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

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.

*I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

When it comes to love triangles, I want to own the t-shirt; 'been there, done that, no more please.' Lately it has been less present in novels and if someone gives it an original twist I might try it. In this case it seems to be a love triangle, but really the choice was pretty much clear from the beginning, by all parties involved. Let's not forget that Layla can not have a physical relationship with anyone that has a soul. Therefor leaving her dating pool very small. Did I mention demons have no soul? And that hunky Roth is a demon? I think you get the picture.

Demons are supposed to be this total evil beings, bent on destroying human lives, at least that is what Layla has been told pretty much all her life. You get to understand why she is not very fond of her demon side. Constantly fighting the urge to suck out people's souls can become a drag. So wanting to fight her 'darker' side, she has helped the Warden kill demons.

Which went fine until she needed to be saved by Roth from another demon. A Demon protecting a half Warden from another demon is really the strangest thing Layla has come across. Do not mistake the fact that he saved make him a good guy. Demon means demon and while Roth might not torture kittens for fun, he has his orders when it comes to Layla. Though I don't think they expected the attraction between these two.

While Layla fights those feelings, Roth seems glad to give into them. He is constantly pushing her buttons, it is adorable to watch her frustrations. Slowly this delicious, tattooed piece of demon gets under her skin. Besides adding some humour and sexual tension to the story, Roth has got an interesting place in the story. His whole reason for existing is actually quite tragic. I also love how sometimes he shows his good sides, proving the Warden's theory of 'all demons are evil' wrong.

Besides the hot romance and sizzling chemistry, there is also the whole plot of upcoming apocalypse, which I enjoyed. It seems that when Layla turned seventeen, demons started popping up on Earth way more and a lot of them are after her. Somehow Roth sees it as his mission to protect and aid her in preventing that doom scenario. Meanwhile the Warden a.k.a. the scary fierce gargoyles are also very much about preventing the apocalypse, it is their sole mission to destroy demons. So a lot of action and I liked it. 

What really spoke to me when it comes to Layla is how conflicted she feels. Being half gargoyle, half demon, has never made her feel really welcome on either sides. Her existence is considered an abomination, making her often wonder why they have kept her around for so long. When she finds out the Wardens have been lying to her, she gets even more confused. She no longer knows who to trust anymore. So for now she just goes with her gut and that says she can trust Roth.

White Hot Kiss has plenty of tension, humour, action, mystery and romance to keep you interested. I have not come across gargoyles in a very long time and never quite like this. That aspect was definitely original. Also I did not expect the humour from Roth, I thought he would be more serious and focused. I really likes that I thought wrong. That boy often makes sure things don't get too serious. Overall a great YA read!

The Dark Elements - Reading order and purchase links


Bitter Sweet Love: Kindle (can be read as a stand alone)

The Author
# 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.

Connect with Jennifer L. Armentrout:

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