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The Dark Elements #1

White Hot Kiss

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This is a previously published edition of ASIN B00DSX0QRS. There is an alternate cover edition for this ASIN here and here.

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.

388 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 25, 2014

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About the author

Jennifer L. Armentrout

124 books113k followers
Hey Guys! Please note: I don't send out ARCs for review. If you're interested in reviewing a book of mine before release date, please contact the appropriate publisher. I also do NOT check my Goodreads email.

To email me, please use the below addy.
jenniferlarmentrout@live.com

# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Charles Town, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. In early 2015, Jennifer was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and death of cells in the retina, eventually resulting in loss of vision, among other complications. Due to this diagnosis, educating people on the varying degrees of blindness has become of passion of hers, right alongside writing, which she plans to do as long as she can.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Tor, HarperCollins Avon and William Morrow, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her Wicked Series has been optioned by PassionFlix. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. Her adult romantic suspense novel TILL DEATH was a Amazon Editor’s Pick and iBook Book of the Month. Her young adult contemporary THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER is a 2017 RITA Award Winner in Young Adult Fiction. She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

She is the owner of ApollyCon and The Origin Event, the successful annual events that features over hundred bestselling authors in Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult Fiction, panels, parties, and more.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 7,849 reviews
February 28, 2014
"Not everyone is created equal.”
I pursed my lips. “I don’t think I’m special.”
Roth looked at me again. “But you are. You’re a half demon that is also half Warden."
This is standard Armentrout. Fans of her books will love it, people who wants something a little less...formulaic, like me, will be disappointed. I keep reading her books, hoping that something will change for the better. So far, nothing had.

This book is about gargoyles and demons. But don't get the wrong impression. It's less this:



And more this:



This is standard Armentrout in that:

1. The main heroine is the star of the show, there is no doubt about it, the universe revolves around her and only her

2. There is slut-shaming. There is an ample shortage of meaningful female friendship, there is plenty of slutty girls around, including her best friend, all designed to make the heroine seem virginal, chaste, and pure in contrast

3. The heroine is special, different, one of a kind, due to only the fact that she was born to an extraordinary heritage; she does nothing to earn our respect

4. There is a love triangle, and further than that, almost every eligible person with a penis around her age range wants her milkshake

5. There is more flirting than plot

6. The heroine is supposed to be kick-ass, but she is rescued all the fucking time

The good:

1. The writing is enjoyable, the book itself is a light, quick read

2. The setting is a predictable, light, traditional Urban Fantasy with characters we don't see too often---gargoyes (but the book still needs more garrgoyles and less hot-men-outside-of-stone-form)

The Summary: Gargoyles exist. They are called Wardens. 10 years ago, they came out in public. The world knows that gargoyles exist now, and there's surprisingly little hullabaloo about it. Miley Cyrus twerkin' on Robin Thicke's crotch got a more shocked reaction than we were shown in this book.
...the Wardens went public ten years ago. The Alphas had ordered the Wardens to come out of the shadows. To humans, Wardens had come out of their stone shells. After all, the gargoyles adorning many churches and buildings had been carved to resemble a Warden in his true skin.
Huh, gargoyles exist. Ok.

Layla is 17 years old. She is beautiful, but doesn't really consider herself that pretty. I mean, Layla only looks like an elf-princess. What's so special about that?
Zayne said I looked like the long-lost sister of the elf in Lord of the Rings. That was a huge confidence booster. Sigh.
Sigh, indeed. Fuck, it must be so horrible to go through life all blonde and elfin, looking like Legolas' sister. Tough existence, man. To top it off, she's in love with a gorgeous Warden guy (Zayne) who only sees her as a sister. A really hot sister with whom he loves going on coffee dates.

Layla is special. She is half-Demon, half-Warden. She looks like a human and she cannot shift into a monster-like stone gargoyle form because she is a half-blood. Therefore, Layla is half-blood, all beautiful. Special without the ugly side effects of being a gargoyle-like Guardian.

Layla is an orphan (oh hello there, trope). She has amnesia (trope). She doesn't know anything about her birth or her parents (trope). Her Warden guardians keep everything a secret from her (trope). One day, while stupidly chasing down a minor demon into a dark alley, Layla nearly gets killed. She is rescued by a dark, handsome, sexy Upper Level Demon. His name is Roth. He has a snake named Bambi. I don't mean to say his penis is named Bambi, I mean he has a snake tattoo that comes to life whose name is Bambi.
No—not a mass, but a huge freaking snake at least ten feet long and as wide as I was.
The thing spun toward me, rising halfway up. Its eyes burned an unholy red.
“Don’t be scared of Bambi,” the demon said. “She’s only curious and maybe a little bit hungry.”
The thing was named Bambi?
Sexy Demon Roth starts showing up everyfuckingwhere Layla goes. She goes to school. He's there. He shows up whenever she needs help, like a demonic guardian angel.

Where I'm from, we call that a fucking stalker. Layla knows that. She trusts him anyway.
“You don’t? I was following you.”
“Oh, so you’re a demon and a stalker?” I swallowed hard. “Because that’s not creepy or anything.”
Oh, he's not just a stalker, he's a pervert, too.
He leaned in again, his lips brushing the curve of my cheek. “Let me suggest more appropriate places. I have this piercing—”
Oh, wait, there's a reason he's following her. Layla is special. She was born to a special destiny, and he was meant to protect her.
Roth let out a low breath. “Your mother was known by many names...And because of that, you’re on Hell’s Most Wanted List.”
Naturally, Layla is inclined to believe the stranger she just met over the people who have raised her for the past 10 years. Roth and Layla kiss, they flirt, they go out on dates. They spend nights together, staring longingly into each other's eyes. They go to bed together---but they just talk, because demons are such gentlemen that way.

What is The Lesser Key of Solomon? More importantly, will the two hot, gorgeous men in her life ever stop fighting over Layla?
Zayne’s grip relaxed. “Shut up.”
Roth came to his feet fluidly. “I don’t think I like your tone.”
“And I don’t like your face,” Zayne returned.
The amount of testosterone the two were throwing off was ridiculous.
The Girl-Hate: There's room for only one good girl in this book, and that girl is Layla. Layla is virginal, pure. Layla and her best friend Stacey tease each other by calling each other names. Stacey is, of course, presented as the slut, the hobag, while innocent Layla is the virgin.
Stacey only blinked, looking like she was coming out of some kind of bizarre trance. I scribbled hobag across her notes. She laughed and wrote virgin ice princess across mine.
Even an insult, a tease, is designed to make Layla look good against her slutty best friend Stacey.

