Wednesday, February 11, 2015

5 Star Book Review | White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

WHITE HOT KISS (The Dark Elements #1)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: February 25th, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
Provided by published via NetGalley for Review
Purchase: Amazon
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.

Cover Review:

What I like about the cover to White Hot Kiss is that it really symbolizes not only parts of the story but also the title. The red and white coloring symbolize the title of the book. The near-kiss really shows the tension that's between Layla and Roth in this book, which I'll talk about more later in this review. One thing I really love about covers is when they show what could be considered small details of a character, such as tattoos. On this cover, Roth's snake tattoo is shown, which also happens to be his demon familiar, Bambi. Bambi, in tattoo form, is one of the most notable characteristics of Roth, so I really liked that they showed her on the cover as well. She also happens to be a character that I really liked, which was unexpected. Then there are the details on the back cover. The ring on the necklace is the one that Layla owns and plays a key role in the story. The tagline, "One Kiss Could Be The Last," describes something that Layla has to deal with on a daily basis - her inability to kiss anyone with a soul. So I really love how this cover alone gives you a pretty good idea about the story. There's really nothing that I don't like about it.

Book Review:

So we have Demons and Wardens fighting it out. Your classic good versus evil, heaven versus hell scenario. It felt like this book is where we learn the most about the demons. Their different classes and hierarchy, their powers and abilities. It felt like less was given about the Wardens. There's even some animosity of a group of humans against the Wardens. There is a group called the Church of God's Children who see the Wardens as unholy and try to discredit them at every chance.

Layla is in the middle of all three of these groups. She's half demon, half Warden, but she's also very human as well.  Because of her dual nature, she's not completely accepted by either side. The Wardens have made it so that she hates her demon half, but because she can't shift or do anything very Warden-like, she's left on the sidelines. The only thing she's allowed to do is tag demons for the Wardens to dispatch back to hell later at night. Layla has a very low sense of self. She doesn't see herself fitting in anywhere. The demons ignore her, the Wardens are wary of her, and the humans are completely ignorant to what she really is.

The thing about Layla is that she's more unique than anyone knows, and that uniqueness is what has put her in the crosshairs of a powerful demon, bent on releasing Lilith and raising the Lilin. If that were to happen, Armaggedon would begin, and no one wants that to happen. Not the demons, not the Alphas, and definitely not the humans. So that's where Roth comes in. He was sent from hell to find who is after her and stop them.

We learn a lot about Layla's origins in this book. Who her mother and father are, the true meaning of her existence, as well as some of her abilities. One ability that puts a damper on any kind of love life is the fact that her kiss is lethal to anyone with a soul. So her crush on Zayne, her childhood best friend, has to stay just that. But with Roth's arrival, the fact that he has no soul is a temptation that's hard for Layla to resist.

Zayne + Layla + Roth = a love triangle. Zayne knows Layla probably better than anyone, but Roth can understand a side of her that Zayne can't. The thing about love triangles, especially one like this where it's the girl caught between her best friend and the hot new guy, is that it's almost always the hot new guy that is chosen. So these kind of love triangles I really don't like very much. The fact that Layla can get close to Roth and actually kiss him, gives Roth a huge advantage over Zayne in this book. I can say that I am 100% #TeamRoth. The best friend, meaning Zayne, needs to stay in the friend-zone. I just didn't feel it between him and Layla. Whereas with Roth you could feel the tension between him and Layla. It just builds and builds until they can't hold back anymore. Their relationship and interactions literally gave me tingles.

Being so invested it Roth and Layla, the ending to this book was extremely bittersweet. When Roth told Layla "I lost myself the moment I found you" it broke my heart. It's a testiment to JLA's writing that those 8 words could be so powerful and full of so much emotion. The Bonus Content at the end of the book (which is only available in the print version) is the Devil's Advocate Scene from Roth's point of view, and it really shows you the reason he chose to do what he did at the end. Which also makes the ending sequence and the aftermath even more bittersweet and heartbreaking. I was this close to ugly crying. This close.


I gave White Hot Kiss a 5 STAR rating. I loved the story. I loved the characters. I loved the romance. I just loved the whole freaking thing. LOVED IT. I wish I didn't have to return it to the library. I want to keep it.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

# 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout Lives in West Virginia.

All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true.

Well, mostly. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write.

She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press), the Lux Series (Entangled Teen), Don't Look Back (Disney/Hyperion) and a yet untitled novel (Disney/Hyperion), and new YA paranormal series with Harlequin Teen.

Jennifer also writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J. Lynn. The Gamble Brothers Series (Tempting the Best Man/Tempting the Player) and Wait for You. Under her pen name, she is published with Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.


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