Friday, May 15, 2015

Fire Heart (Broken Bottle #2) by Pamela Taeuffer

Release Date: September 8, 2014
Publisher: Open Heart Press
Series: Broken Bottle series, Book 2
Author Website:

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Nicky Young thought she had her life after high school planned out. First, she'd graduate and attend Stanford. Second, she'd be free to explore all that college life had to offer. Yet, right before she put the plans into motion, she found herself torn between two men, Ryan and Jerry. As she explored the feelings that being with each bring out, her emotions range from pure bliss to reluctance and foreboding.

Spending time with either of them brought a sense of vulnerability to the fore of her mind. Nicky felt her walls immediately seal around her heart whenever either asked her to love them. Seeing the dysfunction of her parent's marriage and the phoenix-like revival of her sister's life after a devastating rape, Nicky wasn't sure that she could be intimate with anyone. Her newly-found feelings drove her forward, leaving her to decide which man will have her heart and where her future would led her.

Getting an email from NetGalley alerted me that both this book and the first, Shadow Heart, were available for reading. I took a step from my comfort zone of mysteries and thrillers to see what these two titles held. The first book left Nicky after a confusing and exhilarating night at a beach bonfire with Jerry while Ryan was away on a game tour. Today's book picked up the day after the events of that night and chronicled all the emotions on either end of the spectrum that both men brought out of her. Word of warning for this book - there was a large amount of information concerning sexuality and keeping oneself safe while engaging in adult activities. The information was very pertinent to a young adult in today's society, written to inform and empower both young men and women about their bodies. While the intimate situations between the young lovers weren't graphic, the instructional information was very much in the open between Nicky and her sister.

Once again, Nicky related her story through her point-of-view. The reader received a front row seat to the warring emotions and feelings that filled her mind and journal. Much of the cast of characters which made up the first book also appeared in this sequel. Both love interests, Ryan and Jerry, made her decision to choose very difficult by opening themselves up to her. Ryan allowed her to meet part of his family and revealed more of his own dysfunctional family. Jerry made his own attempts to capture her heart, but his focus was divided between Nicky and his budding baseball career. Nicky's family were more prominent in this particular book, especially her older sister. A few new characters made their way into the story and brought out some hidden secrets and set up future conflicts.

Much of the pacing seemed slow but steady for the entire book. For me, the only time events picked up speed was when Nicky was invited to go to L.A. with a girlfriend and that happened for a weekend. The slow pace did allow for a softening of Ryan's character and a deepening bond between Nicky and her sister, Jenise. The constant shift between still being a child and becoming an adult showed up many times in both dialogue and her thoughts/feelings as they appeared in the book. As with many confused young adults, she could wear the clothes and makeup, appearing much older than her eighteen years, but she still had the thought processes and feelings of a young teen. Without experiences to judge which direction to turn, she was smart enough to go to someone older for advice.

Overall, I thought the book was okay. It was a quick read that expanded on the themes and circumstances which began in the first book. I did like how Nicky grew stronger as the book progressed. While still low, her confidence level shifted and allowed her to voice her opinion more often, especially toward the end of the book. Dialogue filled a large portion of the character's interactions and provided most of the information necessary to move the story forward. The way the dialogue was broken into many paragraphs did distract me at times. It became easy to forget which speaker was talking. Some of the characters spoke in such a similar manner that it also contributed to the feeling that one person was speaking when the book showed two characters. All that aside, it was an okay sequel to the first book and set up a number of questions to be answered in the next book. This book should be on your TBR shelf if you've read the first book or if you're a lover of people overcoming dysfunction in order to find love again.

Fire Heart (Broken Bottle #2) by Pamela Taeuffer is currently available at all major online retailers in either paperback or digital (Kindle) formats. Below is a link to the book's page at Amazon for purchase.
Fire Heart (Broken Bottle #2) by Pamela Taeuffer

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