Friday, May 1, 2009

Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

Ella Varner is completely content with her life as an advice columnist living in Austin with her boyfriend Dane. With therapy she has been able to overcome much of the unhappiness of her childhood. She has not spoken to her mother or her sister Tara for a couple of years so when the phone rings one night, and she sees that her mother is calling, she is very reluctant to answer it. It turns out that her sister has had a baby and left him with their mother who is incapable of caring for the child. Ella, as usual, has to be the responsible one.
She leaves for Houston with Dane telling not to bring the baby to Austin. She ends up caring for the baby and staying in Houston until she finds the father and makes him do the right thing for the baby. She thinks that the wealthy Jack Travis is the father even though he denies it. When she discovers that he isn't the father, he helps her find the true father of the baby. They, of course, end up in a relationship. Tara, the mother, is in a spa-like institution, finally dealing with her childhood issues and her ambivalence toward motherhood.
Kleypas' writing style is breezy and easy to read and the plot is interesting although it is obvious from the beginning that Jack and Ella get together. I found their characterizations to be flat, Jack's more than Ella's but it was still enjoyable. Unfortunately there were some language problems and too many explicit sex scenes. Rated R.

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