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Playing for Keeps

Playing for Keeps

Done with being the world’s biggest pushover, Haley decides that things are going to start changing. The first thing that she was going to do was to put a stop to all the crap that her aggravating neighbor put her through. What she hadn’t expected was to be sucked into his world, but Haley has a game plan and she won’t let herself forget what the bad boy next door is capable of.

The last thing that Jason expected was for his shy little neighbor to go Rambo on him over some ruined flowers, but he quickly got over it once he realized exactly what he’d been missing. After he decides to take her under his wing, he can’t help but notice how nicely she fits in his life. Now the only thing left to do was to convince her that this is anything but a game.

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She could not wait to get inside her house and change into a pair of jeans and a tee shirt and have a good laugh about this with Jason. That is of course only if Jason had forgiven her for her little jest earlier. Hence the large piece of chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting in the doggy container she was currently holding. Jason was a big baby, but a big baby that could be bought with food.

“Well, here we are,” she said brightly as they pulled into her driveway. “It’s been fun. Thank you again,” she said quickly as she practically ran from the car.

“This is a really nice house,” he said close, too close. Haley looked back and bit back the curse that threatened to leave her lips. The man was following her to the door. She wanted to cry, really, she did. When would this nightmare end?

She walked up to her door and plastered another fake smile on her face. “Well, thanks again.”

“You’re welcome.” He gave her a shy smile before he leaned in to kiss her. Thankfully she saw that one coming and turned her head in time to receive a rather wet kiss on her cheek. Ew….

She barely stopped herself from wiping her face. She’d scrub that off in a matter of minutes in a scolding hot shower.

“Oops. Sorry,” he mumbled as he leaned in to give her another kiss.

Faster than even she thought was possible, she had the front door unlocked and opened. She stumbled back saving herself from more slobber.

“Well, it’s been nice but-“

“Can I come in for a cup of coffee?” he asked eagerly and then of course had to add, “I can stay out as late as I want tonight.” Oh, she knew he was lying. Someone was going to be in so much trouble when he got home. She mentally tsked him.

She opened her mouth to politely refuse when the yelling began.

“Help me!”

Haley jumped. What the hell? It sounded like Jason was right in her house.

“Help me, please! Somebody please help me! Why won’t somebody help me?”

“What’s that?” Jonathan asked nervously.

Haley didn’t stop to answer. She was already running towards the direction of the screaming. Her room? She threw the door opened and nearly tripped as she came to a halt five feet into the room which put her right in front of her bed.

“What the hell….” Jonathan stopped behind her.

“Oh, thank god you’re here, Haley!” Jason said, sounding happy for someone who was tied to her bed wearing only a pair of boxers. “I know you said it turns you on knowing I’m tied to your bed waiting for you, but I really need to use the bathroom and stretch my legs before we begin….,” his voice trailed off when he caught sight of Jonathan.

Jason sighed dramatically. “I thought we agreed that you would tell me ahead of time before you added someone to our bed.” With a roll of his eyes he said, “It’s fine this time. Lucky for you I think we have plenty of lube.” He looked thoughtfully at Jonathan who was still staring at Jason dumbly. “I hope you’re not a screamer. The last guy screamed his head off every time I-“

“You’re sick!” Jonathan cried, cutting Jason off. “Stay away from me and don’t try to call me either. I’m telling my mother about you!”

Haley didn’t spare Jonathan a glance as she glared at the man with the huge shit eating grin tied to her bed. She was vaguely aware of her front door slamming shut and the sound of tires peeling out of her driveway.

“Is that for me?” Jason asked, looking pointedly at the Styrofoam container in her hands.

“Mmmhmm,” she said as she walked around the bed and placed the container on his chest and opened it. She didn’t miss his eyes widening in pleasure.

“Is that-“

“Peanut butter frosting, yup,” she finished for him.

He licked his lips as he stared at the huge dessert. “You are the best, ever. Untie me so I can dig in,” he said absently as he continued to stare at the cake, probably trying to decide which end he was going to attack first.

“You can’t get free?”


“You did this yourself?”

“Yup. Now cake, woman.”

“Uh huh…..” She stepped away from the bed and headed for the bathroom.

“Wait, where are you going?

“I’m just getting something to untie you with.”


“Sure thing,” she said, glad he couldn’t see her grin.

New York Times Bestselling author, R.L. Mathewson was born in Massachusetts. She’s known for her humor, quick wit and ability to write relatable characters. She currently has several paranormal and contemporary romance series published including the Neighbor from Hell series.

Growing up, R.L. Mathewson was a painfully shy bookworm. After high school, she attended college, worked as a bellhop, fast food cook, and a museum worker until she decided to take an EMT course. Working as an EMT helped her get over her shyness as well as left her with some fond memories and some rather disturbing ones that from time to time show up in one of her books.

Today, R.L. Mathewson is the single mother of two children that keep her on her toes. She has a bit of a romance novel addiction as well as a major hot chocolate addiction and on a perfect day, she combines the two.

In 2019/2020, R.L. Mathewson will be publishing Devastated, the first Anger Management novel, Tall, Dark & Furious, the 6th installment to the Pyte/Sentinel series, Irresistible, the long anticipated novel for the Neighbor from Hell Series as well as many more books throughout the year, paranormals, contemporaries, and YAs.

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