Stacey is sex on wheels.
Stacey started to tug her shirt up as a shield, but must’ve realized there wasn’t enough material there.
She dresses sexily, and the book presents it to us as a bad thing.
Stacey was saying as she threw herself into her seat. “I didn’t sneak out of the house dressed like this for no good reason.”
“No doubt.” I eyed her short skirt and then her cleavage. “We wouldn’t want your boobs to go to waste.”
Stacey constantly makes sexual jokes and gestures.
“Great!” Stacey chirped, backing off and gesturing wildly behind Roth. She was doing something with her hand and mouth that I knew Roth would be oh so down for.
She is presented as a good friend, but so completely hypersexualized compared to Layla. Her character is insiduously presented as not as good, due to her sexualization.

The other female characters in the book are either stupid sluts (Eva, the glammed up hobag Mean Girl classmate) or a scared female Warden (never mind that she's also a badass warrior herself), or a nice, beautiful Warden girl who's meant to be hated because of her interest in Layla's first love, Zayne. Danika is nice, but everything she does is seem as mean, an attack on Layla when all she wants to do is be helpful.
I dumped the stuff in the garbage can, shoulders stiff. “I’m not going to jump on you and suck out your soul, if that’s what you’re worried about.”
Danika gasped. “That’s not what I meant—not at all. It’s just that you look like you need something and I want to help.”
Everytime a female character outside of Layla does something remotely normal and nice, Layla snaps at her. There is no room in this book for a positive female figure besides Layla.

The Setting: It's your traditional Urban Fantasy, with Angels, Demons, all that good stuff. This book breaks no molds in the setting. It is completely predictable in this sense, and that's just fine. We have Fiends, we have Posers (demons, heh), we have Zombies. Nothing out of the ordinary.

What I do not like: The setting in this book is anticlimactic. There are gargoyles, humans know they exist...and there's an odd sense of "so what?" about it. People aren't exactly freaking out. There's a church rallying against Wardens...
Every so often the Church of God’s Children held a rally against the Wardens and then made headlines. They’d been doing it ever since the public had found out about the Wardens’ existence.
And that's the last we hear about it. The book is so centered around Layla and Layla only, so much that the outside world becomes completely secondary and almost gathers no mention in the book.

The setting itself has gaps. There are Wardens...gargoyles...but almost no instance of actual gargoyles in the book. We rarely see the Wardens in action. It's more internal politics and living with the Wardens in human form than anything else.

There's also the unbelievable case of "OH HUMANS KNOW ABOUT WARDENS BUT LET'S HIDE THE FACT THAT DEMONS EXIST!"

Wut?
The world would descend into chaos if humans knew demons were ordering their morning coffee right alongside them.
Ok, so you're telling me that the world is ok with the existence of gargoyles, that stone men can come to life, but they'd completely freak out if they knew about the existence of demons?

Wut?

Layla, you've got me on my knees: *lyric from Eric Clapton*

Everyone with a dick loves Layla. From hot, protective brother-figure Zayne. Zayne, who always wants to reassure Layla that she is good, despite what Layla thinks of herself.
Zayne’s eyes flicked up. They seemed brighter than usual. “You’re...perfect just the way you are.”
To schoolboy Gareth.
“Wow, he is so checking you out.”
“Huh?” I looked at Stacey. “Who?”
She glanced over her shoulder as she pulled me closer. “The guy you almost plowed into—Gareth Richmond. He’s still checking you out."
To evil pervert Petr who wants her body.
The line of his jaw hardened. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“You didn’t do anything wrong? I told you to stop and you wouldn’t—”
“You were being a tease.” His voice dropped low. “And since when do demons really get a say in anything?”
To Roth. Roth, who only has eyes for Layla.

Oh, the love triangle...
“I...” I didn’t know. I loved Zayne, but I didn’t know what kind of love that was, and Roth... I thought I could be in love with him, if given time. Or maybe I already was, in a little way. “I don’t know.”
It's enjoyable, but only as brain candy. If you're looking for more plot, more substance, I wouldn't recommend this. The character development and plausibility of the plot is absolutely lacking.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,944 reviews292k followers
March 12, 2014
I. Could. Not. Finish. This.
I tried. And then I tried some more. But nope, not happening.


You know what? Perfection really is boring. Perfection is meaningless, unrealistic and so fucking boring.

Armentrout tries to create perfection. A perfectly all-good, virginal, amazing, everyone-wants-to-bone-me, kickass heroine who faultlessly exists at the centre of the universe, while beautiful, perfectly-sculpted, hot boys just orbit around her constantly. It's boring. And you know what else perfection is? It's all tell and no fucking show.

So this girl - Layla - is amazing, right? She's so SPESHUL. Gifted. Wonderful. Beautiful. We are told all of this and yet never shown examples of it. She's special because she was born into it, not because she does any damn thing to prove it. She's amazing, we are told, but I'm still uncertain what's really so special about her in action. Everyone wants this girl, we are told, but god only knows why. Oh, and she's totally badass... apparently. Maybe I would have noticed if she wasn't so busy being saved all the time.

Then there's that love triangle *yawn*. I think the descriptions of men are often what separate the romance stories I actually enjoy from the ones that bore me to tears. To be honest, there's a part of me that thinks "yeah, okay, whatever" with this whole male perfection malarkey. These men/boys are beautiful in every way. They are fucking perfect. Their bodies are sculpted awesomeness of muscle and unblemished skin. Their hair falls perfectly in gorgeous thick waves. Their faces were built by angels and they always have a sexy phrase handy to raise the heat levels in any given scene. But I suppose it's hard to criticise this trend when you compare it to the airbrushed, photoshopped and hairless beauties shown in men's magazines. Why shouldn't women get their fantasy perfection? No reason I can see.

Except... it's fucking boring. These men are too perfect for me to care about and fall in love with. I cannot believe in that level of perfection. They are male Barbie dolls, straight off the factory production line. Polished, flawless, perfection. I'd find it easier to love them if they were ugly. I'd also find it easier to love them if Layla took a break from describing their physical perfection for a second and gave them a personality that goes beyond trying to get in her pants (like every male in this book). So many times I felt like me and Layla were having this exchange...

Me: Plot?
Layla: Fuck the plot. Let's make out!

There's also a whole bunch of slut-shaming, which I assume is only supposed to emphasise the heroine's purity and goodness. Even her best friend seems like a tool constantly being used to reinforce the MC's good girl persona - her characterisation consists almost solely of her overt sexuality and revealing outfit choices. If the female character is not Layla or a "slut", then she's the evil bitch who has a thing for one of the guys.

