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The House Always Wins: A Novel

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Anna Christiansen's small-town life is about to go haywire. A young reporter stuck in a dead-end job, Anna falls head over heels for an interview subject, the bass player in an up-and-coming alt band. In short order, she pulls up stakes, moves to Las Vegas, gets married and pregnant, and moves into a big fixer-upper haunted by the ghost of a Sin City racketeer. That's when ...more
Published October 10th 2017 by Huntington Press
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Average rating 4.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  47 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, sent-by-author
Wow! What a fun ride! I was sent this by the author (Thank You!) and had put it in my TBR pile, but it had gotten farther and farther from the top. I Finally pulled it out and started reading. I don't know what I was expecting from this book and was pleasantly surprised once I started reading. A quick read with fun characters (yes, even Meyer). This one has it all - Murder, mayhem, love, humor, nostalgia and a little bit of history thrown in. Almost 5 stars!
Sheri Long
This was a very fun, quick read. I really enjoyed all the true references to living in Las Vegas. Plus you learn a lot of Jewish phrases. Never know when you need to say "oy."
Paul Atreides
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brian Rouff spins a rich tale. As a long-time resident who was here as the Mob made its official exit from the gaming establishments, this is a story rich in fact and fiction, and a wonderful cocktail of the two.

Anna Christiansen is a perfectly-drawn protagonist. She’s snarky, sincere, and funny as she details a year in an adventurous life after she falls for a rock musician. Landing in Las Vegas her fairly innocent life is shaken up, but she’s up to the challenge once she meets Meyer. That she’
Roger DeBlanck
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Few writers can capture Las Vegas the way Rouff does with his keen eye for examining the city beyond its alluring sites and attractions. In his newest novel, subtitled “A Vegas Ghost Story,” Rouff allows us to experience Vegas’ history, residents, neighborhoods, and lifestyle. He does this by matching Anna Christiansen, a newcomer to Vegas, with Aaron Eisenberg, a longtime resident of the city. Anna is likeable and eager for experience, while Aaron is a pensive thinker with a melancholic streak. ...more
Michelle Stanley
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite

“Oh, it’s not really gambling when you never lose.” - Jennifer Aniston. The House Always Wins: A Vegas Ghost Story is a paranormal fiction tale by Brian Rouff. Small town reporter Anna Christiansen finally gets a serious assignment to cover a band performing locally. She falls in love with Aaron, the bass player, and leaves with him for Las Vegas shortly after the interview. Anna soon becomes pregnant while trying to adjust to her unfamiliar
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fast, really fun read (I read it twice!) packed with fascinating characters and tender insights about the risks and rewards of diving headfirst into the unknown in the pursuit of new adventures and self-fulfillment. A young, budding journalist falls for the bass player in a band she had set out to profile and decides on a whim to ditch her hometown in Michigan and run off to live with him in his apartment in Las Vegas.
Rouff's vivid imagery and entertaining story line lets readers peek behind
Laura Fife Estep
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun, quick read! Loved reading about the Vegas quirks that only a local would know and understand.
Zoe Miranda
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
An extremely enjoyable and fun read for anyone, especially a Las Vegas local.
Brian Rouff
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite reviews, courtesy of fellow scribe, Marek Biernacinski:

"It’s difficult for a short book to pack meaningful thought into its pages, but 'The House Always Wins' manages to do just that. Though I agree with many reviewers of this book that the tale is a fun, David and Goliath type of tale, my primary infatuation with it were the existential questions that the characters pose.

From the family break-up to the fight against the powers that be, 'The House Always Wins' manages to
Jewel Hart
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Can Anna’s tough-guy ghost provide the help she needs to prevail in this dangerous cat-and-mouse game? Will Anna’s life be left in ruins? Or worse?

Part road trip, part coming-of-age saga, part mystery, part ghost story, The House Always Wins is all Vegas.

Captivating, and entertaining this romantic suspenseful read will reveal hidden secrets with murderous intent, and ghostly sightings from its present and mobster past. You’ll travel beyond the strip hangin’ onto the edge of your seat as author
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-to-review, 2018
I'm not sure I would have picked this book up to read off a random shelf, but I was very pleasantly surprised. From the love story between Anna and Aaron to Aaron's crazy best friend Boozer, to the ghostly Meyer. All of these aspects wove together a tale that was unexpected.

I have only been to Vegas a few times but the author makes the town come alive with descriptions of the Strip, the various hotels, the buffets, the people, and the outlying towns. Even if you have never been to Vegas, you
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
The House Always Wins by Brian Rouff

I received this book for free, with the understanding that I would give an honest review. Having read Dice Angel and reviewed it a few years back, I was more than eager to do so.

Anna is a young woman who wants more out of life. (Like we all do, which is what makes her easy to love.) So, when she gets the chance, she gets her editor to give her a gig interviewing an up and coming band. It does not go as well as she hopes…and Aaron, the bassist, gives her an
Brianna Soloski
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: male
This book sucked me in from page one. We meet Anna as she's getting ready to give her boss what for and ask for more responsibility at work. She gets that when he asks her to cover a concert at the last minute, but she gets a lot more than she bargained for when she interviews the bass player and ends up falling in love.

