Friday, 3 April 2009

Review – Fragile – Shiloh Walker

book cover of 

Fragile 

by

Shiloh Walker

 

 

 

The Blurb

Six years after trading in his combat gear for hospital scrubs, Luke Rafferty is faced with things just as heartbreaking as those on the battlefield. The abused children being brought in by the pretty redheaded social worker tug at his soul like nothing he's ever known.


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.

 

 

 

 

 

The Review

The Characters

Devon Manning – Social Worker, a friend to the kids who are  living on the edge. The woman who has more to be wary of than most people, but a woman with a huge capacity to forgive.

Luke Rafferty – Son, brother, Army Ranger and Doctor. A man searching for the unknown, a man who is just not sure he will know what he is searching for when he meets her.

The Other Half of Luke – The brother  who was always the missing link in Luke's life. The brother who was the other half of himself in every sense of  the word. The solider who was a little bit more solider than the army knew what to do with.

 

The Plot

After leaving the Army Rangers and the one person who he was closest to, Luke has to go on with his life and find his niche in society.  As hard as he has worked, he is still searching for that one person or thing to make a difference to his life. He knows he has found her in Devon Manning, but Devon is unlike anyone he has ever meet and he has to take great care with this fragile woman

Devon Manning, knows it takes more  than one step  in front of each other to get on with her day. Coming from a less than stellar background, she knows the plight of the kids she work with everyday. Her one salvation is knowing that she makes a difference even if it’s only to one of her charges.

She has dedicated her herself to her work and not exactly happy when she develops an attraction to the doctor who is always there to assist her with her charges. She doesn’t do casual, but she doesn’t know how to do committed either, but they are both willing to take a chance.

Someone is not happy with them and if they don’t figure it out in time, they just night not get the chance to know if they can commit to each other.

 

 

“ You regret leaving?” Quinn asked after a while.
Luke shook his head, replied softly, “No.” He shrugged restlessly, his eyes roaming over the bare walls of the apartment. No pictures, no calendars, nothing but bare, white walls. Empty. “I miss you. Sometimes the guys. But I don’t regret leaving.”
Quinn closed his eyes. “I’m glad you’re gone. Today, saying bye to Adam, I kept thinking if you’d stayed, it could have been you we’d been burying. Four of us, man, four of us gone, and I keep thinking I’m damn glad my brother ain’t with us anymore.”
Luke snorted. “Yeah, and I keep worrying I’ll get a knock on my door. I don’t want to bury you, Quinn.”
“You won’t.” There was an odd edge to his voice, and Luke glanced over, saw a weird light glittering in his brother’s eyes. “Dying’s too easy. I don’t ever get the easy way.”
“Jeb said a woman got killed.”
Quinn jerked like somebody had stabbed him with a branding iron. Coming off the ground in one fast move, he crossed the room in long, erratic strides, coming to a stop by the wall, where he braced his hands against it and lowered his head. “Don’t, Luke. I—I can’t . . .” His voice broke

Fragile © Shiloh Walker

 

 

 

Surprise Element

There were numerous surprises in store for me with this book. I knew of the book but as most of us have an extensive TBR pile, i regulated it to the background of my mind where i thought I'll get to it late in the year.

I happened upon a wonderful review of the book by VampFanGirl at Lovin’ me Some Romance. Needless to say, i got the book and the rest is unfolding.

This is a solid read, meaning, there is a story, background info, emotional upheavals, sexual tension and within all of that there is a darkness that was just so fast, so horrific, so everywhere that it took me two days before i was able to actually put my thoughts on paper.

 

Predictability

Ms. Walker is known for her really traumatic and really emotional reads. After reading “FRAGILE” , i thought where does she find the strength to write these scenes,  only the fact that you knew “something evil cometh this way” was about to happen, but other than that dear god! it was an experience getting through this book.

 

Smut/Ick factor.

Come on it was  a romance, fair enough it had more gore than romantic moment, but it had enough smut to justify the romance element of the book.

A fact i was really impressed  with was how Devon and Luke dealt with their attraction in a timely manner, after all that Devon had been through, it was at a decent pace that they did the dance of love. Her background was never trivialised in the quest for sexual fulfilment. 

 

 

Positive

The plus’ of this story was numerous. The story line was good, if i am honest i would probably say brilliant. As much as the shock of some of the scenes and descriptions were, the characters were so well drawn you feel as if you could almost reach in and direct traffic as and when the story took a turn.

Luke's Character was a plus, for me. I like the fact that although he knew what he was getting into, even with the extensive baggage he has from his past, he knew when his moment had arrive and he was willing to give it his all.

I admire the  way Ms. Walker compartmentalised the side stories, a time and a place for revelations and how much it all came back to the main plot.

