The Queen of Hearts
A debut novel that pulses with humor and empathy and explores the heart's capacity for forgiveness...Zadie Anson and Emma Colley have been best friends since their early twenties, when they first began navigating serious romantic relationships amid the intensity of medical school. Now they're happily married wives and mothers with successful careers--Zadie as a pediatric cardiologist and Emma as a trauma surgeon. Their lives in Charlotte, North Carolina are chaotic but fulfilling, until the return of a former colleague unearths a secret one of them has been harboring for years. As chief resident, Nick Xenokostas was the center of Zadie's life--both professionally and personally--throughout a tragic chain of events in her third year of medical school that she has long since put behind her. Nick's unexpected reappearance during a time of new professional crisis shocks both women into a deeper look at the difficult choices they made at the beginning of their careers. As it becomes evident that Emma must have known more than she revealed about circumstances that nearly derailed both their lives, Zadie starts to question everything she thought she knew about her closest friend.

The Queen of Hearts Details

TitleThe Queen of Hearts
Author
ReleaseFeb 13th, 2018
PublisherBerkley
Rating
GenreFiction, Adult

The Queen of Hearts Review

  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Let my curious blues land on a cover as gorgeous as this beauty queen and I’m instantly charmed. I know, sounds silly and superficial, right? They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but what do they know anyway? It just so happens, things worked in my favor this time—The Queen of Hearts is more than just a pretty face—the storyline itself is actually quite lovely, despite the twisted lies and jealousy at the heart of it all.Something major happened during Emma and Zadie’s third year Let my curious blues land on a cover as gorgeous as this beauty queen and I’m instantly charmed. I know, sounds silly and superficial, right? They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but what do they know anyway? It just so happens, things worked in my favor this time—The Queen of Hearts is more than just a pretty face—the storyline itself is actually quite lovely, despite the twisted lies and jealousy at the heart of it all.Something major happened during Emma and Zadie’s third year of medical school and they’ve vowed to leave in the past—to never speak of it again. Unfortunately, the appearance of Doctor Nick Xenokostas stirs up everything. Once Zadie’s guy and chief resident, he’s relocated to North Carolina and adamant about seeing her. After all of this time, you have to wonder why? Both Emma and Zadie are successful doctors with husbands and kids; they’ve moved on. Or wait, have they? “I wish you weren’t so lovely.” For this lover of love, it was uncovering what could have torn a magnetic couple like Dr. X and Zadie apart that fueled my page turning frenzy. Kimmery Martin alternates between Zadie and Emma’s perspective—from both the past and the present—as the story builds to the climax and I’ve gotta say, the truth is pretty harsh. She juxtaposes the personalities of these two women, while also managing to convey to the reader just how close of a friendship they've always maintained. These two come off as relatable women—overextended, but likable and genuine, on some levels—which made the reader/character connection effortless, on my part. Something I truly appreciate as a reader. “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” There’s no hiding the fact that Kimmery Martin is a doctor (no way a non-medical professional could have pulled this off) or that she's passionate about her work—it certainly shines through in her writing. There is a ton of medical jargon and procedures threaded throughout the storyline, which could have gone one of two ways. Thankfully, I found most of it to be quite interesting. I will say, there were a few spots in the beginning of the story where the adjectives felt a little overused and clunky, but maybe that's because I had to take the time to look a few of them up. Who knows though, maybe I'm better for it in the long run—reading is supposed to make you smarter, right?In a story riddled with tension and intrigue, the author manages to inject some comedic relief; especially when 3-year-old Delaney is on the scene—talk about witty and endearing. I laughed every time she was around. Her funny little monikers—“Hi, beloved dear!” or “Fank you, honey dears!“—and silly antics were the BEST.If you're a reader that enjoys women’s fiction with a slight edge of suspense, you should definitely consider picking up this author's debut. Zadie and Emma’s story is surprising. Angsty. Heartbreaking. Thought-provoking. What-might-have-been inducing. Similar to this reader, you might finding yourself questioning, how well do ever really know someone?*Thank you to Berkley and Edelweiss for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lane
    January 1, 1970
    I am perpetually in awe of people who can write. In this book Dr. Martin shows us the crazy world of medical training, weaving medicine, motherhood, and friendship through these beautifully written pages. I did not want to put this book down and was literally sad when it ended. I cannot wait to see what comes next from this unbelievably talented author!
