Tag: The Travis Family Series

Review: Brown Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas

Posted August 12, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Brown Eyed Girl by Lisa KleypasReviewer: Rowena
Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas
Series: Travis Family #4
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: August 11th 2015
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Series Rating: three-stars

Wedding planner Avery Crosslin may be a rising star in Houston society, but she doesn't believe in love-at least not for herself. When she meets wealthy bachelor Joe Travis and mistakes him for a wedding photographer, she has no intention of letting him sweep her off her feet. But Joe is a man who goes after what he wants, and Avery can't resist the temptation of a sexy southern charmer and a hot summer evening.

After a one night stand, however, Avery is determined to keep it from happening again. A man like Joe can only mean trouble for a woman like her, and she can't afford distractions. She's been hired to plan the wedding of the year-a make-or-break event.

But complications start piling up fast, putting the wedding in jeopardy, especially when shocking secrets of the bride come to light. And as Joe makes it clear that he's not going to give up easily, Avery is forced to confront the insecurities and beliefs that stem from a past she would do anything to forget.

The situation reaches a breaking point, and Avery faces the toughest choice of her life. Only by putting her career on the line and risking everything-including her well-guarded heart-will she find out what matters most.

I’ve been waiting pretty anxiously for this book. Like, for years. I was bummed a few years back when rumors were floating around that Lisa Kleypas said she didn’t have plans to ever write Joe’s story but then Brown Eyed Girl got written and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

It’s been a while since I read any books in the Travis family series so one of the things that I forgot was that the books were written in first person…in the heroines POV. Most of the heroes in this series are in the Travis family. When I first read Sugar Daddy, it was Hardy that I wanted to read about next. When I read Blue Eyed Devil, it was Jack that I wanted to get to know and while we get to know them through the women that they love, it would have been nice to get in their heads too.

In Brown Eyed Girl, we’re in Avery Crosslin’s head. We get her and Joe’s story through her eyes and I was a bit bummed out by that because it was Joe that I wanted. I wanted to know Joe more and when I put this book down, I didn’t feel like I got enough Joe. I wanted to know more about what happened to him after the accident. I wanted to see him outside of when he was with Avery. I just wanted more of him.

Avery was kind of hard to take in the beginning. She was annoying in that hot and cold, make up your damn mind already way and when she heads to New York and just expected Joe to tag along with her while she rides the celebrity train, I was annoyed. She comes a long way from the beginning to the end but I don’t know, throughout the entire book, I wanted more of things that I didn’t get.

I wanted more of the Travis family. I wanted more Joe. I wanted more Haven and Hardy and because I didn’t get that, I felt a bit let down. Now don’t get me wrong, Lisa Kleypas is a great writer and she turned my feelings where Avery was concerned around but in the end, I didn’t absolutely love it. I just liked it well enough.

Grade: 3 out of 5

This book is available from Piatkus. You can purchase it here. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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Review: Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas.

Posted December 21, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Rowena’s review of Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas.

Hero: Hardy Cates, Gage Travis
Heroine: Liberty Jones

SHE’S FROM THE WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS Liberty Jones has dreams and determination that will take her far away from Welcome, Texas – if she can keep her wild heart from ruling her mind. Hardy Cates sees Liberty as completely off-limits. His own ambitions are bigger than Welcome, and Liberty Jones is a complication he doesn’t need. But something magical and potent draws them to each other, in a dangerous attraction that is stronger than both of them. HE’S THE ONE MAN SHE CAN’T HAVE When Hardy leaves town to pursue his plans, Liberty finds herself alone with a young sister to raise. Soon Liberty finds herself under the spell of a billionaire tycoon – a Sugar Daddy, one might say. But the relationship goes deeper than people think, and Liberty begins to discover secrets about her own family’s past. WILL THEY FIND THEIR HEARTS’ DESIRES OR WILL HEARTBREAK TEAR THEM APART?

Two men. One woman. A choice that can make her or break her. A woman you’ll root for every step of the way. A love story you’ll never forget.

This book gets a whopping WHOA DANG and a THASS WASSUP! from me.

Lisa Kleypas knocks this one right out of the park. A total grand slam that had me sighing with all the goodness one could hope to find in a book. As a first contemporary, I think she did a fantabulous job with this book.

