Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)'s Reviews > Smooth Talking Stranger

Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
1570669
Miss Kleypas, are you reading my mind? How do you get me where I live emotionally so easily? I felt as though reading this book you had delved deeply inside my psyche, laying my issues out for me to examine in the context of a character with whom I found myself identifying very deeply. You see, I too have control issues. I too am afraid to love deeply and to care, because when you do, you lose something, and you can't get it back. It seems so much easier to hide behind your fortress of heart.

Reading your book was therapy for me. Because it helped me to look at things and to realize that holding oneself in won't save you from hurt. It just makes you feel more alone and hurting than if you did open yourself to loving others.

You made me cry with Ella's feelings for Luke. I could feel from the beginning, that tender thread of love that blossomed in Ella's wary heart for that helpless bundle of humanity. Babies are the secret weapon, and I think you know that. How can you not love a baby, who looks up at you and knows only how to love and trust you? They sink beneath your skin and find your tender areas of the heart that you have no defense or protection for. And that love builds a bridge between them to you, and from there, to the rest of the world. Luke felt like the way to open Ella up so that she could love Jack. I also think that Jack fell for Ella because he saw who she truly was in the way she cared for Luke, because she forgot to keep up her armor up then. I totally, totally got that.

You also made me laugh with this story. I loved the dialogue and the conversations. They feel very genuine to me. Like people I know talk, like conversations I might have. Texas is my stomping ground, although not Houston so much. But this book felt just like the Texas I know, the folks I see and live with every day, even if I don't really know the richer echelons. But people are people, no matter what how much money they have. You captured that beautifully.

And the romance. Ma'am you have a gift for writing romance that blesses your readers. You capture that deep, irresistible powerful intensity of a love story--the steam, the emotional connection, the powerful bond between a man and a woman. This book is one of your more steamy ones, and you definitely had me fanning myself as I read.

As for Jack Travis--yeah, he's irresistible. He's a mix of charm, determination, and realness that a woman can't overlook. Ella stood no chance. I'm glad she didn't, because they were made for each other. I don't go for that slick ladies man type, but you crafted Jack with a substance that goes beyond the charm and the playboy exterior to make him a fully realized character. I liked his confidence, and I liked that he also had vulnerabilities. Even though he'd been hurt in the past, he didn't hold back from Ella. He gave of himself deeply, and that's what I love in a man. He's not just saying what you want to hear. He's there to back up his words. His actions show where his heart is. Yeah, he played around in the past. In theory, that doesn't appeal to me in the slightest. But, on a realistic level, you take the good and the bad, the experiences that make a person who they are, and you love them for the unique creation that they have been made into by the experiences that have shaped them, along with their intrinsic core. That was my long, drawn-out way of saying that I loved Jack for who he was in this story, and that was a complex mix that worked very well for this story. He needed to be that man to be the right man for Ella. Yes, I can see why Jack is a favorite of many of your fans. I still love Hardy the best out of this series. I just do. Hardy....that man makes me sigh. But Jack....he ain't the slightest bit shabby!

I was surprised at the fact that I think I love Ella even more than Jack. It helps that I walked around in her skin in this book. I told you earlier that I felt a lot of identification with her, not on a superficial level. But on a deeper level, in the arena of the psyche. It was cathartic to see her work through her issues, and gave me something to think about. I loved the way she loved Luke, and I loved the way she loved Jack. I loved that she was a loyal sister and a patient daughter to a very difficult mother who needed that kind of love from her daughter. I liked that she picked herself from the ashes of a troubled childhood, and made a good life for herself, and sought mental and emotional wholeness. If she hadn't started that before she ever met Jack and Luke, then those relationships wouldn't have had the same hopeful resolution. I'm glad that's not the case.

Once again, you've given me a great read, and hours of pleasure, but also a read that engaged me fully. Thanks again, Ms. Kleypas!

36 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Smooth Talking Stranger.
Sign In »

Quotes Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Liked

Lisa Kleypas
“No more Dane,” he eventually said with unnerving finality.

I tried to be funny. “I can't decide if that means you don't want me to see him again or if you're planning to kill him.”

“It means if the first thing happens, the second thing is likely to follow.”
Lisa Kleypas, Smooth Talking Stranger

Lisa Kleypas
“Back to what? A guy who bails on you when you need him? What's Dane doing now that's more important than helping you? Fighting for the rights of endangered ferns?"

