Saturday, December 7, 2013

Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway: Seeing Black by Sidney Halston

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Title: Seeing Black (Seeing Red #2)
Author: Sidney Halston
Publication date: November 5th 2013
Source: Received Kindle copy from Sidney Halston (Thanks so much, AToMR Book Blog Tours and Sidney!)
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Seeing Black, the conclusion of Seeing Red, continues right where Jillian left off. The love ‘square’ has been resolved, and Jill is finally getting her happily ever after. Just as things are steaming up with her and her beau, her estranged father makes a request that sets her life spiraling out of control into an endless plunge down the rabbit hole.

What will happen when Paul Black, her deceitful ex-boyfriend, reappears into her life to shed new light on her father? Could she ever trust him? And will Alexander stick by her during the explosive blowup with her father.


I was very excited to read Seeing Black since I really enjoyed Seeing Red but I wasn't as crazy for this one as much as the first. It's not because it was badly written or the plot was boring but its call wasn't as strong or as beguiling as Seeing Red's but there were moments that really stood out in the book, moments that made it more intriguing and mysterious than the first (the whole "the first was better than this one" was a matter of personal opinion but I'm positive that Seeing Black was better constructed than its first book.)

Right of the bat, Sidney Halston pumped your heart and fill your veins with so much nervousness and doubt because everything is so unexpected. I honestly did not see the book starting out that way, with Jillian not remembering anything and her having a re-connection with Paul Black, her strange yet mysteriously sexy ex-boyfriend. Sidney Halston definitely managed to catch my attention because I could not pull away from the book till I knew the reason why that happened to Jillian and how everything led up that that moment. Everything was so crazy... and hazy.

We still have our very tenacious and independent Jillian who isn't exactly as independent as before because she's practically attached to Alexander's hip, those two really are like chocolate cake (you'll see why I used this analogy). But monogamy hasn't really affected Jillian's slightly rebellious streak and because of this, she still insists of meeting up with her supposed murderer of a father, Rocco. Ever since the first book, I already had a feeling that Rocco wanted more than just reconciliation with his daughter, I just did not know to what extent he wanted it to go. That man cannot be trusted, seriously.

There will be revelations. A LOT of them. Most of them so crazy and far out that they will not even cross your mind because they sure as heck did not cross mine! I am amazed with how Sidney Halston was able to broaden and expand the plot of her books because the connection between the first and second book spanned between the character and Jillian's power but I did not realize that it went deeper than that, because it really did go deeper. Sidney Halston was able to tie up the series in such a way that no lingering doubts will creep into your mind and she also managed to resolve all conflicts. While I didn't connect with this book as much as I thought I would, I enjoyed it nonetheless and I am still a Sidney Halston fan, so I cannot wait to read her next book! Whoot.


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About the author:

Sidney Halston lives her life with one simple rule: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”–Mark Twain. Or even simpler, “Just Do It”—Nike.

And that’s exactly what she did. After working hard as an attorney, Sidney picked up a pen for the first time at thirty years old to begin her dream of writing. Having never written anything other than very exciting legal briefs, she found an outlet for her imaginative romantic side and wrote Seeing Red. That first pen stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing.

Sidney lives in South Florida with her husband and children. She loves her family above all else, and reading follows a close second. When she’s not writing you can find her reading and reading and reading. She’s a reader first and a writer second.

When she's not writing or reading, her life is complete and utter chaos, trying to balance family life with work and writing (and reading.) But she won't have it any other way.

