White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1)
By Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published February 25th, 2014
Young Adult | Urban Fantasy | PNR
Source: received from Harlequin Teen in exchange for an unbiased review (THANK YOU!)
About the book:
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.
There needs to be MORE straight up urban fantasy in young adult. Granted, I’m an adult and so completely NOT the target audience but I love urban fantasy set at the young adult age range. It’s so quick to read and just so, so …. EASY!
Jennifer Armentrout is definitely a leader in young adult urban fantasy (oh and romance, too!) and she amazes me again with her new world in White Hot Kiss. It took huge amounts of inner strength and fortitude to put this book down and go about my day!
This was such an engaging read because the supernatural world was easy to grasp and understand. Ms. Armentrout spills bits and pieces of the world throughout the entire length of the story. She actually starts the story right in the thick of Layla’s (our narrator) life. You might start reading and think, “Dang! I’m lost, what’s going on?!” But that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We’re dropping in on Layla and she’ll explain everything. Don’t worry!
Layla is out with her two best friends and runs across a demon in the fast food restaurant. As we’re “riding along” with Layla and she goes about her duties as a member of a household of Wardens, everything unfolds for the reader. I was never confused or lost. I loved this style to the story/plot. I think that and the characters kept this booked glued to my hands.
Unfortunately for Layla, because she is half Warden and half demon, she has to deal with prejudices against her from the Wardens. Although it was a Warden who found her and raised her as his own, she was still despised despite the half of her being Warden blood. Pretty heavy for a young girl to have to deal with, huh? I though Layla was written perfectly for this with the snark, humor, and inner frailness that attracted me to her story.
Ms. Armentrout’s other characters are fully developed, even if they only show up for a page or two. There are the characters you despise, the characters you feel sorry for, and the characters you want to bop on the head with a 2×4 to get a clue.
And then there’s Roth, the demon who shows up and rattles Layla’s world. Because you’re along for the ride with Layla, you just don’t know if Roth is a “good” demon or if he’s the ultimate bad demon. Ms. Armentrout makes nothing obvious and she does that so well! What else does she do well? Writes a completely charming and smexy (never thought I’d use that word in a review but there’s always a first) demon who could talk the clothes right off Layla’s body if he really tried. And he is funnier than sin! I think anybody with a pulse will enjoy reading Roth’s one liners. I know I was smiling a lot while I was reading this! *glove clap to Ms. Armentrout*
The pace of this story is fabulous. There are no low spots or lulls. The story moves quick and gives the reader plenty of “oh crap!” moments all the way to the very last page. It is completely appropriate for it’s target age group, too! Even with the romance and a “smexy” Roth. Did I mention that Roth has some of the funniest moments?
So, suffice it to say, I can NOT wait for the next book in the series, Stone Cold Touch, expected out sometime this November 2014.
About the author:
# 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.
Other books in the series: