Author: Lisa Kleypas
Title: "Smooth talking stranger"
Book 3 in series Travis family
Main characters: Jack Travis and Ella Varner
Well damn... that was definitely my favourite story so far in this series ;) the best proof of that, is that I finished it way sooner than I expected... but I just had to know how it will end... ;) and it was definitely worth it, to finish in the middle of the night ;) it's part of a series, but this book can totally be read as a standalone :) it's a contemporary romance with an exceptional writing style, but I'm already used to that from Lisa Kleypas :) it was fun and sweet and sexy and just everything I needed right now... :) but let us dive into more details so you cas see for yourselves why you need to read this book right now ;)
Ella has her own column in a magazine, where she gives advice to people as "Miss Independant" :) and she actually has a boyfriend... but why Dane is not that bad and why this is definitely not a love triangle in a moment ;) Ella definitely had a rough start in life, cause her family is... her mom is one of the most awful people I've read about lately... so no wonder that Ella and Tara, her younger sister, have so many troubles connecting to people... Ella is doing a bit better after some therapy, but still... I actually really loved her from the start :) she's honest and open about her opinions... and she has a wicked sense of humor ;) and then we have Jack... <sigh> he's definitely a smooth talking charmer... <double sigh> ;) don't mind me, I'm just sitting here in love with him... and yes, I know he's a fictional character, but if you don't connect with the people you're reading about, it means that you're doing it wrong... or that the book is boring, so that's a no-no either way ;) Jack is smart, with a great sense of humor and the fact that he's strong and handsome definitely doesn't hurt his case ;) but what I love most about him is the way he talks... he's confident and just... he can charm absolutely anyone :)
They meet in a pretty unusual circumstances... ;) Ella showed up in his office with a week-old baby and asked him to take a paternity test :) yes, you read that right :) but the baby is actually her sister's son and we learn very quickly, so I am not counting that as a spoiler, that Jack is not the father :) Ella is taking care of little Luke, because Tara disappeared and left him at their mother's house... and she immediately called Ella to take him off her hands... I don't want to go into too many details about what happens next, so let me just say that Tara needed help, so while she's in a clinic with some mental health issues, Ella agrees to take care of Luke for three months :) when she appears at Jack's office, she definitely leaves an impression... :) so he decides to help her... :) again, I can't say much more about what comes next, but what I can share with you is that the fact that she has a boyfriend, although you can't really call him that but more about why in a moment :) is not a secret :) so I'm glad that everything is out in the open and there's no lying or deceiving between them :) and it slowly builds into something more :) it takes a bit time, which is perfectly understandable... but once that chemistry and mutual attraction kicks in it's so awesome to read ;) especially the banter between them... :) their conversations are my favourite part of this story :)
Besides Ella and Jack we also get to see the rest of his family plus their significant others ;) but don't worry, if you haven't read previous books, you get some basic informations about them here :) a lot can be said about that group, but they are supportive and protective of one another :) sometimes even too much ;) and since I am a big fan of this family it was lovely to see them in a scene here and there :) we also get to see Ella's family... but that's a whole different story... her mom is just... awful... she's manipulative and mean... it's no wonder that Ella and Tara have so many problems... and then there's also Dane, Ella's boyfriend... I don't want to tell you everything about him and that whole situation, cause it's really better if you read it for yourselves, but I can tell you that this book is absolutely NOT a love triangle... and the whole Dane-Ella-Jack situation is resolved pretty quickly and in a very mature and adult way actually :)
I absolutely loved this book :) even though it touched on some serious issues, the major theme was definitely lighter than in the first two books of that series :) not to mention that the main couple absolutely stole my heart :) I mean, I knew a bit about Jack before, so I kind of liked him already, but Ella was a completely new character and I adored her even more ;) the writing style was amazing, but it's no longer a surprise for me... :) Lisa Kleypas have that magical ability to write stories and characters that I can't help but fall in love with... :) it's a perfect mix of funny, sweet, emotional and just sexy as hell moments that will make you turn page after page until you know how the story will end :) not to mention that this particular one has the cutest ending :) plus a fantastic epilogue set one year later :) so I hope you will give this author and this series a try ;) unless of course you already read it then you know exactly why I love her so much ;)
I have a few quotes for you today even though I wanted to share much more... :) mainly because, like I mentioned before, the way Jack and Ella talk with each other was my favourite part of the book :) but I had to leave you some surprises to discover while reading the actual book :) so here's just a little glimpse into what awaits you in this story :) happy reading :)
Part of the first conversation between Jack and Ella about little Luke ;) Ella first
"'It's a boy. Why does everyone assume he's a girl?'
'He's wearing Hello Kitty socks.' There was a distinct note of disapproval in his voice.
'They were the only ones available in his size.' I said.
'You can't put a boy in pink socks.'
'He's only a week old. Do I have to worry about gender bias already?'"
And another one with our main couple ;)
"His gaze didn't stray from my face. 'You're a smart woman, Ella.'
'Are you intimidated by a woman with a big vocabulary?'
'Hell, yes. Any woman with an IQ higher than room temperature, and I'm gone. Unless she's paying for dinner.'
'I could play dumb and you could pay for dinner,' I offered.
'Too late. You already used a five-syllable word.'"
Part of a conversation between Jack and Haven, his sister, about her significant other, Hardy :)
"'What's wrong with tea-flavored tea?'
'Quit complaining, Jack. Hardy tried this a few times and he likes it.'
'Honey, Hardy would like it if you picked up grass clippings from the yard and brewed them. He's pussy-whipped.'
Haven bit back a smile. 'I dare you to say that to his face.'
'Can't,' came the laconic reply. 'He's pussy-whipped, but he could still kick the crap out of me.'"
And another one with Jack and Ella :) Jack first
"'The baby woke up before you did. I took him to the other room to let you get a little more sleep. We've been watching a game.'
'Did he cry?' I asked thickly, rubbing my eyes.
'Only when he realized the Astros were having another first-round play-off flameout. But I told him there's no shame in crying over the Astros. It's how we Houston guys bond.'"
Jack and Ella talking about his perfect woman ;)
"'What are you looking for in a woman?'
'Someone who's loyal. Loving. Likes to spend time together, especially outdoors. And I sure wouldn't mind if she hunts.'
'Are you sure you wouldn't be happier with a Labrador retriever?'"
And the last one with Jack and Ella :) Jack first
"'Why don't you meet me for lunch at the restaurant?'
'The one on the seventh floor?'
'Yeah, you can bring Luke. Meet me there in twenty minutes.'
'Can't you just tell me now?
'No, I need someone to eat with.'
A slight smile rose to my lips. 'Am I supposed to believe that I'm your only option?'
'No. But you're my favorite option.'"