Smooth Talking Stranger

Lisa Kleypas, Author . St. Martin's $24.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-312-35166-3

Ella Varner grew up with a troublesome mother and an insecure sister, but she has managed to come out of it reasonably sane, with a good (if vegan) boyfriend, Dane, and a job as an advice columnist. All of this gets turned upside down when her sister disappears and sticks Ella with her newborn, Luke. Determined to find Luke's father, Ella tracks down a likely suspect—millionaire playboy Jack Travis. The encounter results in Travis and Ella unexpectedly engaged in an irrepressible attraction. Meanwhile, Ella grows fond of baby Luke and fears what will happen when Tara returns. As Ella grapples with conflicting desires, she learns some important lessons about love and trust. Though Kleypas has trouble breaking her male characters out of archetype and the arc is familiar, Ella's familial dysfunction distinguishes her from other heroines, and her self-awareness draws her out of a stereotypical shell. This will please romance fans, even if it hews a bit too closely to genre conventions. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/02/2009
Release date: 03/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
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