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The Game Plan

Danny Bradford was determined to forget the past and move on, and what better way to do that than with the adorable woman contemplating his demise in this romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author R.L. Mathewson.

Spend the next 40 years in prison or break her lease early?

Normally, Jodi didn’t find herself contemplating manslaughter, but things have changed since she was forced to move in across the hallway from Danny Bradford. She had enough to worry about without him making things worse, like figuring out how what she was going to do now that she’s lost everything.

He loved his family, but some days…

It was too much. 

Danny Bradford needed a break, needed his family to back off and leave him alone, and he definitely needed to figure out why he couldn’t stop thinking about the small woman that wanted nothing to do with him and he needed to do it before it was too late.

Reviews for The Game Plan

I just love the Neighbor From Hell series. Technically you could read them all as stand alones, but why would you want to? This is in the top 2 of my favorite series of all times. I don’t do spoilers in my reviews, but what I can tell you is that if you are just picking up this book in the Neighbor From Hell series, you really should go to the first one and start there. Things in the book will make more sense to you and you will get the inside jokes better.
Some might say, well Mathewson is going with the same story structure with all the books. I say who cares! These books rock and you will laugh your butt off! Each character is so different from the others. If she were to change the formula of these books they just would not be the same and I don’t think the series would work as well as it is now. Just make sure you have a block of time picked out. You will not be able to put this book down without finishing it in one sitting.
This story is about Danny a wounded war vet who lives across the hall from Jodi or as he likes to torment her with “Tinkerbelle”. That is all I am going to tell you. You just really need to go get this whole series and read them. You will not be disappointed.


As far as I’m concerned, Ms. Mathewson can keep writing Neighbor from Hell books for the rest of my life!!!!!!!! I was hooked with Jason and Haley!!! I love that Ms. Mathewson includes the characters from the previous books. This one is about former Marine and cousin to Jason and Trevor, Mr. Danny Bradford and his cute neighbor Jodi, or as Danny likes to refer to her as, Tinkerbelle.
Danny was injured as a marine a few years ago, and his family was there to take care of him and still continue to “check up” on him, which drives him a little crazy. Jodi is in a stage of her life where everything seems to be going wrong for her. Left at the altar by a jerk of an ex who took her money and racked up debt in her name, Jodi finds herself struggling to make ends meet and working a job she doesn’t really care for. Danny, of course, goes out of his way to make her life hell, and she tries to avoid him. Then one day Tink, suffers an …unfortunate..event and Danny finds himself having to take care of her, and that’s where their relationship begins. This story is cute and medicated Jodi is so funny and adorable! If you like the other books in this series then you will definitely like this one


At this point, it is almost embarrassing. I drop everything- and I do mean everything- when a new book in this series comes out. The Game Plan came out during our annual Christmas vacation to visit family, and I am pretty sure all they saw was the top of my head huddled behind my Kindle because you just don’t leave an R.L. Mathewson book in the hotel for “later.’
All of the NFH stories follow a general theme of annoying but basically good Bradford guy falls for girl next door. But don’t let that fool you- each story is also fresh and unique. In this one our Bradford realized fairly early on that he wants “Tinkerbell” for his own, but his ultra regimented ex-military planning for how he would get her to fall in love with him, while thinking his own heart could remain safe, provides for an slightly different dynamic. As for Jodi, she has her own quirks that make her funny and interesting, which I’ll withhold for the sake of not giving away too much of the individual plot. Plenty of chemistry and lots of tie ins with the other Bradfords make you feel like you have just finished visiting with good, quirky friends at the end page.

–Sally Tate

Jodi is ready to commit murder, she has been brought to the brink of crazy by her neighbor Danny Bradford. Danny has escalated from just annoying to full out jerk and Jodi wants out, she is ready to move. However the Bradfords own the apartment complex and seem to be insistent that she stay there.
In one moment Danny goes from just enjoying tormenting his neighbor to head on attraction. Danny knows Jodi isn’t going to trust him or that she has had any reason to but he has a game plan to woo Jodi and although it doesn’t go off as smoothly as he planned, Danny persists in trying to win Jodi’s heart.
I was cracking up through out. Jodi is sweet and kind of the girl next door type, but when she is with Danny she is a firecracker. Danny is confident, arrogant, and at times misguided but you love him for it. Another exceptional read from R.L. Mathewson.