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  • *The Angry Reader*
    January 1, 1970
    ***ARC received for an honest review***I took a gamble, and it paid off. This is a debut novel so when I agreed to read the ARC I had no idea what lay ahead. But I read the blurb four times and stared at that gorgeous cover while my internal debate raged. And finally I thought "what the heck. If I hate it it'll be just another in my slew of hateful reviews." It turns out I needn't have worried. First things first - Kimmery Martin is brilliant. Trying to avoid jumping to conclusions - but she mus ***ARC received for an honest review***I took a gamble, and it paid off. This is a debut novel so when I agreed to read the ARC I had no idea what lay ahead. But I read the blurb four times and stared at that gorgeous cover while my internal debate raged. And finally I thought "what the heck. If I hate it it'll be just another in my slew of hateful reviews." It turns out I needn't have worried. First things first - Kimmery Martin is brilliant. Trying to avoid jumping to conclusions - but she must have a medical background. This is a realistic, educated, humorous, sweet and difficult novel about women - juggling their careers and their relationships and being just a little bit weird."In theory, that didn't sound difficult, but in reality, each child added an exponential level of complexity, so that we'd had to plaster an entire wall of the playroom at home with a whiteboard covered in Venn diagrams and annotations about the logistics of everyone's soccer, ballet, field hockey and guitar lessons."Zadie and Emma meet at Brain Camp and click. We travel from the present to the past in revolving POVs exploring med school, motherhood, the pressures of being a surgeon, first love and, ultimately, the very core of Zadie and Emma's beautiful and complicated friendship. There's a perfect combination of realism (lots of medical vocabulary) without it becoming cumbersome. I felt Ms Martin struck a precarious balance and maintained it throughout the book. Erudite and clever without being dispassionate or smug - she found that place that pulls a reader in without smothering them.All of that said - that ending. Guys, I need you to read this book when it's published and comment about the ending. I finished the book 12 hours ago, and I still don't know how I feel. Was it the right thing? I'd love to hear your thoughts! "At some point, the theoretical becomes the inevitable. You either cross the river or you don't. I'd known what I was doing, even if I buried the knowledge under a toxic mountain of denial."
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  • Lara Lillibridge
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely loved Kimmery Martin's tone of voice. I was sucked in right from the beginning by her unexpected and endearing prose. "Meanwhile, as a toddler, I’d aspired to be bulldozer, a career plan that received the enthusiastic support of my older brother…Unfortunately, it soon became evident I did not have what it took to be an actual bulldozer, what with being human and all.""…I have to be poured out of bed each morning like human syrup, and I lurch around emitting miserable squeaks until I I absolutely loved Kimmery Martin's tone of voice. I was sucked in right from the beginning by her unexpected and endearing prose. "Meanwhile, as a toddler, I’d aspired to be bulldozer, a career plan that received the enthusiastic support of my older brother…Unfortunately, it soon became evident I did not have what it took to be an actual bulldozer, what with being human and all.""…I have to be poured out of bed each morning like human syrup, and I lurch around emitting miserable squeaks until I’m caffeinated.""I smiled, running my fingers through my hair, which had responded to its release from the ER cap by springing out in all directions in a belligerent pale brown explosion."The Queen of Hearts follows two female physicians from medical school to their married lives with children in an alternating POV. Martin does an excellent job of maintaining tension as she jumps back and forth in time from med school to the present day, as we try to fathom what dark secret will be revealed. Humorous yet filled with real-world drama, Martin's characters deal with real life or death at work at the hospital, the family drama of raising strong-willed children where the stakes are different but often just as high, and the complications of maintaining a friendship when the past refuses to stay buried.
