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Playing for Keeps

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Author: R.L. Mathewson

Published: April 29th 2011 by Rerum Publishing House

Format: Paperback , 330 pages

Isbn: 9780983212546

Language: English


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Done with being the world's biggest pushover, Haley decides that things are going to change starting with the aggravating neighbor who has too much charm and not enough restraint. What she didn't expect was to be sucked into his world, but Haley has a game plan and she won't let herself forget just what the bad boy next door is capable of. The last thing Jason expected was Done with being the world's biggest pushover, Haley decides that things are going to change starting with the aggravating neighbor who has too much charm and not enough restraint. What she didn't expect was to be sucked into his world, but Haley has a game plan and she won't let herself forget just what the bad boy next door is capable of. The last thing Jason expected was for his little shy neighbor to go Rambo on him over some ruined flowers. After he decides to take her under his wing he can't help but that notice that she fits very nicely in his life. Now the only thing left is to convince her that this is anything but a game. ©2011 R.L. Mathewson

30 review for Playing for Keeps

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ann has a dirty mouth

    Sometimes when I read other people's reviews, I think "Did we read the same book?" Anyways, the good- this book is very well written, esp by the standards of self pubs. It flows well and is very engaging. I had fun while I was reading it and kept turning the pages. It really lost me in the last third though. The bad- this book is about two idiot adult children who take immaturity to a new level. Hayley starts dating her neighbor Jason when they are trapped inside her house by a swarm of killer bee Sometimes when I read other people's reviews, I think "Did we read the same book?" Anyways, the good- this book is very well written, esp by the standards of self pubs. It flows well and is very engaging. I had fun while I was reading it and kept turning the pages. It really lost me in the last third though. The bad- this book is about two idiot adult children who take immaturity to a new level. Hayley starts dating her neighbor Jason when they are trapped inside her house by a swarm of killer bees. They hit it off and start hanging out as "just friends" for several months, a relationship that soon includes tons of platonic sleeping. Before long, they can't sleep alone. Jason wants to fuck Hayley, but he is sure that she would never want to be with a man like him. If there are any men reading this, here is a hint- if a woman lets you sleep in her bed every night for three months, then she is probably also willing to fuck you. I'm just saying. However, the real reason that Haley hasn't sealed the deal is because she is a virgin and saving herself for the man she loves. However, even though she isn't sure she loves Jason, she sure likes him a lot, so they begin an epic months long spree of oral sex that lasts like 200 pages. Luckily for Hayley, Jason enjoys eating pussy more than a JR Ward vampire crossed with Lil Wayne crossed with Cookie Monster. There is trouble in paradise though, when one of her asshole friends tricks Jason into doing the horizontal polka before Hayley is ready. Haley is hurt and tries to dump Jason but he just won't take no for an answer. In his defense, I don't think that I would assume that a 30 year old woman would be a virgin either. Through the power of forgivness and buttercream frosting, they get over it. Anyways, what kills me about this story is that there should have been no story. Two unattached, normal consenting adults shouldn't have had this much trouble. Just not enough conflict outside the characters unexplained immaturity. Jason especially was hard for me to figure out. However, this book does contain several things that seem to be trends in new romance novels, including platonic sleeping, animal nicknames and an extremely long epilogue. All of these things piss me off, especially the platonic sleeping. If you like it though, good for you. I would rather read about real adults.

  2. 5 out of 5

    ♡Karlyn P♡

    O.M.G.! What a funny and sexy contemporary romance! It was over-the-top silly, but it made me laugh so many times! And best yet, the steamy parts were HOT. Jason is Haley’s next door neighbor from HELL, but in truth he really is a fun and misunderstood kind of guy. Sure, the neighborhood started a few many petitions trying to get him to stop doing this or that, but he means well. And his shy little neighbor has never once complained. However, Jason is pretty clueless when it comes to things lik O.M.G.! What a funny and sexy contemporary romance! It was over-the-top silly, but it made me laugh so many times! And best yet, the steamy parts were HOT. Jason is Haley’s next door neighbor from HELL, but in truth he really is a fun and misunderstood kind of guy. Sure, the neighborhood started a few many petitions trying to get him to stop doing this or that, but he means well. And his shy little neighbor has never once complained. However, Jason is pretty clueless when it comes to things like women. Lucky for him, Haley is a great teacher. Zachary Knighton as Jason: Shy school teacher Haley can’t believe she finally stood up for herself against the jerk neighbor, but it felt good. Really good! After 5-years she breaks her silence and charges full force to tell him to quit picking her tulips! And it turns out her neighbor isn't half bad at all. Zooey Deschanel as Haley: Jason soon discovers Haley and him have many things in common. She loves the Yankees, video games, carnivals, and best yet - the woman can bake! Good for Jason, cause he can eat, and eat, and eat. But soon the friendship deepens, and do they get HOT! [image error] I loved this little story. It was funny, hot and just what I was in the mood for. While Jason was a bit full of himself, I found myself really enjoying his character. Haley was a perfect fit for a guy like him, and it was fun watching her deal with her shyness. My only complaint is that I felt the laughs faded too much toward the end as Jason and Haley had to work through their drama before they could find their own HEA. Still, I really enjoyed it and I'll be reading more of this series. Thanks to all my Goodreads friends who recommended this, otherwise I probably would never have found it on my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mimi Smith

