Shadow Heart by Pamela Taeuffer
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 how we experience the world.
Such is the case for seventeen year-old Nicky Young who was raised by an alcoholic father and disengaged mother. While Nicky tries to make her way into the world she is confronted by the demons of her dysfunctional and sometimes violent upbringing.
As a young child, Nicky witnesses her older sister having her head slammed into a bowl of creamed corn by her father and then yanks his belt from the loops of his pants and begins to relentlessly beat her sister. It is experiences like this that ravage her self-esteem and make trusting men next to impossible…until at 17, Nicky meets Ryan Tilton, a high profile professional baseball player eight years her senior, who expresses an interest in her.
While she is interested in Ryan, Nicky questions his ulterior motive for wanting to be with an inexperienced girl. Is this man a scoundrel or does he genuinely care about her? Nicky is torn between protecting her vulnerable heart and wanting to trust Ryan and develop a relationship. Ryan brings his own demons to the party – losing his father at the age of fourteen, his early fame 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 intimacy they both crave so deeply or is Nicky and Ryan on a collision course for failure?
Loosely based on the author's life growing up in San Francisco, this inspired work of fiction deals with the disturbing secrets siblings share, the dance between love and protecting one’s heart, and the innate desire to connect with another even when it means risking everything.