Review of Irregular heartbeat by Chris Zett,
Audiobook narrated by Abby Craden
Diana Petrell is a former rock star who leaves nine years of music and fame behind to resume her career as an emergency medicine doctor. Her residency supervisor is Dr. Emily Barnes, an aloof and hard-working attending who is distrustful of her capabilities. Just when Emily starts letting her guard down and acting on their mutual attraction, Diana’s past threatens to destroy everything that they’ve both fought for.
This is a solid lesbian medical romance novel by debut author Chris Zett. She uses her own experience in the medical field to create a realistic hospital environment but avoiding overwhelming readers with medical terms or procedures, making it entertaining and credible. I particularly liked her clever use of medical metaphors:
“… the warmth of the contact coursed through her system like an anxiolytic and strengthened her resolve.” (Chapter 19)
Written in third person from the point of view of both main characters, we get into their headspaces enough to understand their actions. Emily is a stereotypical ice queen but soon the readers discover her vulnerable side, which makes her more real and appealing. Diana is also a well rounded character as we can empathise with her need of secrecy. Together they have great chemistry that grows with each page.
The audiobook of this novel is narrated by Abby Craden, one of my favourite audio performers. As it is available for free with the Scribd subscription, I decided to give it a go. As usual, Ms. Craden’s performance is impeccable. Both mains voices are distinctive and reflect their personalities. Diana is more outgoing and personable, while Emily is an introvert and sometimes abrupt. Ms. Craden performs both of them spot on and brings them to life effortlessly. The interpretation of the range of emotions the characters experience and the different pace from the fast hospital ER to the more intimate scenes are great too. If you like lesbian medical romances, you won’t be disappointed with this one.
Overall, a realistic and entertaining medical romance and a promising debut novel. 4.5 stars for the story, 5 stars for the narration. Average 5 stars.