Book: White Hot Kiss, Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Dark Elements #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: February 25th, 2014
Rating: 5 stars
This is another unique world Jennifer has created. When I started reading the Lux series I didn’t think I would be able to get into a world about aliens, but I was wrong. Now this new series is about gargoyles and demons. It sounds iffy, but this book was amazing. I'd already read Bitter Sweet Love, the prequel novella about a gargoyle but we get an intro to Layla, who is the protagonist in this series.
Layla is especially unique in this book. While the main character normally has special abilities in some way, Layla is unique in that in a world full of gargoyles (called Wardens) and demons; she is half Warden half demon. Raised by Wardens since she was eight, Layla is raised to believe that her demon side shouldn’t exist and ignore it at all costs, and only use her abilities to help the Wardens, one of which is to help track demons. She has had a happy-ish childhood, growing especially close to a Warden called Zayne, whom she’s had a crush on since she could remember. However, Layla can’t kiss anything with a soul as she has this nasty ability to suck out someone’s soul when she kisses somebody - which sucks when you’re constantly surrounded by the boy you like.
Then Layla meets Roth – a ridiculously hot demon who claims he is on Layla’s side and is there to protect her when evil things start going on. As Layla was raised her entire life to ignore her demon side because demons are notoriously evil beings, Roth’s appearance confuses her and makes her re-evaluate everything she’s known to be true. She doesn’t know whether she should trust Roth, and finds out that the Wardens haven’t been telling her the entire truth about her past.
Needless to say, I love Roth. I’ve got a special fetish for super protective, super hot bad boys. Why do you think I love Damon Salvatore so much? Layla finds herself attracted to Roth, (and the fact that he hasn’t a soul makes for a lot of make out sessions) yet she still has a crush on Zayne, someone who’s been her protector her whole life. Zayne is the good guy, the Stefan to Roth’s Damon. He’s the only one Layla has really trusted until Roth came along.
This wasn’t really a love triangle, but will probably develop into one as the series progresses. Layla has feelings for both guys despite their huge differences. As Layla felt like such an outsider as the half-and-half in her Warden home, she finds a true friend (and make-out buddy) in Roth and finds she isn’t as lonely with him around.
I’m obviously team Roth (lover of bad boys and all) but still have a soft spot for Zayne. You can tell he cares so much for Layla even if he won’t make a move due to her being like his little sister and because of her soul-sucking ability. Whenever he had a chance to make a move, he’d head in another direction. Poor Layla; she can’t catch a break, considering how long she’d had a crush on him.
Layla was a great heroine. She was plucky, brave (stupidly at times but...) and very sweet. Quite naive for seventeen, but she was quite sheltered for most of her life due to her heritage, so I can forgive her for that. I can’t wait to see more of her in the next books.
Ah, who am I kidding? Roth! Roth all the way! He comes back in book #2, and I can’t friggin’ wait! It’s a total competition between who’s the hotter male lead in JLA’s books: Roth or Daemon? Who do you think??