Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

2 stars
Amazon link-  Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

To sum it up: A billionaire playboy, and all-around ladies’ man, Jake Travis has a reputation as big as the state of Texas. He drives too fast, lives too hard, and loves too many women to count.

In her advice column, and her love life, Ella Varner is always practical. So when she’s left holding her reckless sister’s baby, she decides to ask Jake Travis to take a paternity test. ...Ella is instantly struck by Jake’s bold good looks and easy charm- but she’s not falling for his sweet talk. This big sexy tomcat needs to take responsibility for his actions, and Ella’s making him stick to his word. Now if she can only ignore the unspoken attraction that smolders between them...

This book ended up being completely and one hundred percent opposite of what I love in a romance novel. I had no idea that the book involved a heroine with commitment issues, and a hero who did the chasing. That is something that I absolutely CAN’T tolerate- I make it a point to avoid that theme at all costs. I can’t stand a hero who chases after a heroine who pushes him away consistently. (I honestly can’t stand a hero who chases after the heroine PERIOD.) …I can’t stand a heroine who has an “independent-I-don’t-need-a-man-in-my-life” attitude. And I can’t stand a heroine who consistently puts her ex-lover above the hero for more than half-way through the book. Needless to say, this book included all of the above, and I hated every single page I had the displeasure of reading- I don’t even know how I had the will-power to even finish this book, to be completely honest.

For one, I didn’t like Ella’s character at all. She was a walking contradiction. One second she tells Jack that she wants space so that she can figure things out with her ex-lover-boy, and then the next second, she’s frustrated that Jack’s giving her too much space after she just asked for it. For another, she was ALWAYS trying to keep Jack at a distance, and anyone who knows me, knows how much I absolutely hate despise that characteristic in a heroine. I also hated how she found EVERYTHING annoying. Jack wasn’t answering her phone calls? She was annoyed. She found herself liking Jack’s kisses? She was annoyed. Jack wasn’t giving her enough space? She was annoyed. …Ugh- all of her annoyance issues made me freaking annoyed. …And she just focused so much on her environmental vegan-loving ex- whatever you want to call him… I mean, was it really necessary to spend a good chunk of the beginning of the book featuring Ella making up excuses for the guy, and calling her friends and getting their opinion on why things weren’t working out? Let’s face it- you dated the man for four years, and when you ended up getting your sisters baggage loaded up on you, he tells you that he doesn’t mind if you experience other relationships freely. Oh, and also that it “wouldn’t work for him” if she brought the baby home for a few days until she figured things out. Nope. He was either going to move out, or pay her half of the rent instead, if she stayed elsewhere. That’s a real winner there, let me tell you. Ella’s a smart girl- she works for an advice column, for goodness sake- I mean, how many friends do you need to call to come to the conclusion that your ex isn’t worth it? And why in the world were her thoughts consistently straying back to him? …”Oh no, I feel guilty I haven’t called Dane.” “…Oh no, I feel guilty that I kissed Jack.” “…Oh no, why hasn’t Dane called me in two days?” ...notice the annoyance issues I have yet?

Another thing that frustrated me was the way she continuously put up with her mother. I mean, c’mon… how rude, impolite, and selfish does her mother have to be before she finally lets her mother have it? My gosh, I was frustrated just reading all of the conversations between the two- I couldn’t imagine biting my tongue any and EVERY time that woman made an unnecessary remark.

As for Jack, I never really felt like I got to know him. It could be because of the first person point of view that the book was written in, but not feeling like you get a real sense of who the hero is as a person, is a complete and total bummer. Something just felt missing between these two, and it was never really clear why he fell in love with Ella in the first place... I almost felt like there relationship sort of just started up out of nowhere.

For me, this turned out to be an “everyone loved but me” read… I not only found it frustrating, but boring as well. I’m not bashing Lisa Kleypas writing style at all while writing this review- she truly is a very gifted author, and although I didn’t care for this installment in the series, it definitely won’t be the last book I read by her- There were just too many things that irked me the wrong way, starting with the book revolving around a theme I can barely tolerate. For goodness sake, Jack is a strong and sexy alpha male who’s not only loving, but loyal. Yet, Ella just doesn’t seem to think it will ever work between them. I don’t know… her hang-ups about commitment just didn’t make sense to me- I never really felt there was a good enough reason for her to push herself away from a relationship with Jack, when she spent four years of her life with another man… I just didn’t get it. I’m disappointed to have to say, that this was definitely my least favorite read out of the Travises series. The only good thing I can say that came out of this story, were the brief and seldom glimpses I got to see of Hardy… ohhh Hardy… *sigh*…


DiDi said...

I enjoyed this book, I had a hard time with it being in first person. But that is all me =) Thanks for the honest review.

Alyssa said...

You're welcome DiDi! I know a lot of people enjoyed this story, and I'm glad that you were one of them! I wish I had enjoyed it as much as you did, hehe!


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