Tuesday, February 3, 2015

White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Image via Goodreads

Title: White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: February 25th, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Bought
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance
Purchase link: Book Depository


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 rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have avoided reading this book for so long when I found out it's about gargoyles and demons. I thought that such a combination just wouldn't do it for me. And boy, was I so wrong.

Jennifer L. Armentrout has done it again. She has solidified her status as one of my favourite authors. She has convinced me that gargoyles and demons could make a great story.

I gotta admit that when I was just 50 odd pages into the book, I was still iffy about the whole story concept and was ready to shut this book as soon as I find that it's not working for me. That thankfully did not happen.

When I think of gargoyles, the characters from Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame came to mind. I couldn't imagine them as attractive beings. Well, JLA certainly changed my mind on gargoyles. The gargoyles in this story are known as Wardens and their job is to keep the demons in line and send them back to hell when they cause trouble.

The main character, Layla, is half-Warden and half-demon. She is adopted by a clan of Wardens and as she has the ability to 'tag' demons, she helps the Wardens out by tagging demons for them to hunt down at night. I really like Layla as the MC. She's constantly having an inner battle on who she is. She was taught to hate the demon side of her. However, no matter how hard she fights that side of her, she's always reminded that she's not truly part of the Wardens clan.

I feel that the characters are well-developed.  As the story progresses, Layla went through her struggles and developed as a stronger person that I just can't help but root for her. As hordes of demons start coming after her, she discovered secrets that the Wardens kept from her and learned more about her identity. I cheered when she embraced who she is born to be.

Now, let's talk about Zayne and Roth. Zayne is a Warden and totally off-limits since his father is completely set on Zayne mating with another gargoyle- Danika. Yes, they use the word 'mating'. Apparently, the number of gargoyles is running low and they need to remedy that. I see Zayne as a brotherly figure in Layla's life. Of course, what does it matter what I think about Zayne. But seriously, though he's kind and protective of Layla (well, let's just ignore the fact that he ignored Layla to hang out with Danika)- I just couldn't imagine him and Layla together as anything more.

Okay, I'd much rather just talk about Roth. I think I may have a crush on a fictional character, again. Roth is a demon and he was sent to the topside with a task which has something to do with Layla. I won't talk about the task because of spoilers in case you haven't read it. Roth is just... awesome. Cue my fangirling- he's funny and he accepts Layla as she is and even gives her time and space to embrace who she is, never pushing her to do things against her own will. He's there for Layla when she's in danger. He's great. I mean, I even grew fond of his snake- Bambi.

Plot-wise, everything progresses smoothly with some plot twists thrown in that kept me interested in the story till the end. That plot twist at the end just... I can't even... Let's just say that I need the sequel now.

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