Customer Reviews for

Heart Like Mine: A Novel

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  • Posted February 20, 2013

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    A MUST Read!

    I read this blurb and KNEW I had to read this! "When a young mother dies under mysterious circumstances, those she leaves behind begin looking for answers in the past—and find a long-buried secret they could have never imagined.

    Thirty-six-year-old Grace McAllister never longed for children. But when she meets Victor Hansen, a handsome, charismatic divorced restaurateur who is father to Max and Ava, Grace decides that, for the right man, she could learn to be an excellent part-time stepmom. After all, the kids live with their mother, Kelli. How hard could it be?"...Okay, how many of you are shaking your heads at that thought???? Told between the POVs of Ava and Grace, one sees how much these two actually have in common, regardless of their differences on the outside.

    Grace truly was clueless as to the requirements of being a new addition to the splintered Hansen family. When Kelli died suddenly, even though she was an unstable parent, almost more of a child, Grace is forced to step up and try to carefully field her way through the emotional landmines all around her. Her biggest obstacle to overcome was thirteen year old Ava who is caught up in the grief of losing her mother, the hormones of growing up, and a need to know about her mother's dark past and find out why her mother had lied to her about so many things.

    Victor was a good father, just too consumed with his business and seemed to dump so much more than Grace bargained for onto her shoulders.

    As Grace tried to reach out to Ava, Ava pulled farther away, resenting the fact that Grace was alive and her mother wasn't. What will happen when Kelli's true past finally unfolds? Can Grace and Victor's relationship survive? Can Grace breach Ava's barriers?

    This is an amazing story, well-told and filled with emotion and depth. By taking a contemporary issue such as divorce and its aftermath, exploding into the death of a parent and the secrets they leave behind, the author has created a book that will stay with me for a long time! I highly recommend this book!

    This ARC copy was provided by NetGalley and Washington Square Press in exchange for my honest review. Publication date: March 19, 2013

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A Must Read - My New Favorite Author List!

    Wow! Amy Hatvany has just been added to my favorite author list! I love her writing style and cannot wait to start on her other books (I have ordered them all) and will pre-order her new one “Safe with Me – coming 2014 included as a sneak peak at the end of Heart Like Mine (already has me hooked).

    I am so thankful you wrote this book – I could so relate with Grace, as I was in the stepmother role (and it is not an easy task) – it makes you want to run back to your independent life without all the drama. I had two sons of my own and met a man with 3 sons – his all had dyslexia (all five boys from age 7-15) – boy, do you have to be thick skinned – there is always some sort of fighting, manipulating, other mother involved, power struggles, etc…and then to find they all want to come and live with you – it can be very overwhelming at times. It means a lot to have the husband’s support, sometimes Victor was not supporting Grace (so admire her for hanging in there).

    Both Grace and Kelli had similar backgrounds and was unable to live their childhood/teen years as a normal teen; however, Kelli and Grace turned out differently. Kelli was very weak and needy and looked to others to provide her happiness instead of creating her own. Amy did an outstanding job of speaking from Ava, Kelli, and Grace’s perspective and voice-- loved how she seamlessly tied it all together. It was brilliantly written (wish list) – Would love to see sequel in tracking down Kelli’s child, the new relationship between sisters and brothers, and possibly Grace/Victor with a child of their own, and more from Spencer/Melody – (this could fill at least another two books). Hey, I would buy them!

    Highly recommend this book and so look forward to reading more from this author. Her insight into the pitfalls of step parenting are so realistic, as I speak from experience.

    I tend to read the new ones first which hooks me on the author, and then I want to dive into everything they have written. Have read so many great reviews about Amy and lots of praise from my other favorite authors about her work. Great reading!! She speaks to the heart and does not miss a beat.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Aubrey Book provided by NetGalley for review Review

    Reviewed by Aubrey
    Book provided by NetGalley for review
    Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

    I really enjoyed this novel. It was written in a much different format than most novels I’ve read. It was told from the point of Grace and Ava in the present and from Kelli from the past. Grace is a single woman without any kids who gets engaged to Victor who has two kids from a previous marriage to Kelli. Grace does not know if she could be a mother. She loves her independence and her career. That all changes when Kelli is found dead and Grace is now a full-time step-mother to Victor’s two kids.

