by Lisa Kleypas

April 2009
ISBN: 978-0-312-35166-3
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press

The middle Travis brother meets his match in independent and sassy Ella Varner, a columnist in Austin. She is everything he usually avoids in a woman, but when she confronts him in his office about being the father of her sister’s baby, Luke, well, Jack just has to set her straight.

Ella Varner is dumbstruck when her sister, Tara, drops her newborn son into the care of their mother, a woman who is anything but nurturing. Against her will, Ella takes Luke into her life for three months while Tara sorts out her own life. But in the hunt to find out who Luke’s father is, Ella gets to know Jack, a man she never thought she’d be attracted to. He is wealthy, privileged, a playboy, a definite alpha male, but he has a softer side that he is willing to reveal only to her. But with a lifetime of mistrust in love, will Ella be willing to try something as conventional as falling in love?

Smooth Talking Stranger is the long-awaited story about Jack Travis. He is sexy, a tad sinful, and definitely all man. He proves to be just the forceful presence Ella needs in her life. She is used to controlling her relationships, to not having to fully trust in a man. Jack challenges her and it makes for snappy dialogue, intimate moments, and infuriating emotions for Ella.

This story is definitely not as intense as Lisa Kleypas’ previous contemporary, Blue-Eyed Devil, but Smooth Talking Stranger is filled with charm, wit, and an interesting and adult love story. Baby Luke plays an important role in this story, but this is not a story about a baby. Ella has a bucketful of painful emotions to deal with before she can fully commit to Jack. For his part, Jack is set on Ella. It’s never called love at first sight but Jack’s rapid and sensual pursuit of Ella will make you wonder how she can hold out against his affections?

Smooth Talking Stranger is all about how love strikes in the unlikeliest of times and with the unlikeliest of people. Kleypas comes out on top again!

Reviewed in March 2009 by Sarah.

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