I stiffened and pushed away from him, irritation jolting me out of my fugue-state. "You have no right to judge Dane or my relationship with him."

Jack made a scoffing sound. "That half-assed excuse for a relationship was over the moment Dane told you not to bring the baby to Austin. You know what he should have said?...'Hell, yes, Ella, I'll stand by you no matter what you do. Shit happens. We'll make it work. Come home now and get in bed.”
Lisa Kleypas, Smooth Talking Stranger

Lisa Kleypas
“Well, you missed out on some important protocol, Ella. You can't stand between a Texan and his power tools. We like them. Big ones that drain the national grid. We also like truck-stop breakfasts, large moving objects, Monday night football, and the missionary position. We don't drink light beer, drive Smart cars, or admit to knowing the names of more than about five or six colors. And we don't wax our chests, ever.”
Lisa Kleypas, Smooth Talking Stranger

Lisa Kleypas
“I'm a big believer in putting things off, In fact, I even put off procrastinating.

-Ella Varner”
Lisa Kleypas, Smooth Talking Stranger

Lisa Kleypas
“I've got about ten things to say to you right now. But at least nine of them would make me sound like a psycho.”

In spite of the seriousness of the situation, I nearly smiled. “What’s the tenth thing?” I asked his shirtfront.

He paused, considering it. “Never mind,” he grumbled. “That one would make me sound like a psycho, too.”
Lisa Kleypas, Smooth Talking Stranger

Lisa Kleypas
“One glance and I knew exactly who and what he was. The classic alpha male, the kind who had spurred evolution forward about five million years ago by nailing every female in sight. They charmed, seduced, and behaved like bastards, and yet women were biologically incapable of resisting their magic DNA.”
Lisa Kleypas, Smooth Talking Stranger

Lisa Kleypas
“You think I'd cheat on you?" I demanded with all the innocent outrage I could muster.

"With another guy, no. With a cheeseburger . . . in a heartbeat.”
Lisa Kleypas, Smooth Talking Stranger

Lisa Kleypas
“... I think I know the secret to a long and happy marriage - just choose someone you can't live without.”
Lisa Kleypas, Smooth Talking Stranger

Lisa Kleypas
“I think the busiest people are often the loneliest.”
Lisa Kleypas, Smooth Talking Stranger


Reading Progress

10/30/2011 page 130
34.0% 5 comments
06/19/2017 marked as: read
show 1 hidden update…

Comments (showing 1-50 of 80) (80 new)


Trang Nguyen ooh One of my favorite books!


SheLove2Read Have you read this before? Oh my word! It is awesome.


SheLove2Read You are in for a treat!!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) You're right about that. I'm loving it. I haven't had much time to read this week, but this is a book to sink into when you do get reading time. I am surprised at how much I like Ella, even though she should be annoying to me for some of her personality traits. It's like I 'get' her, you know?


Dorsey aka ❤️ Wrath Lover Reviews  ❤️ I loved this book too, enjoy!!


Robin This is in reference to the Quote that Lady Danielle posted. Its been some time since I read this book and I'm drawing a blank on who Dane is. Could someone please refresh my memory.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Dane is Ella's boyfriend, Robin.


Robin Lady Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "Dane is Ella's boyfriend, Robin."

Thank you


Ally72 Hi Danielle! I hope you get some more time this week to keep reading "Smooth Talking Stranger!" I loved Ella and I don't even have to go on about Jack...words just aren't enough! I will be looking forward to hearing what you think.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Ally. I started NaNoWriMo, so that's going to eat into my reading time, but I hope I can finish STS today.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Kellie wrote: "Oh yeah! This book is fantastic! Enjoy!"


Thanks, Kellie!


Ally72 I am envious that you are reading it for the first time...I wish I could experience it again. This is one that is a favorite to reread too.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) It's funny, because I really resisted reading her contemporary novels. But I love her conversations and dialogue. Although it's delightful in her historical books, there is something even more fresh and appealing about it in a contemporary context. I never thought I'd say that!


Ally72 Danielle...I was the same way and the contemporary novels were one of the last ones that I started. I should have known that LK wouldn't disappoint me. She actually got me to start reading contemporary romance now. Although, it is hard finding someone that writes like she does (in my opinion). I can't wait for "Rainshadow Road!" Have you read the excerpt on her website (I think it was on there). I am already hooked!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Ally, I haven't read it. You've got me excited now. When does it come out?


