Wednesday, December 29, 2010

ARC Review: Precious and Fragile Things

Precious and Fragile Things
Megan Hart
Mainstream Fiction
Harlequin/January 2011*

From the author's website ~

He’s not about to let her leave.
And she cannot stay.

Gilly Soloman has been reduced to a mothering machine, taking care of everyone and everything except herself. But the machine has broken down. Burnt out by the endless days of crying children and menial tasks, and exhausted from always putting herself last, Gilly doesn’t immediately consider the consequences when she’s carjacked. With a knife to her throat, her first thought is that she’ll finally get some rest. Someone can save her for a change.

But salvation isn’t so forthcoming. Stranded in a remote, snowbound cabin with this stranger, hours turn to days, days into weeks. As time forges a fragile bond between them, she learns her captor is not the lunatic she first believed, but a human being whose wasted life has been shaped by secrets and tragedy. Yet even as their connection begins to foster trust, Gilly knows she must never forget he’s still a man teetering on the edge. One who just might take her with him.

Megan Hart is known for her steamy, unique romances. Hart's stories are unique in that they are not always the standard, happily ever after romance but there is romance. In Precious and Fragile Things Hart takes the reader in another direction with no romance in sight. What she does give us is an equally compelling and in depth look at two people who at first glance are polar opposites.

Gilly Soloman is a woman on the brink. But before she can go over that brink she's pulled back in an unexpected, startling way. Gilly is a character that many of us can relate to. She's often overwhelmed by life and by the direction her life has taken her. By the demands put on her, not only from her family but from herself. She's in desperate need of a break from that demanding life and she gets it, just not in the form she could have expected.

The man who holds Gilly captive starts out as a low-life loser who puts not only Gilly but her kids in jeopardy. How could I possibly empathize with this jerk? This person that cares only about himself and what he wants? What he does, he does for his own needs, disregarding anyone else. Or does he? Oh, yes, he is screwed up - major childhood trauma, adult life not much better, and yet he still has some sliver of humanity in him. Sometimes he seems almost normal. The relationship he and Gilly forge, at times seems almost normal. But it's not, it can't be.

I love how Hart gets into the characters heads. Just when you think you know them, she shows you another side to them that you never expected. A side that the character didn't expect. This is truly a story about characters - how they change with the situations. How their reality changes to fit the situations. Precious and Fragile Things is not a love story, but it does show how much love, or the lack of it, can have an affect in shaping and determining a person's actions.

Hart is an exceptional writer, giving the reader uncommon characters in intriguing situations. I found myself drawn to both characters with Gilly garnering my sympathy as well as my annoyance. Gilly's captor made me want to understand what made him tick. Oddly enough, I didn't want Gilly to escape or be rescued before I figured this guy out. What the hell was with him?

Precious and Fragile Things is not a fast read. The story starts off fairly quickly with much happening at the beginning. Then the pacing slows down, allowing the reader to get to know Gilly and her captor as they get to know each other. I do think this is a fascinating story and I highly recommend it but. . . I also think you need to be in the mood for it, especially if you primarily read romance.

Precious and Fragile Things is a story with flawed, broken characters that I ended up caring about. I wanted needed to know how their story could possibly have a glimmer of a hopeful ending. In the end, it ended like it was meant to, giving this reader much to think about and appreciate.

Rating: A

*Official release is January 1st but is available now on Amazon.


  1. Wow Leslie, great review. I had heard that Megan Hart had another release coming up and I was on the fence about reading it. With her books not giving me that guaranteed HEA I have been hesitant to read her. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed this one so much. I might just have to look into it.

  2. I plan on reading this one in January, too. I just love Megan Hart's writing... I think I'll be absolutely fine with this being non-romance, but I'm glad to have the heads up that it's not. I'll definitely wait until I'm in the mood for a serious, non-romance read.

  3. Jill ~ I think this is all about expectations. It's very well written but not a romance.

    Christine ~ Love her writing too! She always surprises me but in a good way. :)

  4. Yikes! I have this book in my TBR to read and review. I have GOT to get to it. An A?!! Okay... readin it. :D

  5. Hils ~ I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!