Published by Rerum Publishing House on April 29th 2011
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Personal Copy
Reading Challenges: 2017 New To Me Challenge, Backlist Reader Challenge
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.
Playing for Keeps by R.L. Mathewson has been on my TBR for a few years now. I even picked up the ebook sometime ago, but as so often happens, I never got around to reading it. When I was browsing the Internets looking for a new books to try, I really wanted something funny. And Playing for Keeps kept popping up on lists. So I decided to find it on my Kindle and give it a go. Playing for Keeps was addicting, and I couldn’t stop reading; however I do have some issues with it.
Playing for Keeps is the first book in Mathews Neighbors from Hell series. It focuses on Haley, an avoid-conflict-at-all-costs teacher, and her obnoxious neighbor, Jason, who also teaches at the same school. After five years of being neighbors and coworkers and barely speaking to each other, Haley finally has it with Jason, and they get into a bit of a tiff. But that tiff soon evolves into a friendship which, of course, involves into romance.
This book totally grabbed me from page one. I loved seeing Haley, after years of putting up for Jason’s annoying antics, confront him, and wow she doesn’t pull her punches. It’s such a fun and hilarious scene, and I was so into it. I will say that sometimes I found both Haley and Jason to act a little immaturely. I was having a hard time believing people in their late 20s and early 30s who have homes, and occupations would act these ways, although it often added a lot of humor.
As for Haley and Jason individually, I absolutely liked them. Haley is nice and sweet, but she also doesn’t let Jason walk over her once she takes that first step at the beginning of the book. However she does seem to let her other friends walk over her. And Jason was a fun guy. I was nervous that I wouldn’t like him, because I like my heroes to be a bit more responsible than he was. But He surprisingly grew on me. And I just loved his obsession with food. It was so much fun, and, honestly, one of my favorite parts of the book. And I absolutely believed Haley and Jason were perfect for each other.
That said, some of the conflict was not original, and dragged on too long, in my opinion. There is also some girl bashing in this book, which I was not a fan of. You know, when Haley isn’t like other girls, and all her girl friends are bitches. Eye-roll! If the book wasn’t so engaging and humorous, I would have dropped it because it. I have a really low tolerance for that stuff.
However, overall, I really did enjoy Playing for Keeps by R.L. Mathewson. It definitely helped me get out of my months-long reading funk, so that’s a plus. It’s a lighthearted, hilarious read, even though it has some flaws.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: