Review: Allison and the Torrid Tea Party by CM Stubich

Reviewed by Ronelle

For Allison Liddell, falling down a rabbit hole was nothing like the books led her to expect. Instead of finding a fantastical realm filled with quirky and nonsensical—also harmless—inhabitants, she tumbled into Underland. It used to be Wonderland, but not anymore. The Riving left a once beautiful world mired in chaos, war, and darkness, steeped in sex and violence, and drowning in boosted tea.

And she’s supposed to save it all.

Whether she likes it or not, she is The Alice and the only chance Underland (and Topside, apparently) have of surviving the Walrus and the Carpenter. (Seriously, if you thought those fuckers were creepy in the original, just wait.) Thankfully—for the most part—she’ll have help in the form of nine big men with nine big…never mind, you’ll see.

Warning: Not a standalone. If you haven’t read Allison’s Adventures in Underland stop now and go read it, because otherwise you’re not going to have a CLUE what’s going on here.

***

The second I finished Book 1, I bought Allison and the Torrid Tea Party and kept right on reading. I’m not even ashamed to admit that a lot of adulting was ignored in favor of continuing this story. C.M. Stubich is an author I’m definitely going to keep an eye on and only in part because she writes sex scenes like a boss.

I love Allison. She’s such a strong character, and she really started to come into her own in this book. Sure, she handled the madness of Underworld pretty well from the jump, but now we get to see her sort of take the reigns (nope, not misspelled) in regard to her power and position. And let me tell you; when this girl decides to do something, she’s not going to let anyone, or anything keep her from doing it. I admired her determination to steer her own destiny, and I admired even more her growing compassion and affection for those who needed her help. Even though she was scared and wanted to go home, once she realized that she could make a difference in this topsy-turvy world, she committed to it with her whole heart.

She may have tried to deny it, but we all knew who Allison’s nine were going to be and they’re present in a big way. Tee, Dee, Rab, Lar, North, Chesh, Raiden, March, and the ultimate asshole, Brennin Red, really came alive. Ms. Stubich’s ability to weave threads of goodness, humanity, and relatability into even the hardest to love characters was beautiful in a way I’ve seldom encountered, and it definitely had the desired effect. Because, like Allison-who-isn’t-Alice, I found myself warming up to the pricklier, dickish men in the group. Also, the fact that the time was taken to really develop Allison’s relationship with the twins added some much-needed moments of peace and warmth to the danger, chaos, and tension.

I do have a confession to make, however: while I love him to pieces, the Cheshire Cat is the one I’m having the hardest time accepting as a sexual character. Yeah, he only shifts into a cat, but he seems so much closer to that form than the others do to theirs. Also, my discomfort may or may not have anything to do with the cat who likes to lay in my lap while I read…
*deep breath* To my utter annoyance and frustration, Allison and the Torrid Tea Party was even more loaded with typos than the first book. They. Were. Everywhere. They were so overpoweringly prevalent that, though the story itself was an easy A+, I knocked my rating down to a B. Seriously, Ms. Stubich, if you’re reading this, please for the love of hearts and cards, HIRE AN EFFING EDITOR! You do your reputation and your reader’s a grave disservice by allowing your work to be marred by so many typos.

Bottom line: The plot thickened, the stakes were raised, and some folks were crushing so hard they could make diamonds. While I desperately hope the author will go back and clean up her work, I’d still highly recommend this sequel—although with the way Book 1 ended, everyone who read it has probably already devoured Book 2.

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

Allison and the Torrid Tea Party 
by C.M. Stubich
Release Date: October 7, 2018

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