ARC Review

ARC Review: Pawn (Ironclad Bodyguards #1) by Molly Joseph


High stakes chess competition has always been a man’s game—until Grace Ann Frasier topples some of the game’s greatest champions and turns the chess world on its ear. Her prowess at the game is matched only by her rivals’ desire to defeat her, or, worse, avenge their losses. When an international championship threatens Grace’s safety, a bevy of security experts are hired to look after her, but only one is her personal, close-duty bodyguard, courtesy of Ironclad Solutions, Inc.

Sam Knight knows nothing about chess, but he knows that Grace is working to achieve something important, and he vows to shelter her from those who mean her harm. In the course of his duties, he realizes there’s more going on than a simple chess match between rivals, and his fragile client is all too aware of the stakes. When she leans on him for emotional support, attraction battles with professionalism and Sam finds his self-discipline wavering. Soon the complexity of their relationship resembles a chess board, where one questionable move can ruin everything—or win a game that could resonate around the world.


I received an eARC of the book via Novel Reviewers in exchange for an honest review.

Did someone say Bodyguards?

Did someone say HOT bodyguards??

Sign me up baby!! 😉

I have to say the only (well the major reason) for requesting this ARC was that I really wanted a slice of the Hot Bodyguards virtually – since I ain’t famous enough to warrant a real one 😛

And I wasn’t disappointed 😀

“No wonder they’re angry. She’s the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. an unassuming young woman whose smile says ‘I love chess’ and ‘I am going to destroy’ all at once.”

This is the story of Grace Frasier – a Chess Prodigy fighting for domination in a world full of males. She has suffered a trauma, a trauma that has shaken her to the core. A trauma that no one, male or female should ever have to go through, all because she had the audacity to win against a male.

Yeah that actually pissed me off right of the bat and made me more amenable to like Grace (Yes, I see what you did there, you clever author!). Grace herself is an adorable little genius, who I just want to cuddle up with – and I rarely identify with female protagonists to be very honest. She is brilliant at Chess, she is strong, loyal and strategic in a way that made me so proud to be reading this book.

However, this story isn’t just Grace’s – it is also the story of Sam Knight – a half Arabic Bodyguard employed at Ironclad Bodyguards hired to protect Grace – because even if she is strong, she is still traumatised and she needs all the protection she can get!

Sam went into this job with quite a few assumptions, assumptions that Grace (well me) had a lot of fun seeing turn into dust!

“Those pieces were her companions.. Dearly loved, but they were nothing compared to the man who’d come to stand behind her. He was her universe, her soul and her heart.”

Together these two were absolutely adorable and while the author did her best to show an explosive chemistry between these two – somehow that failed for me. While I adored their relationship – the slow progression from attraction to feelings to full blown love with loyalty and trust was heartwarming.

The plot as well – chess champion and a bodyguard? I had hoped that it wouldn’t become a cliche and Thankfully it wasn’t! This book kept at me until I just had to give up my sleep to complete and aren’t those the best kind of books after all? ❤

Rating⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


Do you love romances with a twist? Pick this one up! And even if you are a fan of pure romances, trust me, this is a book you do not want to miss 🙂


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