28 April 2010

Review: Fragile by Shiloh Walker



Six years after trading in his combat gear for hospital scrubs, Luke Rafferty still hasn’t found what he’s been searching for: a normal life. At his job, Luke is faced with things just as heartbreaking as those on the battlefield, none more so than the abused children brought in by a pretty red-headed social worker.


For Devon Manning, being a social worker is a rewarding job, but also a constant reminder of her own troubled youth. Devon takes everything one day at a time—unable to form a relationship with anyone except the children she rescues.


When Luke meets Devon, he thinks he might have found what he’s been looking for, but in order to get the life he wants, Luke has to break through Devon’s emotional barriers and make her realize that his healing touch might be just the complication her life needs…


Confession Time. Although I have seen Shiloh Walker around on blogs and I follow her on Twitter, I never read one of her novels. For some reason, I've always associated her with paranormal romance novels. And . . .

Bigger confession. Up until recently (like two days ago), I always thought she was the author of that Moon series by Lori Handeland. Don't know how that got in my head, but for some reason I always thought that Ms. Walker wrote that series. You know how stuff gets in your head and you can't get it out. I had read the first one or two books in that series years ago and was like whatever . . .. So, for some odd ball reason, I've always thought Ms. Walker was the author.

Then, a couple months ago, I saw on Twitter that Shiloh Walker was doing a contest on her blog and the winner could get a $50.00 gift card if they pre-ordered her new release Broken. Since, I'm all about winning stuff on-line, I entered the contest, imagining all the goodies, I was going to buy for ShaNayNay (aka Kindle) once I won the contest.

I didn't win. Grave injustice, I know.

Then, Broken came out and all the reviews from blogs I frequent started pouring in and I discovered that Broken was actually a romantic suspense novel not a paranormal. My thought was, cool, she's so diversified. Yes, I'm slow on the uptake sometimes. As I read the glowing reviews for Broken, I decided that I would purchase Fragile first before I tackled Broken. So, I downloaded Fragile to ShaNayNay and never got around reading it.

Until Tuesday morning.

Monday night was crazy town in my household. The kids' heads started spinning around and my husband and I began to wonder about the wisdom in having children. Queen ended up sleeping in our bed and at 4:00 in the morning the hubster work me up and was like; I don't think Queen went to the bathroom before she came to bed and I don't want her to pee in ours.

So me, Miss Suzy Sunshine, head started spinning around (Yes, the Queen get's it honestly) and I asked the hubster, why did he have to wake me up for that. If he was up and thought about it, why couldn't he carry the Queen to the potty? Why wake me up?

What sounded logical to me didn't sound logical to him. He looked at me like I was crazy. As he clearly thought this was one of those Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus moments.

So anyway, it's 4:00AM and I can't get back to sleep. So, I decide to torture hubby and leave the light on ('cause I'm the most respectful wife) and start reading. The book I had been reading, while well written didn't pull me into the story, and I was in a foul mood and wasn't in the mood to read a so-so book. I wanted something great. So I grabbed ShaNayNay (wait, am I the only person who keeps the Kindle at the ready at all times?) and thought, let me start Fragile and see if I like it.

So that was the frame of mind I was in as I started reading Fragile Tuesday morning. The idea was to read a chapter or so, calm down, and go back to sleep.

I never went back to sleep.

Okay, I know you're like WTF, I didn't come here for all that crap, just tell me what you thought of the book.


Fragile pulled me in from the first page. Luke is the epitome of what a hero should be. I loved, loved, loved him. Luke is what every woman wants, a man who accepts you for who you are, warts and all, and finds you utterly delicious. As far as Devon, I was so glad she wasn't a moron or a doormat and she was worthy of all that devotion.

The emotion between Luke and Devon was off the charts. It definitely met my romance must have criteria where I as the reader must feel that the two lead characters' liked and loved each other.


He couldn't not touch her at that point. Closing the distance between them, he murmured, "I'm going to kiss you. And I haven't been this nervous about kissing a girl since I played seven minutes in heaven when I was in the sixth grade."

