March 11, 2014

Latest Read: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Here are the basics ...
White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication date: Feb. 25, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Category: Young Adult - Paranormal
Source: Purchased

Summary: Half demon, half gargoyle, seventeen year-old Layla has abilities no one else possesses, like a kiss that kills anything with a soul. Raised among the Wardens—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 gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's always crushed on. Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, hot demon who claims to know 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. When Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could brand her a traitor to her family and become a one-way ticket to the end of the world. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
The good: Who knew gargoyles and demons could be hot? Only in Jennifer L. Armentrout's world! In White Hot Kiss, the first book of her new series The Dark Elements, gargoyles are known as Wardens who protect humanity from demons. Their presence in society is met with equal parts fascination and disdain (imagine stores with signs saying "We do not serve Wardens!"). Seventeen-year old Layla was taken in by a group of Wardens when her parents abandoned her at birth but she's a bit of an anomaly because she's half-demon and half-Warden. And if that isn't weird enough, she can see people's souls and suck them right out of their bodies with a kiss. Needless to say, girlfriend just wants to be a normal teenager.

Layla lives a dual life and it's not a situation I envy. Since she's only part-Warden, she can't phase into an actual gargoyle. She's taught to repress or even hate her demon side but the Wardens use her abilities to assist them with hunting demons. Plus she goes to school and has friends who think she's a regular human. It's quite the tangled web! Did I also mention she's semi-in-love with Zayne, a Warden she's known her entire life and happens to be the son of the family who took her in as a child?

It's all these paranormal facets to her life plus the typical girly feelings of wanting a guy to notice her and to fit in (anywhere!) that make her character so interesting and likable. Then as if life can't get complicated enough, demons have caught onto her assisting the Wardens and begin attacking her. That's where Roth, a mysterious demon who appears to be protecting her, comes in. But how she can trust him?  He's a demon. Granted a hot demon in the body of a 18-year old boy but still - you see the dilemma. Naturally, she's drawn to him, can kiss him (since he has no soul to take) and he may be able to answer some questions about who she is. I was totally for Roth from the moment he appeared (sorry Zayne!).

(Minor) reservations: I read in an interview with the author that she actually wrote this series before Lux and Daemon was based on Roth. I knew about this when I started White Hot Kiss but the similarities were pretty strong. It distracted me at times only because I'm such a Daemon fangirl and I still love him best. So Daemon fans - take note.

Do I recommend?: If you're already a fan of JLA, this is exactly what you'd expect from her: great characters, swoony moments and completely entertaining. If you've never read JLA, I'd still recommend reading Lux first but I think this world of gargoyles is a really interesting one too!

Happy reading!

1 comment:

  1. You and Mel pretty much have the same reaction to White Hot Kiss! I have to catch up on Armentrout's other series, but I'll admit that the gargoyle aspect of this book really interests me as I've basically read no book featuring gargoyles as a supernatural race in focus. So I might have to read this too!

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