Then I come to some of the ridiculous dialogue between the characters. Look, I know teenagers can be annoying. Insufferable, some might say. Sometimes I read the diaries I wrote from when I was 15 and, oh my god, the angst! It burns! They're hilarious and melodramatic, of course. But still, high school wasn't that long ago for me. And the dialogue between the teens in this book is like what middle-aged adults *think* teenagers might say.

Stacey groaned. “I can’t believe Mr. Leto wouldn’t let us do our classics report on Twilight. It is a classic.”

No one says that. No one. Plus, Twilight isn't even "cool" among high school teens. Twilight, if it is talked about, is the thing girls whisper and giggle about behind their hands. Kids do not announce loudly and openly that Twilight is a classic.

And don't even get me started on all the male posturing going on, it was laughable. My favourite was this bit:

Zayne’s grip relaxed. “Shut up.”
Roth came to his feet fluidly. “I don’t think I like your tone.”
“And I don’t like your face,” Zayne returned.
The amount of testosterone the two were throwing off was ridiculous.


The thing I find so funny is that this is considered some big, testosterone-fuelled alpha male battle. It sounds more like the fights me and my sister have over music in the car. Maybe you should read this book if you want a good laugh.

I'm sorry, guys. I know a lot of people love Armentrout and this could be a light, entertaining read for you if you like all her usual elements. But I find it all too formulaic, recycled and... boring. I wish the hype for her books was easier to resist.
Profile Image for Josu Diamond.
Author 7 books32.9k followers
June 25, 2021
AY, ay, ayyyy. ¡Que me enamoro!

Jennifer L. Armentrout es una de esas autoras que tenía pendientes desde casi su primera novela. No fue hasta que descubrí de la existencia de que tenía malditos libros de urban fantasy sobre GÁRGOLAS Y DEMONIOS (!!!) que sentí la necesidad casi física de ponerme con ella. Y no me arrepiento de nada.

description

En El beso del infierno tenemos el comienzo no solo de una saga, sino de una historia mucho más grande, ya que después de estos tres libros viene un spin-off. Ese es uno de los principales motivos que hicieron que la comenzara: ya sabéis que adoro las buenas sagas largas. Y la verdad, confiar tan a ciegas en algo tan largo puede dar miedo. ¿Y si no me gusta? ¿Y si no me convence? ¿Y si no es lo que espero? Pero para nada, porque Los elementos oscuros ha cumplido con lo prometido: ser una saga de fantasía urbana mamarracha y adictiva.

El punto de partida me parece de lo más interesante. ¿Una chica que es mitad demonio, mitad Guardián (o sea, que debería cazar demonios) y que además no puede besar a nadie que tenga alma porque si no la absorbe? O sea, ¡COMPRO! Además de que ya de por sí Layla tiene esos conflictos internos, se exploran muy bien los externos: su relación con los personajes secundarios como Stacey o Sam, las relaciones con los Guardianes como Zayne y sobre todas las cosas, todo lo que sucede con el maravilloso Roth.

description

Si algo me gusta de un libro son los giros en la trama. Y aunque El beso del infierno no deja de ser un libro que enlaza escena tras escena donde no dejan de suceder cosas, hay lugar para que esta trilogía se vaya convirtiendo en algo más grande lo que parece en un primer momento. Con ese toque casi de novela de aventuras, donde Personaje A debe buscar a Personaje B y para encontrar respuestas deben hallar el Objeto X que les lleva a descubrir... etc, etc. Sabéis a lo que me refiero, ¿no? Pero es que todo eso está aderezado con tensión sexual, acción, caza de demonios, amenazas y giros inesperados en todas y cada una de las subtramas. Porque sí, no solo nos sorprenderemos por descubrir romances de instituto, sino por la propia naturaleza de Layla o nos quedaremos boquiabiertos con los detalles de las guerras entre Demonios, Guardianes y la llegada de El Apocalipsis.

De verdad que hacía mucho tiempo que un libro de niñateo de instituto sobrenatural me enganchaba tanto. Se encuentra en ese equilibrio entre buenísimo y mediocre, aunque me inclino más por la primera opción. No podía soltarlo, y aunque algunas cosas eran cliché y se veían venir, creo que la autora tiene muchísimo talento para salvarlo todo, especialmente a la hora de construir personajes y sus decisiones. Son maduros dentro de lo que cabe y la historia no huele a desodorante sobre sudor después de Educación Física, sino más bien el tono sería de "universitarios". No sé si me explico, pero vamos, que tira un poco más para un juvenil alto y se agradece que no se pinte a lxs adolescentes con superpoderes como idiotas pánfilxs.

description

¡Porque esa es otra! Aunque Layla sea un muy buen personaje -bien construido, bien armado, coherente-, sí tiene algunas cosillas de poner los ojos en blanco... ¡Pero es una guerrera! O sea le revientan la cara no sé cuántas veces durante el libro. ¿Que hay un demonio y tiene que matarlo? Pos chica, se pone las pilas y le revienta. ¡Y la revientan! Vamos, eso me gusta, que hay sangre, vísceras y todo eso. Por no mencionar que también tenemos un poco de tensión sexual medio resuelta que espero que dé el siguiente paso en próximos libros.

Y oye, ¿podemos hablar de Roth? Sin duda alguna mi nuevo crush literario. Me encanta él en conjunto, no solo físicamente sino su actitud y sus tramas. ¡Y la maldita serpiente! Adoro la idea de tener tatuajes que cobran vida en un plano físico como apoyos en las batallas. Y sí, lo siento, pero de momento me quedo en el Team Roth. ¿Zayne? I don't know her. Lo siento, soy más de los malotes que de los buenazos mentirosos... Ooops!

description

En definitiva: El beso del infierno es un inicio de trilogía increíble, que engancha desde la primera página, sorprende y te mantiene en vilo con giros sorprendentes y buenos personajes. Ya mismo estoy disfrutando de La caricia del infierno.
Profile Image for shady boots.
500 reviews2,040 followers
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August 8, 2015
You know what I've figured out? Jennifer L. Armentrout is a panderer. Meaning, she always writes the same formulaic stuff and always has to have extremely hot, six-foot-something bad boys that are there to solely make the main character's--and the young teen female reader's--panties melt.

What do I have to say to that? Well, first of all,


Secondly, here are a few examples of her not-even-a-little-bit-subtle pattern:

Taken from the blurb of Wait for You:

"Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed."