See that, people. That's what I'm talking about. Right away, here is a little hint that the hero finds the heroine important to him beyond all others. Why don't all authors pepper little hints like this throughout their books until it builds and builds and builds and builds. Why, why, why! My reading life would be much more fulfilling if they did so.

Going off tangent again. Aren't I?

Anyhoo, here's Devon:

How in the hell could she get turned on just from him fiddling with her hair? Devon wondered. But there was no mistaking it. She was definitely getting turned on, and the only thing he was doing was winding a curl around his finger and staring at her hair.

So subtle and so beautiful as we see these two people develop and grow to love each other. By the time they do the nasty, I know and they're on their way of knowing that nobody but the other one will do it for them.

If you couldn't tell, I loved the characters, and Luke's twin brother . . . wow. I can't wait to read Broken.

I liked Fragile's plot and it isn't often that I can read a story where theirs a military sub-plot and not roll my eyes. I was in the Army, my hubster was in the Army, and a lot of our family is either in the military or military vets.

Basic background: Luke is a former Army Ranger. After he gets his leg shot up on a mission he get's discharged from the Army and uses all his lovely VA benefits to become a doctor. Six years later, he's an ER doctor (isn't that fast for med school and residency? I didn't question much because I thought Shiloh Walker is a nurse or used to be a nurse).

Devon had a pretty tragic past (think Eve Dallas in the In Death Series only Devon was saved by being adopted into a loving family). She's now a social worker. She and Luke routinely meet for their work and their beautiful, sweet, relationship slowly develops.

Side Note: Yes, I know I suck at giving plot overviews. Sue me. I can't write a synopsis so save my life. It's the bane of my existence. My reviews are more about my feelings on the book not the actual plot. Besides, I'm sure by now you've read other reviews on this book.

Anyhoo . . .

Someone is stalking Devon. I love how she puts her foot down and doesn't let Luke's Alpha tendencies rule her life. I also love how Luke respects her enough to heed her wishes.

A hero and heroine respecting one another is a lovely thing romance authors, take Ms. Walker's beautiful example and try it more often.

The stalker is caught. Whoa, there is a still a ton of pages left. WTF? What is going on?

Something else is going on. WTF. Why are you doing this, Ms. Walker? They've already been through enough. Darn you, Ms. Walker. I think that's stupid that way you're doing this and near the end of the book too. I hate it when I read books and then the ending is so . . . .Wait . . . wow, that came out of nowhere. How didn't I not see that coming? My bad for the evil thoughts I was flinging your way. Great job, Ms. Walker.

Awww, when is Quinn's book coming out. I'm so loving him now. Wait, I already own it.

WTF, the story's over. I want more.

And people that's my review.

I'm thinking I should change my blog title to Psycho Barbie's Romance Reviews or something like that. It fits my personality more, don't you think?

And if anyone names their blog that, I'm suing!

BTW. Go buy the book. It's awesome! And I wouldn't mind if you scrolled down and clicked the lovely book cover below and ordered it now! LOL!

Brought with my own money!


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4 people posted their 2 cents:

Smokinhotbooks said...

You crack me up!

I was a nincompoop and read Broken before Fragile out of the two I hearted Broken the mostest.

Leontine said...

I love your introduction of the actual review and agree with ya, Luke was a hero who romanced my heart from page one. I hope you have equal, if not more fun with Quinn, he was a 5 star read for me :)

OMG verification word; SPERM o-0

Trish said...

Oh see now I can't wait until A goes to school so I can get back to reading! Thanks for making sure I get nothing done at all today, well except for reading :)

MamaKitty said...

I LOVED Broken, so I need to read fragile... especially if you gave it such a fabulous review! :)

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"Do you see, Solange, that you are the only woman in my world? The one woman who can choose life or death for me. You are the center of my world and you always will be. When I tell you that your pleasure is mine, I mean that literally"— Christine Feehan

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