The Queen of Hearts

The Queen of Hearts

by Kimmery Martin


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One of Real Simple's "Best Books of 2018"
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2018 by Southern Living, Elite Daily, and Writer's Digest 

A powerful debut novel, praised by The New York Times, Bustle, and Hypable, that pulses with humor and empathy as it 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 during her third year of medical school that she has long since put behind her. Nick's unexpected reappearance at 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399585890
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 75,076
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Kimmery Martin is an emergency medicine doctor, born and raised in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. A lifelong literary nerd, she reviews books, interviews authors, and works extensively with the library foundation in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she resides with her husband and three young children. The Queen of Hearts is her first novel.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Excerpted from "The Queen of Hearts"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Kimmery Martin.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Queen of Hearts 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written, entertaining
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Two best friends both work in the medical field and have been friends for a very long time. With the longevity of the friendship they think they know everything about one another, but they will find out through this book how little they knew and if their friendship can survive the truth. At the heart of this book, it is a book about friendship. The ups and downs that friendships can take and through jobs, relationships, family and so on some friendships can stand the test of time and some get a little battered. This book takes place in Charlotte, NC. And as I lived there right out of college and there are not a lot of books set in this little city, it was so fun to "revisit" it through a fictional book. The little Charlotte moments really made this book a special read for me!
TheBookNookBlog More than 1 year ago
Zadie and Emma have been the best of friends since they attended medical school together. Over the years they have bonded over their life stories including: lost lovers, growing families, and the struggles and triumphs throughout their medical careers. When a surgical mishap puts Emma's career on the line, Zadie decides that she will do everything in her power to help and protect Emma's profession. Out of no where a ghost from their pasts reappears and up-ends the lives that both women have come to know. Zadie begins to second guess everything she knows about her closest friend and must decide whether or not to save not only Emma's career, but also their crumbling friendship. The Queen of Hearts is a fantastic story filled with romance, tragedy, and medical intrigue. The characters are well developed and have great individual personalities that keep the story line rolling. The novel has many interesting plot twists and is filled with suspense and drama.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved how realistically the medical training was portrayed. Great storyline.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would recommend this book to all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Realistic & engaging novel. I couldn't put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the medical part of this book and find it very realistic. It was hard to put down. I also liked the Charlotte setting after living and practicing medicine for 36 years nearby. Interesting that my two favorite books since I retired are by physicians. Can’t wait till Kimery’s next book comes out.
mweinreich More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, this book was not a winner for me. It was so bogged down in the medical jargon that the whole story line seemed to get lost. While I do admire the dedication, the work, and the years it takes to get to become a doctor, I found that this book seemed to make that experience more of a soap opera. I am sure romance and sex play a portion of the medical school and internship experience, however, I do think that it plays a very small part. Zadie and Emma do have a wonderful friendship that is established and I am pretty sure that if the author followed that line better this book overall would have been a much more satisfying read. The character I thought was quite wonderful was the three year old, Delaney. Too bad the book could not have been about her. So sorry to say, this was not the book for me. It seemed shallow and lacking but I do realize that this was the author's fist novel so perhaps her next will be better.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Kimmery Martin takes us into the lives of best friends Zadie Anson and Emma Colley. She alternates between their points of view and the present and the past. Emma, a trauma surgeon, and Zadie, a pediatric cardiologist, have faced grueling schedules to get to where they are in their lives, married with families and successful careers. Then Nick Xenokostas, Dr. X, transfers to North Carolina and turns their lives upside down. That third year of medical school comes back to haunt them and when secrets are revealed it could rip these two best friends apart. I dove right into this story thinking it would be a combination of Grey’s Anatomy and other medical television dramas, but it was so much more. You know immediately the author is a physician by all the details she brings to this story. From medical terms to the struggle medical school, residency and beyond can be. I drank it all in and was riveted by Zadie and Emma’s stories. These characters were very realistic in both the bond they have and the lives they have created for themselves. The underlying drama and tension runs throughout the story with little humorous breaks usually by Zadie’s 3-year-old Delaney. Her “Hi, beloved dear!” always broke through and made me smile. I was following along closely knowing something major had taken place in these women’s lives. Something they had tried to forget about. But when the event was revealed I became totally overwhelmed. Not exactly the same as an event that rocked my life but close enough that I had to stop reading for some time before I could pick it back up again. I still had to skip or just skim a few pages but I had to see how the story ended. I am so glad I did because there was yet another shocking twist that I didn’t see coming. I was moved by this novel. I can’t believe it is the author’s debut. She is an excellent writer, she carries off the switching points of view and times, along with all the medical jargon so well. Her descriptive style puts readers right into each moment. Except for the one point I mentioned above I totally enjoyed the story, and that is on me. If you haven’t dealt with a similar traumatic event, you will absolutely love this story. I am excited by this author and can’t wait to see what she writes next.
