It was Halloween, and I was in the mood for a light-hearted, fun and sexy book, and that’s just what I got! I loved the first two in the series, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Checkmate, the third in the funny/sexy Neighbor From Hell Series by R.L. Mathewson (see the series reading order here). This book can definitely be read alone, but when the Bradfords show up in the second half of the book, it’s way funnier if you know their history with food.
Rory and Connor have been enemies since preschool. Growing up in a small town, the entire town knew about their rivalry. Since Rory has 5 older brothers and was brought up by just her dad, she has been treated like “one of the guys” for a long time. Gorgeous and tough, she doesn’t take Connor’s bullying lying down, she gives as good as she gets. The two of them have been banned from almost every place in town because their pranks and fights always get out of hand. From twisting nipples with pliers, to paint fights, pantsings, and supergluing gym shorts to butts, their funny, crazy rivalry knows no end.
These two are so similar in many ways that they are also next door neighbors. They both fell in love with old houses and renovated them back to their old glory. (Though I think Conner just moved there to torture Rory more). Since their balconies are only 18 inches apart, their rivalry extends to their homes as well.
Rory owns a construction company and her brothers all work for her. Connor owns a rival company. When they both bid on the same job, they are forced to work together to complete the job in less than 6 months. One thing you need to know about Rory: she is obsessed with hot cocoa, and I mean OBSESSED. One thing you need to know about Connor: despite all the horrible, torturous things he has done to Rory since they were little, he always made sure nobody else ever hurt her, and he always (in his own fucked-up way) protected her from hurt (unless it was done by him) though she never realized it. Oh! One more thing about Conner. He is a total DICK (in a sweet, sexy way). And you can’t help but root for the couple. Despite Rory hating him, she knew he was the hottest guy in town and:
“It figured that the one man that treated her like a woman was the one that made her wish she was a man so that she could kick his ass.”
Connor is not the kind of guy a feminist would like, to say the least. He was the kind of guy who thinks a woman’s place should be in the home. But maybe he just sees Rory like that because he is concerned about her getting hurt….nah, he’s an ass like that. But kind of a swoony, dreamboat ass. But since Rory would never put up with that crap it works in this book….oh sorry, I digress.
So when these two agree to “pretend” to be boyfriend/girlfriend for 6 months while the project is getting done, they really take their role playing seriously. And damn if it isn’t some hot as hell ‘pretending’ from the minute they lay lips on each other.
Then the Bradfords, Rory’s very big, very hungry cousins come to help on the project. If you have read the first two in the Neighbors from Hell series, you know that the Bradfords have a crazy, hysterical and sick obsession with food:
“Your trail mix tastes funny,” Trevor said with a cringe.
“That wasn’t trail mix, you bastard! That was potpourri!”
You are only allowed to hit each sample cart ten times and that’s it.”
“You bitch!” Trevor and Jason gasped in outrage.
- The enemies to lovers storyline.
- Despite being an ass, I totally fell for Connor.
- I smiled and was entertained throughout the whole book.
- Rory was a feisty and fun heroine.
- I loved how the whole Bradford clan was worked into the story.
- This one seemed way longer than the others (though I can’t find a page count anywhere).
- Hot sex (well, duh… I always like that)
- The rivalry went a little too far. Connor crossed the line enough times that he should be arrested, plus it interfered with their job.
- The story was told a little too much from Connor’s POV which made me have a little trouble completely connecting.
- Rory’s hot cocoa obsession was harped on just a little too much, (though it was kind of cute) but perhaps it is the Bradford blood in her.
“I tell you what, Rory. If you’re ready in an hour, I’ll buy you an extra-large cup of cocoa before we go out, one before we come home and as many as you want in between.” As many as she wanted?
Dear God, she was in heaven, she thought with a content little sigh before something occurred to her and when it did, her eyes narrowed dangerously on him.
“This isn’t some sort of sick joke, is it?” she demanded, because really, this was hot cocoa and she didn’t screw around when it came to her cocoa.”
Rating: 4.25 stars 3.75 for Heat
So I had a handful of chocolate (it was Halloween) and a fun, silly, sexy book! What more can I ask for? I didn’t love this as much as the first two, but I still loved it, and highly recommend it. The funny rivalry at the beginning and the Bradfords at the end combined with a sexy love story between people who have known (and kind of hated) each other their whole lives was the perfect combination. This is definitely one of my favorite series, and I also highly recommend any of RL’s books if you like Kristen Ashley.
- The Neighbor From Hell Series Reading Order
- Review: Playing For Keeps by RL Mathewson
- Review: Perfection by RL Mathewson
- Review: Friends with Benefits by CC Wood
- Review: Frenemies by CC Wood