Oh my sweetness – this is in my top 3 favorites of this series. I LOVE Danny and Jodie (aka Tinkerbell) so darn much. This one had me rolling with laughter thru the better part of the book. But Danny is definitely one of the best book boyfriends….hands down. Jodie is such a lovable heroine and a complete riot when she has any drugs. I adore how this story played out, tugged at my heart, and tearing up at their happily ever after. I have, honestly, read this one so many times that I’ve lost count.

–Marcie (@thecliteraturecorner)

I quickly fell in love with the Bradford Men in the first three books and Danny certainly disappoint in this one. I recommend reading those first because they lead up to this story. HIs love/hate/love/hate relationship with Jodi left me laughing hysterically and I think I fell in love with the Bradfords even more.
As Jodi was trying to break her lease, Danny never stopped trying to making her life hell. I love them both because they were both so hard headed and once Danny came up with his ‘game plan’ to get her, he sure had his mind set. She wasn’t easy that’s for sure and when they ended up being together unexpectedly, I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard.
Along with a lot of humor, you still get the characters from the previous books and I really enjoyed that. There’s also some sadness thrown in but a great love story as well!!

–Julie Deaton

The Game Plan is the latest book in the Neighbor from Hell Series and it was definitely worth the wait. R.L Mathewson is an author who always succeeds in making me laugh and always gives me a great story to read. The Game Plan is a must read for anyone who is familiar with this series and definitely worth the price. This is one author that if she wanted to raise her prices on her books, I wouldn’t even bat an eye to one-click. She’s that good! The Game Plan was well written and all the characters were well developed. I just loved Jodi and Danny together; such an awesome couple. Not only was I interested in the main characters (Jodi and Danny) but I was intrigued by the secondary characters. This book will have you laughing out loud in no time! This author is a must read and I definitely recommend The Game Plan.

–Jennifer Shultheis

R.L. knows how to do funny, sweet and sexy and do it GREAT!! This book was just as good as the others in this series. Each Bradford makes me smile like no other and their women are wonderful too. They are all different and alike at the same time but they crazy family “stuff” never leaves me with a shortage of laughs. After one of these stories I find that my cheeks hurt from smiling so much.
Danny was super charming and sweet as well as a terror, but you cant help love the terror in him. Jodi, she was his perfect mate. She was feisty and adorable and they made a wonderful pair.
I loved the whole reaction to medicine issue and the fun that happened during those times.
I cannot wait to read the next book in this series. I highly recommend this series!

–Antonette Santillo

I absolutely love the Neighbor from Hell series. Each time I pick up a book from this series, I know for a fact that no matter how many times I tell myself I will savor the story slowly and leisurely, I turn into one of the “Bradfords” and destruction lays in the wake as I read voraciously consuming each page until there is nothing left but a few crumbs which I hastely snatch up about a new book in the series. R.L Mathewson is a wonderful writer, adding just the right ingredients of humor, tongue in cheek, insanity and romance to make this series a great wonderful read. I hate it each time that the story comes to a close, because I want to continue to read more of the characters and story.


Absolutely awesome! I loved the humor in this book. Mathewson has a true gift for humor in her prose and I really appreciate it, because I feel that is where a lot of authors fall short. I adore her Neighbor from Hell series. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much reading. Her Heroes are delicious in every sense of the word and in their voracity for food. Her heroines are feisty and I love that! I absolutely adored both Jodi and Danny and I loved that the Bradford family (and their never ceasing quest for food) was back and in full force. I cannot wait for the next NFH book. I can literally re-read this over and over and never get tired of it, which is rare for me.

–Amazon Customer

Print Excerpt

Chapter 1

            “I love my wife.”

            “Yes, but-” Jodi started to say only to get cut off once again before she could explain why she desperately needed to be released from her lease.

