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Smooth Talking Stranger    by Lisa Kleypas order for
Smooth Talking Stranger
by Lisa Kleypas
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD
* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Ella Varner is a successful business woman. She writes an advice column for a magazine and is currently living with Dane, her boyfriend of four years. Ella's mother was absent from her life. She did not want to be a mother, was always out with one boyfriend after another, and when she was home she yelled constantly at Ella and her younger sister Tara. Ella survived her childhood, but carries the scars with her. She has a problem trusting people, so she withholds her emotions. Dane is easy going and never questions Ella's feelings or her commitment to him. Now Ella is about to put her life on hold as she learns Tara has given birth and has walked out, leaving the baby with her mother. Ella is asked to raise baby Luke until Tara returns.

Ella picks up Luke and immediately starts to track down Tara's old beaus through a girlfriend. Millionaire Texas playboy Jack Travis claims he is not the father. He explains to Ella that he never slept with her sister, and is willing to take a paternity test. Ella finds herself becoming attracted to Jack, but he is definitely not her type. Jack has dated numerous women, but has never felt the attraction for them that he does for Ella. He goes to great lengths to keep her close by. He places Ella and Luke in an apartment owned by the family business and, with his business connections, helps Ella in her quest for the true birth father. As things steam up between Ella and Jack, Ella must search her heart for her true feelings. When Jack goes missing on a fishing trip, she is drawn into the Travis family and soon realizes you can trust others to be there for you.

Smooth Talking Stranger is full of romantic tension and real life characters. What woman wouldn't want a man like Jack in her life? He's handsome, charming, and willing to talk openly about his true feelings. Ella fights the attraction but knows in her heart Jack is a good man, with good principles. Luke is the glue that holds them together. But when Tara returns she claims her baby, leaving Ella empty, until a miracle happens. Lisa Kleypas writes a fast moving plot that makes for an enjoyable read.

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