Monday, February 10, 2014

Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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I received this book for free from Harlequin Teen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. ArmentroutWhite Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: The Dark Elements #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on February 25th 2014
Genres: Paranormal, YA
Source: Harlequin Teen
Buy on Amazon

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.

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”


4 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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23 Responses to “Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout”

  1. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    Armentrout is the possibly the best when it comes to chemistry in books. I’m still debating whether I want to read this because of the love triangle but from your review it does sound rather one-sided, so maybe I’ll just give it a go. I like the idea of gargoyles. Sounds very exciting!!
    Lovely review, Giselle!

  2. Lisa (Lost in Literature)

    I just read Bitter Sweet Love over the weekend. I only skimmed your review because I’m hoping to get to this one later this week. I absolutely loved the characters and I can’t wait to see what happens in this one! Glad to see you enjoyed it! 🙂

  3. Tina

    The only thing I’ve read by this author is the Lux series and I LOVE IT so I have no idea why I haven’t read anything else by her yet. This one sounds good but I might try the Covenant series or whatever first? But your review for this shows me that it’s possible why I love Lux is because of her writing and ability to make the romance important but not make me want to gag from it at the same time. The paranormal aspect of this story sounds really cool too! Great review 🙂

    • Elizabeth M.

      Oh definitely need to read the covenant series! It’s just as great a the lux! I seriously recommend them!!

  4. Siiri

    “Layla: “Obviously an Upper Level demon like you?” Roth: “But definitely not as awesome as me.”” —EHHHH. Well, I do love Jenn’s writing, but all of her books (especially the fialogues and characters) are beginning to blur together for me. This Roth line screams Seth and Daemon and Cam and Jase and what was his name? Kyler?? For me. It’s just insane how similar the guys are and I find myself not really caring anymore. It loses appeal after time when all I read is the same after the same thing. “not all demons are textbook evil.” HAHAHA you made me laugh with this line, lol. Jen is known for chemistry and hot romance, so I’d be more interested to see the world she has created and that’s the reason I’m excited about this book. I’m glad you enjoyed it and th last teaser line–that’s LOLOLOLOLOL. Despite the same guy stereotype, I think I’m going to give this a go. Thanks for sharing your lovely thoughts, Giselle!

  5. Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed

    I hadn’t read a book by JLA in a long time and I definitely like her YA stuff better than her NA and adult stories. I really liked Roth! No surprise there. Although I liked Zayne, the romance between them was pretty much nonexistant. It was hard to root for them when half the time I wasn’t even sure if he even liked her. (of course he does) It does seem impossible for them to be together which is another reason I don’t want to root for them. But I’m a sucker for the best friend romances. Glad you liked this. Looking forward to the next book. This ending was cruel…

  6. Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain

    I haven’t had much luck with JLA’s most recent books, but the chemistry that she incorporates in the middle of a romance is always on point. Roth sounds like a hilarious character, and I definitely can see his appeal. I’m glad that you ended up enjoying this one, Giselle! <33

  7. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I LURVE characters like Roth. They’re snarky, they’re snotty and they’re just fabulous (of course, if I met him IRL, I’d want to kick his butt from here to Australia but that’s beside the point). This series so far is like candy for my brain!

  8. Melliane

    I know… I really really need to try more books by this author, everyone loves them and I’m the only one who only have read her old old books. I’m glad this was a good suprise and I want to discover the Gargoyles, and the demons, and the zombies. Yes i want to see them all!

  9. Lauren

    I’m reading this one right now and really enjoying it, in spite of the love triangle (I know, it’s crazy, but it doesn’t bug me here). I agree though, the most interesting part of this story is the impending apocalypse. Great review!

  10. Vi

    So happy you enjoyed this book. You know I’m a diehard JLA fan. Roth was great here and I really loved the storyline. Can’t wait for the next one! Great review.

  11. nea

    hmmm.. I am still considering if picking this book up, honestly. But really lovely review Giselle 🙂 🙂 🙂 I might give it a shot in April 🙂 🙂