Taken from the blurb of her new book Wicked:

"Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her."

And I don't think I need to discuss the blurb of this one. There's fucking two hot--and I quote once more, "swoon-worthy"--guys. A love triangle, a.k.a. the YA trope that practically screams "cash grab".

Okay, I get that all of this pays the bills and all, and that's fine. Everyone's gotta eat. Do whatcha gotta do and all that jazz. But I'm definitely no longer a fan of hers now that I've got a feel of what she's all about. I'd rather support authors who are willing to take risks and think outside of the box (e.g. Eliza Crewe and Leah Raeder, upon recent memory) rather than strictly follow a formula for the sole purpose of filling their pockets. I'm sure she's a lovely person, but as an author she brings nothing new to the table. In fact, she does the exact opposite of that. She pulls out all the old tricks and tries to fluff 'em up as best as possible. To me that's just not cute. It makes her seem like, as an author, she's all about the money money money.

What makes me sad is that it's not just Jen here who does this. Not even close. This has been a trend in YA for years, and thanks to Emily May's NA Experiment, I pretty much stay away from new adult books in general due to the fact that nearly every NA book follows this formula. They're there to pander, and "originality" is not in their vocabulary. What crushes me is that this kinda shit sells. They sell like hot cakes, and because of this, it's rubbing off even more on YA as well--case in point, this book right here.

Again, before you fans rip me apart, I have nothing against her as a person. She seems like a nice lady. I'm strictly viewing her as an author and the clear pattern that her work shows. I have to call a spade a spade.

Sorry 'bout it.

P.S. Shout out to all the authors out there who do your thing and don't conform. You have no idea how valuable you guys are. To me, and to tons of other readers. Keep on keepin' on, and YOU BETTA WERK! <3
Profile Image for jessica.
2,511 reviews31k followers
April 19, 2019
if you know me, you know i love JLAs stories with nearly every fibre of my being but i was hesitant to pick this up, only because it just didnt really interest me. the only reason i did is because ‘storm and fury’ (a spin off) comes out soon, and it actually sounds really good. so here i am.

fortunately, this turned out better than i thought it would. as someone who is still slowly, but somewhat successfully, immersing themselves into the paranormal genre, gargoyles just seemed a bit much. but it actually isnt that cheesey. i just think that JLA has the power to write about anything and i will really enjoy it.

however, some points are marked off for the love triangle (or strong hint, thereof). im not really a fan and dont understand their purpose. usually i can tolerate them for the sake of reading because i favour one guy over the other, but it annoys me to no end when i end up liking both of the guys. all it does is make me resent the girl for stringing them both along, and thats exactly what i think is gonna happen with this story.

but still, this was entertaining and my interest is now piqued as to how the story is going to play out.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Lucia.
733 reviews798 followers
February 9, 2017
My Roth, Layla and Zayne:


Layla is half-demon, half-Warden. But brought up by Wardens, daily fighting her demon urges, she hates everything demon-connected. But what happens when her perception of demons is ruined forever?



I am not sure what happened here. I love JLA and all her previous paranormal stories. But this one did not live up to my expectations.

So what was my biggest problem with this book? It wasn't the love triangle or the fact that heroine was perfect example of damsel in distress. No. It was the fact that most of the banters and dialogues between characters were super-cheesy and childlish. There were so many clichés it wasn't even funny. And action was almost non-existent or really boring. It took 80% (and whole week of reading) until I was at least a bit hooked in the story. And that was just too late for me.


When it comes to "love triangle" in this book, there was only one guy for me. And after reading this book, I am Team Roth all the way. Zayne who? Roth was definitely the best part of this book. A big contradiction. Cocky and arrogant, yet caring and self-sacrificing. I really enjoyed those parts of the book when he was present.

However, question remains. Who will win Layla's heart at the end? I am definitely curious to see how will this series develop and what direction will JLA take it. Last couple of chapters proved, that she knows how to capture my attention with her writing. She will have her chance with book #2 to either win me over or lost me forever when it comes to The Dark Elements.

MORE REVIEWS ON MY BLOG Reading Is My Breathing

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Seems like this woman writes one book per month. But I am not complaining, I love every single story she wrote so far and I cannot wait for this one! :)
Profile Image for Wendy Higgins.
Author 18 books7,950 followers
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September 21, 2013
This is one of those kinds of books that just fit me and my mood perfectly at the right moment. I loved every single thing about it. I think this series is going to rival Lux for me. I can't wait for everyone to read it!!
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
522 reviews34.4k followers
June 21, 2021
I’m on BookTube now! =)

There was a demon in McDonald’s.
And it had a powerful hunger for Big Macs.”


This is quite a way to start a book and I was immediately intrigued by it! *lol* I mean a demon at McDonalds? What a funny, unique and weird way to begin a book. So yes, the first line already captured my interest and the characters and the plot that followed did the rest. ;-) I remember reading this for the very first time a couple of years ago and it was one of those series that’s highly addicting and that just makes you want to devour all those books exactly the same way that demon ate its Big Macs. XD

I mean we could argue that “White Hot Kiss” follows all the typical YA stereotypes. We have two super-hot love interests aka a love triangle, an innocent pretty heroine, sizzling tension, a big mystery and a couple of troubles and issues that need to be resolved. What made this really enjoyable was the new setting of a war between wardens - who are basically gargoyles that protect humans – and demons. And well, the already mentioned sizzling tension between the MCs.

I didn’t read all too many books that featured gargoyles and demons so for me that was something new and refreshing. And of course the same goes for the characters powers and the world building. So yes, it might be tropey but I think this series can stand on its own. Especially because Armentrout’s writing style isn’t only captivating but also effortless. ;-) And because I love the characters so much I’ll just head to my characters section now.

The characters:

Welcome to the world of Wardens and Demons! Both of them have secrets and it’s up to you which side you’ll join. Make sure to choose wisely because no matter which path you decide for I can guarantee you’ll always be spoiled. Are you sure you’re ready? ;-P

Layla:

”I met the man’s stare, held it and felt my lips curve into a smile. My heart raced, my skin tingled and flushed. I wanted his soul – so bad my skin wanted to peel itself off my bones. It felt like waiting for a kiss, when your lips were moments away from joining, those breathless seconds of anticipation.”

