Mundie Moms

Thursday, January 23, 2014

WHITE HOT KISS (The Dark Elements #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Book Review

By: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by: Harlequin Teen
To Be Released on: 2/27/14
Series: The Dark Elements #1
Rating: 5 stars- I LOVED IT!
Source: arc from publisher for review
Pre-Order it from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 
Add it to Goodreads

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.

Who knew Demons and Gargoyles could be so hot? Okay, really who knew a tattooed demon could be so hot. Wait? Is that a clique? Trust me, you'll want to know all you can about Roth once you start reading this book. Yes I realize asking the hot question is a bit silly considering this is a Jennifer L. Armentrout book. She can write about anything, and make it hot. This book is clearly no different than the books that have come before it. 

I'm just surprised I fell for the demon in this book, especially since I fell in love with Jennifer's Gargoyles after reading the prequel to this book, Bitter Sweet Love (read my 5 star review here). Now I'm totally torn between her Gargoyles and Demons.  I have to say Roth makes embracing the dark side so enticing. I have to give Layla huge props from not falling from Roth from the get go, though we see it's hard for her not to. Layla is one of those girls who isn't easily persuaded nor does she automatically fall for the hot boy.

I loved Layla. She's a layered character who lives as an outsider among the Wardens. She constantly sees herself in a different light than those around her. Believe me, that vulnerability is something I think a lot of readers will relate to. I did. I totally I got teary eyed over a scene with Layla talking about how she feels. Along with Layla's strength, I also admired the fact that she's a thinker. She's someone who doesn't just rush in and do something for the sake of someone telling her she should. Nor is she easily persuaded into doing something she doesn't want to do, even if that person is a really hot demon and it's hard to resist him. Take for granted she is half demon and half gargoyle, and not just the offspring of any demon or gargoyle. Oh yeah, that twist definitely puts things in perspective, and no I won't tell you who her parents are. Layla is a character who's been taken in and raised by the Wardens, Gargoyles who wouldn't really want to mess with. These guys take care of the demons who cause problems. See the problem? For so long Layla has denied herself her other side, but that all changes when Roth enters the picture. 

Zayne and Roth. I seriously loved these two, and for two totally different reasons. Before you cry love triangle, read the book. It's not really a love triangle at all. Layla had a crappy upbringing, and when she was taken in by the Wardens, Zayne was the one he helped her. Okay that's really sugar coating all that happens, but you get the picture. He's always been there for her. I love that he can play that protective brother role well, but it's also apparent that these two have feelings for each other, which to me was totally natural. And NO, they're not brother and sister at all. Geez, that would be gross. As close as Layla and Zayne are, he is also a Warden, and even he has to live by the rules of the Warden. The more Layla learns about who she really is, and her role in the war that's about to take place, she realizes there's a lot she can't tell him. I loved that Jennifer created this natural conflict between these two. It kills Layla that she can't tell him what's she uncovering, and yet, Zayne knows she knows things, and won't tell him. 

Then there's Roth. Holy hot demon boy. This guy is not at all what I was excepting him to be. While I loved Zayne, Roth stole the limelight. Like Layla, I was a little reserved about him at first. After all he is a Demon. Unlike Zayne who isn't really open about a lot with Layla, Roth says it how it is, and she knows exactly how he about her. He is who he is, and he is brutally honest. I loved that about him. It also makes Layla think. Everything she's been raised to think about Demons isn't all it seems to be. It's hard from her to grow up thinking one way, and then finding out for herself how things really are. Like Zayne, Roth can't tell her everything he knows about what's going on. But, unlike the Wardens, Roth leads Layla to answers, and gives her enough of what she's looking for to make decisions for herself. Plus, this boy knows how to get under Layla's skin, and dang, do the sparks fly with these two. I loved their chemistry! It's sizzling! They both know how to dish it out to each other. I love that I can swoon, and laugh all on the same page with these two.

As always, I find myself torn with Jennifer's characters. She creates these characters I easily fell in love with. She allows me to understand where they are coming from when it comes to their decision making, and their feelings. I love that. I love feeling emotionally connected to characters, and feeling like I understand them. There are many moments through out the story where I really wish I could have reached out to Layla. One of the things I appreciate that Jennifer does with her characters is she does a lot of showing vs telling. She allows me to see that they're falling in love vs telling me how her characters feels. I also love how she blurs the line with her world building & gives her stories a what if feel. What if demons and wardens walked among us.......

Jennifer has always had a knack for creating these incredibly intriguing worlds, and this book's world building was awesome. I loved that demons and gargoyles were apart of life. Like now a days life. People know they exist, but there are rules even they have to abide by. Most people do not see their true forms, but I have to admit would be a little freaky. Instead both demons and gargoyles have their true form, and then their hot boy forms. Don't worry, this book has some great female characters as well. I adore Layla's human friends, as well as the girls gargoyles we met in, Bitter Sweet Love, whom are also in this book. Don't worry, if you didn't read that prequel you'll be just fine in reading this book by itself. However, I would totally recommend reading it though, as it builds up to what does down in this book, and we get our first look at Roth, and find out why Zayne is so fiercely protective of Layla. 

White Hot Kiss is another fabulous Jennifer L. Armentrout book that needs to be added to your collection of Jennifer books. This book has plenty of snark, swoon worthy moments, and action that kept me glued to the pages. There were times I felt like I couldn't read through the pages fast enough, and other times I was trying to savor the little moments that took place between Layla and Roth, or Layla and Zayne.  In summary, this book is HOT! For the love of Roth, can book two please be out already. I NEED MORE! 

** Please note that only the print editions of White Hot Kiss include an exclusive excerpt that fans have been talking about. **

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