CHECKMATE — suspense, romance, erotic adventure set in England’s glorious Lakeland


CHECKMATE, Gladys Hobson’s heated romance, is set in England’s Lake District National Park — Cumbria. Home of noteworthy painters, poets, and writers of fiction.

“The Lake District is a miniature of all that is most beautiful in the USA.” (Dr G.W.Brock, La Jolla California.’) This blog is devoted to photographs of parts of Cumbria mentioned in the book. Read the book, visit the settings. A totally thrilling experience.

Windermere is a popular lake with a number of large private properties with lake frontage and boat houses. The Rogers family live in such a property. June is a dress designer who is involved in a tangled affair with the ruthless entrepreneur Robert Watson,

Checkmate can be ordered from all good bookstores, or directly from Magpies Nest Publishing.

A review by Geoff Nelder: award-winning author and co-editor of Escape Velocity magazine.
Gladys Hobson’s Checkmate is much more than a romance novel. It is a tour de force of the strengths and weaknesses between members of two powerful families. It is the English Lake District’s own Dallas only with more three-dimensional characters. The plot rotates around the conflict generated by Robert, whose sexual magnetism lures women and steers his business to the detriment of his arch-enemy. This reader felt an overwhelming desire to travel to Cumbria, find Robert and smash his face in. However, Gladys is too subtle to allow simple revenge. Instead the rogue is given a long leash… but suffer he does.
Although I mainly read and review science fiction and fantasy novels, the characters in Checkmate are so engaging you get to experience what each character thinks of each other: scheming men and women, the devoted and the deluded. Compelling reading.
As a romance novel, you’ll need asbestos gloves to read these fiery pages. It is far more than eroticism: it is a perceptive and insightful exploration of a family’s relationships, lusts and passions.  In amongst the wily machinations there is humour.  For example you’ll not keep a straight face reading a hilarious sex-in-a-car attempt.
Gladys Hobson is an experienced novelist and it shows in her masterful writing. Any reader of romance will be enriched by reading Checkmate, a must-read addition to their bookshelves. Geoff Nelder.

The Barrow shipyard is the workplace of Charles Rogers and other Checkmate characters. The book opens with Captain Charles Rogers (RN retired) sitting in his office at the Barrow shipyard, where he is a consultant engineer. His thoughts are on his wife June and her lack of joie de vivre… Of course, he realises what is likely to happen once her ex business partner, Robert Watson, is fully back into her life, but thoughts of what she has sacrificed for him and their children spur him on to do the unthinkable…

Under the overhanging trees by the side of the lake. Rob Watson makes his play, not only to own June, but beat his rival in a game of winner takes all.

But Rob Watson is not satisfied just to have June back with him, he makes his play to own her body and soul.

Excerpt: He rubbed his thumb into the deep dimple of his chin and smiled; things will soon be happening. Under the trees in that glorious setting? But business first…

Meanwhile, Charles arranges to meet Peggy, June’s sister, to get her involved in lifting domestic duties from June leaving his wife to pursue her remarkable career. Peggy is secretly in love with Charles. She is already involved with looking after children at Edencroft. Living there permanently is a dream come true.

It was on these sand dunes that Charles discussed with his sister-in-law Peggy his plans to get his wife fully involved in the fashion industry — which meant her working alongside his arch rival, Robert Watson.

This is the White Water Hotel at Backbarrow. It was once the ‘dolly-blue works’ . It is the setting for Watson’s Stag Rock offices. His house is up the hill overlooking the river.

Robert Watson arrived in Cumbria with the intention of expanding both his clothing empire and his property holdings. He bought a large estate that included house and old mill buildings. Eventually he had a team searching for property to renovate into holiday homes or commercial use. At one time Cumbria had a number of mills and cottage industries. These old buildings are potential gold to a man like Watson. Robert moved his headquarters to Cumbria, partly because June and their son James lived there, but mostly to make the most of opportunities which opened up when the Motorway extended north, making it easy to reach Lakeland from all over the country. He had the money, power and business acumen to make a killing. With a house renovated to match his personal style, all is ready to draw in the woman he intends for himself alone. And Charlie Boy is playing right into his hands…

The Rogers family enjoy all Lakeland activities, including walking, climbing and sailing. But Edencroft on the shore of Lake Windermere, is perfectly suited for Charles Rogers to fulfil business plans of his own. When these come to light, Watson ups the stakes in his game of winner takes all… intrigue aplenty and disaster Rob’s calling card. None of Charlie’s womenfolk are immune to Watson’s sexual prowess and they become more than pawns in Watson’s game play.

Where Charles, David and Peter Rogers work. Barrow Shipyard buildings looking across from Walney Island

Another view of the Shipyard. Charles specialised in mini submersibles design.

David took his girlfriend to Bardsea for a walk on the beach followed by a romantic session on top of Birkrigg Common — a place with a view of sea and mountains

David took Lucy along this path as a prelude to making love at sunset on Birkrigg Common.

Coniston Water also comes into the story. Robert Watson owns a luxury nursing home just above its shores.

Whitehaven Marina (not there at time of story but this small port was. Fishing and mining were once the main industries 

Windermere is a mecca for boat enthusiasts

Looking across from Watson’s nursing home

Azaleas and rhododendrons grow well in the garden of Rob’s posh nursing home. June’s demented sister becomes a resident there — courtesy of Watson. (He has his reasons!)

Sailing on Bassenthwaite. Charles, Peter and David are all good yachtsmen.

Cumbria is not only mountains and lakes but it also has an interesting coastline. Industry and pleasure. This is part of Whitehaven. One of the characters has sea in his blood and is never more happy than when working on it or near it.

Any view of Lake Windermere is special. This captures the setting for Edencroft

Watson's converted mill is set in the valley,

Watson’s converted mill is set in the valley, above which is his country house, Stag Rock

Visit — Lake District Saga for a wonderful set of photographs of the Lake District and the Furness region


About Gladys Hobson

Dress designer, teacher, lay minister, now full time writer. Wife, mother, grandmother but just a big kid in a wrinkly body. (No plans to ch
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