Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Posted March 12th, 2014 in book review / 29 comments


The Dark Elements Series #1

by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Publisher: Harlequin Teen (Feb 2014)
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Format: eARC (400 pages)
Source: Free book from publisher (Edelweiss) for honest review
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: ★★★☆ (4 stars)

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.

At A Glance
Fresh, fun, and fast paced!

The Good
I went into White Hot Kiss without remembering one lick of the blurb. And I am happy I didn’t because what I got was a happy surprise. The thing that stuck out most was the variety of demons and cool gargoyles Armentrout incorporated in her book. They felt fresh and unique compared to the regurgitated supernatural creatures we often see in other paranormal books. I mean, when was the last time you read a book with gargoyles in it?

It took me some time to warm up to Layla, but once I did, I loved her. She is such a lonely person. Being half demon and half gargoyle leaves her in a sort of limbo in which she belongs to neither group. Layla may have had a home to grow up in, but her adopted family never treated her with the love and acceptance she deserved. So when Roth, a demon, came into the picture and made Layla actually smile and feel free, I found myself feeling all warm and fuzzy. Layla deserves to finally be happy.

Roth, by far, was my favorite character. I liked how he made no excuse for being a little bad, but he also showed Layla that being a demon does not mean you have to be evil. Roth is so snarky and exhilarating to be around. He doesn’t let anything affect him, except for Layla of course. He really livened up this book. Zayne was also a good guy but his immaturity in some situations irked me. He does care deeply for Layla and often sticks up for her, but he is not always the friend she needs.

The action was well done, and the imagery was amazing. I could easily picture each demon and all it’s frightening glory. The romance is a big focus in this book, which was fine with me. The mystery was fun and exciting. I never quite guessed who was behind everything and why it was happening until Armentrout wanted me too. I am dying for the next book, especially with how everything ended. EEEE!

The Bad
I think Armentrout missed some good opportunities to take this book from great to amazing. I kept thinking there was going to be some deeper meanings behind things, or huge secrets revealed that would devastate me, but none of that really happened. Sure, there were some good twists that kept this book going, but I hoped for awesomesauce twists that would blow my mind.

If you are looking for a kickass heroine, Layla is not for you. She is very childish and is in constant need of rescue. But of course, “she can take care of herself.” Pfft! Yeah, right.

The Snuggly
Love Triangle Alert! This was actually a very sad love triangle because both men are equally in love with Layla and both are amazing men. Obviously, I like Roth more because he has that bad boy, carefree, snarky attitude. But either way, Layla making a decision is going to be devastating to one of them and I hate that.

There are some sexual situations that will get your blood pumping, but still young adult appropriate.

Final Thoughts
Though Layla could have been stronger and there could have been more to the plot, I really loved this book overall. It was hard to put down. Armentrout has a way with YA and I find her books to be irresistible. Very recommended.

“I lost myself the moment I found you.”  

“You need something,” he said, and when I stared at him, he added, “Your face.”
“My face?”
“It’s in need of my kisses.”  

“Don’t be scared of Bambi” the demon said. “She’s only curious and maybe a little bit hungry.”
The thing was named Bambi?
Oh, my God, the thing stared at me like it wanted to eat me.”

“I was raised in Hell. You could say I’m socially awkward”

book review

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29 Responses to “Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout”

  1. Ashley

    Bahaha, I laughed at your “she can take care of herself” comment.

    Bummer about the lack of awesomesauce twists. I think I know what you mean. Sometimes you just find yourself waiting for BIGGER, BETTER, MORE, and it never comes. I’m glad you liked it overall though! I’m trying to decide if this book would really be for me. I’m afraid the whole “I can take care of myself! …but can’t really” thing would bug me. Then there’s the love triangle. Not sure, maybe I’ll give it a go!

    Great review!

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Ummmmm, I can’t remember, do you like Armentrout’s Lux Series? If so, you will love this book. Even so, I think you should give it a try because the story and characters are worth it at the end.

  2. Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed

    Characters like Layla usually annoy me but for some reason this one didn’t. I love Roth! And Zayne but I just don’t see how they can be together yet. I much prefer JLA’s YA books. Looking forward to the next book!

  3. Sarah Elizabeth

    ha ha! that’s the best way to read a book – without reading the blurb first. I never read the blurb too close to reading the book, they have so many spoilers in them 🙁

    • Jennifer Bielman

      I know what you mean, but I tend to read the synopsis first, I just can’t help it. that’s why me not reading this one was different from the norm.

  4. kimbacaffeinate

    I thought this was NA, but the love triangle should have been my first clue it is YA..gah. I want to read this and I don’t want to read this. *facepalm*

  5. Christy @ Love of Books

    I was planning on reading this closer to the release of the 2nd book, but I don’t think I can wait. I just looked to see the release for the next one is October … that’s not too bad of a wait if I read this now. I’m going to do it! 😀

  6. Mia Searles

    So glad I caught your review of this book because I’ve been curious If it’s any good. Gargoyles are starting to get a little more popular lately, more in adult romance than YA or NA. This is probably going to sound crazy, but I’ve actually never read a book by Jennifer L. Armentrout yet, although I do have a few of her novels collecting dust on my bookshelf! I’m definitely going to have to check this one out! Roth sounds hot and I can handle a love triangle as long as it’s portrayed well. I’m sold!

    Mia @ The Muses Circle

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