    5 stars It's been a long time since I've loved a book this much, so I'm spreading the word! You know how they say "Don't judge a book by its cover"? Well, let's be honest:We all do. A pretty cover will get me to buy a book faster than a tempting blurb. I know, I know-it could be just me and my shallowness or I'm a plain old book cover snob, but it's a fact of life. Now, if this book wasn't recommended to me I never would've picked it up. So, to all my GR friends who share my book cover predicament 5 stars It's been a long time since I've loved a book this much, so I'm spreading the word! You know how they say "Don't judge a book by its cover"? Well, let's be honest:We all do. A pretty cover will get me to buy a book faster than a tempting blurb. I know, I know-it could be just me and my shallowness or I'm a plain old book cover snob, but it's a fact of life. Now, if this book wasn't recommended to me I never would've picked it up. So, to all my GR friends who share my book cover predicament, make an exception in this case 'cause this book rocks! What to say, what to say about this one...Well, firstly this book is funny as hell. It kind of reminds me of Shelly Laurenston's books, only without the shifter part. You should be warned, if you don't know what that indicates, it means Jason is often childish, petulant, goofball charming, headstrong and OBSESSED WITH FOOD AND HALEY. He's simply adorable... And he's a teacher, too. So is Haley, to think of it. “How dare you touch my cookies, you bastard!” Jason said in utter disgust before popping the cookie into his mouth and heading back to his house. “Damn those looked good, too,” Brad grumbled. Haley sighed. “Don’t worry I have a second plate on my counter.” The words were barely out of her mouth when Jason abruptly changed course and headed towards her house. “Well, there was,” she said, watching Jason walk into her house like he owned it. A minute later he walked out of her house, carrying both plates and the gallon of milk she had in her fridge. He headed back to his house, but not before he glared at Brad. “You cookie thieving bastard,” they heard him mutter. Brad rolled his eyes, chuckling. “And people wonder how I lost weight rooming with him in college.” "Jason rolled his eyes as he jumped to his feet. “I think calling any of them my girlfriends is a bit of an exaggeration. I rather you stick with referring to them as ‘the women who agreed to having a good time with no strings attached who got really pissed off at me when I got bored and left them for someone hotter.’” “Wow, that’s a mouthful,” Brad murmured. “And surprising none of them has killed you yet." "I hate you," Haley mumbled, storming past him to grab a carriage. "You love and adore me," Jason informed her as he deftly snagged her carriage away from her and headed towards the men's department." I can't remember the last time I've laughed this much while reading a book. There are a lot of ridiculous situations, but...It's great. I like Haley, too. I think she deals with the Hurricane That Is Jason admirably well. By that I mean she knows the way through his heart is through his stomach and that sometimes men are best ignored. She's a bit mousy, used to derision and snubs from her family, so being with a hot guy like Jason, wasn't something she thought would happen, but they came by it honestly. From enemies to buddies to a couple. YAY!!!!!! I loved these scenes... "Soon he was picturing little girls with mischievous green eyes and pigtails asking him to play tea. Of course he'd bring real food to the tea party. None of that pretend food bullshit for his little girls. By the time Haley had stopped for breakfast he'd been calmer about everything. He'd already decided to ignore that breakup nonsense. It was just ridiculous and he knew sooner or later Haley would realize that so they could get started on making their all girl baseball team." "This is kidnapping!" she sputtered in disbelief. "No, it's not." "Yes, it is!" "Nope." "What the hell would you call it?" she demanded, snatching his soda from him and finishing it off. "A romantic getaway?" Now, I'll lay off the quotes, since I've been obsessively marking them in the book, lol. The only thing that bothered me a bit was his family's reaction to their dating. The You Don't Deserve Her was a bit too much. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jill Paige

    Unfortunately, I only got to page 39 of this book before I gave up on it. The blurb implies it's a enemies-to-lovers trope, but the hero and heroine are only enemies for (literally) the first pages of the book. Very soon they're instant best friends--which we are TOLD, not shown--so the book is really a friends-to-lovers trope. The friends-to-lovers trope wouldn't have put me off, but adding to the book's woes, it was poorly edited. (I have since read that the author is having her books edited AF Unfortunately, I only got to page 39 of this book before I gave up on it. The blurb implies it's a enemies-to-lovers trope, but the hero and heroine are only enemies for (literally) the first pages of the book. Very soon they're instant best friends--which we are TOLD, not shown--so the book is really a friends-to-lovers trope. The friends-to-lovers trope wouldn't have put me off, but adding to the book's woes, it was poorly edited. (I have since read that the author is having her books edited AFTER their release). Again, these two things would not necessarily have been deal breakers for me. Unfortunately, the hero (Jason) was. Jason takes an entire plate of cookies and refuses to share them with anybody. When he learns there is a second plate of cookies in the heroine's house, he enters her house and takes those too, as well as her milk. Without asking. I think this behaviour was intended to be a humorous quirk to Jason's character, but I saw only pettiness and immaturity. Not someone I would want to know, and certainly not the attributes of a hero I have to admire for the romance to work.