            “I love my wife,” Trevor Bradford, her landlord and a man that she suspected was as close to committing murder as she was, stressed for what had to be the hundredth time since he’d arrived at her apartment five minutes ago.

            Jodi released an exasperated sigh as she shifted in her seat and tried to think of another way to explain to the large, and basically decent, man that if he didn’t let her out of her lease ten months early that she was very much afraid that she would end up killing his cousin with her bare hands. Since she was pretty sure that a full confession would only come back and bite her in the ass later, she decided to go with a more subtle route to get out of her lease.

            “I need to be released from my lease, because your cousin is an asshole and he’s making my life a living hell,” she explained in a calm and efficient manner, neglecting to mention that she’d already thought of twenty-nine different ways to kill the large, and annoying, bastard.

            For a moment, Trevor didn’t say anything as he studied her from across the small eighteenth century country kitchen table that she’d inherited from her Great-Grandmother Rose. His eyes narrowed on her in an assessing manner as she did the same to him, refusing to be intimidated. When it became obvious that intimidation wasn’t going to work, he tried another tactic.

            “Which cousin?” he asked, feigning ignorance as he leaned back in his chair. Jodi just barely bit back a wince when the chair creaked in protest at having to support such a large man. If she had to guess, she’d have to say the man weighed well over two hundred pounds and every last ounce of him was pure muscle. She really wasn’t sure how much more abuse her poor chair could take before it finally cracked under pressure.

It would probably depress her for a day or two to lose such a treasured item, especially since she couldn’t afford to replace it, even with a cheap knockoff from Wal-Mart on her new salary. Then again, if it meant getting out of the lease from hell and away from the most annoying man on earth then she would just have to suck it up and deal with the loss, she decided.

            “You know which one,” she bit out, knowing that he knew damn well which one of his cousins was driving her to the point of no return.

            “There are five of them renting apartments here,” he pointed out, not sounding happy about that fact, but not willing to make this easy on her. “I’m afraid that you’ll have to be a little more specific.”

            Granted, all of his cousins that rented here seemed to be arrogant bastards, but only one of them was a complete asshole. The rest of his cousins amused her and yes, they could annoy the hell out of her, but not to the point where she was contemplating murder. That reaction was reserved solely for one man and one man alone.

            Danny Bradford.

            It was actually kind of funny, because before she’d moved here, she’d thought of herself as a pacifist. Just the thought of a puppy whimpering, or accidentally hurting anyone’s feelings would have had her hitting a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and sobbing hysterically over a Lifetime movie. Before Danny Bradford she’d never gotten truly good and mad. She’d never even held a grudge before she’d met him. She usually let things go pretty quickly and didn’t waste her time on nonsense, but that all changed the day that she moved in and met the bastard living across the hall.

            Then again, a lot of things had changed in her life over the last few months, and some of those things might be influencing her reaction to Danny Bradford. But, she was pretty sure that even if she hadn’t been dumped the night before her wedding, lost her job at the museum, been forced to take a job as the town librarian, and humiliated in every way imaginable by her ex, that she would still be developing an all-consuming hatred for the man living across the hall from her.

            He was arrogant, cocky, a jerk, too good looking for his own good, a jerk, an asshole, really annoying and did she mention that he was a jerk? It seemed as though he lived to screw with her. It was bad enough that she had to deal with all the crap that he put her through, but that damn cocky smile of his that he wore while he did it just pissed her off in too many ways to actually count. She hated that smile, probably not as much as she hated the man, but it was a close second.

            “Danny,” she bit out, glaring at the man as she silently dared him to continue sitting there pretending that he didn’t know that his cousin had been having a heck of a time making her life a living hell. He knew, oh, he knew. A week didn’t go by that she wasn’t forced to call him and explain as calmly as possible that if his cousin kept up his bullshit that she would be forced to kick him in the balls to wipe that cocky smile off his face.

