Shadow Heart and Fire Heart by Pamela Taeuffer

Release Date - February 2014

Pamela Taeuffer
Open Heart Press

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

While I'm not exactly sure on the target readership for Shadow Heart and Fire Heart, the first two books in the Broken Bottle series, I would say this is new adult and geared towards the older teen. The main character is 17 and the man who wants to capture her heart is 24.

Nicky Young has grown up dealing with her alcoholic father for far too many years. After her sister is raped by a group of older boys, the family seems to spiral completely. Now 17, Nicky throws herself into plans to apply and hopefully get accepted into Stanford, and the cheer team she and her friends decide to form for a local baseball team.

It is in this cheer team that Nicky catches the eye of Ryan Tilton, a 24-year-old baseball player who is tired of one night stands and wants to find a woman of substance that he can give his heart to. Nicky seems to meet everything he wants in a woman, but she's underage and her family circumstances have jaded her to an extent. If Ryan wants to win her heart, he's going to have to be very, very careful.

Nicky has had a very rough life and that weighs heavily on her emotional growth. Physical maturity is one thing, but emotional is another and the adult in me was crying out that this kid was no where near ready for a relationship. Nothing is firmed up in the first book, so the storyline continues into the second book, Fire Heart

As much as I wanted to connect to Nicky and her story, I just couldn't find what I needed. I wondered how much of my dislike for the story stems from the fact that I'm the mother of an 18 year old and wouldn't want her anywhere near a baseball player, especially with the conversations the team mates had about the girls on the cheer team. Given that, I never found myself really liking Ryan.

I tried to go back to my own teens and the books I read. I think if I was younger and hadn't been in my own lasting relationship and had more insight into what really makes a relationship last, I would have fallen for Ryan and Nicky's story.  The chemistry is there, but Nicky's immaturity and Ryan's age just never fit well for me.


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