  5. 4 out of 5

    xrysa

    Caution:You will laugh out loud! I mean it! I hate reading funny books but this one was a random pick which turned out to be sooo good! Enter,Jason He is 31 and definitely the biggest jackass on earth,or at least he seems to be.He is every householders' nightmare.We can see what a prick he is from Haley's eyes. How would you feel if your idiot neighbor destroyed your bed flower? I dont know about you but I would have KILLED HIM! Well in our story his action brings them closer which is good s Caution:You will laugh out loud! I mean it! I hate reading funny books but this one was a random pick which turned out to be sooo good! Enter,Jason He is 31 and definitely the biggest jackass on earth,or at least he seems to be.He is every householders' nightmare.We can see what a prick he is from Haley's eyes. How would you feel if your idiot neighbor destroyed your bed flower? I dont know about you but I would have KILLED HIM! Well in our story his action brings them closer which is good since their hate turns into friendship and then into something more.With him she comes out of her shell and she feels comfartable with a 'friend'.Surprisingly she changes him too!We can see that he acts more like his age and he is so adorable.However,he is still a baked goods-whore. I mean it!I've never read about someone who is so obsessed with food and especially with baked goods. His food addiction is beyond hilarious.Our cookie whore would kill anyone,including his own dad,if he touched his food. “Hey, those look good! Can I have one?” a man she’d seen hundreds of times around Jason’s house asked, reaching out to take one. “Back the fuck off! She brought them for me, you bastard!” Jason snapped.” The only reason I'm rating this with for stars is because during about 20% I felt like I was watching a tennis match. You love me. No I dont. I hate you. No you dont. Blah blah blah blah..... I started getting tired because they indeed loved each other and the WORST? That part wasnt funny!It reminded me of a usual contemporary book ! Overall,this is a light read which will make you laugh a lot.Jason is a big baby who you will adore for sure.Haley is awesome so if we overlook that irritating 20% the story deserves more than 5 stars.It is a hilarious book and exactly what I needed after Forbidden “How dare you touch my cookies, you bastard!” Jason said in utter disgust before popping the cookie into his mouth and heading back to his house. “Damn those looked good, too,” Brad grumbled. Haley sighed. “Don’t worry I have a second plate on my counter.” The words were barely out of her mouth when Jason abruptly changed course and headed towards her house. “Well, there was,” she said, watching Jason walk into her house like he owned it. A minute later he walked out of her house, carrying both plates and the gallon of milk she had in her fridge. He headed back to his house, but not before he glared at Brad. “You cookie thieving bastard,” they heard him mutter. Brad rolled his eyes, chuckling. “And people wonder how I lost weight rooming with him in college.” Ps This is not a paranormal book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lady Gabriella of Awesomeness (SLOW)

    This book was amazing and after a lot of after-thought I finally decided to go for a 5 star as the rating ;) 'Playing for keeps' is a novel that provides a perfect example of how important it is to NEVER judge a book by its cover..and I'm glad I chose not to with this one.The stellar reviews this book received from book besties,left me curious enough to pick this one out.So an applause for their fabulous review :D And now I'm just another reviewer hoping that I recommend this book good enough This book was amazing and after a lot of after-thought I finally decided to go for a 5 star as the rating ;) 'Playing for keeps' is a novel that provides a perfect example of how important it is to NEVER judge a book by its cover..and I'm glad I chose not to with this one.The stellar reviews this book received from book besties,left me curious enough to pick this one out.So an applause for their fabulous review :D And now I'm just another reviewer hoping that I recommend this book good enough...so that I may at least just another 2 or 3 to pick it out as well !!! Haley and Jason ?! i just loved these too ! Together they're just so damn cute ! He glared accusingly at her while he made short work of his clothes. "You didn't wake me up." She rolled her eyes as she speared a piece of sausage with her fork. "I did wake you up. Three times in fact. Each time you threw something at me and went back to sleep." Jason gaped at her. "And you gave up? You know our routine, woman. You have to keep at it until I'm forced to get off the bed to find something to throw at you.” Seriously I would kill to have a guy like Jason move in with me...LOL these two are just freakin hilarious. RECOMMENDATION: Seriously guys...WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WAITING FOR ?!!!!! Go ! Go ! Go ! And read ;)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Beverly

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Everything was cliché: she has a rich family that doesn’t appreciate her, the grandma is tough and she automatically approves of the ‘boyfriend’ even though she never has before, the son is the spitting image of the father, they have to wrestle in the mud to be close to each other upon meeting, he’s instantly turned on by her to the point of being unbearable, she’s amazing at foreplay even though she’s never done anything before, THEIR BEDROOM WINDOWS ARE LITERALLY LESS THAN TWO FEET APART FROM Everything was cliché: she has a rich family that doesn’t appreciate her, the grandma is tough and she automatically approves of the ‘boyfriend’ even though she never has before, the son is the spitting image of the father, they have to wrestle in the mud to be close to each other upon meeting, he’s instantly turned on by her to the point of being unbearable, she’s amazing at foreplay even though she’s never done anything before, THEIR BEDROOM WINDOWS ARE LITERALLY LESS THAN TWO FEET APART FROM EACH OTHER – how convenient, she has a confrontation with an old ex of his, he gets jealous about an old ex of hers, all the men who are not taken are deemed perverted assholes, all the girls but Haley are bitchy. He’s forced to use her shower, even though he lives next door, because they are trapped by bees – really? They surrounded the ENTIRE house? – and so he is forced to interact with each other where they discover they are not as bad as they thought they were and they go on to have the best friendship in the world. All so terrible. Haley was a total Mary-Sue. She’s a 29 year old virgin who has had, by what the book implies, literally hundreds of men trying to ask her out in her lifetime. I doubt not one of those men was good enough for Haley, the perfect prize. She’s apparently stunning, sexy, intelligent, sports-savvy, quirky, and humble. She’s every perfect characteristic packaged into one beautiful, lovely woman. Her only fault isn’t even about her, it’s the fact that she has a rich snobby family that doesn’t appreciate her. She’s made to seem like she was dealt with a hard life but she prospered despite her neglected childhood. She even refuses to receive help from people just because she needs to do things on her own. I mean, I understand wanting to do things on your own, but to literally pitch a fit because someone lied about how much a cabin they’re renting out for you cost? “Oh, no, she spent way over the $1000 limit I gave her! How dare she?” I hate this idea that a girl will only have sex with her one true love and that the man-whore will only settle for the innocent girl. Men are wild you can’t blame them for having sex with every model-like girl they meet and since girls are whores if they sleep with more than one guy then she needs to preserve her innocence in order to satisfy that one man. If you want to save yourself for marriage, fine by me whatever, but when they portray Haley as this completely innocent, good-natured girl and then couple that with her being a virgin, what does that really say? Jason is very immature, I find it hard to believe that he would ever be a good teacher, I’m surprised he hasn’t gotten fired. The food stuff was kind of entertaining in the beginning, but as soon as it was established that it was his thing it got annoying. He acts like a two year old yelling, “Mine!” and nearly crying whenever anyone goes near his precious brownies. Seriously? Even more so with the innocence and Mary-Sue stuff, Haley apparently doesn’t know that she’s beautiful and she’s unaware of all the attention she gets from guys. She’s so innocent she doesn’t even notice when men flirt with her. For a 29 year old, she seems pretty naïve. Also, Jason claiming to be a playboy and asserting over and over again the fact that he doesn’t let women sleep in his bed or cuddle with him? It was obvious they only put all that in there just to let Haley defy all of it and show that she was special! They don’t even really know each other and after claiming that she hated him for five years, they just go ahead and do it anyway! What kind of development is this? For people who were so adamant in their beliefs that they let them define them, they sure do break their own rules pretty quickly. I didn’t understand the whole ‘little grasshopper’ stuff. I get that he thinks it’s because he’s teaching her stuff, but what did he really do? All he did was invite her to a party where she branched out on her own. He left her alone for most of the time and it was only when he decided subconsciously that he wanted to sleep with her that he made himself her ‘coach’. She decided on her own to become less shy and he didn’t do anything regarding that. This idea that they’re such special soul-mates and whatever that they can’t even sleep if they’re not together???? Are you kidding me?? She literally says she hasn’t slept in five days because she needs Jason there with her. Can anyone, in real life, tell me if this has ever happened to you? I understand a day or two of having difficulty falling asleep because you’re sad about them, but to go DAYS without sleep because of it is just ridiculous. Going along with that, can you imagine if you moved houses and changed your workplace every time you broke up with a guy who lives/works nearby? Ridiculous. The entire ending was pretty dumb. It was just a bunch of groveling, stubbornness, and playing cat and mouse. They just went back and forth with their feelings and it got very annoying very fast. 1/10 would not recommend.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Beverly

