Title: Cashing The Reality Check
Author: Lex Chase
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Even after eleven months of keeping the mean streets of Axis City safe, superduo Checkmate—Hogarth Dawson—and his boyfriend, Memphis Rook, still receive the cold shoulder from the Power Alliance. Undeterred, Hogarth brings his intense focus to bear on Rook, and after Hogarth makes an accidental marriage proposal, it becomes all too clear Rook isn’t quite at the same place. But before life gets awkward, duty calls.
Booted-off female contestants of the romantic reality show Single and Super are being found in comas, and Checkmate needs to get to the bottom of it. As part of Rook’s plan, he cleans up his bad boy image and goes undercover as a bachelor looking for love among twenty-five frenzied women. Against Rook’s wishes, Hogarth sneaks onto the set as a cameraman to investigate the case on his own. With questions unanswered between them, emotions run high, distracting them and feeding a trap of their own making.
Review: These books are so much fun! I enjoyed the quirky writing style full of pop culture references and the feeling like we were running in fast forward without any filters and a sense of great of abandon. It is awesome!
This is the second installment of the Checkmate series and you will want to read the first book Pawn Takes Rook in order to really understand how great these novellas are. The story picks up a little shy of a year later and never stops.
Garth is a trip. We are told the story from his slightly manic, very emotional and always fun perspective. The only thing that moves faster than his mind is his mouth. He has a huge heart, which he wears on his sleeve. He is so achingly young, especially when he is dealing with issues with his much older lover. He has little real experience with being in love, so he’s a bit lost when trying to figure out where he stands when it comes to his place in Rook’s life. Add in the fact they are destined enemies and total opposites and you can understand how the guy would be a little nervous.
Rook is hard-edged, sexy, dominate and close mouthed. He is a hero in all ways, and while not dashing or gallant, he can’t help but try to fix things. He is a lot older than he looks and has lived through some really hard times, especially as a gay man having to hide who he really is. He has a big heart and he really wants to do right by Garth, but I don’t think he has a clue about how to tell Garth any of that.
Garth who is a ‘tell me’ me kind of guy is in love with Rook who is a ‘show ‘em’ kind of guy. Miscommunication, misunderstanding and confusion abound. They are adorable together. They are ridiculously hot together. They will crack you up. They will even get you to tear up just a smidge a time or two.
This is a very well written story with a strong plot and great emotional development. The characters are intelligent, have amazing abilities, a great deal of snark and the hot sex scenes help to move the relationship forward and give insight into who they are.
I was happily along for the ride every step of the way and was sad when it ended. I am so excited to read the next installment!
Reviewed by Nina