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
The world of medical students is fraught with exhaustion from working too many hours that any human being should endure and with tension from working in an urban Emergency Room rife with life and death scenes. It all requires the utmost tenacity, refined medical skills and the patience and calm of a saint! This is the world of Emma and Zadie, two best friends, who are about to undergo a true test of their solid rock friendship. Add to that their male friends, Dr. Nick Xenokostas and Graham. The time element in this story goes back and forth from past to present and back. The story concerns scenes that make Gray’s Anatomy and other medical TV shows seem tame in comparison. For reality isn’t pared back in a novel. So for the squeamish of heart, you’ve been warned! Blood, guts and gore as well as actions and reactions force the reader to flip the pages and want to stay up way past a normal bedtime. No spoilers here but two particular events score the plot with tension and shock! Exhausted doctors or even doctors handling multiple near-fatality emergency room scenes will make mistakes! Those inadvertent errors can wreck a person’s career and such a danger is posed for Emma upon the death of a little girl. The minutiae of that scene will be repeated in her mind as well as the minds of her physician peers and the family of the little girl. The outcome of this processing will absolutely amaze the reader! Relationships happen out of all this chaos and non-stop turmoil. Some make sense and some take twists and turns that make no sense. But they happen to Emma, Graham, Zadie and Nick and they are life-shattering. How much wrongdoing can one forgive and should one even consider forgiveness? Kimmery Martin is a past medical doctor who knows her professional world well. This is a well-written, intense, caring, brutal and shocking story that is written with sensitivity and care, enabling the reader to enter this world as fully as possible and root for every character, halting judgment and awaiting the evolution of healing and grace on every page. Highly recommended medical fiction!
Wit-and-Wonder-Books More than 1 year ago
“We make these implicit bargains with fate all the time, lulling ourselves into a false comfort thinking we can ward off the worst just by acknowledging that it exists.” Kimmery Martin brings out such beautiful emotion and a reality call of what friendship and forgiveness, love and betrayal is all about in her debut novel, The Queen of Hearts. “One moment someone you know was whole, and the next he could be stilled and buried.” The details from the breathing tubes to downtown Charlotte was so unbelievably written that you might as well have been there in person through every page of this book. Zadie and Emma, best friends since their medical school days have become each others pillars during a time that they both had gone through some heartbreak and tragedy. Zadie is a ray of sunshine who everyone wants to know better and Emma is the tall blonde who, at times, seems slightly intimidating but is an enigma herself. Dr. X is the persona of McSteamy and who could resist him? Yet he finds fascination in one particular med student. Graham is the ultimate sweet and silent boyfriend who even has a golden retriever and initially both these men are big parts of their lives during their early years and somehow things just don’t end well. In the end the book wasn’t anything like I expected, it was so much better! The way these women run their lives first as med students then as mothers and wives and how everything unfolds in the end was enough to keep me hooked! This book deserves 5 heart-stopping stars!
