Strong, Silent Type
A sexy marriage-in-trouble story, Strong, Silent Type is a quick but satisfying read. Misunderstandings have pushed librarian Libby and rancher Quinn McKay apart, but grappling with infertility is the root cause of most of their issues.
It was nice to read a marriage-in-trouble story that didn’t rest on ‘I’m totally convinced my partner had an affair, which everyone will find out was a total misunderstanding by the end of the book.’ Infertility is a real struggle which can drive a serious wedge into a relationship. Libby feels betrayed that Quinn won’t go to a fertility specialist; Quinn made that choice because Libby’s drive for a baby makes him feel as though he’s nothing more to her than a breeder. Both of these emotional reactions are valid – what Quinn and Libby need to do, and begin to do, is actually talk about them.
A lot of this short book is spent on sex, which the author intertwines with the characters and their struggle (for instance, Quinn hasn’t wanted to bring up fantasies or acts like oral sex because Libby is so focused on conception). The sex they have here is wildly non-conception oriented, including anal sex, just so you can judge if the book will work for you.
While the sex scenes do a good job of bringing out character, the short page count of this book means that neither character is as fully developed as they might have been. Quinn, for instance, is the titular Strong Silent Type. However, in the short prologue he resolves to be different, so he spends the rest of the book as an extremely Dirty Talking Verbal Type – a pivot that feels abrupt and too easy for him. Libby, too, doesn’t have a hugely complex arc. She has to realize that she’s too obsessed with getting pregnant, and then navigate those feelings with her husband. I did love the fact that at the two-thirds mark, a potential Big Mis flared up and they put their new talking-it-out skills into practice. That gave me reassurance moving forward.
The big ding on this book, for me, is the epilogue, and I may not even have to say more than that because anybody who’s ever read a romance featuring infertility knows they need to beware the epilogue.
I know this review is short, but honestly, there’s not much more to say. Do you want to see a couple of nice but dirty married people reconnect through scorching sex? Then this is your book.