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Beanbag Love

I read. I write. I talk about reading and writing. That is when I'm not driving kids somewhere or teaching them. Married, educated, domesticated. I really enjoy the friends I've met through a variety of different message boards and venues regarding reading and authors. I try to take a positive view when I write reviews but sometimes I can't. Those times are few and far between, but they do exist. I'm mostly an old softy, though. I think so anyway.

Currently reading

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Smooth Talking Stranger - Lisa Kleypas Straight four stars for this one.

This book is enjoyable but ultimately I was left with a slightly dissatisfied feeling. I wasn't a huge fan of the heroine throughout most of it and that's pretty rough considering it's all in her POV. A somewhat self-righteous, bigoted, judgmental, over-reacting, often rude POV. Now, she's not over-the-top. She's no Portia Malloren, to be fair. But it's like a splinter you can't get to. Not devastating, just annoying.

Jack Travis is great. Yes, he has a man slut past, but those Travis guys seem to have been raised to take care of their P's and Q's. So, even when he was dating multiple women at one time, he still had an honorable core and, of course, that's why he's so easy to love now.

Ella was raised by a crazy lady and has a crazy sister. Both the mother and the sister are selfish and unlikable. Ella's the best of the bunch, but her crazy manifests itself differently. She's a rescuer for her family and, frankly, I don't see that going away. She also has the negative traits I listed above, although they can be subtle and she does get shown up multiple times and acknowledges it. Without those moments, she might have tipped the other way.

At the end I didn't completely trust the HEA. Not that their relationship would end, but that Jack wouldn't eventually be taken advantage of because Ella can't cut her two parasitic family members out of her life. I mean, the mom's downright emotionally abusive and the sister is completely self-centered. I know we're not supposed to like the mom, but I think we're supposed to have some sympathy for the sister. Sorry, I have some for her past, but not much for her present.

Still, this is a great read. I don't want to give the impression that Ella is outrageously unlikable, she's not. And she's a really good match for Jack, for the most part. I did think she needed more emotional growth by the end, though.

It was great to see Haven and Hardy again, as well as Liberty and Gage. They were a part of the story in an organic way rather than fan service, and I always appreciate that.

It seems like this is the end of the Travis series, although Joe is hanging out there needing a mate. Let's hope Kleypas comes back for one more, because I don't want to have to worry about one of the Travis males not getting his romantic due. ;^)