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Book CoverSybil’s review of Fragile by Shiloh Walker
Romantic Suspense released by Berkley Trade 3 Feb 09

Suspense was one of my first book crushes. It is really rather shocking I didn’t fall into reading romantic suspense right away or that I don’t do more of it now. I think it falls under ‘too many books too little time’ and that I have found too few authors I think do it really well. Or it could be I have gotten seriously jaded in my old age and find most of it too hard to believe. And at the same time, I almost didn’t pick up Fragile to read because it sounded too depressing. I am just all sorts of shades of difficult like that.

There hasn’t been a good opening over the past five or six months for Dr Rafferty to ask Devon Manning out. Generally the social worker’s visits to the hospital don’t leave a lot of room for romance to develop. After six years in combat he is used to working around difficult situations.  Mix in a way dysfunctional brother, along with no relationship with his mom and Luke has more than his fair share dealing with personal demons. The bonus here is Luke isn’t a man who scares off easily. When Devon is handed to him on a dinner plate, well, as a dinner ‘date’ when they run into each other one night he jumps at the chance to get to know her better. Sadly all doesn’t go well and he almost blows it before he has a chance to ask her out on a real date.

Devon confronts the situation in the parking lot head on and they talk about it – like adults. And it sets the stage for a great romance to develop. The suspense has a slow enough build up that the reader is given a chance to wonder which direction it is coming from, at least at first. I have to say I kept waiting for Luke to be accused because he was becoming almost ‘stalkerish’ in his, I am the hero, hear me roar ways. But I would be lying if I didn’t say he was yummy, in an ex army ranger way. But after the first 10 times it started to be a bit much.

And the thing I hate more than anything in romantic suspense is the heroine who knows she is being stalked, who knows she can’t go it alone, resisting help. And Devon isn’t dumb. She hates she has to give up some of her hard won independence and self reliance. And she has reason to fight giving it up; the fight is with herself as much as with Luke. But she does eventually give in. Luke and Devon are a fabulous couple together and I really enjoyed the book. Although I did find it dragged a bit in the middle. Parts felt repeated and I am not sure if that was suppose to be that way due to what was happening to Devon or not. But it slowed the book down for me.

Saying that I thought the end was interesting and can’t wait for Quinn’s book. Quinn will be getting a book… yes?  Shiloh Walker wears quite a few different genre hats and does it well.  I look forward to reading more romantic suspense from her and would love to read some contemporary romance as well, if anyone is taking suggestions or anything.  Oh and as always historical romance :).

sl_thumbnail.jpgGrade: B


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…

Read an excerpt.