            Normally when she was forced to make those calls, which made her feel like a tattling child, Trevor would listen for all of ten seconds, sigh heavily and hand the phone over to Zoe, his wife and the unofficial manager of all the rental properties that they owned. Trevor usually only got involved as a last resort or if his wife was too exhausted from taking care of the couple’s children to muster up the energy to deal with tenants. Actually, she preferred to deal with Zoe, because she would listen, sympathize, and after Jodi finished getting it off her chest, the short plump woman would give her a hug, tell her to hang in there, walk across the hall and slap Danny upside his head.

            Then with a satisfied sigh, Zoe would smile and go, leaving her to deal with Danny, that damn cocky grin of his, and the knowledge that she’d somehow just set down a challenge for him. Every time Zoe paid him a visit, he always upped his game to drive her insane.

            Like last week when she’d been forced to complain about Danny getting her placed on another restaurant’s delivery banned list. Zoe had come right over, this time not bothering to see her first before she knocked on Danny’s door. When Danny opened the door while eating her hot wings, she’d like to point out, Zoe sighed, reached up and slapped Danny upside his head.

            Instead of getting pissed like she would probably be if someone kept slapping her upside the head, Danny had simply shrugged it off and picked up another hot wing. Just as he was about to take a bite, Zoe snatched the wing and the takeout box out of his hands, scowled up at him for all of ten seconds, turned around and stormed off.

            That’s when Danny finally reacted.

            It was also the moment that she’d really wished she hadn’t chosen to come out of her apartment to check the mail. Before she could move to make an escape, Danny glared accusingly at her as though she’d been the one who’d stolen his, well, technically they were hers since she’d ordered them, hot wings.

            He hadn’t said a word as he closed his door. He didn’t need to say anything, because that glare had said it all. She’d spent that night tossing and turning in bed, torn between apologizing to save herself from his bullshit, shrugging it off while trying to tell herself that there was nothing to worry about, and getting good and mad at herself for obsessing over something so stupid. When the alarm clock forced her to drag her butt out of bed the next morning she’d wanted to kick his ass as well as her own for wasting the entire night lying awake worrying instead of sleeping.

            Thirty minutes, a lukewarm shower, and three cups of burnt coffee later, she’d still been kicking herself for her own stupidity as she’d left her apartment and mentally prepared herself for the next ten hours of dealing with meetings, committees, story time with the kids, craft hour and a book vendor event. All thoughts of the hectic day that awaited her slowly evaporated from her thoughts when she’d caught sight of the five-foot high cinderblock wall that surrounded her parking space where her car had been parked the night before.

            It was at that point that she realized that she needed to either move or find a good defense attorney. Sadly, with the current state of her finances a good defense attorney was out of the question and so was moving, she’d realized. She couldn’t afford to break her lease early and she didn’t have enough money to cover the first and last month’s rent for a new apartment.

            Since she didn’t have many options available to her at the moment, she decided to try and talk her way out of her lease. Actually, she’d been hoping to have this conversation with Zoe, because she was pretty easy going and probably would have let her out of her lease without a fight. If Trevor hadn’t overheard their phone conversation an hour ago, she was pretty sure that she’d already be looking at other apartments.

            Unfortunately for her, he did overhear it.

            He scrubbed his hands down his face as he muttered, “I’m going to kill that fucking bastard.”

            “If you do that I’d be willing to stay,” she pointed out helpfully.

            He chuckled as he leaned back in his chair and she did her best not to cringe when the chair creaked in protest, again. “I like you, Jodi. You’re never late with the rent. You keep your apartment clean and you don’t cause trouble, but I can’t let you out of your lease.”

            “Why?” she asked, her shoulders slumping in defeat.

            “Because if you move out, my wife will just move another one of my asshole cousins in here,” he said with a heavy sigh.

            “Well, they couldn’t be any worse than Danny. So-”

            “Believe me, they are,” he said, cutting her off as he sat up, causing the chair to creak ominously with the movement. “What if I reduced your rent by a hundred bucks a month?”

            “To stay?” she asked, tempted to say yes and give in.

            She didn’t have much money in the bank and even though she actually did make a decent salary, she didn’t have much money at the end of the month once the bills were paid. Fifteen thousand dollars in debt had been her ex-fiancé’s parting gift for her, one that she couldn’t seem to return, and she desperately wanted to return that lovely gift. She’d been foolish when she’d agreed to open a credit card account in her name for him, and even more foolish for giving him access to her bank account, which he’d drained, legally according to the police department, mere hours before he broke the news publically to her that he couldn’t force himself to marry her.

