Friday, February 21, 2014

Early book review: White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
YA paranormal
Paperback/eBook, 382 pages
Expected publication: March 2014 by Harlequin Teen (first published February 25th 2014)

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.

Jennifer L. Armentrout has a way with words and the ability to transport me into her amazing world and characters. What a read White Hot Kiss has been. This is how YA paranormal is done. Strong world building, sympathetic characters, a tough and conflicted heroine, a hot bad boy with an ulterior motive and demons and gargoyles. Layla just wants to be a normal teen but that isn't easy living with Wardens, gargoyle guardians of the humans who change to stone when they rest. The author creates an interesting mythology filled with stone creatures and a dazzling array of demons. Layla has to deal with her soul-kissing thing and how she has to fight the temptation to suck a soul out of someone. Until she meets Roth, she thinks her ability is more of a freaky curse.

Roth pursues Layla, getting under her skin with every encounter, teasing her with his touches and slipping in words about secrets the Wardens have been keeping from her. Layla loves her family, the Wardens took her in and protected her for years. She especially loves Zayne, her guardian's son who is being swayed to pick a gargoyle wife and settle down. Poor Layla has to deal with not one but two gorgeous guys in her life. As her abilities strengthen and the demon attacks worsen, Layla is determined to find out the truth about her parents, what she can do and who is safe to love.

I truly felt for Layla, her predicaments, her turmoils, her awakening desire and first love. The author writes an engaging story giving the reader what they need while keeping the tension high and the pace steady. As a paranormal YA fan, The Dark Elements has quickly climbed to the top of my "must read" series. Entertaining, gripping, romantic, unique and highly addictive, I can't wait to fall into this world again and again.

Rating: 4

Cover comment: 
It's typical YA with a kissing couple. I did not picture either character this way.

Book source:
Picked up the ARC at a book signing.

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