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  • Kristi Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Read all my reviews at: https://brainfartsandbooks.wordpress.comAnyone else out there who is a total medical junkie? I mean the kind where you geek out when someone says myocardial infarction and you tell them you know exactly what that is (okay, so it’s medical talk for a heart attack. I’m sure you knew that though). But seriously, give me two of my favorite things-biology and fiction-and I’m a happy girl. So this story…yes, it’s a love triangle medical kind of story in which the two young wome Read all my reviews at: https://brainfartsandbooks.wordpress.comAnyone else out there who is a total medical junkie? I mean the kind where you geek out when someone says myocardial infarction and you tell them you know exactly what that is (okay, so it’s medical talk for a heart attack. I’m sure you knew that though). But seriously, give me two of my favorite things-biology and fiction-and I’m a happy girl. So this story…yes, it’s a love triangle medical kind of story in which the two young women are dating two different guys and some crazy things happen. The women are now grown and married with children when one of the guys comes back into town and stirs up massive drama. Without giving any spoilers away I’d have to say this was one of my favorite reads this year simply because it didn’t have any added junk in it. And by added junk, I mean words that had nothing to do with any part of the plot…the blah, blah, blah you skim through to get to the good stuff. Full of medical stories and characters with real heart, this book was a winner!Thank you to Netgalley, Kimmery Martin, and Berkley Publishing Group for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a beautifully written, compelling read that is full of delicious treats: laugh-out-loud humor; an equally riveting view of the home front as from the hospital; and an unflinching yet tender acknowledgment of doctors as flawed human beings who struggle to reconcile their biggest mistakes and regrets with a professional pedestal that demands perfection. Undoubtably, Martin's insider perspective of the medical profession is one of the coolest things about this novel. She nails the cama This book is a beautifully written, compelling read that is full of delicious treats: laugh-out-loud humor; an equally riveting view of the home front as from the hospital; and an unflinching yet tender acknowledgment of doctors as flawed human beings who struggle to reconcile their biggest mistakes and regrets with a professional pedestal that demands perfection. Undoubtably, Martin's insider perspective of the medical profession is one of the coolest things about this novel. She nails the camaraderie, energy, humor, pressure, heartbreak, and connection that experiencing the human condition in all its base and most miraculous forms yields. THE QUEEN OF HEARTS opens up a fascinating world and makes it both accessible and riveting.The friendship between main characters Zadie and Emma feels familiar and essential, and underscores emotional stakes that resonated easily with me. And Kimmery Martin's writing is a true pleasure to read. Every page is exquisitely wrought, without seeming dense, difficult, or heavy handed. Her story-telling stayed with me long after I turned the last page. THE QUEEN OF HEARTS is absolutely one of my all-time favorites.
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  • Abby
    January 1, 1970
    This book has the medical drama, excitement, and steamy work romance of Gray’s Anatomy, and the female bonds, motherhood struggles, secrets, heartbreak, and wit of Big Little Lies tied up in one delectable package. I LOVED it, and I couldn’t get enough of it.I think that this book is BETTER than Gray’s Anatomy. I could practically hear the EKG monitors beeping in the background as I read the hospital scenes. Dr. X reminds me of Gray’s Anatomy’s McDreamy or McSteamy. This book has the female bond This book has the medical drama, excitement, and steamy work romance of Gray’s Anatomy, and the female bonds, motherhood struggles, secrets, heartbreak, and wit of Big Little Lies tied up in one delectable package. I LOVED it, and I couldn’t get enough of it.I think that this book is BETTER than Gray’s Anatomy. I could practically hear the EKG monitors beeping in the background as I read the hospital scenes. Dr. X reminds me of Gray’s Anatomy’s McDreamy or McSteamy. This book has the female bonds, motherhood struggles, secrets, heartbreak, and wit of Big Little Lies. I absolutely loved it. I have been looking for this type of writing, with its humor and depth ever since I finished Big Little Lies. This is the only book that I think is comparable.I loved the humor. It made me laugh out loud so many times. The author’s writing style is so warm, friendly, and funny. I really hope that Kimmery Martin writes a sequel of this book and that she is not done with Zadie and Emma's story. I want them to live on in another book. Highly recommend.