Checkmate was an absolutely amazing story. I loved it. I loved the characters and their inner and outer strength. The characters weren't perfect, they were human with the faults that we all have. The psychopath from Kendall's past is after her because of her family and what they think she did. She has only her brother because Garrick has plagued her entire life. She has walls built up so high and thick that nobody can get in. She is so used to having them that she does not really know how to even let them down and let somebody else in.

To start with, Kendall associates letting her walls down and letting somebody else in as being a weakness. Dawson has to continue to fight for her and show her that it is not a weakness and that he can be her strength when she falters. Kendall is very focused on rescuing her brother because he is the only person that has ever loved her and been there for her. She knows that she is risking her life and a fate worse than death if she fails to save her brother. She is desperate to save him and thinks only about saving him and does not dwell on what she might possibly have to give up to do so.

There is danger around every turn for Kendall and Dawson as he tries to protect her. Somehow Garrick continues to get past the defenses and security that has been set up. They start to suspect a traitor because of the limited information that Kendall has shared with people. For once her privacy and keeping to herself might come in handy because it narrows people down very quickly.

Kendall has been hurt her entire life by everyone around her except for her brother. She has put up walls to protect not only herself but also others. She does not really have friends because she never wanted to endanger them. Kendall pulls on your heartstrings as she fights to stay strong and rescue not only her brother but also herself from the psychopath that has them in his sight. Kendall has an amazing reserve of inner strength that she continues to pull on as needed, even when you think that there is nothing left for her to give, somehow she pulls out more.

Dawson starts falling for Kendall from the very beginning and at first tries to deny it because he is protecting her. He wants to keep his distance but soon learns that he can't stop himself and the restrictions and boundaries that are applied all come from Kendall. Dawson has his own well of inner strength and offers it Kendall freely though she has a hard time taking anything from him at first. He wants to scale her walls, for her to let them down and him in. He has to have a lot of patience because it is not easy to continue to try and to deal with the sometimes extremely stubborn and difficult Kendall.

The love that they feel and the trust that they develop will have to bring them through all of the problems and situations that continue to crop up in the middle of their love affair. The trust and love will have to grow deep enough for them to pull off beating the psychopath for good in the end.

Book Blurb for Checkmate

CATEGORY: Romantic Suspense, Thriller, Contemporary Romance.
ELEMENTS:  Adult Situations/Violence, Graphic Language, and Strong Sexual Content

For years he?s hidden in the shadows...watching...hunting. His attempts have never been successful, until now. And his game is just beginning.

Kendall Walker and her brother, Trace, share a passion for adventure racing. But when Trace is kidnapped by a psychotic figure from their past, Kendall finds herself immersed in an adventure race beyond anything she?s ever known. And if she doesn?t reach each checkpoint in time, Trace will die. She?ll do anything to get her brother back, even surrendering to a man intent on becoming her lover. Luckily for her, Dawson has other plans.

Special Agent Dawson Cade doesn?t know how his life went from complacent to complicated in what feels like a heartbeat. He has absolutely no leads on the bastard terrorizing Kendall, and he can?t stop himself from wanting to take her into his bed. He knows he needs to keep distant, but when circumstances force him to succumb to the desires of a man intent on possessing Kendall, Dawson must face the truth. He?s going to be Kendall?s next lover, even if she doesn?t know it yet.

And as the race begins, he can only hope he?s able to save Trace, and keep Kendall from sacrificing herself, in a game where even victory has a price.

Night Owl Reviews Jul, 2010 5.00