Check & Mate

In this clever and swoonworthy YA debut from the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis, life's moving pieces bring rival chess players together in a match for the heart.

Mallory Greenleaf is done with chess. Every move counts nowadays; after the sport led to the destruction of her family four years earlier, Mallory's focus is on her mom, her sisters, and the dead-end job that keeps the lights on. That is, until she begrudgingly agrees to play in one last charity tournament and inadvertently wipes the board with notorious "Kingkiller" Nolan Sawyer: current world champion and reigning Bad Boy of chess.

Nolan's loss to an unknown rook-ie shocks everyone. What's even more confusing? His desire to cross pawns again. What kind of gambit is Nolan playing? The smart move would be to walk away. Resign. Game over. But Mallory's victory opens the door to sorely needed cash-prizes and despite everything, she can't help feeling drawn to the enigmatic strategist....

As she rockets up the ranks, Mallory struggles to keep her family safely separated from the game that wrecked it in the first place. And as her love for the sport she so desperately wanted to hate begins to rekindle, Mallory quickly realizes that the games aren't only on the board, the spotlight is brighter than she imagined, and the competition can be fierce (-ly attractive. And intelligent...and infuriating...)
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368 pages

Average rating: 7.34




Community Reviews

Lindsey B
Jun 24, 2024
10/10 stars
4.5 stars - With every book of theirs I read, I’m falling more and more in love with Ali Hazelwood’s brain. Mal and Nolan were a delight and I maybe kind of want to learn chess now??
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May 30, 2024
9/10 stars
This made me laugh a lot & cry a little. And I like when books can make me do both of those things. This was my 1st Ali Hazelwood, and it won’t be my last.
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May 17, 2024
8/10 stars
This books was so cute. I think Ali Hazelwood has hit her stride. Love Theoretically is still my favorite, but Check & Mate is a close second.

Nolan stole my heart. I love a MMC who wants the FMC before she even realizes he's interested in her. I know Ali said that this is a NA even though it was categorized as YA, but there is very little difference between this and her other books. There is no sex, everything else is there so I really didn't miss it. Anyway, loved the book.
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Apr 25, 2024
8/10 stars
I never thought chess would be this interesting.
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Apr 02, 2024
6/10 stars
Mal’s stubbornness is the reason why my rating is a 6. And there wasn’t as much romance in it, as I hoped. Still good writing though.
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