Rook Takes Queen by Em Stevens

Rook Black has lost her way in the world. She perpetually pissed off and has no outlet for her emotions. The thing about Rook that sets her apart from any other loner fueled on too much caffeine and surliness, is she is a Grandmaster chess player. She gave up chess as a way to break free and find herself outside of the game, but with limited skills, Rook’s options are pretty limited. A trip to the clink for public gambling ends up killing her already limited finances. So Rook ends up taking the only job available, a chess tutor.

Carmen Barnes is the current Miss USA. This beauty Queen takes her role seriously, with three months left with the crown, she wants to go out with a bang and raise some serious money for a cause that is very dear to her. Carmen sets up a major chess tournament to benefit a local homeless shelter that caters to young people. The money she raises will make serious improvements to the shelter and prove to all the naysayers that she is more than a pretty face.

When Rook and Carmen meet to discuss the tutoring position it’s a combination of sexy fireworks and sticking your foot right in your mouth. Comical and cringe worthy! Initially, Rook falls back on her frostiness and defense mechanisms when she feels backed into a corner, Carmen never lets her get away with it, though. As time progresses and they spend more time with each other you, as the reader, really see how these two characters just fit. They see each other without all the pretenses, being judged by their titles rather than who they really are. It really makes for great reading and the chemistry is very apparent.

The chess aspect of the game was thoroughly entertaining without being too heavy handed in the technical aspect. You found out just enough about the game to keep it interesting. Rook and Carmen are delightful characters and their romance was super cute and at the same time sexy as hell. Em Stevens writes a fantastic story that is entirely entertaining and I was thoroughly hooked to the very end.

4.25 out of 5 stars

Rook Takes Queen
by Em Stevens et al.
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