Liberty Jones was a heroine to admire, befriend and love because of everything she went through and everything she lived through. The determination that was piled into this young woman was an honor that I quite liked…very much. To see Liberty Jones grow up before my eyes in this book was a delightful journey that had me rootin’ her on from the very beginning. Her love and drive for her younger sister, Carrington was enough to seal my love of this story from the moment little Carrington came into the story. To see the fierce bond between the sisters is something that I found quite charming. I loved reading about Liberty’s struggles and her triumphs and just everything she went through to grow into the shoes she was wearing at the very beginning.

She totally rocked!

Lisa Kleypas did an extraordinary job of making me fall in love with two totally different men. I don’t think I’ve ever fully loved two heroes in a book as much as I did Hardy and Gage. I mean, I haven’t read many other books where there were two heroes but I know that in all of the books that I read with two heroes, I loved one more than the other right from the very first. That wasn’t the case in this book.

In Liberty’s youth, she falls in love with Hardy Cates and if you ask me, it wasn’t hard to fall in love with the boy who took such good care of you. The one that helped you get over your fear of the mean growling pitbulls, the one who taught you how to perfect your basketball skills so you wouldn’t get teased mercillessly at school about it, the guy who drove your pregnant mother to the hospital to have your little sister, the one who cared enough to help you with your baby sister when you were babysitting and fretting about a school test that you needed to pass but couldn’t study for because the baby was being fussy, the one who cancelled a date to help you study for the test you want. The one who felt just as passionately about you as you did for him but couldn’t be with you because you were too young.

The one who wanted so much more than the town of Welcome, Texas could ever give him, the one who had nothing to offer you but wanted so much to offer something.

It wasn’t hard to fall for Hardy and his determination to get out of Welcome and make something of himself, to get out before he turned into the Father he never wanted to be.

When Hardy left town, I had my fingers crossed that he would find himself and come back for Liberty and Carrington. Make them a family, I wanted that so much that I was giddy to read on and see what would happen between Hardy and Liberty.

But then I met Gage Travis.

He was so different from Hardy and yet had the same steely strength that I loved so much in Hardy Cates. Seeing Liberty come out of her shell the way she did with Gage, mainly because it was so unexpected (okay not really but still, for Liberty it was) and their romance was slow to ignite, I fell hard for Gage.

It was amazing how Lisa Kleypas had the ability to make me feel Liberty’s indecision when faced with both of the men she’s loved all of her life. She’s had many men come and go in her life but her heart had only been touched by two.

Hardy and Gage.

Her indecision was just as hard on me as it was for Liberty because like Liberty, I was torn between the two men.

Her choice at the end was great, I was totally happy with her decision because when you look back, it was the right choice for her. It was the right choice for who she was and the person she became. I loved that she loved her chosen man with all that she was and that the hardness we all went through (me, her and the men, LOL) was necessary because it made her appreciate and love the man she chose with nothing holding her back. There wasn’t an elephant in the room when the decision was made, everything she went through took part in the way the book ended and I couldn’t have been happier.

Though, I was a bit disappointed in one of the men, it didn’t change how I felt about the story as a whole. This was a sure winner and I couldn’t have been happier with a book. I loved how the characters came to life for me and I loved how much I felt where all of the characters were concerned. When one of them hurt, I hurt and when one of them was happy, I rejoiced in their happiness. I loved how all of the i’s were dotted and all of the t’s were crossed. There wasn’t anything left hanging and I’m so glad, because it made me enjoy the book all the more.

Great great book!

A definite read!

4.75 out of 5.

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Review: Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas.

Posted April 17, 2009 by Rowena in Reviews | 10 Comments

Hero: Jack Travis
Heroine: Ella Varner
Grade: 4.75 out of 5

Jack Travis leads the uncomplicated life of a millionaire Texas playboy. He makes no commitments, he loves many women, he lives for pleasure. But no one has ever truly touched his heart or soul. Until one day, a woman appears on his doorstep with fury on her face and a baby in her arms. It seems Jack is the father and this woman is the baby’s aunt. The real mother has abandoned the child to her more responsible sister. And now, Jack is being called upon to take responsibility for the first time in his life.

I read this book for this month’s Contemporary Romance Challenge hosted by Brie.

Lisa Kleypas wrote another winner for me. I fell right into this book with an ease that shouldn’t surprise me since this is an LK. I really enjoyed this book and was disappointed that I read it so fast. I can never get enough of the way that Lisa Kleypas can spin a story.