Ally72 It comes out in February...I think the 28th, but I am not sure and have to check. Have you seen the cover for it (the US version)? I really like it and it is one that I am going to display in my bookcase...Of course, that is down the road from now! I can't remember where I read it on here, but a lady visited the San Juan Islands with her family this past summer and said it was exactly as LK described it. Wouldn't it be fun to visit some day? Seriously, we could plan a trip together with our sisters!


message 21: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (last edited Nov 01, 2011 12:04PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) We should totally take a trip to San Juan Islands. Awesome idea!

Off to check out the cover!


Ally72 This is one that I am going to have to break down and buy the paper version...no ebook for me!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Yeah, LK is an author I have to have in physical form in my library!


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

great review


Vicki What a wonderful review Lady D! :)


Beanbag Love Great review, Danielle! I still like the other two much more than this one, but Jack is really to-die-for. :)


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Cynthia, Vicki, and Bean.

Hardy still has my heart, but Jack is definitely a charmer.


Ally72 Beautiful review, Danielle! I will take Jack and you can have Hardy...How does that sound? LOL!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Ally. Sounds great to me!


Mareli I love this series. I never read any LK historicals but she writes contemporary beautifully!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Oh you should check out her historicals, Mareli. She's one of the best in the genre.


Ally72 Danielle...Aren't you surprised that LK didn't originally plan on a book for the youngest brother too (I am totally forgetting his name right now)? She has said it might be a possibility after her Friday Harbor series is over, but I am not sure. It would be great if it would happen, though.


Mareli I know but the problem is me. I'm not so much into historicals. :( But she'll be my first choice when I decide to venture into historicals :)


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Yeah, it's kind of interesting. Maybe because he's younger? I think she probably doesn't have the right idea yet. I imagine she will eventually.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I respect that, Mareli. I'm not big on contemporaries, other than the HQNs. I mainly read PNR and Historicals.


Mareli The problem is regency period. Because I'm currently reading Maya Banks's Highlander trilogy and I'm enjoying it very much. It's just that historical period that left me a bit cold. I don't know why.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Regency romance is a bit dry. I prefer Victorian, Medieval, Early 20th Century, and Westerns myself. I like exotic settings/other countries too.


message 38: by Ally72 (last edited Nov 02, 2011 08:43AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ally72 Mareli...Which book are you reading in the Highlander series? I read the first one and loved it. I am anxious to read the second one now.

Danielle...Did you add the Highlander books to your TBR list or were you thinking about it? I couldn't remember what you told me. I didn't find these on the erotic side like most of her contemporary romances.


Mareli I just finished the second one and I'm reading 3rd. I loved the second one, better than the first IMO.


Ally72 Super! I kind of wanted to wait until I had the third book before I read the second one...I figured I would want to read them back to back.


Mareli Ally, yes I think this series should be read all in a row because facts are strictly related in the 3 books. I hope you will enjoy your reading!


The UHQ Nasanta I only read a few paragraphs of your review, and I already like it. Sounds like I'll be able to connect to it in the same way. Thanks for sharing!


Ally72 Thanks Mareli...I hope to get back to it SOON!


message 44: by Beanbag (last edited Nov 02, 2011 09:24AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beanbag Love Ally wrote: "Danielle...Aren't you surprised that LK didn't originally plan on a book for the youngest brother too (I am totally forgetting his name right now)? She has said it might be a possibility after her..."

You're talking about the one who (view spoiler) right? I really hope she does a book for him. Realistically it would probably take a while anyway, so maybe down the line we'll get one.


Ally72 Hi Bean...Yes, that is the brother (if I had my book, I could call him by his name...Grr!). I don't want to be negative, but I feel like the chances of getting a book for him are slim.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I have the first book in that Highlander series, Ally. I figured I'd read it and see how I liked it before I buy the other two.

Niquae, this is definitely worth reading!


Annie The Travis brother that we all want a book for is Joe Travis.

Loved your review as usual Danielle!

Jack is my all time favorite hero.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Annie!

Girls, I have a feeling we'll see Joe's story....one day.


Ally72 Joe!!! Thanks for the name, ladies...I will try to be positive like Danielle and hope we get his story some time.


Mareli Maybe, if Lisa Kleypas is reading this right now, she will get some hints... ;)


« previous 1
back to top