Title: Burning Down the House
Author: Allie Gail
Release Date: March 10, 2014
2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award quarter-finalist 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+
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When you love someone, you don’t want to believe the worst about them. No matter how much evidence is dropped in your lap, no matter how many smoking guns you pick up off the floor, you keep coming up with excuses and telling yourself there’s a logical explanation for everything. That what you’re stumbling over is a trail of random coincidences. And all the flashing signs, they just point to a road that leads nowhere.
You trust your instincts. You blindly follow your heart. Because to believe anything else will shatter it.
But at some point reality sets in and you need answers. You want to know what’s at the end of that road.
I’d like to be able to say with a hundred percent certainty that I had no misgivings. That I wasn’t waiting impatiently for him to get home that night just so I could demand that he put those nagging doubts to rest.
I’d like to.
But I can’t.
So when Rob walked in the house sometime after nine, I was waiting – not to interrogate him but simply to gauge his reaction to one very simple question. I barely gave him time to get in the door. He had just closed it behind him and was resetting the alarm when I cornered him.
“Where did you go Saturday night?”
I was prepared for surprise, possibly even annoyance, but not for the strangely deadpan look he gave me. I’d sprung this on him out of the blue, and yet he seemed somehow to have expected it.
“Where’s this coming from?” Unwrapping his scarf, he hung it with his coat on the hook by the door, then leaned down to untie his boots before kicking them off.
“I just want to know. You never told me where you were that night.”
“I see. And now all of a sudden it’s imperative that you know.”
“That’s right. All of a sudden it is.” The cold air he’d brought in with him chilled me through my cotton nightgown and I wrapped myself in my arms, shivering.
Without speaking, Rob strolled over to the fireplace and opened the damper. I watched him suspiciously as he started stacking split logs on the grate.
“What are you doing?”
“Building a fire. Isn’t that what I’m supposed to be good at? Starting fires?”
About the Author
When I was just thirteen, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that one day I’d become a published author. Unfortunately, scribbling cartoons and silly stories during class instead of devoting 100% attention toblahblah-isn’t-algebra-exciting-blahblah was basically frowned upon. When I was fourteen, I made the decision to become the next Madonna. There was only one problem with that. Nobody wanted to listen to an off-key voice that sent the family dog running for cover. At fifteen, I was positive that acting was my future. A case of slack-jawed stage fright erased that particular ambition from the list. At sixteen, ballet became my new passion…until the revelation that truly dedicated ballerinas aren’t allowed to stuff their faces with pizza and cupcakes. Oh, and they also don’t typically possess a tendency to trip over their own feet. Graceful, I am not. Now, some years later – never mind how many – I’ve come full circle only to rediscover a lost love in writing. But now I use a computer instead of college ruled notebook paper – and thankfully there’s no threat of detention!
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