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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Review: Checkmate

CheckmateTitle: Checkmate
Author: Annmarie McKenna
Page Count: category length (Kindle book)
Publisher: Samhain
Genre: paranormal romance
Copy for review was purchased by me

50 words or less: Eli Graham has returned from an overseas protection job and is ready to settle down and claim his mate, Nikki Taylor, younger sister of his best friend Derek.  And if that's not convenient for Nikki, well that's just too damn bad.  Sheesh.

As the second book in a series, Checkmate doesn't really have the burden of establishing the rules of engagement for the world that serves as the setting of the story.  I guess that's why some elements that I was able to overlook in Seeing Eye Mate kind of fizzled for me in this installment.

The first thing that kind of rubbed me the wrong was is that Eli, who is Caelan's twin who we met in the first book, totally knows that Nikki is his mate, but doesn't act on it because of other issues that need to be taken care of first- the serial killer deal that was the central conflict in the first book, and then pack business that apparently couldn't wait overseas.  He's gone for a several months, and when he comes back he's ready to mate with Nikki and settle down and everything will be kitties and puppy dogs.  I wasn't thrilled by this- the idea that it's totally up to Eli when Nikki's world gets turned upside down didn't really sit well.  Nikki had some really terrible things happen to her while Eli was gone, and the fact that Nikki has been nursing a crush on Eli for years is supposed to make everything all better.  No dice.

Then there was the fact that we're dealing with basically the same conflict as the last book.  Yup, there's another murderer on the loose and he's targeting Nikki.  Without the pregnancy angle that was present in the first book it kind of felt like reading the same conflict with different names put in.  I don't necessarily mind it when books don't cover new ground, but when there are only two books in a series so far, it's not too much to ask that they be at least a little different, right?

This wasn't a terrible book- they live happily ever after, of course, and the bedroom scenes are spicy, but the lack of originality in the plotting took something out of the experience for me.  I confess myself disappointed.

Overall Grade: C
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