Rain After Fire (Balsam Ridge #3) Read Online Amber Kelly

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors: Series: Balsam Ridge Series by Amber Kelly
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Total pages in book: 67
Estimated words: 65560 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 328(@200wpm)___ 262(@250wpm)___ 219(@300wpm)
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Expert:

If you play with fire, expect to get burned.
I learned at a young age to trust no one, protect myself, and guard my heart. All lessons my mother burned into me. She may not have had a lot to offer in way of help but she poured all she had into me and made me the independent woman I am today. So after laying her to rest, I packed my belongings and moved to the place that she talked about often. A place where she enjoyed the carefree pleasures of childhood.
Balsam Ridge, Tennessee is a little slice of paradise and nothing like the busy city that I’m accustomed to. With its idyllic setting, friendly strangers, and slower pace, a girl could easily be charmed into letting her walls down.
It was only going to be a stop on my journey. A respite while I figured out my next move, and catching feelings for the confident and sexy local Fire Chief, Corbin Tuttle, was not part of the plan.
It was supposed to be a game. A hoax. A brief fling to help him break a toxic cycle. But my mother always told me, that sometimes you need a little rain to calm the fire.

Full Book:

Maxi

Seven Years Old

“Momma!” I try desperately to shake her awake.

Daddy came home drunk and angry yesterday. Momma sent me and my sister, Lynn, to our room right after dinner, and I played with her to distract her from the yelling and cursing coming from down the hall. Lynn is four years younger than me, and I have to help Momma protect her. It’s my job as the big sister.

I lay in my bed awake all night, worried, until I heard my father’s car leave for work just after sunrise.

Right after he leaves, Momma usually comes in to wake us for breakfast and to get me ready for school.

When she didn’t, I tiptoed into my parents’ room and saw my mother sleeping. The right side of her face was swollen, and her cheek was a scary shade of black and purple. Her lip was split, and a bright red stain covered half of her pillow.

As I try to rouse her, Lynn stands in the doorway, clutching her blanket, crying. She followed me when I left our room.

“It’s okay, Sissy. Momma is just tired,” I whisper to her as I take her by the hand and guide her to the living room couch.

I turn the television on to morning cartoons. I slide a chair from the table over to the counter and climb up to reach the cabinet with the cereal boxes. I grab the Froot Loops and jump down. I empty the bowl on the table that holds crayons and pour the dry cereal into it and take it to my sister.

“You eat your cereal and watch TV, and I’ll be right back,” I command.

I grab my mother’s slippers, which are sitting by the front door, and slip them on. They are way too big, but I don’t have time to search for mine. I open the door and trot down the three steps that lead from our trailer to the concrete pad in our small backyard. I hike my nightgown up and run down the dirt road toward the nearest neighbor’s trailer.

My friend Eric’s mother opens the door and gives me a quizzical look.

“Maxi? What are you doing out so early?” she asks.

“Can I use your phone?” I ask breathlessly.

She looks behind me. “Are you here by yourself?”

I nod.

“Is something wrong?” she asks.

“My momma has a boo-boo, and she won’t wake up,” I tell her.

Her look of confusion turns to a look of panic, and she takes my shoulder and leads me inside.

“Where is your daddy?” she asks as we walk to the kitchen, where a telephone is hanging by the refrigerator.

“He left,” I answer.

She grabs the phone. “Who are we calling?”

I prattle off the only phone number I have memorized. “It’s my aunt Rhonda’s number.”

After she dials, she puts the receiver to her ear. When my aunt answers, she explains that I showed up in my nightgown, saying my mother is injured and won’t wake up.

I can hear my aunt on the other end of the line.

“She’s on her way.”

I thank her and take off back home to my sister and wait.

My aunt and uncle arrive about thirty minutes later. I let them into the trailer, and they rush into my parents’ room. Uncle Ray picks Momma up from the bed and loads her into the backseat of their pale yellow station wagon while Aunt Rhonda helps me and Lynn get dressed.

They drop me off at the schoolhouse on the way to the emergency room.

“Your momma will be okay,” Aunt Rhonda assures me as she walks me hurriedly to my classroom.

“Can’t I come with you?” I beg.

“No, baby. Uncle Ray is going to watch Lynn while I take your momma to see the doctor at the hospital. Someone will be here to pick you up after school.”


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