she recommended was When You Don’t Have a Choice (Windhaven Manor Series #1), and the author is Wendi Cassel. I started the book that same day. The premise is simply beautiful; Texas architect,Hailey, goes to England to remodel a 200-year-old English manor house, which is owned by an extremely rich non-royal family. She then falls sexy Andrew, the middle son of the family. You might think it is a straight up romance but it isn’t. The plot has a lot of twists, turns, and secrets. Hailey arrives thinking that this is the perfect family living the perfect life, but even the obscenely wealthy have problems.
I will be honest that I had some problems with the book but nothing that a good editor or some research could not fix. Construction in England on any privately owned residence or one not of any historic value is extremely difficult. But the Texan just breezed through it all; even a 200-year-old building in England would have issues with the historic preservationist. Also the dialogue that the English use did not ring true. (Confession: I have not been to England, but the English characters used American slang not British slang and terminology. I have read enough books by English authors to know the difference.) Okay nitpicking over with.
Let me bottom line it; I liked the book. Yes, it could have been cut in a few areas, as I did get tired of Hailey not thinking she was good enough for the rich guy. But, I have a problem with any gal with self-esteem issues, not this character specifically. I think that Hailey’s abandonment issues need to be expanded on, so I could have understood her self-esteem issues more. What I didn’t like is that she had a boyfriend of two years back in the states that she cheats on. This really stuck in my craw, as I don’t like cheaters. Plus, why was it okay for her to cheat on her boyfriend but when Andrew found his previous girlfriend cheating ,it was not okay? That was a double standard to say the least?
Hailey’s emotions are all over the place, and it made me want to shake her. I could not believe that Brad (the boyfriend) was okay with her cheating and that it was so easy for him to get past it. Ms. Cassel has a follow up to the book planned, and I will definitely read to see where the story goes. I believe Ms. Cassel has a promising start as an author.
About the Author
I can’t tell you too much about myself because I’m in the Witness Protection Program. Everything about my life is just an illusion. On the outside, I appear to be a single mom raising two great boys in the grand ol’ state of Texas. (I don’t know where they got these two kids to play my children, but they’re damn cute!) In reality, I’m a supermodel billionaire who had to “dumb down” my appearance—not to mention my checking account—for this new life they’ve inserted me into.
In this new life, I work full time, so I don’t get to write nearly as much as I would like. When I do find the time to write, I often find myself reading other novels instead of working on my own. My favorite authors right now are S.C. Stephens, Jamie McGuire, Colleen Hoover, Olivia Cunning, and Kristen Ashley. I blame each of them for my procrastination because if their books weren’t so good, I’d get a lot more writing done.
Please go and “like” my Facebook page “Author Wendi Cassel”, and let me know what you think of my novel. As long as your feedback doesn’t include the phrase “It’s complete crap,” then your comments (positive and gently negative) are greatly appreciated. Just don’t ask me what I saw happen with Guido “The Machine Gun” Grimaldi that night, or I’ll have to start a new life elsewhere, and that would really suck.
Book purchased by reviewer.