Fragile is an adult thriller suspense romance about Devon Manning, a social worker with a troubled childhood and Luke Rafferty, an ex-Ranger who is now a doctor who deals with emergency cases with frequencies in handling child abuses case.
Devon Manning is possibly a great example of a strong female character that I like to read in fiction and had hope others would try to emulate. I really have problems with authors who assume that only female who can kick ass is a strong female, I do like kick ass character but only if they have soul within them. The definition of ‘strong female’ itself is actually more about being independant, warrior-like, worthy, loyal, kind, strong-willed and strong-hearted. It can be a single mother with five children, a grandmother who sees her family broken and try to fix it, a sexually abused girl trying to survive the depravity in the world and etc. The point is, its a real quality in people and it exist everywhere around us. In Devon, she had lived through the darkest time in her childhood of rape and drug abuse when she’s barely 12 until she found help. As an adult, she did have some problem with trusting in people except for the children she’s working with and Luke, but what made her characterization is real was the fact that the author centered her POVs and plot around Devon that made the book intriguingly immersible.
This story is very unconventional in a sense of predictibility under a romance genre. Honestly, its very wrong to assume this book specifically as a romance book.
From the start, the novel uses multiple-POVs like an average mystery thriller format in laying down its plots and characters. Romance is just an additional thing that made both Luke and Devon significantly cohessive to the storyline because both of them directly and indirectly related to the plot progression. The book series touched the ugly part in humanity, particularly with post traumatic events, stalker, child abuses, pedophilia, drug abuses and all sorts. Walker had cleverly imbued such themes in her books almost like JD Robb aka Nora Roberts did with her cross genre series.
Fragile also had several explicit sex scenes but its very misleading to call this book as an erotica because sex is not the major part of this book. But just because a character find sex as emotionally freeing, it doesn’t mean the book is purely erotica. I do have issues about the sex in this book which I saw as a filler but as a whole, I don’t really have a problem with it since I could skip it and go ahead to the plot.
The major attraction to this book was the plot. There were layers of it like Devon’s childhood, her work, the fear she’s having at the thought being watched and stalked, the problems with Luke that’s related to his old job and Luke’s twin brother, Quinn, who himself had a darker childhood abuse. What made the book work for me was in Shiloh Walker’s skill of plot handling and she wrote it with such finesse that made the book wholesome as a romance and as a thriller thats eeriely similar to Urban Fantasy without the fantasy part.