Monday, March 24, 2014

Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements, #1)
White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
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.


Publishes in US: February 25th 2014 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: Ya paranormal
Source: Harlequin via Edelweiss
Series? The Dark Elements #1

Buy it: Goodreads | Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Author stalk away: Site Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

    I wanted to read this one because I loved the prequel and if you've read my blog long, you know I am a long time fan of Jennifer's. Her men are steamy, her main characters easy to relate to, it has exactly my kind of humor, and she writes a darn good story.
    I didn't really read this synopsis after reading Bitter Sweet, so I kinda was expecting to be back in Dez' perspective, and get more of their romance and see what was next for them. But alas, I quickly started liking Layla. She is more reserved around people, and she has a skewed perception of herself. But she is half-demon and half-gargoyle, she has some characteristics from both and then other things that are uniquely Layla. Bitter Sweet hinted at how much Layla was crushing on Zayne, so I was expecting that, but what I wasn't really prepared for is his protectiveness and their close bond--partly platonic and the other half a tension you could cut with a knife. But like Layla admits to herself, since they grew up with that bond, and since her kiss is deadly and even if there was a work around, Zayne wouldn't keep his good standing with the Wardens. So to me, no matter how sweet, he wasn't a real possibility. But maybe that is because I knew about Roth and didn't want to fall for the underdog. 
    But oh Roth, he was ten kinds of amazing. He was so protective of Layla and so honest, but like Layla, he didn't have a good view of himself and thought that he completely fit into all of the stereotypes. But there was a lot to him and he even surprised himself when he was sweet and considerate to her. The moments between the two were so deliciously full of tension and I loved the ya steam. He is so snarky, I couldn't help but want to kiss him and smack him for some of his dirty jokes and sarcastic humor. Just what I love to read about and it was so well written. 
    Jennifer manages to write these books that make me want more, fall in love with some strong and hot male leads, feel for and connect to the female heroine, laugh out loud and sometimes want to bawl my eyes out. She keeps proving to me that she deserves her spot on my favorite authors shelf and her fast paced ingenious writing that takes a new spin on paranormal and completely trudges a new path. 
    The confidence that he brought out in Layla, and what she discovered about herself in talking to him, crushing on him and trying to convince him that while he may be a demon, that doesn't mean that he is all bad. She saw through to his heart of gold that he'd proved himself, protected her, spent time with her, all the while falling for her that he felt, he had good motives and that the races could work together against the truly corrupt. Layla knew how to defend herself, how to throw a good punch and could hold her own against the weaker demons, and that showed her will to live as well as her inner strength. She could kick some ass of some demons, and bring out the best in others, and once she had the chance could look at and accept that things aren't always what they seem and what she's been taught, but much more complicated. 
    I was so torn in this one because I am the kind of girl who thinks she likes a very black and white when it comes to bad guys and good guys. In this series and in Obsession she really blurs them and everything is gray. They both have bad good guys and supposed bad guys that melt my heart and really surprise me how much they are working for the good, they just have different origins. 
    What she has done with the gargoyles and twisting the demon mythology is so neat and I haven't read anything like it, but the details that she has with the different kinds of demons was really neat and well thought out. 
    I loved the plot twists and so can't wait to see where Jennifer takes the story next. I couldn't and could all at the same time believe the ending. It shocked me but it proved so much about how far one of the characters developed and grew. I will def be continuing this series, I'm in love with a demon and of course am a JLA fan girl. 

Bottom Line: Hot, exciting and fast paced, left me craving more.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
How would you feel about being half-demon? 
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  1. I'm glad you enjoyed Layla. She seems like a great heroine based on the Bitter Sweet novella. Ha, Roth seems like someone to root for in a romance even though he sounds like a little douchy as all Jennifer's guys. Yay for Layla becoming more confident--she seemed very shy in the novella. I'm so happy you liked this novel, Brandi:)

  2. I'm glad to see that you ended up loving this story Brandi, I have seen this book popping up on my feed a lot lately, so I'm glad that this book lived up to your expectations. Fab review!