So Layla is actually a pretty interesting character. She’s not only half warden but also half demon and she’s constantly fighting her own nature which tells her to eat the souls of human beings. She can’t only rob people of their souls though; she can also see their auras. Some of them are already very tainted and others are still pure. And what makes her especially valuable for the wardens is that she obviously can see demons and tag them. So yeah, Layla has a lot going on and she still somehow manages to keep up with school. *lol* At the beginning of the book her world is only black and white and she’s very innocent but the more time she spends with Roth the more she realizes that there are all shades of grey and that the world is more complex than she thought. I really liked her character arc in this book and I can’t wait to see the Layla of book two! XD

Roth:

”For the love of all unholy things, why must you be so difficult? I apologize for calling you a prude. I’ll even apologize for yesterday. I scared you. I threw your cell in a toilet. See, I was raised in Hell. You could say I’m socially awkward.”

Okay, I’m going to be blunt here: Roth is super-hot boyfriend material! Like super, super hot boyfriend material! He isn’t only gorgeous (golden eyes, dimples, a six-pack, tattoos and black hair – gosh, that boy has a lot of things going for him! Haha!) but he also has a heart of gold! I’m such a sucker for this demon and if given the choice between him and Zayne it will always be: Zayne who?! *lol* I really love Roth and I think his character arc was beautifully done as well. He started out as a dubious character and became such a great and reliable constant. I loved that his blunt and sassy demeanour didn’t change while he was still growing as a character. It’s a feat not many authors accomplish, but Armentrout certainly did! I can’t wait for him to appear in book 2 because his story isn’t over yet and he just has to be a big part of it! XD

”People with the purest souls are capable of the greatest evils. No one is perfect, no matter what they are or what side they fight for.”

”I am only the next Crown Prince. That’s what I am – all I am.”

”It’s okay,” he whispered against the corner of my lip. “This is about you. Yeah, this is totally about you.” He sounded surprised by his own words, and when he spoke again, his voice was hoarse as he pressed his forehead against mine. “You undo me. You have no idea how you undo me.”

In that tiny moment of time, just a flicker of a second, his golden eyes met mine. “Free will, huh? Damn. It is a bitch.” And then he smiled – he smiled – at me, a real smile, revealing those deep dimples. “I lost myself the moment I found you.”

The relationships & ships:

Layla & Roth:

”Do you know anything about her – about your heritage, Layla?” he said, and then his arm slipped around my waist, fitting my body against his. “Do you know anything about what you are?”
“Do you know anything about personal space?” I snapped.
“No.” He smirked, and then his eyes seemed to turn luminous. “But I do know that you really don’t mind me in your personal space.”


Haha! Those two were amazing! They have this really sizzling and strong chemistry and I just couldn’t get enough of them. I kinda loved that Roth always gravitated towards Layla and just couldn’t seem to be able to keep his hands off her. He’s always pulling her closer and touching her and I think this is so damn cute. <3 Can someone give me a cuddly Roth? I think after Covid times I really need that in my life. *lol* Anyway, let’s move on! I really liked that he always gave her a choice. Layla might not have seen it like that but in fact Roth actually tried to give her some space and to let her sort out things on her own. Plus he always protected her and put her well-being above his own. And even more important he supported her and her decisions and accepted her for who she was! With him Layla never had to apologize for being a demon and he helped her to accept this half of her as well. She is both after all and to suppress one side like she did because of the wardens clearly wasn’t healthy for her. >_< They are both good for each other and I can’t wait to read more of their scenes together! <333

He moved without me realizing, his warm breath dancing over my cheeks, my lips. The air hitched in my lungs. His lips parted, and I wondered what it would be like to run my fingers across them, to feel them.
“What are you thinking?” he murmured, his eyes fluttering down.


”Layla, look at me. You don’t want to go down that road.”
With effort, I focused on him. “I’m sorry. It’s just so hard.”
His brows furrowed. “You don’t need to apologize for something that is natural to you, but taking a human’s soul... You can’t go back from that.”


”One second he was standing a good three feet away from me and the next his hands were gently clasping my cheeks. There was an instant when I wondered how something so strong and deadly could hold anything so carefully, but then he tilted my head back and lowered his own. My heart rate kicked into hyperdrive. He wasn’t going to kiss me. No way – Roth kissed me.”

”We’re talking.” He dipped his head, brushing his cheek against mine.
“This is not talking.” Not that I didn’t enjoy it. “And I really do have questions.”
“So ask away. I can multitask.” He tugged me forward, circling an arm around my waist. Dipping his head to where my neck sloped, he inhaled deeply. “Can’t you?”


Layla & Zayne:

”I’m not replacing you, Layla. It was an honest mistake.”
“But you are replacing me!” Realizing what I had said, I clasped my hands over my mouth and backed off.


I know there are a lot of Zayne fans out there but I honestly don’t get why anyone would prefer him over Roth. I mean except of looking good and being some sort of big brother for Layla there isn’t a lot that speaks in his favour. From my perspective he didn’t treat Layla any better than all the other wardens and constantly gave her the feeling to be inferior. It started with him telling her that she’s better than a soul eating demon even though he knows how much she is struggling and goes right to him telling her what she should and shouldn’t do. I get it. There is this strong big brother vibe but he really isn’t treating her well. If my sister would have been in a car accident I’d have eaten a huge big breakfast with her the next day! Just saying. Yes, he obviously cares about her but he certainly doesn’t accept her the way she is and because of that he’ll always get a red flag from me. #SorryNotSorry

”It doesn’t matter right now,” he said. “What does is that the bastard was right. We haven’t been keeping you safe. And if he’s truly the one who has, then there is something messed up about that.”

”How badly are you hurt? Do you need to go to the hospital? Have you been out all night? Should I –“
“I’m okay.” My voice cracked as I wrapped my fingers around his wrists. I’d never seen him like this before. “I’m okay.”
He stared at me, and I suddenly recognized the emotion churning in his eyes. Horror. “God, Layla, he ... he hurt you.”


”You’re not a demon, Layla. You’re a Warden. You’re better than this.”
I felt my lower lip begin to tremble. Don’t cry. Don’t cry. My voice came out broken and small. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to. I just wanted him to stop and –“
“Shh...” Zayne closed his eyes and a muscle popped in his jaw. “I know. It’s okay.”


Layla, Abbot & the other gargoyles:

”Petr knew I’d get in trouble, and there was more than a hint of cruelty in his pale eyes. Worse yet, I knew that he saw nothing wrong with what he was doing. His actions would never taint his soul, because it was pure, no matter what he did. It was like a free pass to him. Petr pressed forward, his breath too warm against my cheek.
“You’re going to wish Abbot had snuffed out your miserable little life when you were a baby.”


Let me say this directly: The majority of the wardens suck! *lol* I know they are supposed to be the good guys but seriously, everyone who turns a blind eye to Petr and his father hurting and treating Layla like shit isn’t worth anything in my eyes! Abbot as well as Zayne and all the others KNEW about Petr, yet they still left Layla unguarded when he was around? How stupid and ignorant can you be? Petr deserved everything he got and Abbot isn’t any better than him if he allows him to things like that. Father figure my ass! I mean who would allow anything like that to happen to a child they consider to be their own kid? Also them constantly giving Layla shit for being half demon! As if it would be her fault! That poor girl had such a hard time suppressing her nature and they didn’t even give a damn about it. They should have accepted her for who she is and not held down something that is part of her as well. So yep, I’m no big fan of the wardens right now and if they don’t change their attitude soon I’ll side with the demons. They actually seem to be more human and compassionate than the wardens anyway. *lol*

”If I looked up the definition of intimidating, it would show a picture of Abbot. As the clan leader, he had to be fierce, stern and, at times, deadly. He represented the clan, was the one who met with human officials, and if any of the Wardens messed up, it was Abbot who took the fall. A lot of weight rested on his shoulders, but his back never bowed under the pressure.”

”You have been doing nothing but lying since you met this demon! Why would I assume there was one truth mixed in among the lies?”
I don’t know what he said that did it, and maybe it was a combination of fear and frustration because I couldn’t get a single sentence out, but my control snapped. I shot to my feet so fast Abbot stood and backed up – he actually backed up from me.


Stacey & Layla:

”Are you coming on to me or something?”
Stacey grinned evilly. “I’d go gay for you.”
Digging out Sam’s notes, I snorted. “I wouldn’t go gay for you. Eva Hasher? Maybe.”
She gasped, clutching the front of her shirt. “That stung.”


Stacey is amazing and everyone needs a Stacey in their life!! This girl is made of awesome sauce and I loved her so much! *lol* She was such a great side-character and definitely stole the show whenever she appeared on page! Some of the things she said were just hilarious and remembering my own teen days she was a super relatable character. At some point in our life we all have a friend like her that is super blunt and nudges us in the right direction. XD Also her surprise and shock whenever she realized that Layla is super innocent was priceless. <3 So yep, Layla might not want to date Stacey but if Layla doesn’t want her Stacey can always come to me. ;-P

”You need to get over him and get with a hottie.” She paused, nodding at the door. “Like him, for example. He’d leave you crying for a whole different reason.”
“I wasn’t crying over – “ I cut myself off when I realized she was gesturing at Roth. “Wait, how would he make me cry?”
Stacey’s eyes widened. “Are you for real? Do I need to spell it out for you?”


”Our bio class just got a billion times more interesting. And hotter, lots and lots hotter. Holy mother, I want to have his babies. Not now of course, but definitely later. But I’d like to start practicing soon.”

”Now go. Make mama proud.”
“Proud how?” I shouldered the bag.
Stacey arched a brow. “Use your imagination. Just remember, you can only be young and dumb once. And that is a fine specimen to be young and dumb with.”


Conclusion:

I reread this as fast as I read it the first time and I’m still super enthusiastic about this series! I almost forgot how much the ending threw me and I can’t wait up to pick up book two to continue with this series. Jennifer L. Armentrout might have followed the YA formula but she gave it her own touch and this made this a truly addictive and enjoyable read.

__________________________

It’s reread time! ;-)
I remember loving this series a couple of years ago and I can’t wait to spend time with Roth and Layla again. <3
Now that Jennifer L. Armentrout is all over my feed it’s about time I pick up this series and then continue with all her other ones. By now there are quite a lot of them out there!
I’ll probably never catch up! *lol*
Profile Image for NickReads.
461 reviews1,205 followers
January 22, 2020
The characters are 2 dimensional and very superficial and you can easily figure out the ending by page 100.
Profile Image for  ⊱Sonja•●❤️.
2,072 reviews388 followers
January 29, 2023
Layla ist 17 Jahre alt und eine Halbdämonin. Zur anderen Hälfte ist sie eine Wächterin. Die Wächter machen Jagd auf Dämonen, und so sitzt Layla gewissermaßen zwischen den Stühlen. Da Layla von Wächtern adoptiert wurde und dort aufgewachsen ist, versucht sie jedoch, ihre dämonische Seite zu verdrängen. Ihre Sicht auf die Dämonen ändert sich, als sie Roth kennenlernt, der ein Hohedämon ist und Layla das Leben rettet...
**
Mein Leseeindruck:
Von Jennifer L. Armentrout hatte ich bisher noch kein Buch gelesen, aber bereits sehr viel von ihren Romanen gehört - und meist nur Positives. So war ich doch sehr gespannt auf ihre Bücher und ihren Schreibstil.
Ich muss gleich vorneweg sagen, dass ich kein typischer Fantasy-Leser bin. Zwar liebe ich "Herr der Ringe" und "Harry Potter", doch ansonsten gehört Fantasy nicht unbedingt zu meinen Lieblingsgenres. Doch hin und wieder lasse ich mich gerne mal in Fantasiewelten entführen.
Mit großen Erwartungen habe ich dieses Buch gelesen, und es hat mir auch durchaus gut gefallen. Die Idee dahinter mochte ich, und der Schreibstil von Jennifer L. Armentrout hat mir auch gut gefallen. Er ist sehr jugendlich, was für das Buch passend ist.
Schade fand ich, dass eigentlich nur die Figuren von Layla und Roth wirklich ausgearbeitet waren. Für meinen Geschmack blieben die anderen Charaktere etwas zu sehr im Hintergrund. Gerne hätte ich über Zayne etwas mehr gelesen.
Auch war für mich das Buch stellenweise etwas langatmig, was aber wohl mit dem Genre zu tun hat bzw. damit, dass es mir nicht so liegt.
Dennoch aber habe ich das Buch gerne gelesen und möchte auch die Fortsetzung lesen, denn nun bin ich doch neugierig geworden, wie es mit Layla, Roth und hoffentlich auch Zayne weitergehen wird!
Profile Image for April.
146 reviews255 followers
November 1, 2017
May have ordered the rest of this series ... Oops 🙊
Profile Image for Pearl Angeli.
622 reviews946 followers
March 27, 2015
"You need something," he said, and when I stared at him, he added, "Your face."

"My face?"

"It's in need of my kisses."


Who would've thought that demons are kind of hot? *sigh*

If there's one thing that makes this book beautiful and interesting. It's Roth. Roth. And ROTH.

