The Queen of Hearts

The Queen of Hearts

Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2018 by Southern Living, Elite Daily, and Writer's Digest A debut novel set against a background of hospital rounds and life-or-death decisions 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...

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Title:The Queen of Hearts
Author:Kimmery Martin
Rating:

The Queen of Hearts Reviews

  • Lara Lillibridge

    Full disclosure: Kimmery and I are both part of TheDebutanteBall.com and I received a free copy form Net Galley in exchange for a review.

    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

    Full disclosure: Kimmery and I are both part of TheDebutanteBall.com and I received a free copy form Net Galley in exchange for a review.

    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.

  • Lane

    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!

  • Julie

    The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin is a 2018 Berkley publication.

    A suspenseful and emotional medical drama

    Zadie and Emma have been best friends since their medical school days. They come from completely different backgrounds, but the friendship has endured countless trials, marriages, children, and demanding careers. Their lives are hectic, and filled with family and career related challenges, triumphs, and tragedies. They share all of it with one another, asking and giving advice, sympathi

    The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin is a 2018 Berkley publication.

    A suspenseful and emotional medical drama

    Zadie and Emma have been best friends since their medical school days. They come from completely different backgrounds, but the friendship has endured countless trials, marriages, children, and demanding careers. Their lives are hectic, and filled with family and career related challenges, triumphs, and tragedies. They share all of it with one another, asking and giving advice, sympathizing with, and supporting one another. But, the one thing they never, ever, never talk about is their third year in Med school…

    Imagine all the angst, medical intensity, the emotion, heartbreak, tragedy and high drama of Grey’s Anatomy, but with a darker, edgier, suspenseful tone running beneath the surface.

    has this bipolar thing going on. On one hand, it’s a chick-lit novel about besties who stick with each other through all of life’s various valleys and peaks, but there’s a ‘dark side’, a sinister feeling of foreboding, of impending doom. It’s not just the emotional gut-punches, the graphic medical situations, or the appearance of Dr. X, who will most assuredly bring down all the carefully constructed walls built by Zadie and Emma when it comes to the past, and who also holds the power in the palm of his gifted hands, to once again, leave devastation in his wake.

    It’s like watching a train wreck. You know it’s coming, but you are helpless to stop it, and you can’t tear your eyes away from the impending impact, or the carnage left behind.

    I finished reading this book over two weeks ago. It has taken me this long to formulate my feelings. When I turned that last page I experienced a fuzzy feeling of disorientation. I really had to take some time to process it.

    Finally, I think I can attempt to explain my thoughts. I admit I had quite a few conflicting feelings about how everything played out. Wow. I mean- wow. Once I had begun to form an opinion that would stick, I realized I couldn’t really explain how I had come to that point without giving too much away.

    This review is long, and contains a lot of introspection and retrospection on my part, but it’s the mark of a good story when it prompts the reader to dig deeper and reflect on what they might do in a similar situation. It’s a gritty medical drama, but it’s also an ode to life, family, and above all friendship. So bear with me.

    What a tangled web we weave….

    Lies, betrayals, manipulations, and secrets- this book has them packed in so tight it can hardly contain them all. I still can’t wrap my head around some of it, and my feelings are still unsettled, even now. This story is part cautionary tale, partly a tale of borderline obsession, with a river of deception, envy, insecurities and competition. But, rest assured- your sins will always find you out. You can bury them, ignore them, hide them, and run from them, but eventually the truth bubbles to the surface. There are always consequences for our actions, some that take no prisoners, who hurt the very people we love and respect. Everyone has a secret, everyone has made questionable decisions, let our morals sick below our own standards. Atonement is a must, redemption hoped for. But, it is forgiveness that is the hardest thing to accomplish, but it is also the most powerful, effective ability humans are capable of.

