Rating: 4.5 stars
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It’s been three years since Hogarth Dawson’s life crashed into that of Memphis Rook, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. On the surface, Garth and Rook are like any other couple – madly in love, struggling to survive day to day financially, and socially awkward. Underneath that surface, they still strive to save Axis City from the force of evil trying to bring it down.
In an attempt to get out of the house and socialize more, Garth makes friends with a D & D group he met online. When the group convinces him to bring Rook to Tolkicon, a local gaming convention, the last thing he expects is to discover that one of his friends is dating his ex-boyfriend, the man who attempted to kill him the last time they met, Captain Chivalry. A reformed Captain Chivalry.
When Garth and Rook sit down to a dinner with Chivalry and Garth’s new friends, Garth’s taken off guard when he discovers a secret that threatens to destroy his seemingly unbreakable bond with Rook. And when the Coalition of Calamity takes over Tolkicon, taking the participants of the convention hostage, including Rook, it’s up to Garth to save the day, save the convention, and save the relationship on the verge of destruction.
Sadly, Conventional Love is the final book in the Checkmate series by Lex Chase. I have enjoyed the heck out of this series since the first book was released. The old school feel of a superhero comic book mixed with sweet, sexy manlove. Seriously, I’m a little heartbroken that it’s all over.
Okay, enough of the lamenting. On to the good parts. And yes, as a finale, this story is fabulous. This author continues to keep me captivated with the storyline of Checkmate. Keeping with the course of the entire series, the plot is tense, exciting, and melodramatic. It’s beyond fun. It’s only fair to end this series with the villain that began it. The return of Captain Chivalry. Chase also introduces new villains and new heroes with new and inventive superpowers.
The completion of the mystery of Checkmate and its members is revealed in this book. It’s surprising and sad. I’ll be honest in telling you that I was wondering just how it work out. I can’t say it’s satisfying. I wanted a lot from that particular storyline. I expected a lot after the build up from book one. It’s not disappointing, per se, just unexpected and sad.
This world remains one of my favorites, never stagnant and always growing. I love the addition of Tolkicon, Axis City’s version of ComiCon, the place where non-heroes worship their superheroes. I also enjoy the imaginative dilemmas with which this author confronts her heroes.
As always I love Garth and Rook. Garth is still wracked with insecurities, even after three years. And Rook is still mysterious and full of secrets. But even so, their relationship remains solid. And still Garth and Rook stand to face another conflict, possibly their worst yet. But these guys, as with all superheroes, can come out nice and shiny. Okay, maybe a little scuffed.
I do have a little complaint with this story. As much as I love this story, I’m a little bit disappointed with the rushed ending. The convenient surprises and sudden turnaround was too easy and very quick. I wish the complete end would have been a little longer with a little more in depth. That being said, the very end, the final scene and series completion was quite perfect.
So, yes, I’m entirely sad to see this series come to an end. The characters rate among my favorite of all time. The complete story arc of the series is captivating from book one to book three. If you have not read this series, now is the time to start. All of the books are available and so much fun. I highly recommend Conventional Love and the entire Checkmate series.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.