Thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for the complimentary e-ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
Ali Hazelwood’s switching it up with a YA romance that also has some of the things she’s known for, including a reserved hero who’s hard for the heroine to read.
Check & Mate has a lot to offer and Hazelwood’s voice translates to YA *so* well.
Protagonist Mallory Greenleaf is a witty delight of a heroine who can play chess with tremendous skill, though she’s chosen not to play in years after some family turmoil.
But life intervenes & she ends up making grandmaster Nolan Sawyer’s jaw fall to the floor, quite a feat since he is—as I said earlier—reserved, implacable, & doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve.
For a bit at least.
Mallory is a powerhouse lead, doing what she can to provide for her family & take care of her mother who has Rheumatoid Arthritis. She’s a boss & the way she does whatever it takes is admirable, even more so when she follows her heart.
There’s bisexual rep** in this one, a hero who makes some pretty sweet gestures, & an exploration of misogyny in the world of chess.
I don’t know anything about chess but this is a really great read that made me excited to see what Ali Hazelwood will write next!
4.5⭐️. Out 11/07.
** Edited: I removed a note regarding “demisexual rep” in this review. Thanks to a question from an Instgram commenter I went back to the book & I think I made some assumptions that maybe I shouldn’t have. The hero has never had sex before & hasn’t had interest “until recently” & meeting the heroine. But I’m not sure that his seemingly unique sexual attraction to her is predicated on their emotional connection and the book never uses the word demisexual. My sincere apologies for any confusion I caused with those assumptions / errors!
Give me that HEA, please.
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