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Release date: February 13, 20184.5 stars!I LOVED this book!The Queen of Hearts is a book about doctors, written by a doctor. It was so good! The two main characters, Emma and Zadie, have been best friends since medical school. But something happens in their third year of school that gets buried and then resurfaces years later when one of the doctors they trained with all those years ago joins the medical staff at the hospital they both work at now. I highly recommend this book if you like shows Release date: February 13, 20184.5 stars!I LOVED this book!The Queen of Hearts is a book about doctors, written by a doctor. It was so good! The two main characters, Emma and Zadie, have been best friends since medical school. But something happens in their third year of school that gets buried and then resurfaces years later when one of the doctors they trained with all those years ago joins the medical staff at the hospital they both work at now. I highly recommend this book if you like shows like ER and Grey's Anatomy. There is a lot of medical terminology in this book to go along with a lot of medical "action". I thought it was very well done and explained, but I might not be the best source since I work in healthcare. What I loved: I loved how the author incorporated the past and the present for both characters without it getting confusing or difficult. I loved the glimpse this book gave into the life of a physician, including medical school. I loved how human these characters were. And I loved being in their heads through everything that happens. I wound up reading this book over the course of a week because this is a hectic time of year, but I could have easily read this in one or two sittings if life didn't get in the way. It was that good. I also wonder if there are plans for an audio book, since an audio re-read would be great!Lastly, I just want to say that this is a debut novel by Kimmery Martin. I know this book isn't even out yet, but I am hungry for her next one already!I won a copy of this book from goodreads giveaways! Yes, people actually win those things and no, winning did not influence my review.
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    This was a wonderful book about the power and strength of friendship. Zadie and Emma meet in medical school, and through the years their friendship grows. Secrecy and self-doubt are wound throughout the timeline, and in the end, will their long, tangled rich friendship be enough to overcome the terrible truth of past events? I love the style of the story as it unfolds; present day and past are a fabulous way to tell this story. Emma's cool calm is admirable,, and Zadie's quirky antics and wit ar This was a wonderful book about the power and strength of friendship. Zadie and Emma meet in medical school, and through the years their friendship grows. Secrecy and self-doubt are wound throughout the timeline, and in the end, will their long, tangled rich friendship be enough to overcome the terrible truth of past events? I love the style of the story as it unfolds; present day and past are a fabulous way to tell this story. Emma's cool calm is admirable,, and Zadie's quirky antics and wit are a good contrast to each other. Both grow into well respected doctors; Emma renowned for trauma, Zadie for pediatric cardiology. The glance into the inner workings of doctors and the field of medicine casts a light on a professional field so many readers really know little of; doctors are human too, with many of the same fears as many of us, but also with an inner strength that few of us can deny.I absolute commend this book for book groups, or readers of women's fiction, and even those who are interested in knowing more of what doctors have to go through. Great book!
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  • Phyllis Krall
    January 1, 1970
    Sadie and Emma are roommates in college and go through medical school together. They remain best friends and both have practices in North Carolina many years later. Zadie is a pediatric cardiologist, and Emma is a trauma surgeon. Their friendship begins to unravel when Emma starts bringing up the past which involves Nick, who was Zadie’s chief resident and secret boyfriend. He unexpectantly moves to North Carolina and causes havoc. Zadie finds out that Emma’s secret is so terrible, that she does Sadie and Emma are roommates in college and go through medical school together. They remain best friends and both have practices in North Carolina many years later. Zadie is a pediatric cardiologist, and Emma is a trauma surgeon. Their friendship begins to unravel when Emma starts bringing up the past which involves Nick, who was Zadie’s chief resident and secret boyfriend. He unexpectantly moves to North Carolina and causes havoc. Zadie finds out that Emma’s secret is so terrible, that she doesn’t know if her heart can forgive her.I really enjoyed reading about the lives of medical students and doctors, as well as the struggles of raising a family while having a specialty practice. The story of Emma and Zadie was riveting with vivid flashbacks of their days in training. Thanks to Goodreads for sending me this ARC to review! ❤️
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