    Now, I can’t sit here and tell you my feelings are completely settled about this story, as I continue to struggle with ongoing conflicts. But, I think the story speaks to the powerful, but mysterious bonds of friendship. Friendship is a relationship like no other. It can be fraught with insecurities and jealousies, and is fragile in a way many other relationships are not, being devoid of familial bonds or the power of romantic love. Yet, it can create an unshakable bond, a special kind of love, a fierce loyalty and devotion, it brings out a certain kind of protectiveness and can often endure hardships that other relationships would never survive.

    While there is a lot of emotional turmoil in this story, many heart rending situations and high drama, there is also the ‘light’ side of the story. The side where people rise to the occasion and do the right thing, where something good comes from something bad, and where the good side wins out in the end!

    This story turned out to be much more than I had anticipated. I was on pins and needles from start to finish, swallowed a painful lump or two, cursed, fretted, and fumed. But, when all was said and done, I think this was a very well -constructed novel, filled with human foibles, realistic family challenges, and amazing depictions of human beings at their very worst, but also at their finest. Not only that, I love medical dramas- oh- and southern fiction- so there's that, too! 😊

  • Melissa

    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

    judge a book by its cover, but what do

    know anyway? It just so happens, things worked in my favor this time—

    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.

    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

    judge a book by its cover, but what do

    know anyway? It just so happens, things worked in my favor this time—

    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.

    major happened during Emma and Zadie’s third year of medical school and they’ve vowed to leave in the past—to

    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

    ? Both Emma and Zadie are successful doctors with husbands and kids; they’ve moved on. Or wait, have they?

    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.

    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

    . 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.

    There’s no hiding the fact that

    is a doctor (

    ) or that she's passionate about her work—it certainly shines through in her writing. There is a

    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—

    —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?

  • Suzanne Leopold

    Zadie and Emma have a friendship that has stood the test of time. They went to medical school together, endured the highs and lows of dating, and are now juggling the demands of a family as neighbors in North Carolina. Their lives and careers were pretty uneventful until a colleague nicknamed, Dr. X joined their staff.

    Neither Zadie or Emma are happy with Dr. X’s arrival because each is keeping secrets from the past. Zadie had a romance with Dr. X but kept it discreet since he was the chief resid

    Zadie and Emma have a friendship that has stood the test of time. They went to medical school together, endured the highs and lows of dating, and are now juggling the demands of a family as neighbors in North Carolina. Their lives and careers were pretty uneventful until a colleague nicknamed, Dr. X joined their staff.

    Neither Zadie or Emma are happy with Dr. X’s arrival because each is keeping secrets from the past. Zadie had a romance with Dr. X but kept it discreet since he was the chief resident. Emma has her own misgivings because she has kept secrets from Zadie that may be unveiled. Dr. X’s presence threatens to destroy their longstanding friendship.

    This is a debut novel by Kimmery Martin, who was able to draw on her experience as a doctor. I enjoyed this book which explores the relationship between two women via their life experiences. From this book, I also learned a new expression for an Ace Wrap!

  • Norma * Traveling Sister

    Cover Love!

    THE QUEEN OF HEARTS by KIMMERY MARTIN is an intriguing, thought-provoking, and richly written medical drama that explores the relationship between two medical doctors with themes of friendship, betrayal and the act of forgiveness. Some of us found it quite heavy on the medical aspect and the drama within the storyline and this ultimately affected what coulee we ended up in.  

    KIMMERY MARTIN delivers a well-written, interesting and a compelling story here with some comedic relief inters

    Cover Love!

    THE QUEEN OF HEARTS by KIMMERY MARTIN is an intriguing, thought-provoking, and richly written medical drama that explores the relationship between two medical doctors with themes of friendship, betrayal and the act of forgiveness. Some of us found it quite heavy on the medical aspect and the drama within the storyline and this ultimately affected what coulee we ended up in.  

