Thursday, July 31, 2014

Book Review: Burning Down the House by Allie Gail

Burning Down the House by Allie Gail 
Genre: New Adult (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: March 10, 2014
Publisher: Self

Rob Kensington is just your typical high school senior. Athletic, intelligent, handsome. Sees a therapist once a week. Because his parents just died in a house fire of questionable origin. And he doesn't seem to care.
Maybe he isn't so typical. 

Sara Marsh had no clue when she returned to live with her divorced father that the bedroom down the hall would be occupied by a stray with a major attitude problem. The last time she saw Rob, he was a brooding goth who could have passed as Marilyn Manson's love child. But at some point during her three years away, Creepy Kensington managed to evolve into a sizzling hot star running back with smoldering hazel eyes. 

The attraction is undeniable. The temptation is irresistible. And soon they're sharing more than just an address. But with another life lost in a deliberately set blaze, Sara's trust is faltering. Has she lost her heart to a serial arsonist? He's already shown her the allure of playing with fire. 

And someone's about to get burned. 

* This book contains strong language and sexual content and is intended for ages 17+ *

Burning Down the House is the first book I've read by Allie Gail, and let me tell you, I couldn't put this thing down. It was crazy addictive. Not just the romance, which sizzled, but there was a whole mysterious, suspenseful side to the story. There isn't a single character that I didn't mentally accuse. I can usually figure out who's to blame, I usually at least get it narrowed down to two. That wasn't the case with Burning Down the House. Everyone seemed guilty to me. Sara was the only innocent person to me, and that's only because she was telling the story. After reading the blurb, I thought there might be a little drama or suspense, but I had no idea I would get so completely absorbed into the story. The characters have a presence. For example, when Rob is being all smoldery (is that even a word?) with Sara, especially in the beginning... Good Lord, it's like you can feel him in the room. Whether he's good or bad, I'll never tell, but he had me flying through the pages all the same. My favorite parts of the story were the lunch table conversations. They were hilarious, and it brought me right back to high school. I loved it. I loved Burning Down the House. This is one you definitely need to check out.

Burning Down the House by Allie Gail  was kindly provided to me by Xpresso Tours for review. The opinions are my own.

Allie fell in love with the written word from the moment she was issued her very first Sally, Dick and Jane book. Born and raised in Alabama, she now resides in the panhandle of Florida with her own blue-eyed Prince Charming and three obnoxious cats. When she's not working on her latest literary project, she can usually be found watching B-movie horror (the cheesier, the better), reading or playing online computer games while indulging her unhealthy Pepsi addiction.

To learn more about Allie Gail and her books, visit her on GoodreadsFacebook, and Twitter.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Book Review: Unhinged by A.G. Howard

Unhinged (Splintered #2) by A.G. Howard
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal/Fantasy Romance/Fairytale)
Date Published: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Amulet

Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of.

That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.

As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.

If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she'll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.

Unhinged is the second book in the Splintered Series by A.G. Howard. Alyssa wants to forget Wonderland and everyone in it. Yeah, that's not going to happen. What does happen kept me reading every spare minute I had. Alyssa really comes into her own within this story. I loved watching her grow and strengthen as a character and a Netherling.

Jeb is an all around good guy. Sure he has his issues, but I think his heart is in the right place. He seemed a little more mature this time around. Even thought he can't remember Wonderland, he seems to have kept that maturity that he gained from the experience. Morpheus, however, has cemented himself as my favorite. I can't help it. His snarky attitude has me hooked. Every once in a while we get a wee little glimpse of his heart too, then he'll quickly cover it with sarcasm. He is always misbehaving, and I probably shouldn't like him as much as I do, but at the same time, how can I not like him? I think there is so much more to him than what we've seen so far. I think Alyssa and he would make a perfect match. Alyssa really can't go wrong though. Both guys are a catch!

How about that ending? There was nothing about that ending that I saw coming. There's no way I'll be able to wait until 2015 for Ensnared! I may even come Unhinged! *wink*

“Nothing about you or Wonderland makes sense. And the ‘one abiding truth’ is that life was so much easier when I’d forgotten your massive ego and that other world ever existed.”
A tremor shifts through his features, first fragile, then severe. His muscles twitch under his T-shirt, sending a tingling sensation through my knuckles. “You want me nonexistent?"

Before I can respond, he steps back and flips the hat from his head. Then he drags off his vest and his T-shirt, dropping them all on the floor at my feet. Once he’s peeled off his necklace and bracelets, he stands there facing me in only jeans and boots.

I watch him warily. “W-w-what are you doing?”

“I’m clearing the way for my massive ego.” 

Check out my review of Splintered!

A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. Her pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.

SPLINTERED & UNHINGED, books 1 & 2 of her urbanized /gothic Alice in Wonderland series, are now available from Amulet Books. Book 3, ENSNARED, launches 2015.

Author photo by

To learn more about A.G. Howard and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebook, and Twitter.