A concerned aunt seeks out millionaire playboy, Jack Travis, after being wrongly informed that he's the father of her recently abandoned nephew, Luke. Intrigued and attracted to the aunt, Ella, he sets her up in his sister's old apartment and together they start delving into the mystery behind the baby's paternity. The mother, Tara, has checked herself into a mental health clinic. Run by a religious conglomerate and Ella believes her nephew's father might be pulling strings as well as the wool over her gullible sister's eyes. As time goes by, Ella grows closer to her nephew and is scared of the pain she will experience once Tara returns to claim him. Damaged by an uncaring mother both Ella & Tara have difficulty forming healthy relationships and seem to be easily influenced by other personalities, i.e. Ella's being a vegan just because her "beta" boyfriend is one. Their relationship is quickly dismantled by the addition of Luke and she never even returns to their shared apt.
Granted, these character's had plenty of faults and issues and I wasn't happy how easily Ella gave up on her positions, but I didn't feel like Jack was bullying her either. I felt he pushed past her resistance to look after herself, to let herself be comforted, coddled even. I like how he helped her establish protection for Luke, too. So, despite its flaws "Smooth Talking Stranger" to me was still a good read.