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

February 21, 2014 Review 3

Review: White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1) by Jennifer ArmentroutWhite Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Harlequin Teen on 2/25/14
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Pages: 400
Source: NetGalley
Sexual Content: Lot of kissing, some physical intimacy
Reviewed by: Libbie
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.

The trend in pushing YA Paranormal towards the unique seems to be continuing and WHITE HOT KISS is no exception. This time, we have demons but pitted against them? Not angels. That would be so last year. Instead, the white hats are worn by gargoyles. Yep. I’m talking about those gargoyles: the statues on old churches and buildings.

I’ll admit to having a few reservations, but they didn’t last long. Before I knew it, I was drawn into the world of the Wardens (that’s what the gargoyles are called), the Alphas, and those pesky demons. Okay, so only a few of the demons were pesky. Actually, that’s one of the things I really enjoyed in WHITE HOT KISS – there wasn’t a whole lot of black and white, despite the colors everyone seems to turn in their true forms or what their souls looked like. I don’t want to mention a certain book I can’t stand, but there were many shades of…off-black in Armentrout’s new world.

I do love a good character driven story and WHITE HOT KISS hit the mark dead center. Even with all the worldbuilding of setting up a whole different cast of characters, the story moves forward believably – just enough “real world” to keep the reader grounded, just enough exposition to get comfortable in the world but not get bogged down, and then the author lets go and tell their story. The Wardens, the demons, the one girl trapped in the middle, even the humans. Everything mixes together until the next thing you know, its 3 in the morning and you’re already ready for the sequel.

Whenever you get demons and angels together in a story, you’re going to get some religion in there but it’s very subtle in WHITE HOT KISS and nothing I’d call even remotely preachy. There’s one aspect of the overarching plot that would have my eyebrow raising in “oh please” fashion if it happened in any other world but my eyebrows stayed right where they were. Because in WHITE HOT KISS, it makes sense.

Do I have a little trepidation about the fact that Layla has feelings for two very different guys? Yeah, of course I do. I’m a veteran of too many ship wars to not feel a few stirrings of “please no” deep in my gut, but not enough to make me shy away entirely. I don’t know how many books are in the series, and in all honestly, I’m already so drawn into the world, I don’t think it would matter. I know which way my heart is leading me, and Layla, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

I would usually think about pausing on The Dark Elements series and wait until it was complete so I could read it all the way through. I also know there’s no way in hell that’s going to happen, I’m too drawn in to turn back now.

Series Titles:

0.5. Bitter Sweet Love
1. White Hot Kiss
2. Stone Cold Touch

More Reviews: Similar Titles:

3 Responses to “Review: White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1) by Jennifer Armentrout”

  1. Alexa

    As soon as you said it is a character driven book I’m there. I love characters and I’m a huge character reader so this one sounds good even though I have sometimes not liked books by this author in the past.

    Thanks for the great review!

  2. Mina

    “shades of…off-black”? Libbie, that’s just hilarious! Nearly fell off the couch laughing. And besides the fun, it’s a great review – although I don’t know if I can stand another YA-“love”-triangle… even one that did not annoy you to death. Still undecided on this one.
    Since my tbr-pile is still immensely high, I will just wait for you to review the next installment, see how it goes on and decide then 🙂