Posted in Blog Tours, Reviews

The Heart Keeper by Alex Dahl #BlogTour @HoZ_Books @alexdahlauthor

The Heart Keeper by Alex Dahl Blog Tour

Hello everyone and thank you so much for stopping by! We are so excited and it’s our absolute pleasure to be a part of the blog tour for The Heart Keeper by Alex Dahl and share our individual reviews with you. Thank you so much to Victoria Joss at Head of Zeus for inviting us to be a part of this blog tour.

The Traveling Sisters ~ Norma, Brenda & Lindsay! xxoo

The Heart Keeper by Alex Dahl is available now!

The heart-breaking, heart-pounding new thriller from the author of The Boy at the Door.

How do you mend a broken heart?

It’s been three months since Alison Miller-Juul’s world fell apart when her six-year-old daughter, Amalie, died in an accident. Three months of sympathy cards, grief counselling and gritting her teeth, but it’s still only the vodka and pills that seem to help.

Across town, Iselin Berg’s life is finally looking up. Her seven-year-old daughter, Kaia, has survived a life-changing operation. After years of doctors, medication and hope, they can now start thinking about the future.
When Alison uncovers a dangerous secret, she is left in turmoil. She can now see a way to heal her broken heart, but will she risk everything to do so?

About the author

Alex Dahl is a half-American, half-Norwegian author. Born in Oslo, she studied Russian and German linguistics with international studies, then went on to complete an MA in creative writing at Bath Spa University and an MSc in business management at Bath University. A committed Francophile, Alex loves to travel, and has so far lived in Moscow, Paris, Stuttgart, Sandefjord, Switzerland, Bath and London. Her first thriller, The Boy at the Door, was a Sunday Times Crime Club star pick.

Follow Alex:  
Twitter: @alexdahlauthor
Facebook: @alexdahlauthor

Now onto our reviews!
Norma’s Review

Moving, heart-wrenching & raw!

THE HEART KEEPER by ALEX DAHL is an interesting, enjoyable and entertaining read that had quite the emotional, profound and unique premise. I haven’t read too many books in regards to organ donation and I found that quite intriguing. I wouldn’t necessarily say though that I was totally immersed in this story but I did definitely feel at times an intense emotional pull. 

The story itself is a scary, horrific and heartbreaking one that definitely plants you right into the storyline with all of its dramatic highs and lows. But I wouldn’t say that it was all that thrilling or had me on the edge of my seat in anticipation until maybe towards the end. Then I was breathlessly awaiting the outcome.

ALEX DAHL delivers an intriguing and well-written read here with determined, honest and relatable characters. I especially enjoyed Kaia and she had me totally loving and rooting for her. The concept and the actual things all heart related was pretty palpable and extremely touched me as a reader. You could definitely feel the author’s heart here within this story. 

Brenda’s Review

Two Mothers, one grieving, two daughters, one gone and the other given a second chance

The Heart Keeper is an emotional, heart breaking story that explores a mother’s grief and guilt that turns into an obsession.

Alex Dahl does a great job capturing the grief of a family after the death of their daughter and sister. Each dealing in their own way that really pulled me into their lives. I was turning those pages as fast as I could to see how this story comes together in the end. We see how grief and guilt start to unravel our grieving mother and she starts to become obsessed with the idea of having a second chance with her daughter through her daughter’s heart keeper.

The ending had me on the seat of chair, holding my breath and rooting for the characters and feeling very satisfied with how the story wrapped up. I highly recommend!

Lindsay’s Review

Alison is lost in her grief after her five-year-old daughter, Amalie drowns in the lake.  She is consumed by guilt, as she was the one watching her that day. Alison and her husband decide to donate Amalie’s organs, feeling comfort that Amalie can help to save other children.  Iselin’s seven-year-old daughter, Kaia, is the recipient of Amalie’s heart. Being born with a heart condition, Iselin has watched Kaia struggle to survive for her entire life. Shortly after, Alison stumbles across a magazine article outlining Kaia’s miraculous recovery through the heart transplant.  Could part of Amalie be living within this young girl? Would she recognize any signs of Amalie in Kaia?

The emotional impact of this book hit me hard.  Alison’s grief completely consumed me. It was a gut-wrenching, impossible to ignore sadness that reached my core and had me shedding countless tears within the first several chapters.  I felt so deeply for her character and situation that I had to take breaks from reading to dry my eyes and regroup my thoughts. The power behind this author, Alex Dahl’s, writing is undeniable.   I had deep sympathy for Alison from start to finish, hoping for her to somehow find comfort and peace and be able to move forward in life.

This book is separated into three parts.  Part 1 was the most powerful for me, leaving a devastating and unforgettable emotional impact.  I thoroughly enjoyed the entire book, but found that Part 2 and Part 3 lost some of the emotional intensity, focusing more on the storyline, rather than the emotions involved.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Intriguing, heartfelt, moving and an extremely fitting and meaningful representation to storyline. 
Title: An intriguing, interesting, meaningful and extremely fitting representation to storyline. I absolutely love the title of this story! Perfection!
Writing/Prose: Well-written, sincere, captivating, moving and readable. 
Plot: Slow-building, steadily paced, interesting, heartfelt, moving, touching, and unique. 
Ending: Intense, heartfelt and satisfying. 
Overall: I think this book will be much better perceived if you go into it knowing that it is more of a strong family drama rather than a full on heart-pounding thriller. This book definitely resonated with me as a mother. Would recommend! 

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Victoria Joss at Head of Zeus and Alex Dahl for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.

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If you would like to read a copy of the book for yourself, it is available now from the following retailers:

Buy links:
Amazon
Kobo
Google Play
iBooks

Follow Aria:
Website: www.headofzeus.com
Twitter: @HoZ_Books
Facebook: @headofzeus
Instagram: @headofzeus

Please check out these other fantastic blogs that are participating in the blog tour!

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Friends Reads Reviews

Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly @mserinkelly @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress

Looking for a creepy atmospheric read! Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly is now available

Brenda’s review

I read Stone Mothers with a couple of my Instagram friends and it lead to such a great discussion.

Victorian mental asylum, deep dark secrets threatened to be exposed and the lengths these characters take to keep them buried.

The Stone Mothers is an atmospheric, slow-burn psychological thriller that at times I found a bit like a drama rather than a thriller.   I love a good atmospheric read with walls that hold secrets begging to be told and this story sure delivers on that. However, the part that didn’t quite deliver for me was the suspense I needed more but that was ok because the drama part of the story was well done.    

The story started off a bit slow at building the suspense and tension however it left us feeling as Heidi described as feeling like we were all part of a group but were the only ones who didn’t know what everyone was talking about.  We felt like we were kept in the dark. I started to feel a bit impatient and frustrated and that slowed down the story for me. The story did pick up for me at Part two and I began to turn those pages as fast as I could to see how everything wrapped up in the end.

What I really liked about this story and made the story for me I can’t really say as it could be a spoiler for some people.  I guess that’s what makes discussing in a group so great. I highly recommend for buddy/group reads.

Thank you to NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for my copy.

Have you read this one? Want to read this one? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!