Paranormal Fiction Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout
|White Hot Kiss|
(The Dark Elements)
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.
First off, I feel like the cover and the blurb are a bit deceptive. Yes, this is a romance and sure it has a few slightly steamy moments, but this is by no means just a romance. The novel revolves around Layla, a teen struggling to decide where she belongs, with the Wardens protecting humans or embracing her darker side with Roth and the dangerous world or wraiths and demons below.
After a rather boring start, I got really tired of the innuendo that spewed from Roth at every turn, I'm still glad to have read it. It's not my favorite JLA book, but the last quarter of the story with its nail-biting action and pretty darn cool fight scenes saved it from being a bland, run-of-the-mill paranormal teen romance. Layla is one of those do no wrong heroines. She's gorgeous, she kicks butt, and she could get all the guys if only she knew she was beautiful. Not really somebody I could relate to now or when I was a teen, but she fits the mold of so many of the girls in the genre. The secondary characters, usually some of my favorites, where just one dimensional. A geek boy and a trashy best friend who don't really add much of anything to the story. Zayne, Layla's Warden confidant and possibly more, was my favorite character. He's good looking, sweet, and cares about Layla and the issues she's having being a descendant of two different worlds. Roth on the other hand... UGH! I think we're supposed to like him even though he's from the upper echelons of the underworld. As I said earlier, I didn't find him charming in the least, but rather rude and disappointing. The only thing cool about him was his snake tattoo Bambi.
Even though I didn't like Roth much, I thought the story itself ended up being interesting. I was very much on the edge of my seat during the final confrontation between Wardens and demons. I gotta say, JLA definitely knows how to write a battle scene! I've enjoyed them immensely in her Lux series' and this was no different. While I probably won't read this book again, I'm considering picking up book 2 Stone Cold Touch just to see how Layla's life unfolds with her new power!
* Content Note: Violence, strong language, and sensuality throughout.
To learn more about Jennifer L. Armentrout and the Dark Elements series, visit the Harlequin website.
~ My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars ~