Review: CheckMate: This is War

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Title: Checkmate: This Is War

Series: Checkmate Duet #1

Author: Kennedy Fox

Genre: Enemies to Lovers Romance

Release Date: October 3



From being head over heels for him as a young girl to loathing him as a woman, Travis King needs to remember the golden rule–never admit defeat.  It was game on.”  ~

When I read the blurb for Kennedy Fox’s latest release “CheckMate: This is War I knew that I was going to fall madly in this love this book.  A good enemies to lovers romance is one of my favorites to read and This is War does not disappoint.  It exceeded my expectations; it had the sexual tension, anger, resentment and fire between the hero and the heroine that makes enemies to lovers romances so entertaining to read.

Viola Fisher and Travis King were childhood friends until a small lapse in judgement leads to a misunderstanding that destroys their friendship and turns them into mortal enemies.

The hate is strong with these two.

It is a nearly tangible force that jumps from the pages, smacking you right in the face with its intensity.

“I hate Travis.  Not like, har-har-I hate you kind of hate, but like loathing, I’d -rather- eat-my- arm -off -than-be-near-you-kind-of-hate.” ~Viola

“I’m tempted to sit on your face just to shut you up.” ~Viola

“I’ve just about had enough of your smart mouth. You either show me what else it can do or I’ll shut it up myself.” ~Travis

The dialogue between Viola and Travis is insane.  They go back and forth, round and round like a never-ending ride on a merry go round.  Their interactions are filled with bitter, angry words and outlandish stunts designed to up the ante and win a low-down dirty war that neither of them wants to lose.

Viola Fisher is one of my favorite female leads this year.  She is strong, intelligent, hilarious and witty and her inner rantings are so enjoyable to read.  She is no holds barred about how the vicious cycles of love and hate that epitomize her relationship with Travis have affected her mentally, emotionally and physically.  One of the things that the author does extremely well is highlight how deeply scarred Travis left her when he broke her heart as a child and how the latent animosity between them contributed to residual insecurities that Viola carried into adulthood.

Do not get me wrong; Viola’s character is special to me but Travis King!! 😍😍

I love him.  I really do. This man infatuated and enraptured me from the moment that he is introduced in the first chapter.

Viola said it best:

“He’s a fucking devil and gorgeous god all in one and he knows it too. With his sculpted six pack, sleeve tattoos and stunning brown eyes,  he’s the type that never has to work for anything.”

That dirty mouth of his owned me from start to finish.

The things that he says!!

The filth that leaves those gorgeous lips is a big part of what makes this novel so exciting, and unforgettable.

Seriously, my mouth dropped open, leaving me slack jawed at several points throughout the book.

“You have any idea what you’ve done princess? I’ve spent the better half of my teen years talking myself out of putting a move on you. Then you grew up and despised everything about me, making me want you even more. And now? I want to fuck you so goddamn raw you won’t be able to walk for a week.”

Viola and Travis’ chemistry is off the hook. The electricity that arced between them was undeniable all-consuming.  It was only a matter of time before they gave into it.

And when they do!!!!

Sweet baby Jesus the flames that burned between them damn near made me dissolve into a puddle of goo!!! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

The transition that occurs as they go from hating each other to acknowledging that there are other feelings blooming between them is something to behold.

I knew I was going to be hooked on this story, but I did not imagine how deeply these characters would sink their claws into me.  They refused to let me go until I finished the very last word.   Now that I am done with this book I just want to hurl my kindle across the room!

That damn cliffie!!!

SO wrong and unbelievably cruel on so many f’in levels!!!

I was NOT prepared for all of that!

I am desperately in need of part two!!

YES~~~I need more Viola and Travis and I need it NOW!

I feel like I am in physical pain as I type this review because I can not imagine waiting for months and months for what promises to be an epic conclusion to this series!

Whatever the case I will be there with bells on when part two is released.

CheckMate: This is War personifies the meaning to the phrase “there is a thin line between love and hate.”  In spite of that cliffhanger, I loved every minute of reading about it.

The verdict:


That’s my final word.

Overall: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️



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.



Young handsome macho man with muscle abdominal and open jacket sitting in armchair.



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.

Checkmate 2

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About the Author

Kennedy Fox

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!

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