Stern - Brenda Jackson Title: Stern

Series: New Westmoreland Series, Book#3

Author: Brenda Jackson

Genre: Romance

Blurb: From New York Times bestselling author Brenda Jackson, comes a new trilogy starring three Westmorelands who are impossible to resist: Zane, Canyon and Stern.

Stern Westmoreland never makes mistakes—until he helps his best friend Jovonnie "JoJo" Jones with a makeover…for another man. Now Stern wants JoJo for himself. Their attraction is undeniable and there's only one way to test it: one long, steamy night together as much more than friends!

Thoughts: I have to say that after reading the first two books in this series, I was excited to pick up Stern. I was intrigued by both him and JoJo after reading about them and their relationship in the prior books. A budding romance between two longtime friends has always been a soft spot of mine, and I was eager to see how JoJo would make Stern see her as a woman he could fall in love with and not just as "one of the boys". However, I have to say the book didn't go quite as I assumed.

I assumed that it would be either that JoJo would get a makeover to try to make Stern fall for her, or that she would have him make her over for someone else. The book was an odd blend between the two - she does get a makeover, and she does ask Stern to help her so she can win over someone else, but there is a huge difference to the story here. JoJo does realize that she is in love with Stern - but she gets the bright idea to make herself fall out of love with him and into love with someone else. She has no obvious intent to try to capture his attention and make him see her differently. JoJo is not playing a game, or trying to trick Stern in any way - she is completely without guile, which is quite refreshing. She knows he only sees her as a friend, so she is trying to move on with her life. Regardless, it doesn't take long for Stern to sit up and take notice!

I also enjoyed how Stern was confused in the way his feelings for JoJo were changing. But I did have one big complaint here. The transition between him viewing her as a friend and being attracted to her was fine - but from there he all of a sudden jumps to 'forever' and thoughts of 'making her his wife'. I wanted more about the development of those feelings, especially as he was such a womanizer previously. That transition should have really hit his character hard, but instead it seemed almost like an afterthought. Maybe if the book had been just a bit longer we could have seen some more into his thought processes.

Regardless, it is a really good book. I think in this series, it falls in at number two for me - I liked Zane a little better. But they are all great reads - especially if you are already a fan of the Westmoreland family.

Rate: B
Review by: Sarah