Review: The Travis series by Lisa Kleypas

You might remember that Alexa and Kelly demanded encouraged me to read the Highland Lairds series by Julie Garwood. I completely fell in love with the first book, The Secret, and was eager to get to their next recommendation — something by Lisa Kleypas. I was between The Wallflowers or the Travises and the latter won out because I was in the mood for some contemporary romance. And yet again, these two were right! I loved all the books and happily binged on this series in a matter of days. I was so invested with every character that was introduced. All heroes and heroines are complex and layered, each with their own story to tell and of course, the romances were just really freaking hot! The combination made this series a totally addicting read and one I know I’ll come back to again and again in the future.

What an introduction to this series! It’s definitely the one that hooked me and the characters here, Liberty and Gage, are my second (practically tied with first) favorite couple. We meet Liberty as a young girl living with her single mother in a trailer. She’s smart, determined and just a very kind soul. For most of her life she’s been in love with Hardy Cates, a boy from the trailer park, who’s considered one of the “bad ones” and dreams of getting out of their town. The tension between them is strong and I was feeling it.. until we fast-forward years later when they’re adults. Hardy left just like he always said he would and circumstances have forced Liberty to raise her younger sister. It’s while she’s finally making a livelihood at something she’s good at that she meets a billionaire tycoon (hence the title Sugar Daddy!) but everything isn't as it seems. It’s not just chance that brought him and his family into her life and the book is just as much about Liberty reconciling her past as it is about the romance. But oh how wonderful that romance is! Gage and Liberty butt heads initially but the passion that builds between them is undeniable. I loved how the whole story and their relationship came together.

Given how Sugar Daddy ended, Hardy Cate wasn’t exactly my favorite person. I did warm up to him in Blue-Eyed Devil but the true star of this book was undoubtedly Haven Travis. She’s the only Travis daughter and like the rest of her siblings, she was expected to go down a certain path in life. But she was determined to be her own person (one of many things I admired about her) and marries a man she believes is right for her, even though her family says otherwise. What happens to her during her two years of marriage just broke my heart. I really felt for her because her scars ran so deep and go back even further before this relationship. When she returns home, I loved being reunited with the Travis family (which includes Liberty!) and watching her brothers rally around her. It’s at this time that she reconnects with Hardy Cates who is pretty much persona non-grata. (He and the Travises have an unpleasant history to say the least.) Haven is determined to keep him at arms length but he is persistent and this is where I start to see the charm of Hardy. He is tender, kind and of course, passionate, as her pursues Haven. I enjoyed seeing this side of him but again, my focus was on Haven. I wanted her to find find happiness, prove others wrong (her manager made me so mad!) and fall in love with Hardy. I was 100% invested in her journey and loved reading every minute of it!

Smooth Talking Stranger was definitely a different kind of drama from the previous books but one that totally worked (even though it sounds like right out of a Jerry Springer show). Basically, Ella Varner is living a fairly content life. She’s a writer and lives with her boyfriend. Then her sister, who she didn’t even know was pregnant, decides to leave her newborn baby in Ella’s care. No warning, no preparation. But Ella is used to being the responsible one in her family (their mother is a whole other mess), so she does what she has to do. Takes the baby, finds out who could be the father and tracks him down to.. Jack Travis. He’s considered the playboy of the brothers but when Ella shows up at his doorstep demanding answers, he’s totally taken in her by (and vice-versa). I loved both of these characters! I loved him for doing the right thing and being good to this total stranger (while looking sexy). And I loved Ella for tenacity and her big heart. Their chemistry was just so on point! It was definitely a treat watching their relationship unfold.

So funny story. Alexa & Kelly were trying to predict who would be my favorite guy in this series (theirs are Hardy and Gage, respectively) and thought mine would be Jack Travis from Smooth Talking Stranger. Well I surprised them (and even myself) when my man turned out to be Joe Travis! He and the leading lady, Avery Crosslin cross paths at a wedding and it’s a totally meet-cute moment. She’s a wedding planner who literally has every detail under control and he’s a guest that she confuses for the wedding photographer. It’s clear he’s immediately charmed by her and her no-nonsense attitude and she just doesn’t want to believe he’s interested. But as they spend time together throughout the reception, one thing leads to another and they end up having one hell of a one night stand. It’s a sexy back and forth as Avery tries to put him out of her mind (girlfriend, I adore you but that’s crazy talk) and Joe makes it clear that he wants more. Not only is the romance hot but I just loved the characters. They felt so real and easy to relate to. Avery is a capable, intelligent and beautiful woman but oftentimes has trouble believing in herself. Then Joe is the youngest Travis who forged his own path and is so utterly charming. I found myself relating to Avery and getting swept up in all of Joe’s romantic overtures. (Also that epilogue makes my heart squeeee when I think about it.)


As you can tell, I'm a huge fan of this series! Honestly, all the men are swoonworthy (but Joe is my favorite with Gage as a close second) and all the women are fierce and admirable. I know it can be easy to brush off romance novels and if you're one of the skeptics, give these a try. This was my first real foray into contemporary romance and it seriously set the bar so high for me. I highly recommend them!

1 comment

  1. Basically, the Travis series is contemporary gold! I really love how Lisa Kleypas told each of these stories, and I LOVE how all of her women are fiercely independent and vulnerable. And it doesn't hurt that all her men are hotties too! I'm so glad you read this series <3


with love,