Thursday, 23 January 2014

Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release date: February 25th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: eARC
Pages: 392
Source: Harlequin TEEN & NetGalley

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.

I honestly don't think any words can express how much I loved this, but I'll try my best. White Hot Kiss is by far my favourite JLA book! I loved everything about it - the plot, the intensity, the humour, the amazing characters. The premise is so unique and the entire novel is just so captivating that I read all of this in one sitting, with no regards to anything else. Don't start this one at night, because I guarantee it will keep you up until you're done.

After reading and loving Bitter Sweet Love and meeting these protagonists, however briefly, I knew I'd adore this one just as much, if not more. And I was right. Layla, Roth and Zayne are so well-crafted, and the relationship dynamics are great. I know some people would be bothered by the thought of a love triangle in this, but rest assured it isn't present much. Not yet, anyway. And even if there is one, I definitely know which side I'm on!

Layla is half-Warden half-demon, and she feels incomplete. Like she doesn't belong with the Wardens. But she knows demons are the bad guys, and does whatever she can to help the Wardens track them down. Until demons start acting weird around her, and she realizes the leader of her Warden clan is keeping secrets from her. When Layla meets Roth, her mind is opened up to so many possibilities she'd never considered, and she starts believing that he's the one person who really understands her. But there are dangers surrounding her newfound friendship with Roth, not to mention the sudden influx of demons in the area. And Layla discovers that everything isn't as black and white as she always thought it was.

I couldn't help but love Layla, just like all of Jennifer's other female protagonists. She's going through a lot, being the only half-Warden in the clan, and she can do things the others can't. Except, she can't phase either. She's always believed that Wardens are good and demons are bad, until she meets Roth. Layla's definitely quite naive in the way she thinks, though that's all thanks to her upbringing. But her character gets a lot stronger later on, and she starts to develop a new philosophy. I loved Layla's courage and her love for adventure, and I really can't wait to see more of her in Stone Cold Touch.

And Roth. My beautiful, beautiful Roth. I freaking adored him, right from the start. I heard that Jennifer based Daemon from the Lux series off of Roth, and I totally see it. He's got a lot of attitude, a gigantic ego, and a crapload of snark. But he's also honest and protective and insanely gorgeous. Also, his hilarious actions and one-liners made me laugh so much! I love how he can make any situation better. Roth wastes no time in showing Layla a different side of things, and his growing care for her is very clear. But as Roth changes Layla, she changes him too. We definitely see a softer side of him later on. I won't say anything more about that, but I will say that I have a feeling Roth will end up being my favourite JLA boy very soon. One more thing - his snake, Bambi? Totally loved her!

White Hot Kiss focuses more on Layla and Roth, but there's a lot of Zayne in it, too. I was really conflicted about him though, and kept changing my opinion of him. One minute I'd love him, and the next I'd be annoyed. But Zayne really cares for Layla, even though he makes some stupid decisions regarding her. I kept shaking my head at how dense he seemed at times, hanging out with Danika all the time and essentially ignoring the one person he's closest to. Plus, he's really overprotective of Layla. Within reason, but it still bugged me. Despite that, I love Zayne, and I'm very curious to see if he actually makes a move in the next book!

I also really loved Layla's two best friends, Stacey and Sam. Both human, by the way, and they believe Layla is too. Their banter was hilarious and I totally loved how they'd diffuse the tension when serious things happened. Also, their total normality contrasting with the crazy lives of Layla and Roth was definitely interesting to see.

This is one book which I can say is totally unpredictable. I mean, sure, you know Roth's going to make a move on Layla, but I definitely never saw any of the plot twists coming. There's a lot of focus on identity and who the characters are, and that's the kind of thing that shocked me when I read it. And I loved that Jennifer provides us with a lot of backstory on the myths and legends of Wardens and demons. It's a very rich history, and I do hope we get more of it in the books to come.

In case you can't tell by now, I'm completely and utterly in love with this book (and with Roth) and I have to say that ending was a complete shocker, JLA-style, and of course it left me needing the next book like addicts need drugs. All in all, White Hot Kiss is a fantastic and explosive beginning to Layla's story - it is intense action, swoon-worthy romance and incredible twists all packed into one. A definite must-read!

*Thank you to Harlequin TEEN for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 5/5

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read this one yet. To be frank, if the character is sort of like Daemon, I probably would stay away. But you loved it! Go you. :)

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