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Smooth Talking Stranger

by Lisa Kleypas

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Travis Family (3)

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9383521,548 (4.03)20
Jack Travis leads the uncomplicated life of a millionaire Texas playboy. He makes no commitments, he loves many women, he lives for pleasure. 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.

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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Smooth Talking Stranger
4.5 Stars

When Ella Varner's sister deserts her newborn, Ella is determined to find the baby's father and force him to take responsibility. She decides to confront the most likely candidate, Jack Travis, who is both surprised and nonplussed to realize that the quirky, no-nonsense Ella might just be the woman of his dreams.

This is definitely the best installment in the series so far. While Sugar Daddy was more a coming of age women's fiction type novel and Blue Eyed Devil focused on some dramatic and angsty issues, Smooth Talking Stranger is straight contemporary romance.

Jack is one seriously gorgeous and HOT alpha, so that fact that he just melts for Ella and baby Luke makes the romance all the sweeter. Ella is a lovely heroine with a great sense of humor. She doesn't just fall all over Jack, but makes him work hard to win her love. Their chemistry is off the charts and their banter is a highlight of the book.

My one small nitpick is that the audiobook narrator, Emily Durante, doesn't have the best Texas accent. Of course, Renee Raudman (the narrator of book #2) is a hard act to follow.

In sum, a delightful and sexy romance and I'm looking forward to listening to Joe's book soon. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 5, 2023 |
Amo la Kleypas e i suoi libri e mi piace troppo tutta la famiglia Travis! Questa serie è assolutamente imperdibile e Jack ed Ella con il piccolo Luke sono un altro tassello di questo gruppo familiare, così eterogeneo ma, indiscutibilmente unico. Una lettura avvincente e godibilissima come le altre. ( )
  Raffaella10 | Jan 28, 2023 |
Smooth Talking Stranger is the third book in Lisa Kleypas’s Travis series, a family saga that’s part romance, part women’s fiction. I’ve allowed a lot of time to pass in between reading the books of this series, but thankfully this one stands nicely on its own and I was able to remember the supporting characters well enough that I never felt lost. This volume is about middle brother, Jack, a consummate wealthy playboy who appears to have no interest in settling down anytime soon until Ella shows up on his doorstep with her infant nephew, Luke, in tow. Ella believes that Jack is the baby’s father and has no intention of leaving until he takes a DNA test to prove it. Even though he doesn’t turn out to be the baby daddy, he generously offers to help Ella when her own boyfriend refuses to have an infant in the house. This leads to all kinds of feelings building between the two, but Ella has always considered herself independent and has no real interest in marrying or having kids, nor does she intend to rely on Jack long-term. But when Luke and Jack both worm their way into her heart, Ella is going to have a hard time saying goodbye to either of them.

Ella’s father abandoned his family when she and her sister, Tara, were quite young, leaving them with a narcissistic mother who thought the entire world revolved around her. With a near-constant stream of men coming and going from their lives, Ella and Tara experienced a very unstable upbringing that included one of the men abusing Tara. Ella was always the one protecting Tara and picking up the pieces when anything in their family fell apart, so as an adult, she distanced herself from both her mother and Tara for her own mental health. She’s now a successful advice columnist with ambitions of writing a book and has a live-in boyfriend who she thinks is all she wants in a man. Dane doesn’t desire marriage or a family any more than she does, and he respects her independence, so it seems like the perfect relationship. But her life is turned upside down when her mother calls, saying that Tara left a baby with her and that if Ella doesn’t come get him, she’ll call social services. Ella drops everything to make the long drive from Austin to Houston, and even though she has no real experience with babies, she becomes Luke’s sole caregiver. However, she’s determined to find the baby’s father, and she thinks that guy is Jack. When she discovers it’s not him, she intends to return to Austin until Dane absolutely refuses to help her in any way with the baby, including allowing her to bring him into their shared apartment. That’s when Jack steps in, offering her a place to stay in his building. Thinking that it’s only going to be temporary until Tara is released from the mental health facility where she’s staying, Ella reluctantly agrees. However, being in close proximity with Jack every day is a temptation she isn’t sure she wants to explore, but one that proves impossible to resist.

Ella is the first-person narrator, so everything is colored by her POV. She’s a very liberated woman who rejects traditional norms. She thought she was happy in her childless relationship with Dane, but she really didn’t know what she was missing until motherhood was thrust upon her unexpectedly, closely followed by her meeting Jack. Although she’s rather resistant to both Luke and Jack at first, they both turn out to be revelations to her. Ella thinks she’s only going to be caring for little Luke until Tara comes home, but by the time that happens, she’s fallen madly in love with him, as well as with the idea of being a mom, and doesn’t want to let him go. Then there’s Jack, who she thinks is everything she doesn’t want in a man, but he turns out to have hidden depths. He gives her the support Dane refused to offer and she discovers an off-the-charts sexual chemistry with him she didn’t even think was possible. Even though Ella is quite a bit different from me personality-wise, I still felt like I generally understood her. Lisa Kleypas does an excellent job with the characterization of someone who had the type of upbringing Ella did, which made her relatable despite the differences in our temperaments.

Jack is one of Houston’s most eligible bachelors who seemingly has a different woman on his arm every week. With his wealth, good looks, and the Travis name behind him, he has no shortage of ladies panting after him. But most of them are only in it for his money or the prestige of dating a Travis. None of them truly know the real Jack. When Ella barges into his office demanding a paternity test, he’s somewhat annoyed but also intrigued. Even though he knows he’s not the father, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to prove it to the stubborn lady, and when he finds out about Dane’s rejection, he doesn’t hesitate to step up to help in spite of having no obligation to do so. He keeps coming around and proves to be quite good with Luke as well, showing that he’s great father material. I particularly loved how supportive he is. Most of the time he’s an easy-going charmer and the “smooth-talker” of the title, but he does have an alpha possessive streak in him that skated a little close to pushing my buttons a couple of times. However, most of the time I really liked him. Despite only seeing him through Ella’s perspective, I got a pretty good sense of who he was, but occasionally I still found myself wishing I was able to see inside his head a little more.

Overall, Smooth Talking Stranger was another great addition to the Travis series. I’m classifying it as women’s fiction as well as romance, because a large part of the story’s focus is on Ella and her problems, as well as her figuring out what she really wants out of life when faced with the possibility that it might not be what she always thought it was. She and Jack are a classic case of opposites attracting, but in spite of their differences they still fit together quite well. I loved Ella for stepping up to the plate to care for Luke, and I loved Jack for his patience and supportiveness. The secondary characters, including all the remaining members of the Travis family, rounded out the cast nicely. The story itself was well-written with my only two small complaints being that occasionally it was a little slow-paced and I did pick up on a lot of repetitious words that a more skillful edit should have caught. The book wasn’t 100% perfect, but it did come close and turned out to be a very pleasant and enjoyable read. I’m now looking forward to learning more about youngest brother, Joe, and seeing what kind of woman it takes to pin him down in the final book of the series, Brown-Eyed Girl. ( )
  mom2lnb | Jan 31, 2021 |
This book. This book was exactly what I needed it to be. Covid? What's Covid? ( )
  Narshkite | Jul 24, 2020 |
"5 out of 5 stars!! This story of Ella & Jack I just LOVED!! The way he just swooped in and took care of her, even when she didn't want it, was..."

Read more of this review and TWO TEASERS here: https://frommetoyouvideophoto.blogspot.com/2010/07/idolizing-in-smooth-talking-s... ( )
  fromjesstoyou | Feb 12, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
5 out of 5 stars!! This story of Ella & Jack I just LOVED!! The way he just swooped in and took care of her, even when she didn't want it, was wonderful and soo sweet to read! I will say that when she's doing the hunt on who's Luke's father and she's confronting a man who is described to be blond ... I knew exactly who Luke's father was before the 5 or more chapters later confirmed it. Basically for my first time reading something/anything by Lisa Kleypas I got to say I was impressed! I'll definitely have to check out more of her books.

Review By: From Me to You ... Video, Photography, & Book Reviews
Read more of this review and TWO TEASERS here: https://frommetoyouvideophoto.blogspot...

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lisa Kleypasprimary authorall editionscalculated
Busnel, AnneTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Domingeuz, Ana IsabelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Durante, EmilyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rodriguez, Maria del MarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Greg
because every day I spend with you is the perfect day

love always,

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"Don't get it, " I said as I heard the ringtone of our apartment phone.
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Jack Travis leads the uncomplicated life of a millionaire Texas playboy. He makes no commitments, he loves many women, he lives for pleasure. 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.

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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.
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