    Victor is a good father but also has to find his way into full-time fatherhood. I really liked Victor and how he was able to get through his problems without get super angry. Victor knew what he wanted with Grace and tried his best to get that relationship.

    Ava was your typical teenager forced to grow up way too soon. First because of her parents divorce and second because of the death of her mother. She was more of a mother to Kellie than Kelli was to her.

    It was very believable going back and forth between Grace, Ava and Kelli’s point of views. You could see how Grace and Ava grew in their relationships with each other as well as individually.

    I will be on the look out for more books by Amy Hatvany.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2013

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    I could not put down, the story felt so real. I don¿t know what

    I could not put down, the story felt so real. I don’t know what to write in this review. Only that it is going to be a book that I will remember reading and I will know Grace, Ava and Kelli's story it will stay with me. Some books you will remember a long time after reading and others you can look at and think I read this book but you won’t remember a thing. Well this is a book that will stick with you for a while. It’s a beautifully written story about depression, grief, love, mother - daughter relationship, stepmother- daughter relationship. I truly enjoyed this book. Very good would highly recommend

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2014

    Really 3.5 stars

    This was really a 3.5 star book (I really wish B&N let you do 1/2 stars). I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't really earth shattering or unpredictable, but it was the kind of story that just stayed with you, long after you put the book down. This was my first book by Hatvany, and I will definitely be reading more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2014

    Good story

    I enjoyed reading this book. It was my first from this author and I definately will read more of her work. Her characters came alive to me and I truly cared what happened to them all as they worked through their problems. It was a good read about life and family one that I recommend.

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  • Posted June 15, 2013

    Grace McAllister is happy with her childless life. She meets Vic

    Grace McAllister is happy with her childless life. She meets Victor Hansen, a divorced restaurant owner, while she's on a date with an obnoxious guy whom she met online. Victor helps Grace get rid of this guy and the two end up dating. While Grace hesitates to get close to Victor because he has two children, Ava and Max, she doesn't mind the situation because Victor only has the kids every other weekend.

    Eventually, the two get engaged and plan to tell the kids but before they can, Kelli, Victor's ex-wife, dies. Can Grace and Victor make things work or is their relationship doomed?

    I really enjoyed this story and how the author broke it down from 3 different points of view. It brings out the emotions of each character and how each deals with loss.

    This is a real page turner which grips you from the beginning. Love, sadness, family, lies, healing and forgiveness, Hatvany includes it all.

    The only thing I didn't like about the book was the few times the Lord's name was taken in vain.
    -
    I received this book from goodreads in exchange for an honest review

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    By: Amy Hatvany Published By: Washington Square Press Age Reco



    By: Amy Hatvany
    Published By: Washington Square Press
    Age Recommended: Adult
    Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
    Rating: 4
    Book Blog For: GMTA
    Review:

    "Heart Like Mine" By Amy Hatvany was a wonderfully written story full with mystery, family drama, relationships and death. I enjoyed how the author gave us a story told from three different people. Victor and Kelli are divorced and he is dating Grace. The children Ava and her brother Max live with their mom, Kelli. Now, as the story moves along there will be a death and the children will now live with their dad. Now, will this present a problem for Grace? You will have to keep up with the story because it does jump around quite a bit. This is where I say you must pick up this read to find out what it is all about. Each one of these three ladies will have a story...and what a story it is.

    The characters were all well developed and normal real people that kept you interested in the read and turning the pages to find out what was coming next.

    "Heart of Mine" was a rather quick read but it has a 'lots of substance' and would I recommend this book? YES!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This is an absolutely wonderful book. The honesty and compassio

    This is an absolutely wonderful book. The honesty and compassion Hatvany writes with shine through. The struggles and emotions of the characters can almost be felt as you are reading. This makes them more real and easier to connect with.

    The story is written in the point of view of Grace and Ava with Kelli’s story interwoven expertly throughout the story. Their individual perspectives gave the story such depth. Their journey to acceptance is a rich experience.

    This is the second Hatvany book I have read. I love the stories she holds in her heart and shares with us. She tackles difficult subjects with grace and courage. I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys excellent books. My overall rating is 4.5 stars.