There was no grey area in this book, you either liked, loved or loathe the cast – there was enough sarcastic moment to have a laugh and there was just the right amount of it to cut the darkness of this book.

Our strength can also be our weakness and most times they are and Devon as fragile as she seems is a phenomenally strong character, she’s been through alot, she is still seeing alot and she has so much hope it’s like a  light flickering in the dark. 

There were a few supporting characters that were so almightily strong that i will be following Ms. Walkers upcoming releases to see if a second book is in the making.

I really loved the fact that despite my initial reaction to the level of abusive in this book, always there is the knowledge that things will work out. There was also a closeness between Luke and his other half that was not only surprising given the confidences they reveal, but it was also refreshing to see, when alpha males are solely know for there possessiveness and there chest beating.

   

 

Negative

I mention earlier our weakness can also be our strength, in balancing work, live and love Devon's character was at times a little too naive  a little too secretive, that it almost trivialized what was happening around her.

It had to take a real shock for her to she that she was actually leading to her own downfall.

 

Cover

It’s a dark cover, very depictive of the book, however as this book has so much facet to it, and i really had to struggle to like Devon – i don’t think the cover did the book justice, but it will convey that mysterious element that is all over this book..

 

 

11 Speak To Me:

Cecile on 3 April 2009 at 17:33 said...

Okay, heading over to my goodread site and adding this to my TBB/TBR list!
Awesome review. I can't wait to read it see how I feel about it. I do love how you gave it us straight. But you know I love your review sessions anyway!!! But hey... it's always nice to hear!!

VampFanGirl on 3 April 2009 at 18:11 said...

Fantasic Review E.H.!!

"It had to take a real shock for her to she that she was actually leading to her own downfall." This decribed perfectly my own issues with Devon.

Did you find it strange that she never inquired about Luke's family, past, or time in the military? Maybe because we are given Luke's story first, that the author thought it would be redundant for Devon to be interested but either way, I thought it was strange. Did you feel that way at all?

I'll link your review to my own too! I just mailed the novel off to Barbara. I can't wait to see what she thinks given that contemporaries aren't her romance preference.

:)

Cecile on 3 April 2009 at 18:33 said...

Okay, now I really can't wait to buy the damn thing!!! Thanks for VampGirl lol!!!

VampFanGirl on 3 April 2009 at 19:40 said...

LOL, Cecile!! Enjoy!!

Lea on 3 April 2009 at 19:58 said...

Great review EH!

Now that I've read a couple of perspectives with regard to this book, I may well have to give it a go.

Thanks, as always for your thoughts. :)

Best Regards
L

Cecile on 3 April 2009 at 20:14 said...

Erotic, head on over to my pad... check out today!

Erotic Horizon on 3 April 2009 at 21:55 said...

Cecile,

I think you will enjoy this book - a bit harsher than the HEA we get used to, but no less enjoyable...

An i am very glad we all are adding to your TBR pile - I know mine is out of control at the moment.

Lea,,,

I think you will enjoy this book as well.

I have gotten to some standard with Ms. Walker and it has only made me want to read more of her everytime rather than less.

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 3 April 2009 at 22:05 said...

Hey VFG

I tell you, you keep shocking me with these changes - New avatar . i almost didn't recognize you...

Anyhow back to the discussion...

Firstly i am glad i picked up on that point about Devon. She's very contrary at times.

In regards to her curiosity about Luke's background - It did run through my mind, but i didn't mention it as a negative because i would imagine her past experience and her current work and more over her lack of relationship experience all played a part in dampening her natural curiosity.

And Luke was no better, because he didn't offer, not even gently leading her up to it - especially with the delicious Quinn in his background.

All in all, all the inconsistency made the book the great read it was.


Glad you liked the review...

And i have check out the link - thank you.


E.H>

VampFanGirl on 3 April 2009 at 22:24 said...

Hey E.H.!

Wow, I didn't even think of the fact that not only is Devon new to serious relationships but you're so right, Luke never once offered on his own. Thanks for that enlightenment. I actually feel a lot better now about Devon's character. Hmmm, that makes a lot of sense.

Thanks!

:) VFG

P.S. Oh I know! Barbara is such a sweetheart. She keeps adding new things onto my blog. I'm soakin' up her perfectionist style. :)

TheChicGeek on 3 April 2009 at 22:39 said...

Nice review, E.H.! I love the look of the new page with the brown. It's really nice :)
I didn't see me on your following list so I added myself. I don't think I've been getting updates so maybe it's a weird computer thing.

Good to visit you again :)
Have a Happy Weekend!

Erotic Horizon on 3 April 2009 at 22:48 said...

Hey Chickgeek,

Thanks for coming bye... Glad you like the review..

Thanks for updating the followers list - I don't think anyone has gotten the hang of the Google Connect yet. Every site i visit i keep on having to refresh the followers list.


Speak to you soon.

E.H>