Title: Four Chambers
Author: Julie Wright
Publisher: Heart Stone Press
Release Date: May 2016
Length: 300 pages
Series?: Power of the Matchmaker #5
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Every time Andra Stone crosses paths with Everett Covington, trouble follows. First she loses her scholarship. Then she loses the apartment she’d wanted more than anything. But tragedy hits hardest when she loses her grandmother—the best friend Andra has ever known. She determines that Everett is a talisman of ill fortune. When Everett comes to work in her hospital and is applying for the same position she’d been working toward since residency, Andra believes him to be her personal poltergeist.
The human heart has four chambers—four chances to get it right. Andra has only one chance left.
Andra Stone is a woman born into an extraordinary family for the modern day and age. Her mother wants her to be a debutante while her father wanted a son. The fact that she wants to follow in his footsteps and become a heart surgeon does nothing to sway his opinion of her. Her mother would rather have Andra marry a doctor than be one. She and her brother Nathan (who breaks the family code to pursue his dreams of becoming a chef) band together against their parents extremely traditionalist views.
Everett Covington has parents on the opposite end of extreme traditionalist. His mother is so overbearingly feminist she emasculates her husband and son. Makeup, dresses and heels are so giving into the patriarchal society. His older sister Riley becomes an aggressive attorney while his other sister Hazel starts her own business. She sells heirloom toys, and for each one bought, another is sent to a child in a third-world country.
Andra and Everett have a convoluted history. In college, they were brought together by Andra’s boyfriend, who was Everett’s roommate. Although he empowered her to express herself about her cheating boyfriend, she lost her scholarship. Later during clinicals when she has roommates that break into her bedroom and take – and lose forever – her most precious piece of family jewelry – she must desperately get out. While she’s been on the waiting list for this stellar apartment for a year and the current residents have vacated, Everett swoops in and takes the apartment.
The story continues to follow the pair through their trials and tribulations until they both come to work in the same hospital and vie for the same surgeon position.
Andra – known as Andrea without the E, she is the daughter of extremely traditional parents and works hard for the accomplishments and direction she wants her life to go in
Everett – known as Everst without the S, he is the son of an extremely feminist woman and sister
Hazel – Everett’s good sister, the one who has banded together with him against their mother and sister
Miss Pearl – the matchmaker, all believe she is in hospital admin and has a lot of pull
A heart surgeon who broke hearts and who had no heart. How ironic.
I returned to my work, thinking only one thing: that Pearl woman must have rocked hide and seek as a kid.
Why now? Why tell me that now after he’d refused a kiss and told me his girlfriend didn’t deserve to be cheated on?
“So hot-doc is your stalker? And that’s bad because…”
“Because stalkers are generally considered bad, Becca.”
The Highs and Lows
- Irony. Andra dreams to be a heart surgeon, in a family of heart surgeons. Many times references were made to her frostiness and her hard heart, and her last name is Stone. Heart of Stone…
- Red String of Fate. Miss Pearl at one point brings up the Chinese proverb of the Red String, which inexplicably ties two people together, what we call a soulmate in the Western world. All of the times Everett and Andra have crossed paths – over and over again, with the same results – and yet continue crossing can’t be just mere coincidences, can they? I liked this little seed that Miss Pearl planted, and there are a few times later Andra feels like something is connecting her to Everett.
- Hazel. She’s super cool and I love that Everett has her support. Except when he’s a jerk to Andra.
- Andra. I can empathize with Andra’s plight, both with the pressure to excel and the loss of her best friend, her grandmother. She has moments where she is so overwhelmed she simply shuts down and shuts everyone out. Everything always goes back to how it will help her become a surgeon. Too much time away from studying? Nope, can’t do that. Sorry, can’t be a girlfriend anymore. This is her MO with dealing with her own emotions later when her Grams dies. It’s understandable and believable, but I didn’t think it was to quite the degree as revealed later on in the story by Everett.
- Everett. I didn’t understand his character, honestly. He twice lives with roommates who want to and end up dating Andra, all the while he wanted to. The first time around – when Andra loses her scholarship – he even tells her he was going to ask her out the night she started dating his roommate. How do you tell someone that and then things stay the same? That changes things! Yet, Everett didn’t really act like it did. However, the book follows both of them for most of the course of their young lives, and I don’t understand how Everett just let Andra leave after meeting his parents, or how he never made more of an effort to see her after her grandmother passed. I mean, you are in the same classes as one another. Why didn’t he just corner her one day? I wasn’t quite buying all the reasons he never went after her. And that’s just it – he never went after her. He always just let things hang in the balance and expected Andra to do something about it.
- Miss Pearl. She just doesn’t give up on these two! I thought Andra would figure it out since Pearl was practically spelling it out for her, but it took several visits over several years for her work to be done with Andra and Everett.
- Touch of Humor. Throughout the book there were touches of humor to help lighten the load on the characters, and I found myself highlighting more and more as the book went on.
Who got the surgeon position? I must know!
Recommendation – Buy, Borrow or Skip?
Borrow. This isn’t one I’d keep for my shelves, but it is one I recommend reading!
Julie Wright wrote her first book when she was fifteen. She’s written over twenty novels since then. She is represented by Sara Crowe at Harvey Klinger Inc. She is a Whitney Awards winner for best romance with her book Cross My Heart and a Crown Heart recipient for the novel The Fortune Café.
She has one husband, three kids, one dog, and a varying amount of fish, frogs, and salamanders (depending on attrition).
She loves writing, reading, hiking, playing with her kids, and watching her husband make dinner.