Shadow Heart: Broken Bottle #1 by Pamela Taeuffer

Shadow Heart: Broken Bottle #1 by Pamela Taeuffer

Book Review:

Let me start with the trigger issues in this story:  addiction, more specifically dealing with an alcoholic parent.  Pamela Taeuffer takes a no-holds-barred approach in depicting the outbursts, the uncertainty and the overwhelming sense of ‘walking on eggshells’ that is engendered by this situation. While this is only a part of the story, the effects and reactions to emotion are deeply rooted in Nicky, and while her story is her attempts to break free, the solidity and honesty of her portrayal and personality may be more than some readers are prepared to handle.

That being said – this story brought Nicky to light in ways that were real and honest, showing her desire to move forward while not really being equipped to do so: moving forward from her traumatic and rather unsettling childhood takes years, if not forever.  Nothing that has ever come under the heading of ‘love’ has been without pain and disillusionment, so she is understandably afraid of relationships.

Away at school starting her new life, she has friends but keeps everyone at a slight distance, until Ryan.  Older, with a career as a baseball player, Ryan offers Nicky a glimpse into safety and security, and he is fun.  But, he also has his own issues, and she is concerned that her own naiveté and unfamiliarity with relationships is yet another way for him to ‘manage’ her.  Nicky is strong and wanting to be independent, but still longs for a connection that will help to heal her.  Fortunately, for the story and for her own growth, she doesn’t dive right into a relationship and not listen to her own misgivings, but she isn’t pushing Ryan away.  But then there is Jerry, a friend from high school who wants something more, and is more of a man on the outside.

Frankly this story isn’t concluded in this one book: there is too much growth and change that all of the characters need to experience and share for them to get into a ‘better place’.  Nicky is far more capable of growing and changing than I expected, she wants to move forward from her issues and find her new footing.  Ryan’s motivations became less clear as the story progressed, his attempts to control and guide Nicky’s choices and options were increasingly heavy-handed, as she started to make decisions it felt as if he was more insecure.

I was more than a bit confused about Jerry – I couldn’t find their connection no matter how I tried, BUT I did find him more compatible with Nicky than what I am seeing with Ryan. I love that Taeuffer added the solidity and honest feel of a life in transition after a life of hardship.  There is a ‘rightness’ in the story, not all tied up neatly with a bow, but with questions that readers (and I am sure) the characters themselves have for what is to come.

Shadow Heart: Broken Bottle #1 by Pamela Taeuffer

Title: Shadow Heart
Author: Pamela Taeuffer
Genre: Dark-theme
Published by: Self-Published
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 317
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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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?

Loosely based on the author's life growing up in San Francisco, this inspired contemporary romance novel deals with the disturbing secrets siblings share, the dance between love and protecting one's heart, and he innate desire to conned t with another even when it means risking everything.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 18 years of age due to drug and alcohol use / violence and/or sexual content in a genre not specified as Erotic.

About Pamela Taeuffer

I am an introvert. Yes, fear runs through me in dozens of ways when I have to be in a room of people I don't know.
I was raised in a family battling alcoholism. I layered myself with armor thick, high, and wrapped it so tightly around my heart that intimacy wouldn't find me for years.I also added the layers of weight for protection. I was never happy with myself no matter what size I was. The thinner I was, the more attention I received, the more I was afraid. I have a son who was in an auto accident at nineteen and has struggled in recovering from his traumatic brain injury.

Why do I lead with these things?

Because they all tell a story about opening up a heart . . . my heart, but it could be anyone's heart. I'm passionate about writing how intimacy and trust opened everything for me, and can't wait to show the journey in my books.
What do I hope to do with this experience? I will strive to bring readers a deep and intimate understanding of what growing up that way does to one's choices, the fears it brings deep into our hearts, and the deficiencies we're left without when it comes to building relationships of every kind.

The values and results I hope to bring with the Broken Bottles Series are:
1. Deep fears can reside in all of us and the reasons for them are numerous. I remained closed for years because of being abandoned and disappointed from my father's alcoholism. It took years for me to understand without risk, nothing will change.
2. If I can show readers the reasons why, perhaps they will understand these fears in their friends, family or loved ones and encourage rather than criticize, even as they seem unreachable.
3. My truest wish is for women to lose their fear over sex. Real intimacy happens when communication and love is open and giving to your partner, asking for what you want, and allowing your partner to feel safe as he/she asks for what they want.
4. Fears disappear only when each person feels completely safe. There is no safety without trust.
I am a new author who promises to give my readers an honest and fresh perspective of the challenges we face trying to love family, friends, and partners and in creating engagement with readers, will be diligent about responding from my heart.
For the reader, these stories detail the fears of being alone, of exploring deep intimacy and how to get to the level of love and communication in all aspects of our lives. Many of my stories come from the journals I kept from the time I was ten. They helped me to analyze and step back from the dysfunction of my childhood, and also enabled me to recall the vivid details and memories of many of the events about which I've written and will continue to write through fresh eyes and fresh stories.
I loved living in San Francisco, where I was born and raised. From the time I was six years old my father took us to baseball games, and thus my love for sports grew, especially of baseball. The few close friends I grew up with I still have today, and I've been married more than thirty years with one son, who at nineteen suffered a traumatic brain injury in an auto accident. I also have three wonderful step children from my husband's first marriage.
I currently run a vacation rental business in wine country for the last twenty plus years, and enjoy working it with my husband and son, and enjoy meeting people from all over the world.

• I have a deep desire to give you an enjoyable love story
• I want to help women understand how to ask for what they want sexually and in every other way, and to keep their partner's hearts open, honest communications are essential when it comes to sex

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