Book Review: A Fragile Woman by Ciara Duggan

An ARC copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are my own.

Affiliate links can be found within this post. If you need additional information, please see the disclaimer.

Rating: 5 out of 5.


I absolutely LOVED this story! Once I started it, I wasn’t able to put it down for very long because it moves at such a fast pace that you never feel book lag with this one. A psychological thriller that follows Matilda (Pippa) Watson through a traumatic relationship and marriage. The darker elements of this one will really get under your skin if you let it. For those that have ever experienced domestic abuse, it may even bring some of those issues back to the fore front.

Trigger Warning: This book does include lots of reference to domestic abuse. If this is a trigger for you, I would not recommend reading this one.

The way Duggan presents those elements though, were very well done. Domestic abuse is a very serious situation and should never be taken lightly. However, I can show my appreciation for books that represent it well because the stories do need to be told. Any one that has experienced any form of abuse will know how easy it is to turn on themselves and question everything they say or do. Making it that much harder to remove yourself from those situations.

But eventually the main character finds an opportunity to escape and she gets herself out of the country and starts working on a luxury yacht. She’s having moments of clarity and quiet where she can evaluate her life and how things turned out the way they did. Finally feeling like she’s free of the chaos and danger, she’s surprised by the yacht’s next charter.

Hop on for the ride of a lifetime with this one! You won’t be disappointed in the fast=paced thrill or psychology of this one. There are some romantic sequences and it is focused on a relationship, but I feel it’s a stretch to really call this one a romance. Even if it does include some elements of romance.

This story features:
🌸Dark secrets
🌸Domestic abuse
🌸Different worlds
🌸Blind love



In the vein of Ruth Ware’s Woman in Cabin 10 and Shanora Williams’ The Wife Before, this psychological romance thriller will have you on the edge o your seat, flipping pages late into the night.

Too young to be trapped in an abusive marriage, Matilda flees England in search of a fresh start as a stewardess aboard a luxury yacht in the Mediterranean. Never expecting to find a passionate new romance aboard the boat, Tilly slowly begins to let her guard down, setting her past adrift at sea.

Just as she begins to get comfortable opening her heart to someone new, her cunning husband shows up with the next group of guests boarding the yacht, determined to take Tilly back to England by any means necessary.

As he engages in a game of life and death, Tilly’s darkest secret is threatened to be revealed, endangering her new-found freedom and relationship.

Can Tilly face the demons of her damaged past once and for all and escape for good?


Ciara Duggan is an author and screenwriter, born and raised in a small town in Northwestern Connecticut. She received her MFA from Boston University where she later taught undergraduate writing courses. Alongside placing as a finalist for the 1st Annual Book Pipeline Unpublished Competition, her debut YA Fantasy novel, Awakened, was published in Fall 2021 by the Parliament House Press.

Ciara has her own business, Ciara Duggan Editorial, where she helps writers through every process of their story, whether they are writing a novel, short story, or screenplay. She also works as an editor for Book Pipeline and Script Pipeline’s evaluation services, alongside judging for their writing competitions.

Ciara currently resides in Middletown, CT with her husband, Australian Shepherd, and endless pile of books. When she’s not writing, reading, or watching movies, she loves to travel (mostly to Ireland), indulge her sweet tooth, go hiking, and daydream.

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