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Delighted Reader

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Playing for Keeps - R.L. Mathewson For a long time I kept putting off reading this book. I picked it up when at one time the author was going to raise the price from $.99 to $2.99. I bought every book she had available, but the covers and the description of the characters just kept me from wanting to read them. So one day I decided it was time to jump in and start at least one of them and I was drawn in to the point that I didn’t want to eat and I wasn’t going to bed until I finished this book. And when I was done…I wasn’t even sure how the author did that to me.

For five years Hayley has put up with her neighbor from Hell. Unfortunately he also taught history with her at a private high school. She can’t get away from him. He throws loud parties, never mows his grass, steals her supplies at work…just an all around unlikable guy. So when she see’s him tearing out her precious tulips in her flowerbed, she has had enough being the biggest pushover and tackles Jason…literally.

Jason has spent the last five years trying to draw out his shy neighbor. He even goes out of his way to disrupt her trying to sell it and move. When he tries to tell her about the bees nest in her flower garden for days, she runs away before he can get a word out. But he has had enough of being stung and is bound to do something about it. When the little neighbor takes to spraying him with her garden hose, he won’t be budged. Unfortunately he takes on the bee hive and they have to run…right into her house.

Jason decides to take her under his wing and be her very best friend. As time goes on, the two are well suited to each other but love sneaks up on them. Hayley has a secret that Jason never questions, but ultimately causes the problem that can tear them apart.

Jason is an egotistical ass. Sorry, but that is what he is and he knows it and owns it. But he also pats himself on the back for being the one to bring Hayley out of her shell. He loves that she is his best friend and sleeping buddy…and I don’t mean in a sexual way. You have to read it to understand what I mean here. But this man has an appetite that is unreal and eats this woman out of house and home constantly. We meet his father at one point and learn where he gets it from. In fact, most of the family has been banned from all buffets in town…and she leaves you as to guess why…fights or because they eat too much? Anyway, Jason really comes off as arrogant and not really a nice guy, but he constantly stands up for Hayley. No matter what, you don’t mess with Hayley to the point he messes with the guys who come to date her even when one of his friends wants to date her.

Hayley…oh I just loved this woman. She loves Yankees baseball and says she is marrying Derek Jeter several times. Baking some of the best sounding goodies throughout the book, I was ready to pull her out of the book to bake me something. She teaches history…but so does Jason…at the same school. Coming from a rich family, she has cut most of her ties to them when they don’t approve of her working or dating what they consider lower class men. She just seemed like a very balanced woman. And you can thank her grandmother for that.

Oh, the grandmother cracked me up. This woman seems like the best grandmother you can have. Lots of love, sassy and a beer. But the dad, mom, sisters and brother-in-laws…toss them in the river, I didn’t like them at all.

I liked out R.L. Mathewson took a very unlikable man, made him fall in love with a likable woman and change some of the ways that would have had me tossing him out on his ear. In a way he doesn’t really change, he just learns to love someone more than he loves himself and becomes a better person. He adores Hayley and fights anyone who wants her. He does admit he will fuck up…many times.

So this was my sleeper book of the year. It totally caught me off guard and had me cheering for an unlikely couple. Read in less than 24 hours…I immediately started reading the second book in the series.

Now, there have been some talk about raising the price of this book, then some talk about reducing it. Currently it is .99 in most but not all places. This was an awesome read for .99 and even awesome if I had paid $2.99. Grab it and let me know what you think of the story.