Authors: R. L. Mathewson
Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary, #Holidays, #Literature & Fiction, #Contemporary Fiction, #rl mathewson, #fire fighter romance, #neighbor from hell, #enemy to lover romance, #contemporary series romance, #new york times best seller
Christmas from Hell
A Smashword’s Edition
First, I’d like say that I hope that you and your loved ones had a wonderful holiday. The second? I hope that A Christmas from Hell allows you to sit back, relax, smile and take that much-needed break that you deserve.
You all work so hard every day, whether it’s taking care of little ones running around the house, determined to drive you crazy or as the head of a corporation with employees who are just as determined to drive you crazy. For the past few years I have been dying to write this book, a book without drama and with sweet romance that could hold its own with
Playing for Keeps
and I think, hope, that this book has done just that.
For all the non-Christian, non-Christmas celebrating young ladies out there, and the few gentlemen that enjoy our books, I went easy with the whole Christmas thing. Barely mentioned Christmas festivities or traditions so that everyone can enjoy and relate to these two characters.
For a while I considered letting this book go for another year, but like I said, I’ve been dying to write this book for a few year now so I didn’t want to put it off any longer. So, it went on my goal list for the end of 2015. I wanted this book done for my birthday and I came very close, but I will have this book uploaded and ready to go on time so that you can enjoy it for the holidays.
This December I have a few projects to work on, an online class for aspiring authors to get up, a year late, and a website meant to help those authors. Starting January 1, 2016 my focus will be back on the paranormal books as promised. I hope that you are able to enjoy those books as well and that they have been worth the wait.
Thank you so much for your patience and understanding over the last few years. Things have been kind of wild, working as a single mom with two children with disabilities hasn’t always been easy and I doubt that will ever change, but you’ve been there for us and for that, you will always be in our thoughts and in our hearts. Thank you for being you.
Rebecca (R.L.), Kayley and Shane
Other titles by R.L. Mathewson
The Pyte/Sentinel Series:
Tall, Dark & Lonely
Tall, Dark & Heartless
Tall, Silent & Lethal
The Hollywood Hearts Series:
A Humble Heart
A Reclusive Heart
The Neighbor from Hell Series:
Playing for Keeps
Truce: The Historic Neighbor from Hell
The Game Plan
Double Feature (The Game Plan/Double Dare)
The Neighbor from Hell Collection I
Honeymoon from Hell Mini-Series I-VI
Christmas from Hell
The EMS Series:
The Cursed Hearts Series:
The 2014 R.L. Mathewson Chronicle Collection
The 2015 R.L. Mathewson Chronicle Collection
How to Write, Publish and All That Good Stuff…
This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations and events described in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
A Christmas From Hell © Rerum Industries, Inc. 2015. All rights reserved.
Edited by R.L. Mathewson, Kirstie Grundy, Necie Navone, and Jessica Atchison
This book is dedicated to everyone who was willing to take a ch
ance on me throughout the years and who has stuck by my side ever since.
And of course to my children who will always be my inspiration, my little buddies and my reason for sleeping with one eye open every night.
Thank you for purchasing this book.
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Table of Contents
A Christmas from Hell
Duncan, are you just getting in?” Jodi asked and as much as he would have loved to tell the obviously pregnant woman shifting anxiously in the foyer from one dainty foot to the other while she wrapped her arms around her belly, that he swore had grown larger since he saw her yesterday morning, as she shifted another nervous glance over her shoulder that he was on his way out, he just couldn’t lie to her.
But, God, would he fucking love to be able to lie to her right about now.
Yeah,” he said softly, cringing when the effort to speak caused searing pain to shoot up and down his throat.
Do you think that you could give me a hand with Danny?” she asked with a nervous little smile, clearly embarrassed to have to ask him for help at three in the morning, but that’s why he was here, wasn’t it?