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  • Posted April 19, 2013

    This is an emotional story, my heart broke in several places as

    This is an emotional story, my heart broke in several places as I read. Grace is happy with her life, loves her career and Victor, her fiance. He has two children who live with his ex, Kelli, and that makes Grace even happier. She has no desire to be a mother. Something tragic happens and the children come to live with Grace and their father. Thirteen year old Ava needs to know more about what made her mother a woman with a lot of pain. As she and Grace dig through Kelli's past the story is then being told by Kelli. So heartbreaking. 




    Hatveny writes with such passion you can feel the emotions from each person as they go through the grieving process...the depression... the pain... and the change in their lives. Kelli and Grace are such different people, my heart went out to Kelli. She loved being a mom and just wanted to be accepted. A beautiful story. 




    I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Heart like Mine is the latest novel by Amy Hatvany. In this no

    Heart like Mine is the latest novel by Amy Hatvany. In this novel there are many secrets for the reader to uncover.
    Synopsis:
    This story is told from three different perspectives. Grace is the new woman in Victor’s life and will become a future step mother to Ava. She is Victor’s daughter and is fourteen years old and her little brother Max. Ava lives with her mother on the other side of town. Kelli is Ava’s mother who Victor calls to share news about their upcoming future. Kelli does not take this news well and is later found dead. Grace and Victor are left to try to hold things together after her death. Will the kids accept the news? What secrets are Grace, Kelli, and Ava hiding? How will this impact the future?
    My Thoughts:
    This is my first Amy Hatvany novel. I enjoyed it very much! I would finish reading a passage wanting to know more about what is coming up in the next pages. I loved the author crafted the story. You knew that Kelli was suffering from something but what? I found the approach less in your face than another popular author.
    To plot a good story, you must keep some secrets. These secrets are slowly revealed throughout the novel. The reader is than struggling with that character as they experience heartache and loss. I wonder what the theme will be for Amy’s next novel. You can win a copy of Heart like Mine in our giveaway.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2013

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Are you a woman

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings
    Are you a woman who thought that children just weren't in your picture?  I am one of those women, so when I read the synopsis of this Amy Hatvany book, I was immediately drawn to Grace's story and could not wait to start this one.  Grace is a woman who falls in love with a man who has two children with his ex wife and as this won't spoil the book, the ex wife tragically dies and the children must move in full time to their dad's and Grace's new home.  

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 22, 2013

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    booksbysteph says "Must Read" Grace McAllister thinks

    booksbysteph says "Must Read"

    Grace McAllister thinks she will never find love. Until a bad date turns good when she meets the owner of a restaurant, Victor. Grace does not want kids. Not that she does not like kids but she feels she will not be a good mother. Victor has two kids with his ex-wife, Kelli. Grace decides not to write Victor off because he has children; he only sees them a few times a month. 

    After a year of being with Victor, he proposes. He wants to tell the children over the weekend but he and Grace feels it is only right that Kelli knows about it first. Grace has the newly engaged glow until she receives a phone call from Victor letting her know that Kelli has died. They cannot tell the kids about the engagement on the same weekend their mother dies. 

    How does a young, healthy woman die? There was an empty pill bottle on the nightstand of the bed where she died. Could she have killed herself? Kelli still loved and wanted Victor back. Did the news of the engagement push her over the edge? What do they tell the children when they ask how their mother died?  Nothing is known until blood tests comes back. Now the kids are in their Dad's life full time. That means they are in Grace's life too. Now a mother-like figure to kids she did not ask for and hate her, how will her relationship with Victor survive?

    I GIVE THIS BOOK: 4 3/4 out of 5 stars

    This book is a must read! It is told from three points of view: Grace, Kelli, and Ava (the daughter). This book allows the real questions to be spoken. What is expected of the stepmother. How children of different ages react differently to the death of a parent. How much do you tell the children and how far are the children willing to go to find answers. Was it the responsibility of other people to take care of Kelli and her depression. How do you celebrate your love for a man when something happens to his ex. There are so many avenues this book takes you down; some you know will come up and some you may never realize. I do not want to say too much more because I do not want to give anything away. I will finish by saying this is a must read and you will not be disappointed!