    5 LMAO Stars This is such a fun read! I told my friend I needed something light and she recommended this one, and it is perfect. The story is about two neighbors who through little misunderstandings and some bad actions despise each other. Of course, once they are forced together one day and able to communicate things are cleared up. They immediately see they are perfect for each other and become best friends. Naturally their attraction for each other gets in the way and things escalate. I liked 5 LMAO Stars This is such a fun read! I told my friend I needed something light and she recommended this one, and it is perfect. The story is about two neighbors who through little misunderstandings and some bad actions despise each other. Of course, once they are forced together one day and able to communicate things are cleared up. They immediately see they are perfect for each other and become best friends. Naturally their attraction for each other gets in the way and things escalate. I liked how things didn't get too dramatic or angsty. Yes, this one was predictable, but I love Jason and Haley's little moments together. They fit together perfectly. This story is such a quick read, it will have you laughing out loud, and has some swoon worthy moments. I also loved my sexy scenes with Jason. I recommend this one for when you are looking for something light and fun.

  9. 4 out of 5

    SueBee★bring me an alpha!★

    FREE on Amazon US today (6/4/2015) Stand-alone book 1. BLURB: Done with being the world's biggest pushover, Haley decides that things are going to change starting with the aggravating neighbor who has too much charm and not enough restraint. What she didn't expect was to be sucked into his world, but Haley has a game plan and she won't let herself forget just what the bad boy next door is capable of. The last thing Jason expected was for his little shy neighbor to go Rambo on him over some ruin FREE on Amazon US today (6/4/2015) Stand-alone book 1. BLURB: Done with being the world's biggest pushover, Haley decides that things are going to change starting with the aggravating neighbor who has too much charm and not enough restraint. What she didn't expect was to be sucked into his world, but Haley has a game plan and she won't let herself forget just what the bad boy next door is capable of. The last thing Jason expected was for his little shy neighbor to go Rambo on him over some ruined flowers. After he decides to take her under his wing he can't help but notice that she fits very nicely in his life. Now the only thing left is to convince her that this is anything but a game. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004... FREEBIES are often good for MORE than one day, I have gathered all my FREEBIES on a special shelf: Kindle-freebies (currently over 430 books) https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stacia (the 2010 club)

    3.5 stars. Rounding up because Jason is such a rock star. She quietly said good night, rolled her eyes as Jason mumbled, "I love you" to his brownies, and headed off to the bathroom. I picked up Playing for Keeps because it was getting some attention and I was curious to see why a seemingly unnoticeable book (have you seen the cover?) was starting to cause a stir. What I was expecting : Neighbors who don't get along spend half of a book torturing the living daylights out of each other 3.5 stars. Rounding up because Jason is such a rock star. She quietly said good night, rolled her eyes as Jason mumbled, "I love you" to his brownies, and headed off to the bathroom. I picked up Playing for Keeps because it was getting some attention and I was curious to see why a seemingly unnoticeable book (have you seen the cover?) was starting to cause a stir. What I was expecting : Neighbors who don't get along spend half of a book torturing the living daylights out of each other before they finally realize their attraction. What really happened : Neighbors torture each other for a very brief period of time, before the rest of the book has them exploring a friends-turned-lovers scenario. While I had hoped for a lot more "neighbor from hell" action, I was not disappointed with the turn of events. Granted, it would have been a riot to read an entire book of neighbors sabotaging each other (if you guys know of one, shoot me a rec, please)...but I can honestly say that this was a fun read, regardless of how it turned out! This book does prove that I am the queen of double standards. I have a statement on my profile saying that it's up the author to convince me to buy into something I wouldn't normally like about a book. I'm happy to report that this author had me buying everything hook, line and sinker. Drama : As much as I enjoy reading a good drama-fest, I usually find myself complaining that it's been done in such a manner which is way too over-the-top. PFK is an example of how to write drama into a book without taking it to a point where you want to strangle the characters. Nicknames : Again, this is another big turnoff for me. Outside of VA's endearing use of Roza and Dimka, I'm usually not a fan. I know that not everyone loved the use of "Grasshopper" in this book but I found it cute and personal. Maybe because of this : She glared over her shoulder at him. "I'm not going to call you Mr. Miyagi you know." "Yes you will, but that's not important at the moment." Epilogues : Rarely, are they necessary. In the case of PFK, I appreciated the followup. I enjoyed the book so much that I didn't even mind a few typos. In fact, one of them even added to my enjoyment. How could you not laugh at : Fists of Furry? Love story aside, Jason is the real reason to read PFK. His love for food is probably even more entertaining than his love for Hayley. "You never brought me to a buffet restaurant at home," she pointed out. Jason mumbled something. "What?" she asked. "I said, I've been banned," he grumbled unhappily. "It's all political," he sniffed. "Uh huh...and your father?" she asked. "He's been banned since 1995," Jason said with a shrug. "In two years the ban in Las Vegas will be lifted. We're planning a big trip," he said. "You've been banned from Las Vegas?" "Not from Las Vegas, just from all the buffets." "All the buffets?" There had to be hundreds of buffets in Las Vegas. "I guess they had a meeting or something. As I said before, it's all political."

