Jennifer L. freaking Armentrout did it once again. This woman is a writing-machine and everything she writes is utterly addictive, scorching hot and hands-down very well-written. White Hot Kiss is no exception: the first book in a series called The Dark Elements brings the action and romance to a whole other level and is sure to leave you begging for more.
The world here is an entirely new one. We have gargolyes, which was really a turn off fact for me when I first heard of this new series, but it actually brought out interest in me. I found the atmosphere from White Hot Kiss a bit similar with the one from Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neill, because in both stories a new supernatural species has been revealed to the unknowingly human-world. Layla, our main heroine, is half gargoyle — or Warden if you want — and half demon. But the thing is gargoyles and demons are enemies since the beginning of time and a hibrid like Layla is considered an abomination. She can’t shift like a normal Warden and she doesn’t have powers like a demon, but she can tag them and see people’s auras and how much they’ve sinned. Oh, and she can also steal someone’s soul if they enter kissing-area.
Layla was a surprise for me. I constantly admired her brave attitude and determined demeanor, even though she is quite lonely and bullied throughout the book. She’s a though chick, but she’s still young and girly and innocent and sweet and down-right adorable and that just made me love her more.
She’s in love with her best friend-slash-kind-of-a-half-brother Zayne, who’s a Warden. But then a demon whose intentions are not exactly trust-worthy enters the pictures and shatters some of Layla’s preconceived ideas, also turning her world upside-down when he starts spilling some long-kept secrets.
Zayne was so unbelievably cute and protective of Layla. I think Layla and Zayne would make a great pair if it wasn’t the problem regarding, you know, the soul sucking thing. You can see he cares deeply for her and yet, sometimes he’s so stubborn and ready to condemn Layla, I actually felt like shaking him until he realized the girl was nuts for him and that he hurt her unintentionally.
Roth is, in a word, incredible. If you’re acquainted with Armentrout’s work, picture Roth as a delicious mix between Seth from the Covenant Series and Daemon from the Lux books. Throw in some dazzling smiles, a charming and completely lovable personality and a wicked sense of humor and ta-daaa! You’ve got yourself the perfect boyfriend! *wink* If you’re new to the awesomesauce that is JLA, picture an 18-year-old smoking-hot guy, with the drool-worthy abs and chest and all that jazz. (Yes, I realize I’m fangirling.) Add the spicy fact that he’s a tattooed baby-demon that has a snake as a pet and some murderous but fluffly and gorgeous little kittens. Then put the killer moves (literally and figuratively) in equation and the swoon-worthy personality. Sounds too good to be true, right? But trust me, it is. 1 Million times that good *happy sigh*
The ending broke my heart. The climatic moment of the entire plot was delivered with a sentimental punch on the side that left me in denial, in shock and also quite helplessly in love with the gorgeousness that is Roth. The last few pages continued to outline a cliffhanger, but still maintaining a sad vibe. Thank the Gods the sequel, Stone Cold Touch, will be out this year, because I’m dreading the fact that I’m left without a clear ending. But my little heart has hope that there will be a happy ending for these particular characters.
“I lost myself the moment I found you.”
White Hot Kiss also sends the idea that judgement is easily uncalled for, that the line between right and wrong is very slim and that trust can be broken very quickly.
White Hot Kiss is a mysterious, sexy, compelling novel. With the same writing style that earned her buckets of fans, JLA created an original world with new and interesting creatures and a love triangle that will make you fall in love with two amazing boys. It’s funny, action-packed and full of twists and turns. I can’t recommend it enough. It’s one of her best works up to date, so go and devour it.
Review by Andreea Pop