            “Two hundred?” he offered, sounding a little desperate.

            “Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to let me out of my lease?” she asked, struggling with the urge to say yes and make things a little less financially tight for a while even if it meant putting up with Danny Bradford for ten more months.

            “Three hundred bucks,” he said, not asked, she noted.

            “Three hundred dollars?” she repeated, sure that she’d misheard him.

            “Deal,” Trevor said with a firm nod as he stood up and headed for the door, leaving her sitting there struggling to figure out what just happened.

            “Wait, what deal?” she asked, scrambling to get out of the chair and rush to the door and block it before he could make his escape, but sadly, her short legs just couldn’t manage it.

            Trevor had the door open and was halfway down the hallway before she managed to catch up with him, well, get within ten feet of him anyway. “Wait!” she said, hoping that he’d stop long enough so that she could figure out what just happened.

            With a sheepish smile, he did, but her relief was short lived as he walked towards her and then kept walking. Before she could ask him what he was doing, he was pounding on Danny’s door. Seconds later, and unfortunately before she could make it back to her apartment, Danny, wearing only jeans and looking fresh out of the shower with damp hair, a towel around his shoulders and his large muscles glistening beneath the hallway light, opened the door.

            Having a really bad feeling about what was coming, Jodi took a step back, hoping to get to her apartment before-

            “Ow!” Danny said, rubbing the top of his head. “What the hell was that for?” he demanded. His glare shifted away from his cousin and landed on her just as she’d reached her door and was about to sneak inside her apartment, where she planned on hiding until it was time to go to work in sixteen hours.

            “Stop being an asshole,” Trevor said with a satisfied grunt before he turned around and headed for the exit only to pause and throw over his shoulder, “You still coming to dinner?”

            Danny’s eyes never left her as he answered, “Yeah, what time?”

            “Six,” Trevor said, continuing towards the door and leaving her to deal with his asshole cousin. “Bring dessert!”

            Danny didn’t respond and Trevor didn’t wait for him to as he opened the door and stepped outside, leaving Jodi in a rather awkward position.

            “Tattled on me again?” Danny asked in that deep voice that made her toes tingle.

            It also reminded her of just how much she hated him.

            Because of him she hadn’t gotten a wink of sleep all night. Now she was tired, cranky, admittedly bitchy, and had to work on re-writing a proposal for the library renovation that had taken her a month, in fourteen hours and without pay. All because the Town Council didn’t feel that the first proposal properly conveyed the importance of the library and its staff, meaning that she had to figure out a way to bring the budget for library renovations down by ten grand or start looking for a new job when they were forced to close the library.

            “For your information,” she bit out, taking a step towards him and pretending that he didn’t have more than a foot on her as she glared up at him, “I was asking to get out of my lease. Not that it’s any of your business.”

            For some reason that seemed to amuse him, because his scowl was instantly replaced by that smug grin of his that her palm was itching to slap off his face. “Trying to run away from your feelings for me, Tink?” he asked, bringing her rage to a whole new level.

            “Did….,” she started to say, only to force herself to take a deep breath before she did something that would involve that defense attorney that she’d already decided she couldn’t afford. “Did you just call me Tink?” she asked with barely suppressed rage.

            Oblivious to how close he was to certain death, Danny merely shrugged as he grabbed the towel from around his shoulders and dried his face and chest. “Mmmhmm.”

            “That’s not my name,” she bit out, her eyes narrowing on that towel as she thought of a whole new way to get rid of the bastard.

            “Well,” he said, pausing to rub the towel against the back of his head, “it really should be.”

            “It’s not,” she snapped, knowing that if he called her Tink one more time that she would-

            “As much as I’d love to stand here and chat with you, Tinkerbelle, I have somewhere to be,” he said with a wink as he shut the door, leaving her standing there, seething with rage and making her wonder how she was going to get through the next ten months without killing him.

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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