The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

Trigger Warning: This novel and review discuss the following: relationships, love, medical drama, adultery.

Goodreads Rating3 Stars


After seeing The Queen of Hearts all over Bookstagram, I decided to check it out of my local library and see what the buzz was (besides the beautiful cover).

The novel is about two best friends, Zadie and Emma, who met each other when they were young and grew up on virtually the same path to becoming doctors. When one is in need, the other is right there, no matter the circumstance. So when Emma calls up Zadie and tells her they need to talk about a man named Nick, Zadie is immediately concerned.

Altering to the past, Martin goes back into the days of Zadie and Emma’s residency in Louisville, KY. As both fall for the thrill of saving lives, Zadie simultaneously falls for Chief Resident, Dr. X. He’s handsome, smart, good in bed, and totally off limits, but Zadie doesn’t want the hospital rules to dictate who she’s dating. Meanwhile, Emma is on and off again with a fellow third year resident, Graham. They, Zadie, and a few other residents enjoy having fun with each other, debating bourbons and the best places to go blow off some steam, as well as supporting each other on the hard days at the hospital.

Jumping back to the present day, there was one piece of Zadie’s and Emma’s past that they never discussed, but their ghost is about to come back and haunt them until the truth comes out. Will these two women be able to hold on to their friendship?

I hate to be overly critical about a debut author, and one as articulate as Martin, but I found this book a little predictable and a little disjointed. I can’t bring myself to spoil the read for you all, but the central conflict of this novel is two close women who don’t discuss an old flame, and the reasoning why is super mysterious… and very, very predictable. I spent the first half of the book trying to hurry along to figure out what all the past drama was about, and when the information was finally revealed, it was climatic, but unsurprising. As far as the medical side went, I wanted more of it, and I wish it held more weight than just filler between conflict. I also thought that when jumping from past to present, there was some confusion. This was probably more reader error, but there were times one didn’t transition to the other, or there was no transition at all, just a clear jump into unknown, with the chapter following finally filling you in. That got frustrating to me, as a reader.

Overall, there was certainly enough intrigue to keep me turning the pages, and I enjoyed the characters themselves and the way that Martin reflected the relationships between them. I also absolutely adored Delaney- that kiddo CRACKED ME UP. I did get Grey’s Anatomy vibes, and honestly, I LOVED the author’s note. Martin is genuine, earnest, and did accomplish her goal of an entertaining read. I just think in all honesty, it fell short of my expectations.

Published: February 13, 2018

Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group

TL/DR: The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin is a fictional family drama and romance novel about two women who have a hidden secret from their past in medical school.

Read it? Yes, if you’re a fan of women’s lit romance or medical dramas.

Recommend it? Yes, for specific audiences.

Buy it? In support of a KY author, I would say yes, but I personally read a library copy.

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Categories: Book Review, Fiction, Kentucky Reads, Medical Drama, Mystery

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3 replies


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