White Hot Kiss is all kinds of awesomesauce. I love the concept Ms. Jennifer L. Armentrout put life into this book. The existence of demons and Wardens (Gargoyles who protect mankind from demons) is a thing that very much catches attention. Not necessarily original, but somehow, it's spectacular.

While reading this book I felt like I'm in a roller coaster ride. There were lots of actions. And I mean, live, real, intense actions!

JLA also did not fail to introduce me to her super swoony characters. And speaking of swoony characters, I'm talking about Roth and no other. Zayne? Nah. Never mind. I kind of don't like him. I don't know why JLA tried to make him the third party of a love triangle but seriously, I don't like it. I just want Roth and Layla. End of the story.

"I lost myself the moment I found you.

White Hot Kiss is cheesy and darkly romantic. Roth and Layla's interactions are epically sweet and fantastic. I love their first encounter! It's something I simply can't forget. :) Apart from the romantic side, this book also has funny moments and I found myself really laughing at some point. Talk about the JLA humor... :D

Anyways, I love this book. I just wished it wasn't that slow-paced at first, 'coz I admit it didn't get me instantly. I had to patiently read until the final chapters of the book to get my full attention. Because honestly, the best parts were at the final chapters. But all in all, it was a great and fun read. And I need to read the second book soon!

Rating: 4 Stars
Profile Image for Anniebananie.
524 reviews393 followers
August 18, 2017
Bin mit dieser Reihe wohl mal wieder nicht wirklich up to Date aber ich habe den ersten Teil schon mal super gerne gemocht und hoffe, dass es so gut bleibt in den beiden Folgebänden. Den Schreibstil von Jennifer ? Armentrout mochte ich ja bisher in all ihren Büchern und so auch hier. Ich konnte mir wieder alles sehr gut bildlich vorstellen und man flog nur so durch die Seiten. Die Geschichte und die Welt erschien mir in sich logisch. Bei den Kampfszenen hätte ich mir etwas mehr Action und Magie gewünscht. Auch der Gegenspieler hätte noch etwas mehr Charakter haben können und einfach anwesender sein können. Ich hoffe drauf, dass die Hauptcharaktere in den nächsten Bänden noch etwas am tiefe gewinnen, ich fand bspw. Layla doch recht einfach gestrickt und eindimensional gezeichnet, aber immerhin nicht nervend. Das Ende war ja ganz im Armentrout-Stil echt fies und ich mochte das Bonuskapitel am Ende aus Roths Sicht sehr #TeamRoth 🙌🏻😍😅
Profile Image for Irina.
88 reviews142 followers
August 19, 2019
at the beginning i didn't know if i will like this book but it was surprisingly good. can't wait to see how the next book will be.
Profile Image for Patrycja.
639 reviews3,806 followers
November 16, 2014



Title: White Hot Kiss
Series: Dark Elements #1
Author: Jennifer L Armentrout
Release Date: February 24, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Cliffhanger:. Yes
HEA:




White Hot Kiss is another YA paranormal romance by Jennifer L Armentrout and as every previous book by this author, this novel doesn’t let go even for a single minute. It’s one of those keeping you on the edge till the last page stories that will make you laugh, feel sad and angry as well as introduce you to amazing set of surprises, unexpected twists and turns and yes it does have a pretty perfect boy… or even two boys to swoon over.



Layla is half demon and half Warden a creature similar to gargoyle. From the time she was seven she was raised by Wardens that for most part hate her and her demon’s side. Why? Because demons are their natural enemies. The only Warden who cares about her is Zayne, Layla’s secret crush.

What’s more Layla is dangerous; she craves human and wardens’ souls. One kiss or being close enough to kiss and she won’t be able to stop herself from sucking of someone’s soul.

When she reaches seventeen years old something weird start to happen to her. The demons are after her and there is mysterious Upper Level Demon that just saved her life and goes to her school…



It was definitely not what I expected or hoped for. Armentrout went into completely different direction which was as much surprising as exciting. I can’t say I was bored or didn’t like how easily yet thrilling the story seemed to flow. Even when I thought things started to calm down I was quickly thrown into another bumpy ride.

The characters as always were witty, funny and adorable. I loved all of them. Layla was strong and feisty but in completely different way than Alex from Covenant Series of Kathy from Lux Series. She was less impulsive or reckless, yet still she was kickass heroine with impressive backbone and pure heart.

Roth stared at me, looking sort of stunned. “I didn’t know you had it in you.”
“What?”
He tapped the tip of my nose. “You’re feisty underneath all that fluff.”
“I’m not sure if I should be offended or not,”


The way she was treated by Wardens and humans made me feel bad for her. She was very lonely and unwanted. The only person that seemed to like and care for her was Zayne. After she met Roth things seemed to pick up for her and I was so glad she finally could be truly herself.



I was a afraid of how the love triangle will look here – usually I hate them and reading about them makes me nauseous. Here, I didn’t mind it much. In my eyes, Layla already made her choice and I hope it’ll stay the same.

Zayne was a good friend. Loyal, sweet and caring. I liked him, but he was not the one that made me all hot and bothered.




It was the sexy demon called Roth that made me go all gaga. He was a little bit cocky, arrogant and bad in the best possible way. His comments made me laugh or smile. He was just perfect! *sigh*

“See, I was raised in Hell. You could say I’m socially awkward.”

Overall, it’s very good young adult book. Sexy in JLA’s way, funny, exciting and action packed!
Why not five then? I just craved a little bit more romance than there was, I hope the next books will deliver it!


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Profile Image for Carol [Goodreads Addict].
2,312 reviews24.7k followers
November 11, 2015
White Hot Kiss is book one in The Dark Elements series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. First I want to say that I have not read very many gargoyle books so I didn’t know what to expect going into this. But lets be realistic here. This book was written by Jennifer Armentrout. So I knew it was going to be epic. And I was NOT disappointed.

In this world we have wardens that are gargoyles that look like humans except while they sleep or when they choose to shed their human skin as in during a fight. The world knows about them, they have gone public. Then there are the demons. This is the reason for the wardens. But, the world does not know about the demons. They walk among us every day disguised as humans so we don’t see them, but the wardens do. The wardens patrol the earth every night to rid the world of the demons, to protect the humans.

 photo demon_zpsa2cea0af.jpg

Then we have our main character, Layla. She is seventeen years old and is half warden and half demon. She was adopted into a family of wardens about 10 years ago, raised as a warden. But cannot shift like a warden can. Demons have the ability to suck the soul out of a human or a warden and Layla has this ability. So as a result, she can never kiss a boy, she can never kiss the handsome Zayne who she was raised with. Who she has had a crush on since the day she was brought into the house. Zayne is 21 years old. His father, Abbott wants him to choose a female, have children, but Zayne says he’s not ready. It obvious he feels more for Layla than he wants to. But even though its never spoken, its obvious he knows it can never be.

 photo gargoyle_zps3e09de52.jpg

Then, there is Roth. There has to be a sexy bad boy right?! Roth is a demon. He keeps turning up when Layla needs saving. And that seems to be happening more and more often. And the more we get to know him, the more we fall for him, as does Layla. And demons don’t have souls, so the whole kissing problem, well, its not a problem with Roth.

