Monday, February 10, 2014

Book Review: White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1) by: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Release Date: February 25, 2014
from Harlequin Teen
Add 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."

My Thoughts:

JLA has done it again! She has created another amazing paranormal world that is so vivid and dangerous, but still grounded in reality. I absolutely loved the characters and the world and the story is so addictive. Also its gargoyles, or Wardens as they are known here, and that is just something that is nowhere even close to being overdone. 

Layla is another great heroine from JLA, but she is also different from her other heroines. She is strong and tough, with some snarky humor, but she is also insecure and not entirely comfortable in her own skin. She has grown up a part of the Warden world, but is still not entirely part of it and that is just something that would hurt your self-esteem. Throw in that if you get too close to someone you can steal their soul, and well life just isn’t easy. But then Roth comes along and changes everything she was brought up to believe. There were moments when I truly hated the way she was treated. The Wardens constantly made her feel like a burden or a favor that they let her be a part of the family. 

Roth may be her baddest guy yet, with perhaps the exception of Hunter (Obsession). At the same time though, I absolutely loved him. He is so bad, but so damn lovable at the same time. He is funny and has his sweet moments, plus it’s obvious he cares about Layla. He is sure of himself and charming and honestly he is just easy to love. I really liked him and I loved the chemistry between him and Layla. 

Then we have Zayne and I liked Zayne as well. Personally, I can clearly see that he cares deeply for Layla as both a “brother” and possibly something more, even with the obvious issues with the whole soul sucking thing. However, I felt like he could be a bit of a jerk to Layla at times. He was very hard on her and I didn’t like how Layla thought less of herself around him. I also didn’t like that whenever there was tension between them; Layla always immediately regretted it and felt the need to apologize, even when I really didn’t think she needed to. 

As always, JLA delivers the swoon! Layla and Roth’s chemistry is off the charts and I loved them together. I’m not entirely sure if this is going to bloom into a full blown love triangle but if so I am stating now that I am firmly Team Roth! I think they work so well together and make a great pair. Plus there isn’t the whole soul sucking issue with them. 

The other thing I loved about this story was the paranormal element. The Wardens are so different and not something I have ever come across in the world of paranormal young adult. I also always enjoy demon stories. For me, this was no exception. White Hot Kiss definitely left me dying for more. However, despite what I have seen elsewhere, I wouldn’t consider this a cliffhanger. Am I dying for Stone Cold Touch? Of course I am! But I would also say that this story arc concluded completely, the story just really sets up for book two. 

White Hot Kiss was a fantastic read and another amazing book from JLA. The chemistry is amazing and the story is addictive. One I highly recommend.


  1. Great review! Much envious that you got to read it already! I put in ARC requests on Netgalley & Edelweiss but haven't gotten a response. Preordered it too! I love JLA as well and am pretty much dying to read this one! Glad it was another amazing JLA read! And again fab review!

  2. Super excited for more JLA and swoon. Sounds great!

  3. Sounds like another win from Armentrout. Glad you enjoyed White Hot Kiss, Teresa.

  4. Ahh, I'm so glad JLA knocked your socks off yet again, Teresa! I love the sound of Layla and that she isn't exactly a typical JLA heroine. And Layla and Roth together sound combustible! Awesome review, my dear!

  5. Not surprised that you loved this one. It's hard not too. I loved Roth and as much as I liked Zayne, it was hard to get on his side when he was so distant even though I know he cares for her. Plus, I just don't see how they can be together without her sucking his soul. That ending was cruel! Looking forward to the next book :)

  6. I'm awfully curious about this bad yet lovable guy Roth, as well as the rest of characters. Wonderful review, Wifey! I'm looking forward to making some time for this one. So happy you enjoyed it! *smooshes*

  7. Omg, omg.. I must get my hands on this one! I have to get the swoon that is held within the pages of this book! And I really want to meet Layla. I am loving she is a bit different from JLA's other heroines. Badass, yet a bit insecure. And then there is Roth... (is it bad I drool over a fictional character, hell a fictional character I haven't met yet?? Oh well, I am) HAHA I just want to get more of this world that she's created. She does so well with paranormal, and as you said, keeping it realistic, grounded.

    I loved this review! :D

  8. She certainly has and I so need Stone Cold Touch!

  9. I loved White Hot Kiss too! Roth and Layla's chemistry was hot! I loved seeing a vulnerable side to Roth, when it came to Layla. Zayne frustrated me a bit too! I'm Team Roth all the way! Great Review Teresa!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  10. I am reading this this weekend! I can't wait to finally get to it! I hate that I've let so many other books pile up and have to read those first! Anyways- after reading BSL I hated seeing how Layla was treated so I figured we'd get more of that here. I also am conflicted between Zayne and Roth- you know how I am about my 'good guys'!

  11. I liked Zayne, too, and I agree with your thoughts on their relationship. I hope we delve deeper into it in the next book. But yes, I am Team Roth, that irresistible bad boy! Lol. Great review!


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