  11. 4 out of 5

    UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

    4 ‘I giggled, I snickered, and fanned myself' stars!!! Playing for Keeps is the first book in R.L. Mathewson’s Neighbor from Hell series and one hell of a funny story. Description… Done with being the world's biggest pushover, Haley decides that things are going to change starting with the aggravating neighbor who has too much charm and not enough restraint. What she didn't expect was to be sucked into his world, but Haley has a game plan and she won't let herself forget just what the bad boy 4 ‘I giggled, I snickered, and fanned myself' stars!!! Playing for Keeps is the first book in R.L. Mathewson’s Neighbor from Hell series and one hell of a funny story. Description… Done with being the world's biggest pushover, Haley decides that things are going to change starting with the aggravating neighbor who has too much charm and not enough restraint. What she didn't expect was to be sucked into his world, but Haley has a game plan and she won't let herself forget just what the bad boy next door is capable of. The last thing Jason expected was for his little shy neighbor to go Rambo on him over some ruined flowers. After he decides to take her under his wing he can't help but notice that she fits very nicely in his life. Now the only thing left is to convince her that this is anything but a game. My review... I picked this up back in the days of Fictionwise and their 60% off sales but never got around to reading it because I wasn’t in the mood for a paranormal romance about demons living next door. **snort** Man, oh man! I wish I had paid closer attention to what the book was about because I’ve been missing out on some seriously good times!! Like I said, for some reason I thought this was, literally, a story about demon neighbors. Don't bother asking why, because I haven't a clue, but yeah, I assumed this was a PNR. And although Jason is definitely a neighbor from hell, it’s not the literal kind of hell. He’s just a pain in the ass. The kind of neighbor who has you thinking of selling your home, or burning his down. Prison time starts looking good if it means ridding the world of him and his annoying, loud, friends. After realizing that this is not a PNR, I was anticipating a light, fun read and yeah, I got that, but there’s something more about Playing for Keeps; a connection between myself and the characters I can't explain and wasn't expecting. At first I thought I’d feel nothing more than ‘meh’ for Jason, but by the end of the book I adored him! He and his family are just hysterical and I laughed out loud more than a few times at their banter. And the sex scenes? Holy hell hot! The bottom line… This isn’t a deep or compelling novel, but it’s sexy, romantic, funny and thoroughly entertaining. Even as I sit here writing this review I’m grinning from ear to ear as I recall some of Haley and Jason’s antics, and those of Jason’s goofy friends. I’ve already downloaded book 2, Perfection and can’t wait to dive in!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    I haven't read a book this funny in a while. It got to a point, where I'd just burst out laughing. Which led to strange looks from my family...priceless. Jason and Haley make an adorable couple and the bantering between these two are hilarious. Not to mention the secondary characters being Jason's friends are an added bonus. This is a real feel good, pick me up type of book, that'll have you laughing in no time. Loved it!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest DNF @ 15% I wanted to like this book. A lot of my friends rated PLAYING FOR KEEPS very highly. Now, I'm questioning that, as I couldn't find anything that really called to me about this book. Haley and Jason are both incredibly immature. The book starts out as an enemies-to-lovers romance but they get over being enemies really quickly and then it becomes a friends-to-lovers romance instead. I felt like their reactions made them feel like Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest DNF @ 15% I wanted to like this book. A lot of my friends rated PLAYING FOR KEEPS very highly. Now, I'm questioning that, as I couldn't find anything that really called to me about this book. Haley and Jason are both incredibly immature. The book starts out as an enemies-to-lovers romance but they get over being enemies really quickly and then it becomes a friends-to-lovers romance instead. I felt like their reactions made them feel like high school students instead of adults in their twenties, and the "humor" in this book felt similarly juvenile. Since I didn't get very far in, I don't have a lot to say about PLAYING FOR KEEPS except that 1) this book is definitely not a keeper, 2) it is boring AF, and 3) thank God I didn't pay money for this, or I'd be super angry about the waste. 1 star

  14. 4 out of 5

    peachygirl

    I lost count of the times I laughed like crazy over Jason's 'I'm a growing boy' quips and his obsession with anything edible. And he was just so adorable. His obvious love for his little grasshopper was "diabetic inducing" sweet, even though Haley never returned the favor and called him Miyagi. Not that everything was a smooth sail, but each of their grovelling methods had its charm! *wink wink* Such a feel good romcom with the right level of smut, sure to make anyone smile.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Susanne