    KIMMERY MARTIN delivers a well-written, interesting and a compelling story here with some comedic relief interspersed within to lighten the mood of the tension and drama to this story.  We all absolutely loved cute and adorable Delaney and wanted a bit more of her involved in the storyline.  She was the most adorable and witty character of this story with the most cutest lines ever! She had us laughing out loud with some of her witty banter with sayings like, “Hi, beloved dear!”, “I’m sorry, darling honey. I’m sorry!” or “Mommy? Are we still in love?”.    

    This was a Traveling Sisters Group Read, and this book had so many different reactions from all of us.  With a few of the sisters leaving the coulee around the halfway mark of reading this or before, a few of us that stuck with it to the end but maybe wished that they would have left the coulee, and a couple of us that quite enjoyed this story, including myself.

    So with the high amount of medical jargon and procedures weaved into the storyline this is where it separated us as readers.  A few of us thought it was quite interesting and were intrigued while the rest were bored and uninterested.  

    To sum it all up it was a steady-paced, heartfelt, interesting, and a medically rich story that was quite entertaining and enjoyable for me to read.  Would recommend if you are looking for something different and highly recommend if you love those very popular medical TV dramas.

    Published:  February 13, 2018 by Berkley

    Thank you so much to Edelweiss, Berkley & Kimmery Martin for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review!

    All of our Traveling Sisters Reviews can be found on our sister blog:  

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader & Traveling Sister

    🌟 🌟 🌟.75

    I had been highly anticipating reading The Queen of Hearts for months now, ever since I saw

    . While it did not quite live up to my very high expectations, I found a considerable amount of enjoyment within these pages!

    What I loved:

    Three-year-old Delaney, Zadie’s daughter! Her witty and adorable comments were the highlight of the book for me. The supportive friendship between Zadie and Emma (at least in the beginning). Gradu

    🌟 🌟 🌟.75

    I had been highly anticipating reading The Queen of Hearts for months now, ever since I saw

    . While it did not quite live up to my very high expectations, I found a considerable amount of enjoyment within these pages!

    What I loved:

    Three-year-old Delaney, Zadie’s daughter! Her witty and adorable comments were the highlight of the book for me. The supportive friendship between Zadie and Emma (at least in the beginning). Graduate school would have been much harder for me personally without friendships to anchor me, and that part was relatable. The sheer entertainment. This book was more dramatic than my typical choice of reads, but I found many things that transpired to be exciting and enthralling.

    What did not work as well for me:

    While the medical jargon added to the authenticity, it crossed over into too-much-land. I felt like I might need to study for an upcoming test trying to remember it all! 😊 There were some choices made by the characters that I did not like, which I recognize is entirely personal preference; but those choices added to the drama factor, which took away some from my believability in the story and resulting enjoyment.

    Overall, this was a well-written and engaging debut from Kimmery Martin! If you were a fan of Grey’s Anatomy and ER, you should definitely check out this charming medical drama.

    I read this with my Traveling Sisters, and we were all over the map with our opinions, which led to great discussion, as always. Please check out Brenda and Norma’s blog:

    Thank you to Kimmery Martin, Berkley, and Edelweiss for the complimentary copy to review.

  • Esil

    How could I resist a book with such a gorgeous cover? Unfortunately, for me the cover probably ended up being my favourite part of The Queen of Hearts.

    I used to be drawn to medical dramas. In high school, I watched my fair share of episodes of General Hospital. In later years, I was an avid watcher of ER and more recently I binge watched of few seasons of Greys Anatomy. And these melodramatic hospital based shows are what I was reminded of as I read The Queen of Hearts. But I think I’m not so in

    How could I resist a book with such a gorgeous cover? Unfortunately, for me the cover probably ended up being my favourite part of The Queen of Hearts.

