Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday Shorts: Strong, Silent Type by Lorelei James

It's my sixth wedding anniversary today, so I have to share a beautiful (and super sexy!) reunion story that underscores that even the best HEA requires both parties to keep working at it, something my wonderful husband really gets.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 Stars. This is pretty much the perfect short-and-sexy novella, an incredibly hard sub-genre to do well. Libby and Quinn have been together for 14 years, and there's no doubting their love for each other. This is important because one of the big problems with the short form is believing that characters can really reach HEA in less than 100 pages and in just a few days. But, since Quinn and Libby have such a rich backstory, their reconciliation makes perfect sense, and their past gives everything much more emotional intensity than you usually see in a novella. Their future together is on the line because they've grown apart in recent years, due in large part to a lengthy battle with infertility.

Quinn is also one of the most believable heroes as like millions of men, he struggles mightily to open up and really talk with his wife. He kept hoping that their problems would solve themselves or blow over, and he was dumbfounded when they got worse, not better. However, he's finally decided to do what it takes to win back his wife, and in the process he figures out how to be more comfortable with his true self. Of course, this is Lorelei James who turns the sexy up to 12 and amps her heroes several notches above Alpha, so in addition to being one of the sweetest reunion stories, it's also one of the hottest.

My only quibble with the whole story was the scene where Libby gets busy with Quinn while he's driving. The road-sex scene seems to be popping up in loads of sexy books, and I have a problem every time I encounter it. It's just not sexy for me when the hero later confesses, "I almost wrecked the truck twice!" Pull over. They're on a country road at night, so pulling over shouldn't be a big hassle. However, this seems to be a big fantasy for lots of people, and James does write this scene really well.

This is romantica, intended for mature audiences, and it's full of smoking hot love scenes that don't hold anything back. If that's not your cup of tea, you may want to look for a sweeter and tamer cowboy love story (Can I suggest Paty Jager who does that kind of story remarkably well?). However, if you are in the mood for a sexy story that packs an emotional wallop, this is absolutely perfect. I don't encounter many stories that I want to share with my husband, but this is one I'll be loading on his android in the hopes that he too enjoys James's underlying message that marriage IS a ton of work, even when it's your once-in-a-lifetime HEA, but the payoff is well worth it. Which we already knew!

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