Book title: White Hot Kiss
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: The Dark Elements, #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: February 2014
Format: Paperback, 392 pages
One kiss could be the last
Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.
Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.
Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.
But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.
White Hot Kiss is like every other awesome JLA book. It’s fun, action-packed, and steamy. It’s about a girl who is half demon, half gargoyle. Yup, another story about a protagonist from two worlds that hate each other and who doesn’t really fit into either of them. It features forbidden romance… and a love triangle. I’m totally all for the amazing forbidden romance. Not so much the triangle, although it’s pretty muted in book 1. Book 2 I’ve heard is where JLA tries to get us to switch ships, and I am so not okay with that.
Said protagonist is a girl named Layla. Our world has wardens (gargoyles) and demons wandering around, and Layla has the ability to sense and see demons — which she “tags” for the wardens to kill off later. She was raised by a warden family, and thus shuns and hates her demon side. However, enter Roth, an insanely hot demon. Against all odds he and Layla become friends, and after a few freaky events, he reveals to her that something extremely dark and dangerous in the demon/warden world is happening that concerns her.
I’ll say it right now: Layla better end up with Roth! Roth Roth Roth Roth. I’m reeeeeeally not looking forward to the attempt in book 2 to get you to root for Zayne instead — Zayne is Layla’s adoptive warden brother. Zayne was nice and all, but so absolutely boring and bland. Roth might be a demon, but he’s not all bad, and he’s more than just about creating mischief and trouble and doing bad things. I loved Layla and Roth’s chemistry. Layla’s innocence and Roth’s bad boy side worked really well together, although Layla was far from being a sheltered little miss perfect. Girl can kick butt, girl can suck souls. Yeah, that’s something she inherited from her demon side: the ability to suck souls from humans and wardens (because demons are soulless).
Like always, JLA writes mean cliffhangers and terrific twists that come out of left field, but that totally work and make sense. My poor heart can’t handle her insane plots, and White Hot Kiss ends on a real meanie. JLA also writes amazing kissy scenes. *Fans self.* I’m not really a romance reader, but I do like sexy times when there’s real plot going on, too. JLA balances all aspects really well in all her books, this one included.
To wrap this review up… if you’re a fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout, definitely pick this book up. While there is a love triangle, it’s not very pronounced in this first book. And the forbidden romance is totally awesome. There’s plot, there’s action, and there are some really dark moments to be found. This is definitely for more mature YA readers, a slight step up from Jennifer’s Lux and Covenant series, I’d say, at least in comparison to those series’ first few books. I will read anything JLA writes, YA or NA (she writes NA under J. Lynn). Her books are fast-paced and addicting. On many occasion I have stayed up until the wee hours of the morning reading her novels. White Hot Kiss was one that had me absolutely glued to it. ♦
So tell me…
Have you read White Hot Kiss? If you haven’t, would you be interested to? Have you read any books about gargoyles before? (I have: Of Shadow and Stone by Michelle Muto, check out my review.) What’s your favorite JLA book? Comment below letting me know! And, as always, happy reading!