Ella Varner hasn’t had a very easy life. She’s had to work for every bit of happiness she’s got because of the shoddy childhood she’s had. She’s got a very self centered mother who thinks the world rises and sets with her and then she’s got a troubled sister who is all screwed up thanks to the fine childhood they had. Ella tried to distance herself from her selfish mother and emotionally unstable sister but finds her self headed back to Houston to take care of the young infant that Tara left with their mother.

Ella moved away to Austin because she needed distance to move on with her life. She needed to be far away from the people who brought her the most grief in life…mainly her mother. When she begins taking care of her young nephew, Luke, she never expected to fall in love with him or the guy she thought was his father. But she did, she fell in love with them both and this book told her story.

It’s hard for me to review this book without squealing like a lunatic because it’s only been a couple of weeks since I read Haven and Hardy’s book, Blue Eyed Devil and so Jack Travis is still fresh in my mind. I loved him and I was anxiously awaiting this book. When I met Jack in BED, I wanted to know more. I wanted to see more of him and I just wanted him. That womanizing man who is confidenet and a little arrogant but yummy all the same. He’s an honorable man with a good heart and good gosh, I love that man!

It was really easy to get caught up in this story. Jack and Ella were compelling characters that wormed their way into my heart and made me sigh with all the gooey goodness that was them. I really enjoyed getting to know the both of them and I enjoyed reading their journey to love.

I didn’t think that I would like Ella as much as I did because the whole troubled childhood thing usually pisses me the hell off with other heroines. There have been heroines aplenty who had messed up childhoods in other stories and then made boneheaded mistakes and decisions in their stories that they made me want to choke them out even though I understood why they were making those choices. Ella had her back up against a wall and she rised above it and handled everything. All by herself. I loved her independence and I loved the way that she was with Luke and everyone around her. Despite everything that happened to her and everything she went through when she was younger, she rised above it all and she moved on to build a completely content life for herself.

She wasn’t a TSTL heroine who had to control everything around her and make everyone miserable. She was caring and she was loving and Jack was blessed to have had her in his life.

But Jack, oh Jack. He was the reason I was itching to read this book. He was the reason that I zipped right through this book. He was the reason why I ended up really loving this book because Jack was the man. He’s a man’s man and I love those kind of men. The kind of men who aren’t afraid to show that they care about someong. The kind of men who go out of their way to get what they want and will go to any lengths to protect what is there. He didn’t shy away from pesky feelings and he didn’t give up easily. He was persistent and he sexy and he’s everything that I want in a man.

The way that he was with Ella and Luke made me sigh and wish he was real. The way that he loved Ella and bulldozed right over her insecurities to be there for her when she wouldn’t let him made me sigh some more and then smile. He was the stuff that us romance readers love about romance novels and he’s definitely what dreams are made of. The way that he handled Ella’s Mom and sister made me admire the hell out of him and the fierceness of his feelings for Ella (ex: Dane’s visit from Austin. His intense jealousy should have turned me off but it had the opposite effect, I LOVED IT!) had me in fits of lust for him. I fell hard for Jack Travis and he is by far, my most favoritest hero in this series. As much as I loved Gage and Hardy, for me it’s all about Jack Travis.

My only complaint about this book is that for the first time, I wanted the hero’s take on everything. I wanted to know what Jack was thinking at different points in this story. I wanted to know what was going through his mind the night that Dane came into town. I wanted to know how he was feeling when he was off fishing with Joe and Ella was left behind to deal with saying good bye to Luke. I wanted to know so much of what Jack was thinking and feeling that I chipped off some of my grade for this book. I felt like something was missing by not having Jack’s POV and that’s not something I missed in the other books, oh who am I kidding, I did wish to know what was going through Gage and Hardy’s minds but not as much as I did with Jack.

This book is good, really good. If you haven’t picked up this series to read then you’re seriously missing out. I have enjoyed reading each and every single book in this series but by far, SMOOTH TALKING STRANGER is my favorite. Other series by other authors seem to start off with a bang and decline as the series progress but not this series, with each book, they just keep getting better and better. If you haven’t picked these books up, run to the store and get them, you’ll definitely want to read these because they’re the bomb! This book doesn’t disappoint and it will have you salivating for more.

I am SO ready for Joe’s story…it is next, right?

Reading Order:

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here.

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Review: Blue Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas.

