pawn takes a rookRating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: 
 Amazon | All Romance
Length: Novella

Hogarth Dawson was awed by Memphis Rook the first time he laid eyes on him. Intervening during Hogarth’s mugging, Rook single-handedly fought off three attackers to become Hogarth’s own personal hero. Then he passed out. What other choice did Hogarth have but to drag the superhero back to his apartment and take care of him? But meeting Rook isn’t anything like Hogarth expected. Rook is sarcastic, rude, and ungrateful.

When Hogarth learns that Rook was removed from the Power Alliance after a charge he was supposed to protect died, Hogarth devises a plan to get Rook back in. He is willing to help find a way for the superhero get back in the good graces of the Power Alliance if Rook will help him gain the skill to become a superhero himself. Born a technopath, specifically a kitbasher, Hogarth has tried out for the Power Alliance twice, failing to make the grade both times.

Sure that Rook is keeping something from him, Hogarth searches for answers about Rook’s past. And the answer he gets isn’t what he expected. In Rook, Hogarth finds his destiny and an attraction powerful enough to span the pain of lies and family secrets.

As they begin their quest to repair Rook’s good name, they meet up with Captain Chivalry – Hogarth’s ex-boyfriend and permanent thorn in Rook’s side – to help him stop a robbery in progress. But things don’t go as planned. And in the end Hogarth finds himself the pawn of a game he didn’t even know he was playing, with all of his hope pinned on a man he’s not sure he can trust.

May I begin by directing you attention to this most awesome cover? Paul Richmond has done it again, ladies and gentlemen. What a magnificent cover to accompany this fun and exciting book. This is yet another fabulous example of being able to judge a book by its cover.

Pawn takes Rook is a debut novella by Lex Chase. It’s a story of Hogarth and his aspirations of becoming a great superhero while falling in love with the most unlikely prospect in his life. This novella is a light, fun read with all the things you picture as part of a superhero love story – the action, the drama, the secrets, the double-cross, the surprise villain. Don’t get me wrong, the characters are stereotypical, but Hogarth and Rook fighting their way into good graces adds a well needed comedic aspect to a good story.

Hogarth is a kitblaster, meaning he has the ability to turn any piece of technology into anything he needs – making robots out of cars, speaking directly to computers, and such. He’s the geeky sidekick to Rook’s superhero, but in a good way. He’s smart and compassionate. He’s somewhat naïve and a little spastic, but that makes him all the more lovable. His destiny is bigger than even he imagined and I look forward to seeing his progression in the future.

This story is written in Hogarth’s POV, but Memphis Rook can’t be discounted. Rook is a down on his luck superhero trying to figure out what to do with his life now that he is no longer part of the Power Alliance. He’s gruff and harsh, but he’s also caring and compassionate. He’s a hero, yes, but he’s also willing to help Hogarth achieve his dreams. I would have liked more of Rook. I definitely would have liked his POV.  Maybe sometime in future installments in this series we will get to see what’s going on in his head.

I love this world that Chase has created. Set in the current time period, Chase presents a world where people with superpowers, Specials, are common knowledge. Axis City is the hub of all superhero activity. It is what Gotham City was to Batman. The Power Alliance is a group of licensed superheroes who work together to fight crime. We are only introduced to a few in this book – Rook, Captain Chivalry, and Miss Vaginamancy (the name cracks me up, and her superpower is exactly what it sounds like). Then there’s Checkmate and all its secrets. I don’t want to give too much away, but I look forward to seeing the future of Checkmate.

The writing in this story is free flowing and light, like Hogarth is telling the story to his best friend. I enjoyed his rambling. Whether it is out loud or in his head, Hogarth is random and funny and completely endearing.

I left him to his bath and called from the living room “This will be even better than the time I hid Captain Chivalry in the basement!” While I thought about fetching Rook some proper clothes, I added, “You know him, right? Well, I guess you do. He is your leader at the Power Alliance, after all.” Then there was that little voice in my head, the one that told me it would be a fantastic idea to shut up, but like an idiot I kept talking because I don’t know when to say when.

“He used to hide out here when he was wounded, and I totally nursed him back to health with my awesome caregiver skills,” I said as I wandered into the kitchen. I couldn’t’ believe I dodged a crazy bullet of blabbing that Captain Chivalry was my ex-boyfriend. I mentally congratulated myself while contemplating the contents of my fridge.

The writing along with the story is easy to read and fun. I caught myself smiling at Hogarth’s wit more than once.

Whereas most of the focus was on the superhero aspect of the story and uncovering secrets, I wish there would have been more focus on the development of the relationship between Rook and Hogarth. The attraction was there, but I wanted to see more of the relationship and more of the sizzle. Hopefully we’ll see more in the next book.

I was telling a friend the other day how I wish there were more m/m superhero books out there in hopes that this one would not disappoint. And it didn’t. Pawn takes Rook is a fast paced, action packed and exciting tale of heroics, deception, and love. It’s a sweet, light-hearted story that put a permanent smile on my face while reading. I cannot wait for the next installment in this series. If this is what I have to look forward to as a debut from Lex Chase, I anticipate good things from her in the future. I definitely recommend Pawn takes Rook by Lex Chase.

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