Thursday 4 January 2024

Check & Mate by Ali Hazelwood - A Review

 “He told me once that sometimes, with some people, it's not about winning or losing, That with some people, it's just about playing. Though for the longest time, I didn't really believe him.”
― Ali Hazelwood, Check & Mate

Check & Mate was the first Ali Hazelwood book I read and it was a 5-Star read for me! I loved her writing style and now I need to read her other books too.

Check & Mate is a clever and sweet YA romance book, where we follow our two main characters Mallory and Nolan through their journey as rival chess players. I loved the tension and the banter between our main characters. It's actually an enemies-to-lovers book but not only that. I also really liked the story, it is heartwarming and engaging.

One of the main themes of the book is how male dominated is the chess space and I really like her approach on that matter. 

Rating: 5 Stars

About the book:

Mallory Greenleaf is done with chess. Every move counts nowadays; after the sport led to the destruction of her family four years earlier, Mallory's focus is on her mom, her sisters, and the dead-end job that keeps the lights on. That is, until she begrudgingly agrees to play in one last charity tournament and inadvertently wipes the board with notorious "Kingkiller" Nolan Sawyer: current world champion and reigning Bad Boy of chess.

Nolan's loss to an unknown rook-ie shocks everyone. What's even more confusing? His desire to cross pawns again. What kind of gambit is Nolan playing? The smart move would be to walk away. Resign. Game over. But Mallory's victory opens the door to sorely needed cash-prizes and despite everything, she can't help feeling drawn to the enigmatic strategist....

As she rockets up the ranks, Mallory struggles to keep her family safely separated from the game that wrecked it in the first place. And as her love for the sport she so desperately wanted to hate begins to rekindle, Mallory quickly realizes that the games aren't only on the board, the spotlight is brighter than she imagined, and the competition can be fierce (-ly attractive. And intelligent...and infuriating...)

See you in the next post and don't forget to keep reading!!!

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