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Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Real Thing by Brenda Jackson

When you read a book by Brenda Jackson, you're getting a solid story with a well-crafted plot. She tells her stories effortlessly and with such expertise that when you read about
the characters you almost feel like you're visiting dear friends. It's been several years since I've read a Westmoreland story and I'm not sure why. After reading The Real Thing however, I'm inclined to pick up where I left off. This book reminded me just how much I do love those Westmoreland men. Yum!

Trinity Matthews is the younger sister of Tara Matthews-Westmoreland (Tara is married to Thorn Westmoreland and their story takes place in Thorn's Challenge). Trinity is being sexually harassed by a supervisor in the hospital where she works. Because the supervisor comes from an influential family the hospital isn't inclined to do anything about his behavior. Enter Adrian Westmoreland. As a favor to Tara, Adrian agrees to be Trinity's "pretend" boyfriend in hopes that Dr. McLusty will back off. As they put their plan in action, two souls that are determined to remain single soon discover that mutual attraction is something that can't be denied.

The Good: I love that this book is so character driven. There are a lot of books out there that have very two-dimensional characters, but that isn't the case here. Even though I've missed a Westmoreland story or two, I still get a thorough feel of who Adrian and Trinity are. You learn their history without being smacked in the face with it and you understand the motivations behind their behavior and attitude on life. Adrian is a sexy, masculine, and charismatic playboy who works hard and has come a long way in terms of responsible behavior and keeping his temperament in check. He might be a businessman, but his gut instinct is to throw down when he learns just how bad the supervisor treats Trinity. Speaking of Trinity, she isn't a shrinking violet either. I love that she isn't a weak damsel in distress and has her own (non-foolish) plan B in case her pretend relationship doesn't work out. She isn't waiting to be saved, but she isn't so stubborn that she won't accept help. These two are without a doubt attracted to one another and the romance is satisfying, hot and effortlessly conveys sexy without being over-the-top.

The family dynamic in this story is another major plus in my book. You clearly can see that this is one family that loves each other and that they'll go to bat for one another on the drop of a hat. Secondary characters in the form of family members are integrated so beautifully and effortlessly into the story and I found myself eager to read more about his twin Aiden and, of course, I want more about Bane.

The Bad: The things that I found "bad" with this book were pretty minimal and might even be considered nitpicking. Adrian and Trinity came off as a little too perfect in all things. From appearance to how perfectly clean their homes were. It's a small thing really, but I like reading people with little human flaws and quirks - it just makes them seem more real.

The Bottom Line: This was a very well done romance with likable characters. Brenda Jackson is an author who knows how to write a series that has longevity and appeal. Although it is a part of a long-running series you can easily read The Real Thing as a stand-alone, but I think you'll want to go back and read more once you're finished. Definitely recommended! I give The Real Thing a 4 out of 5 rating.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Release Date: March 1, 2014
Pages: 192
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Available at: Amazon

Disclaimer: I received this copy of The Real Thing from Netgalley. No compensation was given in exchange for this review, which is strictly based on my opinion of the story.

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