    I used to be drawn to medical dramas. In high school, I watched my fair share of episodes of General Hospital. In later years, I was an avid watcher of ER and more recently I binge watched of few seasons of Greys Anatomy. And these melodramatic hospital based shows are what I was reminded of as I read The Queen of Hearts. But I think I’m not so into hospital soaps anymore…

    The Queen of Hearts focuses on Zaidie and Emma, who are both surgeons living in Charlotte, North Carolina. The story moves back and forth in time between when they were medical students working together in a hospital and over ten years later when they continue to be close friends working as surgeons in Charlotte. But it turns out that there’s a deep secret between them which comes to life when Dr. X comes to town (I kid you not – Dr. X!)…

    Before I become too negative, I have two caveats. First, Martin is a talented writer. She gives Zaidie a great voice and quirky personality, and I would have probably loved this book if it focused on Zaidie and a different storyline. And she has created a truly distinct and funny three year old character in the form of Zaidie’s daughter – her three year old logic provided genuine comic relief.

    But, unfortunately, for me Emma and the unraveling of the deep dark secret did not work as well. There was too much breathless foreshadowing of something terrible which was ultimately revealed as something odd that did not ring true. And there was also too much attention to physical appearance for my taste. As I say, this was pretty close to hospital based soaps…

    This one comes completely down to a question of taste. I like a light book every now and then, but this one was not the right fit. Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for giving me access to an advance copy.

  • Heather 'Bookables'

    3.75

    Ok any Grey’s Anatomy fans out there? I admit I used to be obsessed with the show...I no longer watch it because it has 1029 seasons & you can only watch so many love triangles and tons of medical conditions so much.

    My point is, if you love the show I think you will love this book! The Queen of Hearts is a chick lit medical drama book all about a female friendship and how the appearance of someone from both of their past shakes things up.

    👩⚕ 🚑

    I devoured this book in a few days. I really e

    3.75

    Ok any Grey’s Anatomy fans out there? I admit I used to be obsessed with the show...I no longer watch it because it has 1029 seasons & you can only watch so many love triangles and tons of medical conditions so much.

    My point is, if you love the show I think you will love this book! The Queen of Hearts is a chick lit medical drama book all about a female friendship and how the appearance of someone from both of their past shakes things up.

    👩‍⚕️ 🚑

    I devoured this book in a few days. I really enjoyed the medical drama aspect of it and there was a mystery element behind it which had me turning the pages quickly.

    We follow both main characters POV in the book and we also get flashbacks to when they were 3rd year interns..remember the good ole days on Greys, just like that!

    🏨

    ♥️

    Overall the mystery element was easily figured out which I didn’t hate but I wanted more from it. I enjoyed the friendship between Zadie and Emma and loved reading about their careers and family.

    Overall if your a fan of chick lit books, I think you would like it.

    If your a fan of medical dramas, I’d say definitely read this.

  • Susanne Strong

    2 Stars.

    Zadie and Emma are best friends. They have been since medical school. Now both are successful doctors with beautiful families. Their lives should be perfect right? Yet both have secrets they want to keep hidden, some of which they have even kept from each other. Now, with the arrival of someone they used to know, their secrets are threatening to come out and nothing is as it appears.

    “Queen of Hearts” is a book about family, friendship and secrets that threaten to destroy their very exis

    2 Stars.

    Zadie and Emma are best friends. They have been since medical school. Now both are successful doctors with beautiful families. Their lives should be perfect right? Yet both have secrets they want to keep hidden, some of which they have even kept from each other. Now, with the arrival of someone they used to know, their secrets are threatening to come out and nothing is as it appears.

    “Queen of Hearts” is a book about family, friendship and secrets that threaten to destroy their very existence. Unfortunately, I found the premise of the novel to be somewhat far-fetched and also felt that it was filled with a lot of medical jargon which overtook a good portion of the story. The bright spot in this novel however, is Zadie’s daughter, three year-old Delaney, who would breakout with statements like “Hi, Beloved Dear” and “Hello big kids.” Her antics never ceased to make me laugh. I would love to see the author, Kimmery Martin, write a novel about her. Delaney is a rock star!

    Thank you to Edelweiss, Berkeley and Kimmery Martin for a courtesy copy of this novel in exchange for this honest review.

    Published on Edelweiss and Goodreads on 2.18.18.

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