October 21, 2014

Latest Read: Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements, #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication date: Oct. 21, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Received ARC at BEA
Summary: Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could. But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay… (Adapted goodreads.com)

[Spoilers ahead if you haven't read White Hot Kiss. See my review here.]

The good
Jennifer L. Armentrout has (unsurprisingly) reeled me in yet again! Back when I first read White Hot Kiss, I thought the new world the author had created was great. Gargoyles known as Wardens, demons, feisty heroines, hot guys and the signature banter. It had all her signature elements and I enjoyed it A LOT. But, I can’t say I was entirely hooked yet. At the time, Covenant had recently ended and my brain was still all LUX LUX LUX! (In other words, DAEMON DAEMON DAEMON!). But with Stone Cold Touch, I was firmly in this story, with these characters, and I am loving the direction series is going in. So consider me hooked! Stone Cold Touch picks up a short time after White Hot Kiss — Roth banished to the pits of hell, Layla’s heart broken by his sacrifice and Zayne holding her together. But their problems are far from over as the Warden community continues to doubt Layla’s loyalty, especially when a new danger arises that could be linked to her.

Oh Layla. I do not envy this girl’s problems. (Except for that little issue of having two gorgeous guys in love with her. You know, no big deal.) More than ever, we are privy to Layla’s struggle of belonging. Is she human? Is she a Warden? Is she a demon? In hindsight, it makes me think about how it’s more about finding the right individuals you belong with and I think she has that. Her two best friends play a bigger role in this book which was great, we get way more of Zayne and this shouldn’t come as surprise but Roth finds his way back into Layla’s life too. Normally, I don’t like when one book focuses on one guy in the love triangle, the second book switches to the other guy and then you have no idea who to root for. In this series, it works! We needed to know Roth first and in Stone Cold Touch, I really liked getting to know Zayne. Through him, more of the Warden politics and his own internal conflicts come into play which pushed the plot forward. But in the end, I think the love triangle has more to do with Layla knowing and accepting who she is, as each guy represents something different. (And if you want to know who I root for - the answer: I don’t know!)

(No) Reservations
None! But I know some people are wary of love triangles, myself included, and I think this is well-done so far. Plus the author is doing something really cool and unique! She’s letting the fans vote and have a say in who Layla ends up with. The poll starts October 21st which means I better figure out who I like best!

Do I recommend?
I definitely recommend this series! Especially if you’re a paranormal romance and/or JLA fan.  I think the mythology behind Wardens and Layla's heritage is building more and more and considering where this book leaves off (cliffhanger alert!), I’m very excited to see where the author takes it next.

On a funny note, I keep calling this book Cold Stone Touch - clearly, I have ice cream on the brain!

Happy reading!

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