Man, talk about a lucky week! I got Blue Diablo in the mail on Monday (read it and it was awesome...will review tomorrow) and late last night I got an email from B&N telling me my copy of Smooth Talking Stranger was in...A FULL WEEK EARLY! Eek!
What can I say about this book other than, can Lisa NOT write an awesome book? Seriously, even when she first started and her books were still meh, they were still better than 90% of the books out there. :)
STS is told from the first-person perspective of Ella Varner. I have to admit, when she was first introduced I truly didn't think I was going to like her. She was a bit too judgmental and had her mind set that she was right from the very beginning. Thankfully she's willing to admit she's wrong and move on.
STS starts out when Ella gets a call from her mother. Her younger sister Tara had had a child and had dropped it off at her mother's house without any warning. Ella is shocked by this, but comes to the baby's rescue. It's when she calls her cousin to try to find Tara that she's told there's a good chance Jack Travis is the baby's father.
Of course, Ella being Ella, she goes off on a tear and "threatens" him if he doesn't take a DNA test. I have to admire the way Jack is written. Instead of flying off the handle, he tells her that he's not the father, but agrees to take the test to prove it anyway.
Things happen and Ella finds herself living at 1800 Main, the Condo Building that played such a big part in BED. And this is when I start liking her. She's independent, but she's willing to accept help when it becomes obvious that she really, really needs it.
Where the romance between Haven and Hardy in BED was intenses almost from the get-go (Oh, who am I kidding? It was smoking hot from the very beginning. Those of you who've read BED will know what I mean), STS starts out on a low simmer.
Ella has one major conflict, which causes her to be very stressed by the obvious attraction she feels for Jack. She doesn't want to betray her promises. But Jack is very, very tempting. Mmmm.... :)
When things finally do boil to a head and they finally get it on? Let me put it this way...I so wouldn't kick Jack Travis out of my bed. Boyhowdy! :D
My Overall Impression:
Ms. Kleypas wins again! Sheesh! Out of all of the contemps she's written so far Blue-Eyed Devil is still my favorite, but STS is following close behind. I think if I'd been able to warm up to Ella immediately instead of not being too sure of her like I was, that I would have enjoyed this book more. Ella is a cool customer. She doesn't take crap from anyone...and that was a bit of a detriment to the beginning of the book.
However, Jack was an awesome hero. There's something about those big, brawny, sexy Travis men that just makes a woman want to melt...and find one of her own.
I did have some trouble figuring out why Jack loved her (at the beginning), but found that it all figured itself out in the end. I'm curious to see what transpires with Joe, though I have a feeling it'll be VERY interesting. :) I wonder if I'm right? :)
All in all, an excellent book. I'll be very surprised if others don't fall in love with Jack. I'd love to know your impression of Ella. See if I'm the only one who took awhile warming up to her.
Grade: A- Would've been higher if I'd loved Ella from the beginning.
PS. The very last two sentences of the book had me crying. I am such a lighthearted idiot sometimes. *sigh*