Kimmery Martin | The Queen of Hearts

The Book: 

The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin
Published February 13th 2018 by Berkley
Date read: January 17, 2022

The Characters: 


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Buy it on | Amazon

The Plot (from Goodreads):

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.

Click here for book spoilers for The Queen of Hearts
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read The Queen of Hearts, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist:

Emma’s boyfriend Graham had killed himself during their third year of medical school. A few months later, Zadie found out that Nick was married and she was his mistress.

In present day, Nick begins working at Emma’s hospital. When he runs into Zadie at a ball, he hands her a picture of him and Emma caught in the act of cheating on Zadie.

Graham had taken the picture. He killed himself over the grief of losing Emma, but Emma thinks he didn’t actually intend to die, just injure himself. Nick wasn’t married–he had started that rumor to get some nurses off his back, and decided that it was better Zadie think he was married than find out that Emma was sleeping with him. They continued to sleep together despite knowing it was why Graham died.

Emma had also impersonated Zadie to Nick, when he kept trying to contact Zadie after she found out he was married in medical school. She was obsessed with him and pretended the emails were meant for her.

Emma had had a crush on Nick before Zadie met him, but ultimately pursued Nick because she was jealous of Zadie.

The Ending:

Zadie decides to forgive Emma and figure out how to repair their friendship. Eleanor’s parents decide not to sue Emma when Nick convinces them that her death was a mistake that could have happened to anyone.

The Review: 

Thank you to the author for this gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Queen of Hearts is as beautiful as its cover. Zadie and Emma, our main characters, are effortlessly likable. Although I am not yet a mom and certainly not a medical professional, it was easy to relate to their overextended blur of activities. They seemed like the sort of friends I would want to have in real life, which always makes a character more fun to read about.

The POV jumps between Zadie and Emma’s perspectives, and the storyline jumps from present-day to the past, Emma and Zadie’s third year of medical school. It is certainly heavy on the medical jargon, but nothing that a seasoned Grey’s Anatomy fan isn’t used to. My boyfriend is just about to graduate and begin his residency as an emergency room physician, 

Zadie’s forgiveness had me spilling a few tears at work, desperately trying not to let my coworkers notice me crying.

Delaney’s silly toddler quips were hilarious, and the perfect thing to lighten some heavy topics. How did a three-year-old come to be calling everyone “dearly beloved” and “sweetie dear” and other similar phrases? I’m absolutely obsessed with her odd little mannerisms. She was easily my favorite character.
I adored Doctors and Friends and The Queen of Hearts, and I can’t wait to read the middle book, The Antidote for Everything, next!

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