The Dark Elements #1 by Jennifer L. Armentrout (you can read my review of the prequel novella Bitter Sweet Love #0.5 here).
What they say: 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.
What I say: It seems like I've been waiting ages for the release of White Hot Kiss. But once I finished moaning about the later UK release date and it had appeared on my kindle I realised it was as good, if not better than expected and defo worth the wait!
It's no secret I'm a big fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout/J. Lynn and all her books, but I wasn't entirely sure I'd ever like gargoyles (Wardens) and demons as much as I do her aliens, demi-gods and smoking hot contemporary heroes. BUT was completely won over and I loved the concept and her new characters!
With a JLA book you know you're always going to get a good mix of fab characters, tricky themes and awesome banter. In White Hot Kiss JLA has managed to merge the paranormal aspects (demons & gargoyles) with your usual teenage emotional dramas. She introduced her new world of Wardens and demons in Bitter Sweet Love but it was in White Hot Kiss where she gets down to the real nitty-gritty! I hadn't really though much about gargoyles other than in the Beauty and the Beast Disney movie until now but I loved the lore JLA created.
Layla is a half-warden, half-demon who attends school with her human friends. Her nature means she craves souls and can't even kiss anybody without risking their soul. This is never good when you're in love with your Warden bestie Zayne. Her demon side makes her something of a strange entity in the gargoyle Warden world. She's sort of subservient to the Wardens and hasn't really thought to challenge how things are until demon Roth comes along.
I'm sure we're supposed to like Zayne as he's the hottie she can never have. Layla can't risk Zayne's soul, she doesn't think he likes her as more than a friend & he's supposed to be with Danica (Jasmine's younger sister from Bitter Sweet Love). It seemed obvious to me that he's into Layla in far more than a friendly, older brother kinda way. I'm guessing Zayne will appear more in Stone Cold Touch, because although Layla loves him and he takes care of her, he did come across as slightly condescending at times, but then I suppose they are both in a difficult situation!
Now onto Roth (aka the guy JLA based Daemon Black on), he's an uber sexy demon. The thing I loved most about him was his always-on-point sarcasm - the dude had some great one-liners! The thing with Roth is, although he has a lot of secrets and is a demon (i.e. never trust a demon because they manipulate and lie), he's always pretty upfront about what (or who) he wants and seems to genuinely care for Layla. Roth makes her feel alive and attractive for the first time in her life. As the book progresses she is very rightly confused and torn over her feelings for the two guys. As far as love triangles go, they normally annoy the hell out of me, but in this case I have no idea what's going to happen or who is better for her.
Be warned there is a cliffy!! But rather than being annoyed, it left me excited and feeling kinda upbeat for the release of Stone Cold Touch (see the cover reveal here) so good work JLA!!
So do you think demons and gargoyles are the new (Daemon) black?!
4.5 Well deserved Stars in my Sky!
My fav non-spoilery quotes:
- Obviously, Posers were a real problem unless you considered a zombie apocalypse fun times.
- "Biting can be a lot of fun, but only when it's appropriate. And that wasn't appropriate."
- "See, I was raised in Hell. You could say I'm socially awkward."
- "Your tongue is pierced," I said dumbly. A wicked gleam filled his gaze. "That's not the only thing pierced."
#1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.
She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins
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