What follows is a fairly typical boy meets girl, boy and girl get married and have a baby sort of story, but with a twist. Anna and her husband Aaron buy a house in the shadow
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the second book I have read by this author, and the latest he had written at the time I bought it. It is an improvement over the first but far from a masterpiece.

Anna Christiansen meets and falls for a bass player in a band that is passing through her small town. Impetuously, she pulls up roots and joins him on the road, to his home in Las Vegas.

The two ultimately get married and set up a home in a seriously dilapidated mansion that once belonged to a mobster. They work hard on
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a good book, and a fun book. I live in Las Vegas myself, and I can report that the general tone of the city is replicated well here. One caveat: the neighborhood in question (it's real) is much too far from the Strip for any resort to want to buy it out. But, hey, it makes for a good story. This is a ghost story, the ghost being a former mobster named Meyer. I never knew what the name Meyer meant, so the reveal at the end of the meaning of Meir (yeah, spelling, I know) was a nice ...more
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018
I have read a few Las Vegas mysteries but none quite like this. While most center on the strip where the tourists are, ‘The House Always Wins focuses more on the locals.
I love the beginning with Anna’s letter to her aunt. It sets the tone while she writes about what happened to her after her wedding and moving to Las Vegas with her husband. They buy an old fixer upper and Anna enjoys working on it. However, she discovers a ghost living there.

I love the friendly ghost that befriends Anna. There
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I received this book to give an honest review.
Overall the book was okay I really wasn't expecting the end to go that way so that was pretty cool. I have to say my favorite character was Boozer. Just the fact that he was a friend through and through and he was pretty funny.
We are introduced to Anna who finds love in a bass player after interviewing him. She didn't expect to pack up and move to Las Vegas but hey that is what happened. While searching for a house she finds one that she just loves
Kim Henry
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: local-authors
Such a good book! I loved the characters, the location, and the all around great read. I enjoyed this book from the first page through the conclusion. The story and action were paced just right, so that once I started reading I didn't want to put the book down and when I did, I couldn't wait to pick it back up and start reading again. I will highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good mystery with a gangster or a ghost or for anyone who likes books about Las Vegas ...more
Joan Dalusung
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Mysteries aren't usually my reading genre of choice, but The House Always Wins was a lot of fun. For me the story really got rolling once it got to Vegas. The image in my head of what was going on in the climactic scene is hilarious. The characters are likeable, but I would like to see a follow-up where Aaron gets back with the band. And five words: more Auntie and more Boozer! Clearly I have unfinished business with these people!
Renee Jean
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book because I love ghost stories and as a resident of Las Vegas I was curious about reading a story set here. I found myself saying "Just one more chapter" over and over as I constantly flipped to the next page to see what happened. I loved reading about places I recognized and as someone who loves this city it made me smile to relate to the characters as they ventured off to make a life and save the neighborhood the fell for.
Gina Catalano
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
"The flowing story arc and accurate representations of Las Vegas are just some of the impressive pieces of this story. It takes quite a few unexpected yet serious turns, all while stepping outside of the normal formula for a novel."

To read the full review, visit
Kaitlyn Popielarz
Nov 10, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a very quick read and although it was written very well, it was not all i was hoping it to be. I was expecting more action and excitement after reading the synopsis on the back of the book and the reviews on this site. The tidbits about Vegas and Jewish culture were fun and enjoyable. Not a bad read overall but not one I would personally recommend to others or find myself reading again.
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The House Always Wins is a quick, fun read -- perfect for pool side and vacation. As a resident of Southern Nevada, I really enjoyed the current and historical Vegas references. My favorite character was the ghost, Meyer. I love his Prohibition era, gangster dialogue, and his fascinating back-story. I would love to read a second novel (perhaps a prequel) just about him.
Heather Silvio
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a fun entertaining read; I had mixed feelings about the psychology of the initial choices of the MC, but was pleased where the novel went with it. More of a coming-of-age story than a ghost story, I enjoyed watching the MC's life unfold (in my current town of Vegas!).
Mic Mell
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a fun and fast read. I was surprised at how voraciously I read it.
I found myself wanting to know what was happening, and wanting more when I got to the last page.
This was a great way to spend an afternoon!
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed seeing the rich world building and the large score of different plot elements that have been woven together to create a masterful piece. Definitely worth a read and re-read.
Full review to come!
Morgan Gleisle
Oct 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Book was a quick read, story line was good and well written but did not have as much suspense or interest that the back cover synopsis portrayed. Short chapters flowed, and their was good history and knowledge within the chapters.
Julie Varley
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I completed this book in one weekend and was left with a sweet feeling of remembrance of my old hometown, Las Vegas. Who doesn't love a book with great characters, plot twists and a touch of Vegas local charm? This was an easy read that was difficult to put down. Definitely recommend it!
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fun, quick, well-written read. I enjoyed how true it stayed to the real Las Vegas. The characters were fun, and the house sounds fantastic. I'd love to see it in person!
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