You can find her here:

Sunday, December 1, 2013

ARC Review: Bitter Sweet Love by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Bitter Sweet Love (The Dark Elements #0.5)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication date: December 1st 2013
Source: Received eARC via NetGalley from publicist (Thank you so much, Lisa, Tashya and Jennifer! <3)
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

In a sizzling prequel novella to her new series THE DARK ELEMENTS, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout draws readers into the extraordinary, irresistible world of Wardens and demons.
Dez wasn't just Jasmine's crush. A gargoyle Warden like Jas, he helped her come to terms with her destiny—fending off demons and maintaining balance between good and evil. He was her everything...right until the moment he disappeared without a trace. It didn't help that Jas's father had just announced that she and Dez would one day be mated. Hard not to take that personally.
And now he's back, three years older, ten times hotter, ready to pick up exactly where they left off. But Jas isn't taking that risk again. Dez has seven days to meet all her conditions and earn back her trust. Seven days filled with terrifying danger and sweet temptation. Seven days to win her heart—or shatter it all over again...
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads.)

Funnily enough, I read White Hot Kiss before Bitter Sweet Love so I was pretty familiar with the characters that came out in this book, but that did not stop me from enjoying and getting to know them even more. And I would just like to say how perfect the title of this book is because Dez and Jasmine's journey towards reconciliation was bitter, sweet and had a whole lotta lovin'.

When Jasmine's first love, Dez, comes back from a three year absence (he left right after her father announced that they were to be mated... ouch) claiming that he wants be mated to her, what else could a scorned girl do but take advantage of the situation? Jasmine's dream has always been to be released from the double standards of the Warden that women only belong at home, taking care of the kids and to be free. Free to fly, explore and be herself without feeling shackled by her father's rules. I really admired Jasmine's tenacity and drive to be someone different from who everyone expected her to be, a docile and compliant mate but nooo, she proved them all wrong. Jasmine is a little firecracker and you will absolutely love spending time with her and seeing her mature throughout the book. She knows that she needs to make a big decision, to take Dez's hand in mate-riage (see what I did there?) or not? (I say, Y-E-S because that boy, I mean-- man, is yuuum.)

Oh, how Dez makes my insides quiver. And it's not just because of his deliciousness that makes him so appealing, it's his personality and attitude towards things. Sure he's got the mysterious thing down (we still don't really know what he did during that three year lapse) and he's also pretty confident but all that goes down when he's with Jasmine... but yeah, he still manages to stuff his ego into the room, anyway. The fact that he willingly made that compromise with Jasmine, to allow her to do her travel and do other crazy stuff, knowing that there would be a 99.9% chance she would say "no" to his mate-riage proposal, that's got to take some serious balls. To lay himself on the line like that for her is just commendable. (Just say "YES", Jasmine!)

The chemistry between Jasmine and Dez is craaaaay. It's like JLA took all of the elements in the Periodic Table and combined them all to create a perfect bond for Jasmine and Dez because they just stabilize and fit each other so well. The little quips and wisecracks they have for each other never fail to make me giggle... and snort. You will root for these two, and Dez because he's the one trying to convince the girl to get with him. (You can do it, man!)

Man, oh, man. I love all the secondary characters in this book! Even Danika who I wasn't a particular fan of in White Hot Kiss (you'll see why). You get to meet Layla as a kid (the protag of WHK) and you'll see how spunky and adorable she is. And there's Zayne who everyone seemed to love (I did too but I've already met Roth so I've technically met the best. LOL). And Herbert! Who could forget Herbert the pukwudgie? I want one of them, seriously. And trust me, there's a lot more people to meet (Trust. Me.) so order your copy ASAP if you want to get in on the BSL action and while you're at it, order White Hot Kiss to because you'll need it once you read BSL. And awesomely enough, you get to familiarize yourself with the Wardens and see their complete badassery first hand. Complete with the wings, granite hard and colored skin and all that.

While Bitter Sweet Love may just be a novella, it did not seem lacking or not satisfying enough, Jennifer L. Armentrout serves you more than you even knew you wanted because this book just brims with so much personality and depth that you won't be able to stop yourself from falling in love with it. I always have high standards when it comes to JLA and her books because I know that no matter how high I raise the bar, she's always just leap over it and set it even higher. JLA never disappoints and she hasn't broken her streak yet.