Instead of speaking, because Duncan wasn’t sure that he could manage that without cursing in pain or starting another coughing fit that had him changing his mind and taking his lieutenant up on his offer to be seen in the emergency room and beg them to put him out of his fucking misery, he couldn’t. Wishing that he could do a lot of things differently, he opened the door to the large laundry room that was off the back foyer near the kitchen and quickly discarded everything saturated with smoke and soot until he was left standing there in his boxer shorts.
If this had been any other woman, he would have never even considered stripping down in front of her, but this was Jodi, his roommate and an understanding woman who’d probably kill him with her dainty little hands if he wore his smoke-saturated-clothing through her house, again. The last time had been more than enough for him to get over his embarrassment and for her to get comfortable enough with him to threaten his balls if he ever made the house smell like it was on fire again.
Not that he could blame her, because he really couldn’t. There really was nothing quite like the scents of sweat, ash and smoke filling the air after a fresh fire and giving his sister-in-law a whole new trigger for morning sickness to start the day off right. Moving in with his brother and sister-in-law had taken some adjustment, but so far they’d managed to survive the last month without killing each other, which for any Bradford was definite progress. He just hadn’t counted on being this fucking exhausted from doing it.
He worked three twenty-four hour shifts, most of that time was spent on the rig and the rest of the time he spent pulling ambulance duty, which took a lot out of him. It had also made him the perfect choice to move in and help his brother once Danny had been able to return from Florida and that fucked up side trip to Las Vegas that he had to take before Jodi realized that she could probably do better and dump his ass.
Duncan rented an apartment that he’d barely slept in with a roommate that he couldn’t stand so when they sat down as a family to discuss which one of them was going to uproot their lives to help Danny and Jodi, he’d been the perfect choice because of his work schedule. Then again, if he’d realized that moving in with his brother and sister-in-law was going to be this exhausting, he might have let the opportunity pass down to their brother Aidan.
When he’d agreed to do this he figured that he’d take out the trash, help around the house, run some errands now and then when he had some extra time, but like most things in his life, it hadn’t worked out the way that he’d hoped. When he wasn’t working, he was running errands, driving Danny to his doctors’ appointments, helping Danny complete his daily physical therapy by taking him to the gym, cooking most of the meals since the pregnancy was exhausting Jodi. By the end of the day they could usually find her curled up on the couch or the nearest bed, which was the reason that he did most of the cleaning and about a thousand other things that had to come before he could grab some sleep, something that he seemed to be getting less of with each passing day.
Honestly, he wasn’t sure how much longer he could keep this up, but there wasn’t anything that he could do about it right now. Danny and Jodi needed help and right now he was the only one who could do it full-time. Everyone in his family pitched in, helping Danny and Jodi with rides, food, helped around the house, money to cover medical bills, made sure that someone was around when Duncan couldn’t be, but even with all that extra help he was still fucking exhausted.
The additional help was great, but honestly he would love to have a night where he could sleep without worrying about the fire alarm going off, being woken up at two in the morning because someone’s Life Alert accidentally went off, waking up to the sounds of his brother and Jodi having sex or that hesitant knock that always seemed to come just when he was finally about to fall asleep, or the worst part, waiting for the sounds of his stubborn brother falling, because he was too fucking pigheaded to ask for help.
Christ, the last time he could have killed his brother for refusing to ask for help. There’d been so much goddamn blood, which happened with head injuries and he’d known that, but that hadn’t meant jack shit to him when it was his own brother lying unconscious on the bathroom floor in a puddle of his own blood. He’d tried to block out Jodi’s hysterical sobbing, the fact that the man bleeding everywhere was his brother and instead, tried to focus on his training. He’d cleaned his brother’s head wound, kept the stubborn bastard on the floor when Danny finally managed to open his eyes and tried to sit up. He even managed to call the station for help, which had been difficult by that point since Jodi’s sobs had turned into hysterical screams and he could barely hear anything over her yelling at Danny for scaring the shit out of her.