Series: Checkmate, 02
Author: Lex Chase
Genre: Humor, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Length: Novella (138pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (7th August 2013)
Heat Level: Low – Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Blurb: 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: This story is part of a series and must be read in order. Hogarth and Rook are super-duo Checkmate who are still determined to get into the Power Alliance, even with the pathetic excuses the Alliance keeps coming up with to ignore them. When Hogarth inadvertently blurts out a marriage proposal, Garth begins to realize that Rook might not be in the same place but he can’t dwell on his disappointment and insecurities because duty calls. Female contestants of Single and Super, a romantic reality show for those with superpowers, are being found in deliriously happy comas and Checkmate need to get to the bottom of it. Rook goes undercover as the bachelor looking for love and Hogarth sneaks onset as a cameraman, with emotion running high between them they discover the well-laid trap they have walked into, and one of them will have to suffer a broken heart if they ever want to see reality again.
This is a great adventure in the Checkmate series where battle commences and Rook and Hogarth’s relationship is tested. We start off this adventure several months after the end of Pawn Takes Rook and rejoin Hogarth and Rook as they battle crime. Hogarth hasn’t changed, he is still the ever hopeful insecure man and Rook is still the strong snarly type, their relationship is still going strong although Rook is still cagey with his feelings and Hogarth is still full on with his emotions. Their new investigation into nefarious deeds takes them to the set of a reality TV show and it will test Hogarth’s nerves to see women throwing themselves at Rook, but when he discovers the truth of the show, he has to make hard choices.
I thought this story was brilliant, both Hogarth’s and Rook’s reactions are brilliant all the way through. Hogarth is so funny with his descriptions and retelling of events and he is just sooo angsty at times it is wonderful. Rook is very stoic. Nothing really gets any reaction out of him, but boy does Hogarth drive him to the edge. The storyline is really good with Hogarth and Rook having to take on an alternative reality, beating the bad guy and rescue all the victims but it comes at a high price. Hogarth is really put through the emotional mill as he tries to puzzle his relationship with Rook out; even his blissed out moments are tinged with angst because trying to figure out how Rook really feels will take an impossible superpower.
I recommend this to those who love strange superheroes, difficult choices, angsty moments, communication problems between lovers, spectacular rescues, some hot moments and a great ending.