Title: Checkmate: This Is War
Series: Checkmate Duet #1
Author: Kennedy Fox
Genre: Enemies to Lovers Romance
Release Date: October 3
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 wasted on such an arrogant 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 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.
Once I’m home, I start unbuttoning my shirt and ripping my belt off. I can’t stand being in these clothes any longer than necessary. I don’t see or hear Viola anywhere, although her car is parked in the driveway, so I pull my shirt off and pull my pants down before tossing them on the arm of the couch.
I walk to the kitchen and pull open the fridge to look for a beer. Once I find one, I twist off the cap and slam the door shut again. Just as I take a swig, a girl walks in, who is not Viola and stops frozen in her tracks.
“Who are you?” I ask, fully aware I’m down to my boxers. Her eyes glass over before finally blinking and looking back up to my eyes. “Did you hear me?”
She swallows. “Yes, sorry. You just scared the shit out of me. Viola said her brother wasn’t home.”
“I’m not her brother.” I take another swig, roaming my eyes down her petite little body. “I’m the roommate, Travis.” I say, taking a step toward her. “You must be a friend of Viola’s?”
Before she can answer, I hear Viola stomping toward us. “Don’t touch him, Ash. You’ll catch an STD.”
Her eyes widen, and I’m pretty sure I see her friend take a tiny step back.
“I’m surprised you even know what an STD is, considering you’re a virgin and all.” I flash a wink at her when her friend isn’t looking.
She huffs. “I’m not a vir—gah, never mind. Fuck off, Travis. And put some damn clothes on.”
“I don’t think your friend minds.” I turn and smile at her. “Do you?”
“Uh...I…” she stammers, and a part of me feels bad I’ve put her in the middle.
“Didn’t think so.” I grin, walking past her toward Viola. “Looks like you’re in the minority, princess.”
I sit on the couch and click on the TV. I hear Viola speaking to her friend as they finish bringing in all of her shit. I glance back and see bags lining the floor.
“You realize you’re only staying here for a couple weeks, right?” I shout. “No need to nerd up the place with all your Harry Potter books and capes. Wouldn’t impress my guests.”
“You’re an idiot,” she snaps. “And since when did you consider your one-night stands ‘guests’?”
I turn fully, facing her. Her cheeks are flushed, and I know it’s killing her that she has to be here alone with me. “You want to see how well I treat my guests?” I flash a crooked smile, knowing it’ll rile her right up.
“I wouldn’t let my worst enemy near you,” she fires back, narrowing her eyes at me. Fuck, she’s hot when she gets super pissed. All the more to push her buttons.
I tsk. “If you could keep them away that is…”
I turn back around just as she tells her friend it’s time to go. She whispers a few curse words, and I know this is going to be a lot more fun than I expected.
Kennedy Fox is a duo of bestselling authors who share a love of You’ve Got Mail and The Holiday. When they aren’t bonding over romantic comedies, they like to brainstorm new book ideas. One day, they decided to collaborate together under a pseudonym and have some fun creating new characters that’ll make your lady bits tingle and your heart melt. If you enjoy romance stories with sexy, tattooed alpha males and smart, independent women, then a Kennedy Fox book is for you! Both authors are from Manhattan living the glamorous bachelorette life, or perhaps they’re just confusing themselves with an episode of Sex and the City (Total #Girlcrush SJP). Either way, they’re looking forward to bringing you many more stories to fall in love with!
4 Stars - Would Recommend to a Friend
Review Copy provided by Author
It's rare that I go into a book with no expectations, but that was the case here. This is War is the debut novel for a new collaborative effort. If I hadn't known that it was collaborative going in, I would never have suspected, the book has a smooth flow to the writing and appears to have a singular style.
Viola and Travis are both in their early 20's and have know each other since middle school. One time friends, they are now enemies who goad each other at every opportunity. From the beginning, they seem to be a couple who protest too loudly about their hatred.
I had a little bit of a hard time connecting to both characters initially, but began to like them both more and more as the story went along. I definitely connected more with Viola than with Travis, but gradually grew to respect him.
A cliffhanger ending leaves us wondering what happens next and I am looking forward to the second installment of the Checkmate Duet.