Stacia (the 2010 club)'s Reviews > Playing for Keeps

Playing for Keeps by R.L. Mathewson
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Apr 02, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: adult, made-me-laugh, contemporary-romance, cute
Read from April 02 to 05, 2012

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."


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Comments (showing 1-32 of 32) (32 new)

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Leea I just started it this morning. It's really funny.


Stacia (the 2010 club) It has been funny. I love how they pick at each other, almost as if it's a sport. My husband and I do this.


Leea That was funny. My husband just knows how to pick my buttons. When she (view spoiler)


Stacia (the 2010 club) I LOVED the back and forth between these two. I always appreciate couples who can pick at each other and not take themselves too seriously. So much of this relationship could be compared to my own relationship with my husband. It was great!


Leea Great review! I can't wait to read the next one... It's about Jason's cousin and the love of food runs in the family, so I hear.


Stacia (the 2010 club) No way! I hadn't even really read the summary yet. I'll have to read it soon.

It was too funny that the dad, Jason, and (view spoiler) were all about the food. Another scene that made me laugh was one where Jason was headed out of the room, then immediately turned around and headed for the kitchen when he heard there was food. Talk about a one-track mind!

I wouldn't mind reading a book about Mitch (that was the friend's name, right?). He seems like he's a bit of a player but he has the potential to settle down for the right woman.


Laura This book was HILARIOUS!! Better than the Jason book though :(


Leea I thought in the end (view spoiler)

The whole food thing was brilliant. I just loved how Jason would say (view spoiler)

I love your first quote :)


Stacia (the 2010 club) Laura, what do you mean by better than the Jason book? Do you mean the second book was better? Leea, I agree with the bastard thing. He reminded me of a child pouting. It was too funny.


Laura I liked the first book better. So funny!


Stacia (the 2010 club) I'll probably read the second book at some point but won't be in any hurry to. The best part of PFK was Jason's personality. The story itself was decent but not exceptional. If we had another similar story without a highly entertaining character like Jason, I doubt I'd like it as much.


message 12: by Leea (new) - rated it 4 stars

Leea I have to agree with you. I want to read the second one but I have so many books ahead of it. We talked about reading Graffiti Moon, you still want to read it?


message 13: by Stacia (the 2010 club) (last edited Apr 06, 2012 02:10PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Stacia (the 2010 club) I have to knock out a few more YA books, including the buddy read I'm starting tomorrow with Wendy and Angie, but I wouldn't mind doing it in the second half of the month.

Although, I would like to fit in another adult read next week. Do you have any time open for our read of Me Before You by Jojo Moyes? Laura would be welcome to join us as well if she wanted to. I could share of course.


message 14: by Leea (new) - rated it 4 stars

Leea Yeah! Mainly i'm afraid i'll forget, so when you're ready to read G. Moon just give me nudge :)


Stacia (the 2010 club) Just give me a date that would work for you (for either book) and I'll be there!


Stacia (the 2010 club) And if you don't remember G. Moon, I'll remind you. I keep a tentative list for each month. Not that I stick to it that well.


message 17: by Leea (new) - rated it 4 stars

Leea Anytime really! I'm doing a buddy read with Regina and Wendy for the Special Forces series (You want to join us?) around the 14th and that's it. I know the Special Forces - Soldiers book is long, like Outlander long, ha!


Stacia (the 2010 club) Oh lord...really? What is it with long books that have been putting me off lately? I keep wanting to try Kristen Ashley but I've been enjoying breezing through some 1 day books lately.

I'll see what I'm up to on the 14th. I had been wanting to try the series.

Okay, well if you would be up for Me Before You next week sometime - maybe Wed or Thurs? I'd be game. If not, just holler when you have time.


message 19: by Leea (new) - rated it 4 stars

Leea Yeah, that would work. You should read Kristen Ashley, i've only read her Colorado Mountain Series but I want to read Mystery Man (Dream Man, #1) by Kristen Ashley it sounds fun!

Special Forces looks like over 500 pages. So, not as bid as Outlander. I love one day reads... I just makes me feel good to read a book in a day :)


Stacia (the 2010 club) I know a few people who like her Dream Man series even better than Colorado Mountain.

Exactly! Back when I used to spend more money on books I wanted them to last longer but nowadays I feel like my list is so never-ending that I'd rather get through books that I can read in a day or two max and not be stuck reading a book for several days.


message 21: by Leea (new) - rated it 4 stars

Leea There is a part of me who loves the cheesy romance and another part that's like 'Please' I keep hearing that, that's why the Dream Man series is one i'd like to read. Do the cover need to be so bad? I guess it's a good think we can look past them lol!


Stacia (the 2010 club) Did I ever tell you that I managed to find a copy of Shades of Gray by Brooke McKinley after looking for a long time? I heard it was even better than PsyCop, so I'm curious.


message 23: by Leea (new) - rated it 4 stars

Leea No, I remember we talked about that book. Yeah, looks like a few friends read it and gave it 4+ stars. Sounds interesting.


message 24: by Stacia (the 2010 club) (last edited Apr 06, 2012 03:09PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Stacia (the 2010 club) WHY CAN'T WE have an extra 5 hours in each day? That way, I could still spend enough time with the family, yet still be able to whittle down my massive TBR.


message 25: by Leea (new) - rated it 4 stars

Leea I completely agree. If they would just leave me alone I could read more. lol! That or we didn't need sleep or food...


Stacia (the 2010 club) I was unable to sleep last night because I ran out of sleeping pills but what sucked is my eyes were burning from the lack of sleep so I couldn't read either. Talk about wasted time!


message 27: by Leea (new) - rated it 4 stars

Leea Ugh! If you can't sleep at least you should have the ability to read. I'm sorry!


Sandra Since you're on the third and it promises to be fun, I'm going to try.


Stacia (the 2010 club) It's definitely a spazzy book at times but it's cute.


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