White Hot Kiss
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: The Dark Elements #1
Genre: Paranormal, YA
Publication date: February 25th 2014
by Harlequin Teen
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.
-A copy was provided by Harlequin Teen for review-
Gargoyles, demons, and zombies, oh my!
I’m not sure what I expected from this novel with a blurb that screamed love-triangle, involving a paranormal creature I have not had the best of luck with in the past. Fortunately, I found myself enjoying this one quite a bit. As expected – knowing this author’s style – romance has a large presence in this story, and it does not lack any chemistry. Again, Armentrout has created characters who make your heart beat faster just by being on the same page together. Yes, there is a love triangle, but surprisingly, I did not hate it. Likely due to the fact that a relationship with Zayne is physically impossible – considering Layla’s unique but uncontrollably deadly soul-stealing ability. In turn, the focus of the romance is kept between Layla and Roth.
Layla: “Obviously an Upper Level demon like you?”
Roth: “But definitely not as awesome as me.”
Oh, have you met Roth? The sometimes infuriating, usually hilarious, often cocky, hot tattooed demon who breaks all the molds Layla has mentally built around his kind. His… unique personality aside, I found his character very interesting in regards to his history and purpose. As the story progresses, we also get glimpses at the good in him, proving that not all demons are textbook evil. Plus the humor he brings in balances out the darkness that surrounds this plot.
Even though the romance is hot and the chemistry, intense, what I enjoyed the most was the impending-apocalypse storyline. We’ve got demons on earth who are starting to appear with increasing frequency, their freaking abilities ranging from simply causing mayhem, to creating zombies and possessing humans. We’ve also got gargoyles who are burdened with holding these demons in check. And then there’s Layla, a mix of both who doesn’t truly fit in with either side. But she is learning who she really is, what was hidden from her, and we begin to see just how epic this plot is about to become. The balance of good and evil is, naturally, a significant part of this story. I have had bad luck with these kinds of good vs evil plots in the past but I was fascinated by much of this one – helped, I’m sure, by the absence of angels.
White Hot Kiss begins with an awareness of the standing tension between Layla and the gargoyles, followed by the existence of an ominous secret, and our interest is kept by the ever increasing intensity that is, literally, impending doom. Filled with action, humor, blazing hot romance, and a tragic ending, Armentrout’s latest will not let you down!
“I was raised in Hell. You could say I’m socially awkward”