FTC Disclosure: I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
“Shadow Heart” (Broken Bottles #1) by Pamela Taeuffer (2014)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Page Length: 297 pages (paperback length)
Nobody wants to talk about them, but there are events that occur in our lives that become deep, dark secrets we hold inside. And they dramatically influence who we are and who we become.
Such is the case for seventeen year-old Nicky Young who was raised by an alcoholic father and disengaged mother. When Nicky tries to make her way into the world she is confronted by the demons of her dysfunctional and sometimes violent upbringing.
Unlike many of her friends, she has shied away from boys, makeup, and clothes, instead focusing on achievement and her goal of getting into Stanford.
But then Nicky meets Ryan Tilton, a sexy, high-profile professional baseball player, eight years her senior, and a strong desire is awakened in her.
Nicky questions Ryan’s motives for wanting to be with an inexperienced girl and can’t decide if he’s a scoundrel or genuinely cares about her. She is both excited and frightened, torn between protecting her heart and wanting to trust.
Ryan brings his own demons–losing his father at the age of fourteen, and a sexual partner from his past who will not leave him alone.
Will their young, uncertain love be enough to help them open their hearts and experience the intimacy they both crave so deeply, or are Nicky and Ryan on a collision course? (Goodreads)
Shadow Heart is a compelling read. The novel is loosely based off of the author’s life growing up in San Francisco. Our main protagonist, Nicky, deals with a lot of heavy issues and tries to cope with them the best they can all while trying to live her own life. Her father’s alcoholism has harshly impacted her family and continues to slowly tear the family apart.
Nicky is a shy young woman, and beside dealing with family issues, she is in her senior year of high school and prepares get into college. Through working with the local baseball team, she meets the mysterious older baseball player, Ryan. She immediately falls for him, but holds back in fear of being used due to her inexperience with relationships.
Throughout the story Nicky learns to slowly break out of her shell and become a stronger person. She is more outspoken, opens herself to her friends, and even lets people into her heart. The story turns into a love triangle as Nicky has to choose between Ryan, who wants to show her he truly loves her, or longtime childhood friend Jerry, who also deeply cares for her.The ending brings a cliffhanger that will definitely shock readers.
The only complaint I had about the book was that for a 25 yr old man, Ryan, seemed kinda juvenile at times. He was mature for the most part, but sometimes his personality changed and he sounded and acted like a teenager. Other than that Shadow Heart is a pretty satisfying read.
4 out of 5 stars!