On Wednesday, March 16, 2022 I released my twelfth published book. PLAYING FOR KEEPS (FRIENDZONE #2) is the second book of the FRIENDZONE SERIES and the conclusion of Taylor and Mikayla’s love story.

We first meet Taylor and Mikayla in FRIENDZONE just after the death of Jordan Stevens. Jordan was Taylor’s best friend and Mikayla’s boyfriend. Taylor and Mikayla help each other grieve and cope with their mutual loss and come to love each other. In PLAYING FOR KEEPS, Taylor and Mikayla have been torn apart by and online presence and Taylor’s bad relationship with his controlling and basketball obsessed father. They have started college and are learning to find themselves and gain their footing as independent college students that now live hours away from their parents. The two must grow and improve themselves separately before they can have a healthy and loving relationship together.


Every rebound is a personal challenge. It’s no longer time for playing safe. It’s time to play for keeps.

Taylor Echols… He was my childhood friend. My bully. My savior when I felt like my life was falling apart. He pieced me back together when I was broken. He made me fall in love with him. But it was all fake. He’s a liar. A user. A man-whore. Selfish and irredeemable. I’m done with him. I’ve hardened my heart and built walls that not even he can jump over. Basketball will always be the most important thing to him. He’ll do anything to make sure that he achieves his dream of getting drafted to the NBA, even if it means hurting the people he claims to love. But I’m no chorus-line-girl content to remain in the background playing backup to anyone or anything. I’m a shining star, and I’m going to strut my stuff across Molyneaux University’s campus, reminding everyone, including Taylor, that this Prima Ballerina can steal the show with her solo.

Mikayla Hightower… The girl of my dreams. The girl I’ve wanted since we were kids. Now, the woman that I’ve lost. She’s my first and only love. And I’ve ruined everything. I screwed up – screwed up big. I unintentionally betrayed and humiliated her in front of the whole Molyneaux University Student body before we’d even stepped foot on campus. She hates me more now than she ever did. But I’m going to rally back from this loss. I’m going to get her to love me again. I’m on the rebound. And this time I’m playing for keeps.

PLAYING FOR KEEPS is a 81,000 word, full-length novel and is part two of a series.It cannot be read as a standalone. No cliff-hanger! Ends with a HEA.

Tropes in PLAYING FOR KEEPS include:
-Athlete / Jock Romance
-Best Friend’s Lover
-Friends-to-lovers / Frenemies-to-lovers
-Childhood friends
-Second Chance Romance
-Alpha Hero
-Giant Man/Tiny Woman

Recommended for 18+ Content/Trigger Warning for grief, survivor’s guilt, depression, teen drinking, strong language, injury to animal, home invasion, online bullying, and explicit sex scenes (all sex scenes are consensual and all characters featured in them are over the age of 18).

What Readers Are Saying about PLAYING FOR KEEPS:

five star rating its a writers life for me book review

The Characters in this book will become like family to you. This is a well written book. The characters in this book are well written and they come alive to you. They become people you care about. You cheer for Mikayla and Taylor as they struggle to find their way back to each other. You get angry at Taylor’s father. This book puts your emotions on a roller coaster. A must read!

five star rating its a writers life for me book review

The conclusion of Taylor and MK was everything I needed and more. I loved the friendships again showcased and I loved the connection between Champ and MK. I hope Raven gets a book a good love triangle would be awesome or Aiden and Veronica get a book too.



Subscribe to it's a writer's life for me

Have you started reading PLAYING FOR KEEPS yet? Who is your favorite FRIENDZONE SERIES character? Tell me in the comments!

Don’t forget to hit the SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW button near the top of the page before you leave so you never miss a post. Also, follow me on Facebook, InstagramTikTok and join my Facebook Readers’ Group: Michelle’s Literary Rebels. And I would love it if you’d consider subscribing to my newsletter!

Until next time, my friends!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Website Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: