Review and Giveaway: Seeing Red (Seeing Red #1) by Sidney Halston

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Hi everyone and welcome to my stop on the AToMR Tours-sponsored tour of Sidney Halston’s Seeing Red, the first book in the Seeing Red series.  Today, I have my review and two giveaways; if you would like to check out the other stops on this tour, just click on the banner above.  Thanks for stopping by RoloPoloBookBlog and have a lovely Wednesday 🙂

Title: Seeing Red Author:  Sidney Halston Release date: Feb 15, 2013  Age Group: Adult Genre: Contemporary Romance
Title: Seeing Red
Author: Sidney Halston
Release date: Feb 15, 2013
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis:

A love triangle just wouldn’t suffice; Jillian Stone had the ‘misfortune’ of getting herself into a love square– with twins, nonetheless.

 Alexander, Oliver, and Jillian were raised on a deserted island. For 12 years, all they knew were those that were marooned with them. A strong bond would link them forever. At 12 years old, they are all rescued and clairvoyant Jillian is immediately shipped off to boarding school. Ten years later, she is reunited with her twins at the funeral of Helen, the woman who “mothered” them while on the island. The innocent and childhood feelings they shared on the island…well, they aren’t so innocent anymore.  Her scrawny gangly twins are now grown men.  Oliver, the ever-loyal friend and Alexander the ultimate bad-boy, have her heart in a tug-a-war.

 Enter, mysteriously sexy Professor Paul Black. He’s Jillian’s law school professor and she has caught his attention, albeit inappropriate.  All the while, Jillian’s clairvoyance is wreaking havoc on her life as visions of a redheaded man are becoming all consuming. The dangerous man in her visions is searching for her and has a big secret to share with her about her time on the island as well as about her psychic abilities. Scared for her life, all three men try to protect her, but she must chose one in order to focus on the problem at hand—the redheaded man’s secret.

 Seeing Red is a romance with some paranormal elements and some suspense and a lot of sexual tension.

Source: the author for a fair and honest review

My Rating: 4½/5 stars

My Review:

Jillian and the twins Alexander and Oliver have been together their entire lives thanks to a freak accident which lead to their having been stranded on a deserted island for eleven years.  As kids the three were inseparable and when they were finally rescued, they were taken in and raised by Helen, also a survivor of the island who had cared for the children when their own parents perished.  Since their rescue, Jillian and Oliver have stayed in near-constant contact with one another though keeping up with Alexander has been significantly more difficult as he has long struggled with addiction.  The three friends are brought back together when Helen dies and though they enjoy one another’s company each has their own life that needs attending too.

Fast forward four years and Jillian is headed to Texas for law school, Oliver is a successful photographer whose home base is in Texas, and Alexander has straightened his life out and is also headed to Texas for law school.  For the first time since they were kids, the three friends will be together again; surely things will be just like they were when they were kids, right?  For the most part, some things are exactly the same; Jillian and Oliver are the closest of the group and rely heavily on one another for comfort and support, Alexander still has a penchant for sleeping with everything that moves though the drugs are a thing of the past, and Jillian and Alexander are constantly fighting with one another.  Has anything changed then?  You bet!  The twins are all grown up and some kind of hot, Jillian has become as strikingly beautiful as she is intelligent, and both boys are head-over-heals in love with her and have made sure she knows it.

As if the love triangle weren’t enough, Jillian has begun getting glimpses of an unknown red-haired man who may be connected to her past.  Jillian has had visions all her life but this new experience with the unidentified man troubles her enough to confide in Oliver and the two begin to scour the journals written by Helen both during and after their time on the island.  All of the evidence leads Jillian and Oliver to believe the red-haired man is not only her father but also a very dangerous man.  If Jillian’s visions are to be believed (and they always come true!) her father is watching her, knows she has a special gift, and wants to meet her.  YIKES!!

Now, dear reader, let’s complicate things even further.  The love triangle becomes a love square when Jillian begins dating one of her professors.  Paul Black is a mercurial man who often disappears without explanation and when he is with Jillian is controlling and domineering to the point of concern.  But does this concern Jillian?  Only slightly and not enough to cut him loose as she should because Professor Black’s presence in her life means she can put off making a decision about which twin she wants to be with for just a little longer.  What an idiot!!  In fact, Jillian’s refusal to see the wretched in Paul Black is one of the most frustrating aspects of this read though it does create a wonderful atmosphere of sexual tension between her and the twins.

As the novel reaches its very dramatic climax, all kinds of sh*t begins to hit the fan.  Here’s the skinny:

*The twins and Jillian have been invited to attend a memorial ceremony on the island they were once stranded on; though hesitant about attending, Jillian finally agrees to go and brings here delightful roommate, Heather along for the ride.

*Alexander demands Jillian make a decision between himself and his brother once and for all.  His solution for helping her make a decision is as ridiculous as it is erotic.  The plan causes more fighting and more sexual tension but the matter is resolved in a most delicious and surprising way.

*Jillian’s father makes a real appearance and what he has to say is disturbing, revealing and totally cliffhanger-y.  In fact, it is Jillian’s father and the addition of the still-unknown and totally creeptastic person he works for who reveals the continuation of the series – YAY!!

The Bottom Line: The plot of Seeing Red is crazy good and shifts between the present and the past as told through Helen’s journals.  The pace is good with moments of absolute frenetic page turning and other quieter moments that are meant to calm both the reader and the characters.  About those characters: though Jillian’s indecisiveness can sometimes be frustrating, her fighting with Alexander and conversations with Oliver generally balances everything out.  Each of the characters is well-rounded and interesting and though the boys are twins, they are completely separate individuals with their own distinct personalities, quirks and concerns.  Overall, Seeing Red is a fine read with an excellent cliffhanger that will leave the reader anxiously awaiting round two.  That’s gonna happen when, Sidney Halston??

Though I rarely use quotes from a book in my reviews I thought I should include at a least a few of the Helen-isms that appear at the beginning of each chapter.  Clearly, Helen was as witty as she was caring 🙂

“Confidence is the feeling you sometimes have, before you fully understand the situation.” (page 71)

“Love at first sight is possible, but it pays to take a second look.” (page 89)

“Newton’s third law of love: For every idiot, there is an equal and opposite gender idiot!” (page 147)

“Relationships are like garage sales.  From a distance they look interesting, but up close it’s just a bunch of crap you don’t really need.” (page 189)

“You can’t have everything.  Where would you put it all?” (page 261)

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 wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Links to to buy Seeing Red by Sidney Halston:

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Giveaway:

The author is generously offering two differenty giveaways for this tour.

Giveaway #1: Available are two (2) signed copies of Seeing Red: open to US/Canada only

Giveaway #2: Available are eight (8) ecopies of Seeing Red: open internationally

Last, but certainly not least, thanks to Julie and Autumn at AToMR Tours for organizing this tour 🙂

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