I’ve been in love with the Neighbor From Hell series by R.L. Mathewson for so long now. I can’t even remember what drew me to read Playing for Keeps, but hardly more than a few chapters in and I was in love. I immediately bought the remaining books, patiently waited for Double Dare to be released, fell in love some more, and hated myself for not realizing until early this year that Christmas From Hell was already released. So the wait for the next in the series, Fire & Brimstone felt like an eternity. But so well worth the wait. This series just continues to blow all others out of the water and is easily one of my favourites.
There’s so many reasons why I love this addition to the series. The characters were fantastic, just as they always are. The story was well written and flushed out, and always includes all the other members of the family that we’ve been following for so long now. It’s beyond hilarious that there was never not a smile on my face as I read it. Of course I have to mention that the sex scenes are always making the room seem just a little bit steamier than before, they’re that good.
One of my favourite aspects of Fire & Brimstone, however, is when Rebecca learns (finally, no thanks to all the ridiculous doctors who thought she was just making her illness up. The sad part is that this happens a lot, especially with what Rebecca has gone through) that she has Celiacs Disease.
For a good portion of my life, I’ve battled with getting sick and being in pain after eating meals. I never understood it. I couldn’t pick out what was the cause. I figured it was just overeating, or something had been stale or not cooked properly. I didn’t think it needed to be looked at by a doctor. And then I met a friend who had Celiacs, and I realized for the first time in over 20 years that I was sensitive to gluten. 3 and a half years later, and I’m living on a gluten free lifestyle, and can thankfully say it’s rare when I have a reaction. But it was tough, and it’s still a struggle. Especially when going out to eat. So to see this character in a series I love so much go through that that same struggle that I, and many other people, do, it was really wonderful. To see the support she had, the same struggles, the same realizations, it was that representation of a disease and allergy that you don’t get very often. Especially since her parent’s reaction is how many people think. It’s something made up. It’s just a fad or a diet. But it’s not, and that’s written extremely well by Mathewson.
Once again, I’m floored by this series and I’m always left craving more. The writing is always stellar, and always flows so flawlessly. Characters are relatable and easy to root for. I still reread others in the series, just because I know I’ll get a solid read out of it, and it never gets old. I absolutely love these characters, and I love we still get glimpses into all of their lives. I have a feeling I’ll be rereading Fire & Brimstone multiple times in the very near future.
My Rating: 5/5
Goodreads Rating: 4.17/5
For more from the series, and other books by R.L. Mathewson, check here