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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (340 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Jack Travis leads the uncomplicated life of a millionaire Texas playboy. He makes no commitments, he loves many women, he lives for pleasure. But no one has ever truly touched his heart or soul. Until one day, a woman appears on his doorstep with fury on her face and a baby in her arms. It seems Jack is the father and this woman is the baby’s aunt. The real mother has abandoned the child to her more responsible sister. And now, Jack is being called upon to take responsibility for the first time in his life. With delicious romantic tension, characters so real they walk onto the page and into your heart, Lisa Kleypas delivers the kind of novel that makes you laugh, love; cry and cheer.

Smooth Talking Stranger has a story which zings straight to your heart leaving you feeling so good it beats a hot fudge sundae hands down.

Ella Varner is an inspiration. She is a survivor whose coping skills got her through her past. Those same skills however, have mired her relationship abilities into a status of stagnation. Ella can’t see that, she thinks she’s okay. More than that, she thinks it’s perfect. It takes the unconditional love of a baby, the love for her sister and the battle of trying not to love a loveable man to shake up her world and rip the blinders off. Ripping anything, like a band-aid, usually hurts like the dickens in the beginning. But gradually, it speeds the healing. And so it goes for Ella’s heart. The trick is, will she wake up and share it in time?

I think I bit a couple of nails from the suspense of it.

Jack is the man who isn’t looking for love because he’s been burned and now all women are suspect. Yet something about Ella intrigues him to the point he’s willing to go along with her mistaken belief about him, despite his knowing the truth. Jack is actually a sympathetic kind of guy. There are scenes between him and Ella that I simply had to read over more than once. It wasn’t the sex, it was the way he treated Ella. It was his talents, his choices and his ability to be there for her in a way I wish all men would. Jack’s actions totally hooked me as being what a true hero would do. He is an alpha male in that he goes after what he wants, no holds barred and his target is Ella. The huge difference is his respect for her, his patient yet inexorable support of her choices and his belief that eventually she’ll come around and see that they are perfect together. Meanwhile, he shows her the world as it should have been for her. My heart squeezed a few times, wishing so much that elements that make up Jack Travis could be duplicated in my own relationship. It was breathtaking. And oh, so sensual, it was a perfect seduction.

The main secondary characters are the baby, Ella’s sister, Jack’s family and his ex. Each plays a vital role in showing character development, plot movement and a humdinger of an HEA. My heart was in my throat during the last few chapters; the suspense, wonder and joy were the best thrill ride ever.

I have to give Smooth Talking Stranger the best rating because of how it made me feel by the time I read the last sentence. I felt so happy, so optimistic and incredibly lucky to have read this book. My only request of Ms. Kleypas is that we get to visit again, especially with Joe. I simply have to know!