    Gah! This book was so freaking amazing and then it had to fall into the CR-trap. Yes, I made it up right now. Beware, the second part of this review will contain mild spoilers. I will let you know when. The first part. So incredibly funny! I laughed so much on the train that the people around me thought I was crazy. It was brilliant! Haley. Sweet bookish heroine who is done with being a pushover. She was always the shy girl with her nose buried in a book, hoping no one would notice her. Who knew th Gah! This book was so freaking amazing and then it had to fall into the CR-trap. Yes, I made it up right now. Beware, the second part of this review will contain mild spoilers. I will let you know when. The first part. So incredibly funny! I laughed so much on the train that the people around me thought I was crazy. It was brilliant! Haley. Sweet bookish heroine who is done with being a pushover. She was always the shy girl with her nose buried in a book, hoping no one would notice her. Who knew there was a little tigress beneath all that cuteness. Jason. The neighbor from hell. He makes Haley his project and find a best friend. And they fall in love. It is a beautiful enemies-to-friends-to-lovers tale. Ebony hair, ocean blue eyes and chiseled good look. Swoon alert! And Jason loves food. This book will make you hungry. The good. Funny and sweet, and I loved hanging with them. The friendship is adorable, and even more so how oblivious they are to the fact that they've fallen in love. The bad. Haley is a virgin. She is waiting for the one. So obviously, this is a very tame CR by any standards. And the way this is used as a plot device didn't work for me. The ugly. Here it comes. The CR-trap. Gah! Everything is moving along nicely, you love the hero and the heroine and they are beginning to realize that they love each other. And boom! A silly misunderstanding. Jason was a complete jerk and acted out of character. Haley gets upset. I get it. She refuses to talk to him. He tries. He gives up. She tries. He refuses. Boom. In one page we get back to loving each other - and yes we now know after being apart for several weeks, yelling and fighting nasty that we are going to get married right away. Yes, that's how I wanted my proposal to go down. NOT! They have the most dysfunctional fight ever - but we are getting married now. Sorry for the rant. But why ruin something beautiful with a childish out-of-character fight? In the end. A beautiful epilogue that almost made it up to me. I would give the first part five shining stars, the last 25 percent one sad star and the epilogue four blooming stars again. If you can look past the CR-trap, then I really recommend it!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Belle Aurora

    This book was absolutely hilarious! I was laughing the whole time...when I wasn't crying that is. Loved it. Get on it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Akanksha❤ Søren♰

    LOVED. THIS. BOOK. So cute and funny and sappy! You cookie thieving bastard Jason and his father were suchhhhhh food sluts!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Always a glutton for punishment, Haley Blaine believes she can tolerate anything her jerk of a neighbor can dish out. After five years of his antics, she has had enough and flips out on him and has no plans in holding back her unleashed fury, well that is until she finds out the real reason he was tearing up her garden. Jason Bradford loves women, just doesn't love them enough to start a relationship with him. After five years of getting the cold shoulder from his neighbor, he is delightfully sur Always a glutton for punishment, Haley Blaine believes she can tolerate anything her jerk of a neighbor can dish out. After five years of his antics, she has had enough and flips out on him and has no plans in holding back her unleashed fury, well that is until she finds out the real reason he was tearing up her garden. Jason Bradford loves women, just doesn't love them enough to start a relationship with him. After five years of getting the cold shoulder from his neighbor, he is delightfully surprised to find out she is a baseball fan, cooks sinfully delicious goodies, and a total blast to hang with. As a unique friendship develops, both Jason and Haley find themselves dating each other without actually dating one another, only time will tell if it will develop into something more. I thought this was a huge surprise, it is funny, cute, and has just enough surprises to keep me from putting it down. Jason has an obsessively unhealthy addiction to food, which adds several extremely funny moments in the book. Fantastic read, I would not have looked at it twice, but found it in the you might also like section. Glad I did. **Reread because I had read Perfection. So here is the head scratcher for me, in this book they are both teachers. In the next book, Perfection Jason works for his dad's construction company? Althought he may just be helping out but I was kind of boggled on this part. There are some pretty funny moments in this book that I forgot about.

  19. 5 out of 5

    ✰ Liz ✰

    “If she tried to leave without him he would burn her house down, plain and simple.” Playing for Keeps is a light hearted modern romance with an abundance of satire and a great deal of tongue and cheek humor. For the past five years, Haley has been living next door to “the neighbor from Hell”. Haley is a "rule follower” with an abundance of “polish" and sophistication. Jason is a sporadic “free spirit”. Needless to say, the two are quite opposite. Haley and Jason don’t get along. Haley has worked d “If she tried to leave without him he would burn her house down, plain and simple.” Playing for Keeps is a light hearted modern romance with an abundance of satire and a great deal of tongue and cheek humor. For the past five years, Haley has been living next door to “the neighbor from Hell”. Haley is a "rule follower” with an abundance of “polish" and sophistication. Jason is a sporadic “free spirit”. Needless to say, the two are quite opposite. Haley and Jason don’t get along. Haley has worked diligently to avoid Jason. He is constantly having loud parties and partaking in drunken shenanigans with his friends. Then one night, he is pulling up her tulips and she realizes she has had enough. She confronts him and this is when everything begins to transform. “Hey! Stop that!” he demanded as he leaned over her to grab a hold of her hands. “Get off me!” she snapped, digging faster. “I wouldn’t be on you if you weren’t on my damn property!” In addition to neighbors, they are also teachers that teach at the same school. The combination of the proximity of the two and the fact that they both compliment each other so perfectly prompts Haley and Jason to become friends. You know the age old saying really does apply in most cases...opposites do indeed attract! Haley bakes for Jason. (And Jason loves to eat!) Jason begins to influence Haley as he helps her out of her shell. They begin to hang out, cuddle, and just become best friends. It doesn’t take long for things to transform into more than friendship between the two. The two share a very comfortable and yet humorous romance. This is most definitely a friends to lovers story with a flair of “war of the roses”. Written in dual POV we are able to peek into the minds of both of these main characters. The dialogue is truly hilarious and the steam was off the charts. Overall, I recommend Playing for Keeps for readers that enjoy a light romantic comedy. There were many tender moments and moments that made me laugh. Often, I did find Haley and Jason to be very immature. If you take on this read, just be prepared for a little eye rolling. However, if you are able to suspend reality for the sake of enjoyment then by all means dive right in. I will add that the epilogue was very tender and sweet. Overall, a truly enjoyable read. I listened to this book on audible.com!

  20. 5 out of 5

    ❤️ Paulette Alphas Review

    I enjoyed this very sexy, romantic comedy. I think I laugh so hard in some part of this book that I was crying. This was the most playful, flirty, sweet story ever. I just loved Jason and Haley's interaction with each other. That's my kind of romance. Jason is one of those guys that you just can't stay mad at no matter how bad you want to. Omg His obsession with food and cookies of any kind is hilarious!... He had me at "My Brownies!!" I like this author and will read the rest of this series. Tha I enjoyed this very sexy, romantic comedy. I think I laugh so hard in some part of this book that I was crying. This was the most playful, flirty, sweet story ever. I just loved Jason and Haley's interaction with each other. That's my kind of romance. Jason is one of those guys that you just can't stay mad at no matter how bad you want to. Omg His obsession with food and cookies of any kind is hilarious!... He had me at "My Brownies!!" I like this author and will read the rest of this series. Thank you for recommending this book

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nashoda Rose

    Yay...found a new author to stalk;) Loved this book!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dilek VT

    I am sorry but this book was beyond boring... Maybe, I shouldn't have rated it because I dropped it at page 100. Looked at the last 2 or 3 pages and I didn't have the strength to read the epilogue... The story was meant to be humorous, I never - even once- smiled, let alone laugh... By the way, how can a coward and introvert woman change in the blink of an eye and become this confident and fun girl? How can a 30 year-old guy act so childishly? Not cute, no not cute, very annoying... There was nothi I am sorry but this book was beyond boring... Maybe, I shouldn't have rated it because I dropped it at page 100. Looked at the last 2 or 3 pages and I didn't have the strength to read the epilogue... The story was meant to be humorous, I never - even once- smiled, let alone laugh... By the way, how can a coward and introvert woman change in the blink of an eye and become this confident and fun girl? How can a 30 year-old guy act so childishly? Not cute, no not cute, very annoying... There was nothing charming about him. The way their relationship began, the way it proceeded ... oh, it was so meaningless, so boring for me... I couldn't stand it and even though I hate dropping a book, I dropped this one. I didn't feel the angst and tension between them at first, then I didn't feel the romance/love between them either. It was never fun. I don't know you guys, but I would never like to be called "My little grasshopper"... Yuck! And the writing was bad - it never flowed... Sorry, but even if I went on and read all of it, I doubt I would say anything nicer. And if you can't continue reading a book, you shouldn't really...

  23. 5 out of 5

    ⊱✿⊰ Alicia ⊱✿⊰

    Re-read 14/5/2019 - Audio 4.5 Stars After having just finished a heartbreaking read I was searching for something light and fun to read. This hit the spot perfectly! The audio was great, Fran Jewels did so well with the narration. ********************************* Original review 4 Stars This was a nice soft rom-com that was fun to read. I love the little grasshopper and the jibs between the leads. It was funny but not nearly as funny as some but in saying that I still enjoyed it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Aestas Book Blog

    I really liked this book a lot. It was the PERFECT fluff read for me. It was well written, with characters I really cared about, lots of adorably cute and funny moments, no heart-breaking moments, no damaged or tortured characters, didn't make me cry at any point, really really adorable HEAs, and not super long reads. I read this book and its sequel in 4 hours. It was the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon. I love the way their relationship developed. It was perfectly paced. Fast enough that I really liked this book a lot. It was the PERFECT fluff read for me. It was well written, with characters I really cared about, lots of adorably cute and funny moments, no heart-breaking moments, no damaged or tortured characters, didn't make me cry at any point, really really adorable HEAs, and not super long reads. I read this book and its sequel in 4 hours. It was the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon. I love the way their relationship developed. It was perfectly paced. Fast enough that I never felt that the story dragged, but not so fast that it felt rushed. Literally the entire point of the story is about two people who fall in love and how they get to their HEA. No complications, no external drama, no bad guy, just a love story. It was EXACTLY what I wanted. Looking forward to reading more by this author. I gotta say the grasshopper thing was ADORABLE!!!! Jason was an awesome hero and Hayley was a cute heroine (nice to read one that didnt annoy me) :) 4.5+ stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Steven Walle

    I enjoyed this book very much. I will give a full review later. Enjoy and Be Blessed. Diamond

  26. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    This was so good! Loved seeing Jason and Hailey go from enemies, to friends, to more. This story made me smile and I didn't want to put the book down!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Karla

