REVIEW: Checkmate: This is War by Kennedy Fox

checkmateAuthor: Kennedy Fox
Series: Checkmate Duet #1
Genre: Enemies to Lovers Romance
Release Date: October 3, 2016
Rating: 3.5/5
ARC was graciously given. This doesn’t affect my opinion of the book in any way.
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Travis King is the worst kind of asshole.

He taunts me for being a good girl and mocks my high standards.
He’s cruel, crass, and has enough confidence to last two lifetimes.
And I hate him.

It wouldn’t matter so much if he were avoidable.

But considering he’s my older brother’s best friend and roommate, I see him more than I’d ever want to.

His sculpted abs and gorgeous eyes are a waste on such an egotistical man, which makes me hate him even more.

Even though I’ve had a crush on him since I was ten, the feelings weren’t mutual and he’s always made that very clear.

He’s always loved getting under my skin and one night against my better judgment, I let him in my bed.

I’ve succumbed to his manwhore ways, but that doesn’t change a thing.

Because the King is about to get played at his own game—and lose.

Heavens, I’d do all things immoral for brilliant endings! I love that heart pounding feeling when you’re nearing the last few pages and then you finally read the infamous final words. All you can do is stare into emptiness and think about the lurking possibilities!

When I found out that this ended with a shock value, add that this is an enemies to lovers story, I immediately decided to read the ARC generously provided by the author. From the start I’ve been forming all conceivable endings but none of them materialized! I went absolutely nuts when I read the last sentence of this book! Kudos to Kennedy Fox, that was phenomenal! While the ending was sumptuous for my taste, truth be told there were still factors that made me restless.

Viola Fisher is a strong, independent woman. Her love for literature proved to be a star quality, too. She is smart but can be hilariously foul mouthed at the expense of Travis King. But here’s the thing: her devastation and hatred towards the man was rooted from something that I found to be under developed. I think they could have avoided all the drama if it was delved into earlier on. Ten years of ignoring, bashing, judging each other was too long for me if I were being realistic. Travis King is a hero that I liked—alpha male, sexy as sin, quick-witted and hardworking. Had the authors added more sweetness to his personality, I would have swooned over like a true fan-girl. I wished they magnified the affection that’s always been there between the major characters by extending the back stories. Their past definitely gave me that twisting and tingling sensation. Even though I had some issues with the characters individually, it didn’t escape me that their chemistry when they’re locked up together was monumental. Sorry for the bluntness coming your way but the hate-banging was unbelievable! So worthy of re-reads that I might have done it above and beyond what’s legal. Blistering, filthy hot, well-paced and satisfying!

This was a quick read for me, ironically I think should be shorter yet packed. MC’s dialogues and thoughts eventually became repetitive and hazy. Aside from chapter after chapter of animosity, banters, and sexual innuendos; more deeply rooted conflicts, clearly visualized setting, and more diverse voices surely may have helped in keeping up with my needy appetite for an engaging story. I know Kennedy Fox was banking on the cliffhanger and yes, it was one of the best what-the-freak moments! I know, too, that this is a duet, but truthfully this could have been more of a hit if it was just one full-length novel. On a more positive note, I can assure the readers that even if this was a collaboration of two different authors, the chapters and the dual point of views were cohesive.

I’m still very much curious as to how the stars will line up for Travis and Viola. The ending was that juicy and by the looks of it, the exciting turn of events are just beginning! If Checkmate: This is War is just an icing then possibly This is Love will be one promising sequel!

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