Monday, January 26, 2015

Review: The Game Plan, A Neighbor From Hell by RL Mathewson

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

Normally she’d be able to say that this one was a no-brainer, but things have definitely changed since she was forced to move in across the hall from Danny Bradford.

A lot of things……

She wanted to get through one day, just ONE day without Danny Bradford doing something to test the limits to her control, but with that damn smile of his and his habit of leaving her contemplating manslaughter, she didn’t see that happening anytime soon.

He loved his family, but some days…….

It was too much, but that was okay, because his small neighbor living across the hallway provided him with endless hours of entertainment. Not on purpose of course, but did it really matter as long she made him smile?
~My Review~

It's quite possible that of all the books I've read, the Neighbor From Hell Series may be my favorite.  There's something about the humor that is written into the characters and storyline that just sucks me in and makes me want to read and reread all of the books in this series.  I started reading them when Playing For Keeps came up as a recommendation on Goodreads, and once I read that book, I was hooked.  Since reading that book, RL Mathewson has become one of my favorite authors and I've read not only the NFH series, but also her Pyte / Sentinel Series, which will get it's own blog post soon enough.  The Game Plan was a great addition to the NFH series, and I loved every minute that I read of it.

I'm pretty sure that Danny Bradford now has the number one slot in a 3-way tie with Jason and Trevor as my favorite Bradford.  The Bradford family is this absolutely HILARIOUS family where all of the men (and I supposed the women, too) are completely OBSESSED with food.  I wish I had the Bradford metabolism and could eat whatever the hell I could get my hands on without gaining a single pound.  Their obsession with food is one of the most original things I've ever read in a contemporary romance book, and it really makes this series stand out as an original.  While Danny doesn't seem to have the curse as strongly as some of his brothers or cousins, there are still a lot of scenes where the food is the main dish in the story, and I loved every moment of it.

The relationship between Danny and Jodi is great.  Yes - it's a typical Bradford relationship in that Danny absolutely torments Jodi with his Bradford antics, but they still have great banter and great individual assets.

Danny is an ex-Marine with a past that he's still trying to deal with.  He is treated with kid gloves by his family because of the injuries that he sustained in the war and because of the difficult relationship he has with his family, specifically his father.  His life has taken a completely different course than his original plan, all because of one mistake in High School.

Jodi is a single woman who was wronged by her ex-fiance who not only left her at the altar right before the wedding, but also left her with nothing but an empty bank account and a huge pile of debt.  She lives across the hall from Danny in one of Trevor's buildings, and is ready to tear her hair out by his Bradford antics.  Danny seems to have targeted her as the one woman he wants to torture in life, but since she was left by her ex, every man she has dated has automatically been friend-zoned. I loved reading about how Danny was able to break though to her.

The story flows well, and the characters are well developed and mold into the Bradford family perfectly.  We see a lot of Jason and Trevor, and I love them both.  We even get a scene with one of Trevor's devil spawn, and it absolutely hilarious.  We also get to know more of the Bradfords outside of Jarod's family, and it's a fun branch of the family to get to know.  I love that Danny calls Jodi Tinkerbell (Tink)...It was a unique nickname that hasn't been used in any other book I've read, and I thought it totally fit the bill for Jodi.  I also loved that aside from Danny's craziness (he really can be a bit of an a-hole), he had a softer side that we didn't see as much as from the other Bradfords.  Also, Jodi added to the story with her nutty reaction to medication.  It was absolutely hilarious and it made me laugh so hard.

I loved that at every turn, Danny's "Game Plan" didn't go the way he wanted it to, and he was forced to reevaluate.  It seems to be the definition of his life, and it even carried over into his love life.

All in all, I absolutely loved The Game Plan.  It was similar to the other books in the series (It's about another Bradford so I expected certain things to carry over), but it also brought a lot of different things to the table, and was really enjoyable.  I did think that the end of the book was a bit rushed, and could have been expanded on a bit, but it was still overall a great read.

I'm thinking that with more NFH Books (Darrin & Maryanne are next!), and all the Chronicles that are posted online, we'll eventually learn more about the hows and the whys the Bradfords get banned from certain places.  We got to see the family on Vacation in this book, but they seemed to be somewhat on their best behavior.  I guess I'll just have to wait for the next story to learn a bit more about the family.  I'll admit - I'm not disappointed that there will be more NFH in the future!!!

Link to Amazon:  The Game Plan
Link to Nook:  The Game Plan

Other books in the series:
Playing for Keeps (Neighbor From Hell #1) (Jason and Haley) 

Perfection (Neighbor From Hell #2) (Trevor and Zoey) 
Checkmate (Neighbor From Hell #3) (Connor and Rory) 
Truce (A Historic Neighbor From Hell #4) (Robert and Elizabeth) 

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