  3. All right, you win ;) I'll read it!

  4. The cover does put me off a little, but this is like the fifth review I've seen of this book in just the past couple of days! So clearly I need to quit being such a snob and judging books by their covers lol

  5. Yay I am so glad you loved this book too! White Hot Kiss was awesome and I adored Roth. Great review!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

  6. Glad you loved it, Brandi. If anyone can make her readers fall in love with gargoyles, it's Jennifer. :)

  7. I'm glad you enjoyed White Hot Kiss, Brandi! i just picked up my copy and I'm so excited to digg into it. After reading your review, I can't wait to see what creative goodness JLA comes up with as far as gargoyles and demon.

  8. I like how you switched to just one sidebar, it looks nice!
    I've been hearing good things about this. I usually like her books, though sometimes I get annoyed with her romances. It sounds like this is worth giving a try though!

  9. I feel the exact same way about the guys in this book. I don't think I'm on a 'team' yet, but I did love Roth. The whole forbidden thing with Zayne didn't really let me fall him that way. I can't wait for the next book :) Great review!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  10. It's been a looong time since I've read anything by Armentrout; I gave one of her UF series' a go a while back, but it was only so-so, and I haven't really had the urge to pick up another book by her. Until now. Great review!

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

  11. one day, yes, one day, you'll manage to make me read all her books!

  12. I have got to read another Armentrout book, and this is the one I think I want to try, I mean Gargoyles? Yes please~

  13. I'm still torn about this one but seeing that so many people enjoy this book I'll have to go for it. It's hard not to be intrigued by gargoyles. Great review, Brandi :)

  14. To be half-demon...yes how would I take that

  15. I know exactly what you mean by bad good guys, Hunter from her Obsession standalone fit that role perfectly and if on of the guys in this book is remotely similar to that, then I've got to read this book stat! I'm trying ti take a break from NA for a while, so it wouldn't be stat :D, but I'll get to it soon. And I'm so glad that you gave this a 5 stars rating! Great review, Brandi! :)

  16. I really enjoyed this one either and I agree Roth was hotness! I liked how they were both able to kind of be there for each other, but not NEED each other completely you know. Like she wasn't a damsel in distress. And I like your mention of blurring the good and bad guys and it's also part of the book I loved. Not knowing who to trust and who was going to become the villain in all of this! I'm excited to see what happens next!

  17. Pffft... if I was born that way, I'd learn to deal! I'd like to take a walk on the wild side and find myself a Roth!! *wink* Awesome review Brandi!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  18. I can't wait to read this one, it sounds so good. I have the novella, and Will be reading it soon. :)

  19. I normally don't read two books from the same series in succession to one another, I break it up with another series or a stand alone novel, but for some reason, I can't get enough of Armentrout! I adored this book as well, and felt so many of the things you did as you read. I loved Roth to pieces! I liked Zayne too, but I think I agree with the whole underdog thing, I didn't let myself get too attached because I knew it wasn't a plausible romance because of Layla's power. I also agree with the whole blurring good and evil, I love when authors do that, because I firmly believe that not everyone is fully good or fully evil, and just because you come from a different origin doesn't necessarily mean you follow in the footsteps of the typical idea of that origin.

    Victoria @ Chapters on a Page

  20. Roth was ten kinds of amazing! I'm so glad you really loved this book. I mean, it was an epic read! I cannot wait for the next book!

    Loved your review!

  21. I'm so glad you liked it. I loved it, too. I doted on Roth and the gargoyl-demon mixture mesmerized me. It redefined the concept of brilliant. Not to mention the hilarious way she writes and the total emotion-control. The only bad thing in it that it was so incredibly sensational, and the end was so harrowing that I'm dying here, until I can finally have the next installment in my hands.


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