AmberK1120 More than 1 year ago
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. This. Book! Everything about it gives me heart eyes. As you can see by looking at it, that dust jacket is GORGEOUS! The beautiful illustrations go all the way around to the spine and the back cover. A true piece of art. And the characters! I love them all! Even the villains (they were perfect for this story and the arc of Zadie and Emma). This is probably the five millionth time I’ve said it, but I’m going to say it again: characters are my doorway into a book. And Martin has written some of the most imperfectly perfect characters. (They’re my favorite kind.) I’m trying to come up with a good way to explain why I loved this cast so much. They were realistic. So realistic. I saw parts of myself in so many of them, and found myself relating to their situations, thoughts, reactions, etc. There was drama, there was humor, there was scandal, there were tears, there was heartbreak, there was love. . . my heart exploded, and then my heart exploded again. And Delaney was officially the cutest 3-year-old ever. EVER! Such a honey dear. (Oh my gosh, I can’t even with that kid! You’ll understand when you read it. >wink
PegGlover More than 1 year ago
Wow, what a brilliant read. The Queen of Hearts is a laugh-out-loud funny story. This novel will touch and warm your heart, but it will also; unfortunately, break it. The Queen of Hearts is an emotional tale of love, friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness. This story kept me captivated from the very first page until the last. If you enjoy watching Grey’s Anatomy, you’re going to love reading The Queen of Hearts. This book takes the reader deep into the hearts and minds of two medical students, Zadie and Emma; their friendship, male companions, and grueling ER experiences. Even though the two women graduate and have successful careers and home lives, all is not well. Dr. X, Zadie’s old boyfriend, unfortunately, shows up after years of being away, and inadvertently unearths a well-hidden secret. His intention had been to soothe and heal past pain, but his presence, had the opposite effect. After an earthquake of exposed hurts and betrayals, the two women’s lives were changed forever. Can they ever forget the pain? Probably, not. Will their hearts ever heal? This book uses a lot of medical jargon, but it is presented in such a manner that it’s easy to understand. I absolutely loved this well-written compelling story. One of my favorite characters was Delany, Zadie’s three-year-old daughter. She’s priceless and oh, so very funny! Don’t miss this insightful, witty, and heartwarming story. I loved it. Thank you, Berkley Publishing and Edelweiss, for my advanced review copy.
Candace-LoveyDoveyBooks More than 1 year ago
The Queen of Hearts is one intense debut from Kimmery Martin! Readers will be instantly pulled into Zadie and Emma's fierce friendship and their turbulent time as medical students in the ER. Switching between past and present in alternating voices, The Queen of Hearts dives into Zadie and Emma's personal and professional lives as it leads them to the moment Dr. X returns. Zadie is a married mother of four and a pediatric cardiologist. Emma is a married mother of one and a trauma surgeon. They have been best friends forever, but there are secrets regarding a traumatic experience in their third year of med school that could threaten their friendship. Dr. X's return brings those memories and guilt surging forward. When all is exposed, both Zadie and Emma learn what's really at stake. This is the kind of story where you know what's coming, but still, it hurts to read it. You may not know how everything is going to go down, or what exactly the secret is, but the story provides a building block of clues to soften the blow that inevitably comes. As imperfect humans, sometimes we want what we shouldn't and desire what others have because of our own insecurities. Kimmery Martin explores such notions and more in this heartbreaking medical drama. It's an insightful and engaging read that once I started reading I had to race to finish! It pulled me in with the promise of an authentic inside look at medical students in hospital rounds and kept me invested in the lives of wholly human characters. The Queen of Hearts is drama filled and really makes you feel for the characters. This is a shining debut you can't miss! *ARC received via First to Read*
teachlz More than 1 year ago
My Review of “The Queen of Hearts” by Kimmery Martin Kudos to Kimmery Martin, Author of “The Queen of Hearts” for writing a debut novel that is engaging and entertaining. The Genres for this novel are Fiction and Women’s Fiction. Kimmery Martin weaves the setting her story and her colorful cast of characters into an intriguing novel. The story takes place as several friends are students in medical school and follows these same characters to present day, married with children. The setting is the hospital where life and death decisions are made, and where there are cheers and tears. In this hectic and traumatic setting, we see the emotional relationships among the staff and friends. The author describes her characters as complex and complicated as the circumstances dictate. In present time we see two of the physicians, Zadie, a pediatric cardiologist, and Emma, a trauma surgeon, as they deal with the crisisses in the hospital and in their personal lives. They both are married and have children. Everything seems fine, until suddenly it isn’t. A former Chief of Staff from years ago, Nick has transferred to the hospital in North Carolina, and become part of the staff. Nick holds the key to past dark secrets, and betrayals, that can destroy friendships. He also brings up memories of a tragedy that occurred when all of them were at the hospital. I would highly recommend this captivating and emotional story for those readers that enjoy Women’s Fiction. I received an Advanced Reading Copy from NetGalley for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago