Title: White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Source: Received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
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.
White Hot Kiss is the first book in The Dark Elements series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. It's a young adult paranormal romance about a 17 year-old girl named Layla. She is different from those around her, and she doesn't really feel like she belongs. Layla is half demon, half gargoyle. She lives among the Wardens – gargoyles who fight demons to protect the world. Her best friends are human (and clueless as to what she is).
Layla is a great heroine. She is feisty and brave, and has powers of her own. She has feelings for Zayne, a guy that she has lived with most of her life. They grew up kind of like brother and sister, but now she sees him differently. He might even like her too, but she can't kiss anyone without taking their soul. That's a big problem to have for a teenage girl. She is seventeen, and never been kissed. But then she meets Roth.
Roth is a demon, but he seems to be protecting Layla for some reason. Her job is to tag demons for the Wardens to find and kill. Roth asks her to stop. He has his own reasons, but after all – she is part demon. Roth helps her to see that not all demons are as terrible as she is lead to believe. And she is able to be herself around Roth. She doesn't have to hide her demon side like she does with the Wardens. Roth is a hot, arrogant bad boy – but he can be sweet and is very protective of Layla. They start hanging out in secret, because the Wardens would go crazy if they knew she was friends with a demon. And best yet – Roth has no soul so he isn't on a no-kiss list. However, she doesn't know if she can trust him.
There are quite a few twists and turns in this book to keep it interesting. There is a little action and a little humor, but my favorite is the romance – although I wanted more. I am a romance junkee. There is a lot of sexual tension between Layla and Roth, and also a little between her and Zayne. But things don't get very far. There is an actual plot – even if other reviewers don't think so. There's not a lot of time for romance. There are two great swoonworthy guys in this book, but I wouldn't say there is a major love triangle – though I could see one happening in the future. The ending of this book is a bit of a cliffhanger. I was surprised how it ended, and not exactly happy. It did what it was supposed to though – it left me wanting more. So now I'm curious what happens in the next book, which doesn't come out until October. I suggest reading the book this fall, right before the next book comes out.
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