Monday, March 3, 2014

Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements, #1)White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Steph's Rating: 5 stars
Dani's Rating: 5 stars
Overall: 5 stars

Format: Paperback
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: February 25th, 2014
Pages: 400

Goodreads Synopsis:

 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.


WOW. I whizzed through this book over the course of a few hours, and I can't say enough that I love, love, LOVE this book! White Hot Kiss is your standard witty JLA book, and while some people might get tired of her formula-like writing, I personally love the versatile equation she came up with and I know her book will not disappoint, every time. This is a fantastic series debut for Jen, and it's one of the best "first books" she's ever come up with!

Layla is a defect amongst the Warden race, in fact, she's pretty much cursed. Born as half demon, half of the mortal enemy of the Wardens, she hasn't earned many fans even within the Warden clan she's been raised in since a kid. It doesn't help her that getting too close could mean getting your soul whisked away, no thanks to her demon side. She doesn't fit in nicely into a category--not human, fully demon, or Warden. The only thing she has are her special abilities that are enough for the Wardens to keep her around. But when she meets Roth, a powerful Upper-Level demon, she starts questioning everything she has been taught to believe by her upbringers. She learns the truth behind her bloodline...and the fact that she may be in the eye of a demon coup.

I just don't even know what to say. WHK is just so Jen. The humor, the references, and the phenomenal characters; all of the usual Jen characteristics are throughout this book, and every single one fits in perfectly. There is just the right amount of intensity fueling the story to make you feel uber excited for the rest of the series, but not so much that you feel burned out after just book one. I think WHK is really showing Jen's progression into a master storyteller, and this book was definitely worth it's wait.

Oh deary Roth. I'm so sorry Daemon, but Roth is my new fave Jen-boy. This bad boy demon is unfairly--yes, best put, sinfully--hot. And he's so charismatic that you can't even question not being drawn to him. Roth is an amped up Daemon in a way, but I liked Roth the moment I met him. With Daemon, he had a book of being a kinda-sorta-but-still-hot douche, so Roth is in the lead. I mean, if this is just the beginning? I CAN'T WAIT to see how Roth's character is going to develop throughout the series. He's really perfect for Layla, who's been so governed by rules her whole life. Layla needs someone to make her feel special for once instead of a birth defect, and Roth provides all of the above.

Usually you don't think of sexy when you think of gargoyles...but as always, Jen knows what she's doing and exactly what she wants to deliver. I'm pretty sure people are going to give the eyebrow when they read the synopsis and think of the stone sculptures on the sides of buildings, but I can assure that this isn't anywhere near that. I am so in love with this concept, and its just such an original voice out there. I think these not-so-stony gargoyles might be it for me among all of Jen's books so far!

What would a JLA book be without the jaw-dropping twisty-twists? There will be lots of bomb dropping and explosions all the way through the book, so my normal Jen advice--Brace yourselves. Especially for the ending. ;)

I'm onto my second read of White Hot Kiss--in fact I basically just read the last page and flipped right back to the beginning. Like all of her books, here is some real quality that you can read over and over again as many times as you want, and you still won't find yourself sick of any moment of it. I just did a fast read-over of WHK so I could get out this review (we know, we've been quiet for the past week), and now I'll go do my in-depth read. Can't wait for Stone Cold Touch this November--whose cover reveal will be here soon!

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