    Until next time, live life one page at a time!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2013

    Blurb from the publisher: Thirty-six-year-old Grace McAl





    Blurb from the publisher:




    Thirty-six-year-old Grace McAllister never longed for children. But when she meets Victor Hansen, a handsome, charismatic divorced restaurateur who is father to Max and Ava, Grace decides that, for the right man, she could learn to be an excellent part-time stepmom. After all, the kids live with their mother, Kelli. How hard could it be? 
    At thirteen, Ava Hansen is mature beyond her years. Since her parents’ divorce, she has been the one taking care of her emotionally unstable mother and her little brother—she pays the bills, does the laundry, and never complains because she loves her mama more than anyone. And while her father’s new girlfriend is nice enough, Ava still holds out hope that her parents will get back together and that they’ll be a family again.
    But only days after Victor and Grace get engaged, Kelli dies suddenly under mysterious circumstances—and soon, Grace and Ava discover there was much more to Kelli’s life than either ever knew.
    Narrated by Grace and Ava in the present with flashbacks into Kelli’s troubled past, Heart Like Mine is a poignant and hopeful portrait about womanhood, love, and the challenges of family life.








    My thoughts :  




    Heart Like Mine, such a simple title, yet...who's heart is like mine?  Ava's, the grieving and angry teen?  Grace's, the instant "mom", almost wife and struggling career driven woman? Or Kelli's, relating to her daughter's, her hard nosed mother, or her daughter's soon to be step-mom? I started this book thinking I'd have a clear answer when I finished. You know what? It really doesn't matter who the title references. I'm one of those readers who likes to find the truth behind the title. And while my truth may be different from the truth you find? They're both truthful, and both right.




    Hatvany has created such real people!  I know we often hear and read things like that, but I really mean "real".  No matter what character is speaking, you know them! They are in your world. I think one of the hardest things for an author, is to accurately speak for different ages and to have it be honest, and most importantly, believable.  One of the most honest scenes for me was between Grace and Victor, (her fiance and Ava's dad). They are discussing the incredibility of Kelli's parents not wanting to have anything to do with their daughter and grandchildren. OK, that's a pretty strange thing on its own, but the scene quickly turns to Grace being hurt because her fiance was remembering what traits he liked in his ex-wife, Kelli. Smartly, Hatvany quickly gave Grace the humility and love to realize that Victor, at one time, loved his ex, just as he loves HER now. That Victor is human.




    Hatvany's Heart Like Mine is scattered FULL of these quiet moments, where the characters are clearly defined,  where she wants you to feel for each of them, and when you do? You struggle with the events of this story even more. You're pulled in the direction of the three women, and also pulled by the two main guys, Victor, and his son the adorable, Max.  




    Hatvany has made the women the focus and also the characters who hold and also solve the mysteries.   We don't get too much from the males, Victor, Max or Kelli's father. While Victor and Max figure in the stories, we hear little from them, but what little we hear is powerful. Kelli's distant father is around, but her mother's is the voice that we, as readers, have the most interaction with. 




    For me, the author wrote a fast paced and engaging book, you wanted to read faster to keep the pages turning.  Her dialogue for all of the characters is spot on and the voices clear in your head as you read. You quickly get to know these people and have no problem at all keeping up with the story, as Hatvany's superb story telling propels you forward.




    I won't give you too much more, as I don't want to spoil the ride that the author gives you. 




    I give this 4 out of 5 stars,  I really enjoyed Heart Like Mine, and recommend it highly. My only little quibble, so to speak, is that it all wrapped up pretty quickly. The ending is believable and satisfying, but it happened oh-so-fast!  Now, if that's the only complaint I have?  This is one fine book!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2013

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    I doubt I would have read this book if I didn¿t get an email fro

    I doubt I would have read this book if I didn’t get an email from Netgalley telling me it was available as a Read Now book. But I did get the email and I did read the book…

    Unfortunately, the book was purely mediocre. The plot seemed to drag on. There was too much day-to-day story and not enough action to move the story along. And when the story did progress, it was in a boringly predictable manner.

    Overall, the book was nice enough. It didn’t give me warm fuzzies and make me fall in love with it, though.

    *** This book was received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ***

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 22, 2013

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    Posted September 4, 2014

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