Series: Love at Knockdown #3
Release Date: November 1st, 2022
Add to Goodreads | Amazon.in (Available on KU)
CW: queerphobia (past)
Bisexual ex-barista Oliver is finally a high school math teacher, and it’s everything he ever wanted. Until he stumbles across the mysterious customer he crushed on back when he worked at Knockdown Coffee… and kinda sorta accidentally tells his Vice Principal that he’s dating her. Oops?
Octavia, a bi programmer, didn’t expect to run into the cute blue-haired barista again. Certainly not while volunteering at a local arts high school. He’s much too young and much too nice for her—but when she discovers he’s told people they’re dating, it’s a stroke of luck. She needs a fake relationship to stick it to her nemesis, and Oliver’s the perfect fit.
Their assignment is simple: one month of a convincing charade, and after the company gala, everything between them is absolutely and completely over.
Sometimes, however, the homework is harder than you expect.
Every single one of these Love at Knockdown books has been absolutely stunning and I am constantly amazed by Skye Kilaen’s writing. She creates really great characters who bring so much more to the story than just being part of a relationship, and that makes you not only relate to them on so many levels, but also makes you love them just a little more. I will admit that while I read the first two full length books in the series (and am yet to read the novella that kicks it all off), I don’t remember Oliver very well. But that didn’t take away the enjoyment of the story at all.
In Check Your Work, you’ll find:
✨ fake dating
✨ sloooooow burns
✨ workplace romance, of sorts
✨ a 12 year age gap (she’s older!)
✨ both of them are bisexual
✨ she’s a programmer
✨ he’s a high school math teacher
There were so many things about Check Your Work that stood out for me in the sea of fake dating romances. Simply put, the faking it doesn’t drive these two to fall into bed together right away and that was a really interesting way to tackle the trope. The reasons for ending up having to fake it are quite amusing, but it was the execution that really won me over. I also really loved how Octavia and Oliver took the time to get to know each other. Their relationship wasn’t one of feelings, it was very specific to serving a purpose and I was absolutely captivated by how both of them held themselves together through all the little things that happened.
We also need more heroines like Octavia, who is very matter of fact and works hard and doesn’t try to complicate things. She knows what she’s doing and what she wants out of life and that’s it. Everything else can take a back seat till she’s achieved what she wants. I love heroines who are 100% certain of themselves and the choices they make. Oliver was so wonderful too. With his soft personality and his passion for his job, he’s such a great cinnamon roll hero. He’s a little awkward, but also a lot charming and the combination of the two really made me love him so much.
There are so many great moments in this story from Octavia helping Oliver colour his hair to their visit to the park to see the dinosaur and their Knockdown coffee dates. Skye really sucks you into these two and their lives, allowing you to be a fly on the wall as they go through the motions. Also, all of the points for Octavia’s friends, because I absolutely loved what we got of Shilpa and Rin. I also loved JJ and Pete, and how they want to be allies, but also not overdo it because they live with Oliver.
In short, read all of the Love at Knockdown books because they’re beautifully queer and filled with such incredible characters!
Thanks to Skye Kilaen for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.