    The ideal blend of romance, humor, angst, and spice! I loved everything about this book. Jason and Haley’s first interaction, their friendship that becomes more, the falling out, the reconciling, and lordy lordy their time between the sheets was steamy and sensual. The writing is wonderful, plenty of witty dialogue, and it included a delightful array of amusing secondary characters. It’s the perfect length; it was enough story that you’re committed to the characters, yet the plot is not overwhel The ideal blend of romance, humor, angst, and spice! I loved everything about this book. Jason and Haley’s first interaction, their friendship that becomes more, the falling out, the reconciling, and lordy lordy their time between the sheets was steamy and sensual. The writing is wonderful, plenty of witty dialogue, and it included a delightful array of amusing secondary characters. It’s the perfect length; it was enough story that you’re committed to the characters, yet the plot is not overwhelming. I felt very much at ease with Jason and Haley’s relationship, it was comfortable and developed rather nicely. The time they spent together as buddies made me adore them even more. Jason’s love affair with food had me rolling my eyes and laughing out loud, and Haley’s transformation from shy schoolteacher to the brawling grasshopper with her “fits of fury” was a picture I could not get out of my head. I wanted them to be together as more than just friends, but the pace that was set for them to get there fit the characters and their circumstances. At one point I felt rather annoyed with Haley and her stubbornness when it came to forgiving Jason, yes he could be a jerk, but the good in him outweighed the bad. When the realization hits her that she might lose him forever, she uses tactics that is reminiscent of Jason when we first met him…. his grasshopper has learned well! I didn’t want Jason and Haley's story to end, I wanted more time with this adorable couple, but all good things must come to an end. Alas, it does, but R. L. Mathewson gives us a satisfying epilogue that warmed my heart and put a huge smile on my face. We are currently having a Giveaway at Swept Away By Romance-R.L. Mathewson is giving away ALL of her published books to 2 very lucky winners (ends on February 23, 2012) http://sweptawaybyromance.blogspot.com/

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jo ★The Book Sloth★

    I was very surprised when I realized how funny this book was. I had a huge smile on my face most of the time and I can't count the times I laughed out loud. It's not something that happens a lot with contemporary romance since the dark and angsty are in fashion so I'm very happy for this. The characters and the writing reminded me very much of one of my favorite authors Shelly Laurenston. At some point I was beginning to think that they are the same person. I visited the authors page and I wasn't I was very surprised when I realized how funny this book was. I had a huge smile on my face most of the time and I can't count the times I laughed out loud. It's not something that happens a lot with contemporary romance since the dark and angsty are in fashion so I'm very happy for this. The characters and the writing reminded me very much of one of my favorite authors Shelly Laurenston. At some point I was beginning to think that they are the same person. I visited the authors page and I wasn't too surprised to read this... Influences: G.A. Aiken G.A. Aiken is a pen name for SL. Anyway... It comes as little surprise to me that I loved the crazy behaviours and dialogs. The couple Jason was hilarious... I have no other word to describe him. He was arrogant, selfish(not with the heroine, with everyone else), stubborn and he had an addiction to food. He was like a tasmanian devil with the food and he didn't share. His family was equaly crazy and had the same appetite. I have a thing for crazy characters so I loved him. “How dare you touch my cookies, you bastard!” Jason said in utter disgust before popping the cookie into his mouth and heading back to his house. “Damn those looked good, too,” Brad grumbled. Haley sighed. “Don’t worry I have a second plate on my counter.” The words were barely out of her mouth when Jason abruptly changed course and headed towards her house. “Well, there was,” she said, watching Jason walk into her house like he owned it. A minute later he walked out of her house, carrying both plates and the gallon of milk she had in her fridge. He headed back to his house, but not before he glared at Brad. “You cookie thieving bastard,” they heard him mutter. Brad rolled his eyes, chuckling. “And people wonder how I lost weight rooming with him in college.” Haley was an awkward girl. She was used to being the doormat and having people walk all over her. She was also insanely hot but she didn't realize it. I liked Haley. She was quiet and easy-going but once you got to know her you realized that she was smart and funny. She was also a genuinely nice person. Oh, and she loved her Yankees. I would have given this book a 5* rating but at some point it dragged a bit. Jason did a shitty thing, Haley got scared, they both behaved like idiots. I get that there has to be a story but it wasn't as nice as the rest of the book. I still loved it! "For god sake, Jason, I dumped you!" she snapped, feeling the last thread of patience snap. She looked up in the rearview mirror when he didn't say anything for a minute only to find his frowning. Finally he shook his head. "No, I think I would have remembered that."

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy | Foxy Blogs

    ***3.75 Neighborly stars*** A NEIGHBOR FROM HELL is what Jason is when he moves in next door to Haley. "My name is Jason Bradford. I'm the neighbor from hell." You won't find Mister Rogers neighborhood love between these two feuding neighbors. Until one day a bunch of Tulips change their relationship. Enemies - Friends - Lovers! SERIES: No cliffhangers. Spinoffs ***3.75 Neighborly stars*** A NEIGHBOR FROM HELL is what Jason is when he moves in next door to Haley. "My name is Jason Bradford. I'm the neighbor from hell." You won't find Mister Rogers neighborhood love between these two feuding neighbors. Until one day a bunch of Tulips change their relationship. Enemies - Friends - Lovers! SERIES: No cliffhangers. Spinoffs

  30. 4 out of 5

    Syndi

    This is my first read by Miss Mathewson. I listen to the audiobook because in Goodreads the review is awsome. Many said funny as hell. Wanting something fun for my Sunday read, i started listening to it. It is funny. Very funny that i cracked a laugh while listening to it. But then, there are a lot of things i do not understand. 1. The age of the character. Early 30's. Both are teacher. But their communication and their banter is more suitable for 18 years old. 2. The push and pull between the c This is my first read by Miss Mathewson. I listen to the audiobook because in Goodreads the review is awsome. Many said funny as hell. Wanting something fun for my Sunday read, i started listening to it. It is funny. Very funny that i cracked a laugh while listening to it. But then, there are a lot of things i do not understand. 1. The age of the character. Early 30's. Both are teacher. But their communication and their banter is more suitable for 18 years old. 2. The push and pull between the characters at the end of the story is too much and too dragging. Yes i do love a good grooveling, but not that many push and pull. 3. The issue with Hailey's virginity. Is this element necessary?? Can it be another different issue that is more suitable for someone in early 30's? 4. The chemistry between the characters. For 3 months they have platonic sleeping arrangement. So before they met, both of them unable to sleep?? And platonic for 3 months??? I really do not understand this. Overall i do enjoy this book. It is serves the purpose to me as a fun read. It is really funny. 3 stars

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