Genres: Romance, New Adult
Summary: 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.
My thoughts: I am a sucker for a good romance story, and when it has the hate-to-love-trope? I’m immediately sold. My friends have recommended Checkmate to me for the past couple of weeks and I read this entire book in a day because I could not get enough of it. Checkmate is basically a romance story following Viola, who has to stay at her brother’s house for two weeks during her college spring break. But things don’t go according to plan when she finds out that she’ll be stuck in the house alone with her brother’s best friend who she is incredibly attracted to and also loathes at the same time. This sets the scene for the perfect romance story that has tension, great banter, and a steamy romance that you’ll become attached to after reading a few pages.
I adored this book so much, and this was the perfect new adult novel that I lost myself in without trouble. This story is told from both the POV of Viola and Travis, so you get to see the book from their perspectives and learn more about their quirky personalities which I fell in love with. They both had distinct voices that differentiated from one another which is an important aspect to have when a story has two perspectives. It offered such a broad overview of their past together and the events that happened in the present, creating a well paced love story that I devoured. I also loved how Viola was a gigantic fan of Harry Potter and reading, so her internal monologue continuously cracked me up because she was so sarcastic and witty to Travis. Their dynamic was what really made the book. Whether they were throwing insults at one another or getting close to kissing, I was on the edge of my seat rooting for them to finally admit their feelings for one another.
This is the type of romance novel that is incredibly steamy and has this well built tension that I believe makes or breaks a new adult novel. I adored the two main characters, and the side characters as well! They all had something unique to offer to the story that added a fun feeling to it that broke up the intense moments shared between the main two characters. The romance was so well paced and didn’t feel rushed too, and I loved the couple so much whether they were fighting or kissing one another. The only complaint I had with this story was that the girls that Travis had flings with were slut-shammed by both Travis and Viola which brushed me the wrong way, but honestly, that was the only thing that kept me from giving this book a 100% on my romance scale. I adored this story and am ready to devour its sequel because it left me screaming for more. I highly recommend this book to romance lovers who enjoy the hate-to-love trope and are ready for some steamy scenes that you’ll want to reread over again.