Posted March 24, 2009 by Rowena in Reviews | 9 Comments

Hero: Hardy Cates
Heroine: Haven Travis
Grade: 4.75 out of 5


His name is Hardy Cates. He’s a self-made millionaire who comes from the wrong side of the tracks. He’s made enemies in the rough-and-tumble ride to the top of Houston’s oil industry. He’s got hot blood in his veins. And vengeance on his mind.


She’s Haven Travis. Despite her family’s money, she refuses to set out on the path they’ve chosen for her. But when Haven marries a man her family disapproves of, her life is set on a new and dangerous course.

Two years have gone by. Now Haven has come home. This time, she is determined to guard her heart. And Hardy Cates, a family enemy, is the last person she needs darkening her door—or setting her soul on fire.

It’s been quite a long time since I read the first book, Sugar Daddy but I hecka loved that book and knew that I was going to enjoy this one as well. I’ve seen rave reviews of this book everywhere and when I finally picked it up, I read and read and read until I was at the end and sad that it was all finished. This story sure did pull at the heart strings. It was one of those stories that has you rejoicing in the characters, saddened by the characters and just cheering on the characters to keep on pushing until they finally get it right.

Haven Travis is the only daughter of Churchill Travis. We met Churchill in Sugar Daddy. He’s a really good friend to Liberty and Haven is Churchill’s daughter. You can just imagine the kind of jealousy that went on inside Haven’s little mind because Liberty is not Churchill’s daughter and yet, he treats Liberty a whole lot better than he ever treated Haven. I’m really glad that Lisa Kleypas didn’t make this part of the storyline. I’m glad that we saw it and we saw Haven deal with it and I really enjoyed Haven as the heroine of this book. She wasn’t perfect but we saw the growth in her from the beginning to the end and we cheered her on throughout.

What I thought was incredible about this book was that even though I could never imagine the kind of pain and heartache goes into a relationship that was violent the way that Haven’s relationship was, I connected with Haven in a way that I didn’t think was possible. LK did a fantastic job of showing us the emotional side of what goes on in a relationship like that one. The mind games, the blame games, all of that made for a really emotional roller coaster of a story but it brought a depth to the story that I really enjoyed exploring.

I loved seeing Haven rise above that relationship and find happiness again. It wasn’t an easy road for her, that’s for sure but I loved seeing how she came out of one abusive relationship and rammed right into another one. There were times when I wanted to yell and scream at Haven for not opening her mouth about the abuse but I’m really happy with the way that both relationships ended. It was almost as if she needed to go through those things to figure out for herself that she was so much better than those people. She was stronger than them and she was confident enough in herself that she could take care of herself without running to her big brothers and her rich daddy. I respected Haven and I loved the woman that she grew up to be. I closed the book with tears in my eyes because I was so happy that Haven got that happy ending she deserved.

And I was so glad that her happy ending was with Hardy. Man oh man was Hardy a hottie. I so loved Hardy Cates in this book, a whole lot more than I loved him in Sugar Daddy. I think she totally got it right with Hardy and I was so excited whenever he came onto the pages of the book. He was so much more than I could have ever hoped him to be. His story was great, it was emotional and it was heart wrenching but it was right. Perfect even for him. I’m so glad that he got his happy ending and I’m so glad that he turned out the way that he did because in SD, I didn’t want to hate him. I’m glad that LK showed us that we weren’t wrong in loving Hardy.

What I loved most about this book was the relationship that evolved between Hardy and Haven. Hardy loved Haven the way that she was and he loved the man that he was when he was with her. I loved how after everything that Haven went through, she loved Hardy enough to stand by him when he was at his lowest and most dangerous. I loved that she trusted him enough to stay and be there for him because he needed her. I loved the way that they were there for each other and I just effing loved them.

I loved the way that this story unfolded. The easy way that Haven told the story, it was easy to read and easy to fall into. This story is definitely a keeper and man oh man I cannot wait for Jack’s story because man did I fall in love with him in this one. I loved his blunt way of talking to people and I loved how what you saw with Jack was exactly what you got. I loved the fierce way that he loved his sister (Gage and Joe too) and I loved the way that family was everything to him. I’m so looking forward to more from him. I cannot wait. Seriously, I cannot wait.

If you haven’t read this book yet, then you should definitely fix that because this book will have you absorbed in the life of Haven Travis and Hardy Cates. Lisa Kleypas definitely wrote a great romance story of two unlikely people overcoming obstacles to get to that happy ending. It’s well worth the time you put into this book and I can’t wait for more contemps from Lisa Kleypas.

Kudos to LK on a job well done.

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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