What I didn’t expect, though, with this book, is to feel so emotionally involved. Layla is not accepted by most of the Warden world. She is half demon and Wardens hate demons. So where does she belong? I felt so bad for her struggling with this. And as she and Roth spend time together it was obvious that feelings were developing. So why is Roth protecting her? Why do these demons keep trying to kill her? Can she really trust Roth?

I was hooked from the first page to the last page and was left with my heart pounding. Layla has so much ahead of her and I can’t wait to find out what it is. I will leave you with my favorite line of the entire book. Who says it to whom? You will have to read it to find out.

“I lost myself the moment I found you.”
Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,564 followers
March 11, 2014
Wow this book was really good! I loved everything about it, the plot was addicting and full of surprises!I loved the world Jennifer created. Jennifer creates a world filled with gargoyles who are called the "Wardens" and they are against the demons who have escaped Hell. It's unique the storyline, I haven't read something like this before!

Layla isn't so ordinary... because she is half gargoyle and half demon..

description

Layla has been living so many years with the Warden's. Her unique abilities help them track demons..She feel safe with them and especially with one of them Zayne, who was on her side from when she was child. Everything is going well for Layla..until one day she's attacked by a demon, and then everything changes..when another demon saved her... Roth who is an upper demon..and not only this he is gorgeous and cocky!!!
Layla tries to avoid Roth but appears to spend more time together . Layla starts to realise that maybe not everything she knows is true. Things are getting more dangerous as more Demons keep appearing trying to find Layla.
Can she trust Roth? Can she believe everything the Wardens tell her? Can she still trust Zayne?

description
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Layla was an amazing heroine! She is sweet, strong and brave.The only reason I give this book 4 stars, is because sometimes she was a little childish and this bothered me..

Mmmmm Zayne or Roth?????

description

Both guys care a lot about Layla..But who will she choose???

While Zayne is sweet, Roth is dangerous hot and sexy. From the beginning, Layla has feelings for Zayne. But the thing is he is so protective and he is afraid to pursue a relationship with her, so he's almost like a brother figure for her . On the other hand Roth *sigh* is so different!He wants her from the beginning and doesn't deny it! He is protective and he will do anything for her!!The attraction between them is explosive!!

I'm so taken by this world! Once again, Jennifer manages to create a total convincing paranormal world! An amazing book with kickass characters!! This is a must read for everyone who loves paranormal! It will blow you away and leave you needing for more!!

Thank you <33 Harlequin and Edelweiss for the ARC
Profile Image for Ash.
382 reviews39 followers
June 10, 2019
first read: March 16-17, 2015.
first reread: July 25-27, 2015
second reread: March 20-22, 2016


JULY 2015: These books are just so fun. I loved it still, maybe not AS much as I did the first time I read this 4 months ago, BUT it wasn't enough to affect the 5 star rating.
“The newcomer stood well over six feet, as tall as any Warden. His hair was dark, the color of obsidian, and it reflected blue in the dim light. Lazy locks slipped over his forehead and curled just below his ears. Brows arched over golden eyes and his cheekbones were broad and high. He was attractive. Very attractive. Mind-bendingly beautiful, actually, but the sardonic twist to his full lips chilled his beauty. The black T-shirt stretched across his chest and flat stomach. A huge tattoo of a snake curled around his forearm, the tail disappearing under his sleeve and the diamond-shaped head rested on the top of his hand. He looked my age. Total crush material—if it wasn’t for the fact that he had no soul.”

Roth and Layla are just so entertaining. Their scenes together are definitely my favorites. I've noticed that JLA likes to use the same weird exclamation remarks in all her books...those, I actually found rather annoying...but other than that, I heart Roth lots and lots and lots, he's definitely still top 5 book boyfriend material. Zayne didn't really bug me the first time I read this, but after having read the 2nd one and deciding I was definitely not 'Team Zayne'....I decided I didn't really like his parts in this book the 2nd time around.

The cliffhanger here, even though it isn't so much of a cliffhanger because I already know what happens...it still killed me...I am pretty sure I felt my heart break a little bit. I love books that can bring out such emotions, even on, especially on a reread.

I am really, really, really excited for the release of Every Last Breath!!!! It comes out in about 24 hours and I am beyond fucking ready to figure out what happens!!

----------

MARCH 16 & 17, 2015: I just....absolutely heart JLA! She is probably one of my favorite authors. This book was awesome, haha, I loved, SO TOTALLY LOVED, the sarcastic, witty, arrogant, cocky main characters..... Damn cliffhanger, I am like...crying my eyes out over here....It was happy happy happy, and hilarious....until it was heartbreaking.... on to the next one!!!!!!!!

come find me:
www.facebook.com/ReadsAsh
IG: ash.reads Twitter: @ReadsAsh
Profile Image for Cecilia.
271 reviews242 followers
January 6, 2022
No tenía muchas expectativas con este libro, pero llegue a amarlo y encantarme con la historia 💕💕... ahora sólo quiero continuar con el segundo para saber que pasará con los protagonistas!!!
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,048 reviews13k followers
September 25, 2020
This has been on my TBR forever, so I am so excited I finally picked this up on audio. This was so good! I loved the action and the mystery of Layla trying to discover who she really is and the true extent of what she can do. And talk about a yummy forbidden romance! I don't think I'd consider this book a love triangle since it's so obvious Layla and Roth belong together. I loved how he was a demon and showed Layla that he really wasn't all that bad. The story itself was fun and I'm dying to figure out what happens next in book two!!
Profile Image for Maria Clara.
976 reviews491 followers
November 21, 2016
La verdad es que me ha gustado. Puede que no sea una gran historia, pero sí que engancha desde el momento cero. Creo que el mundo de gárgolas y demonios que ha creado la autora es bastante original, y me ha encantado el punto de humor con el zombie....
February 6, 2016
This is my first Armentrout book and I know that it won't be my last. I definitely liked it and was pleasantly surprised. I had been reading many reviews on it and wasn't sure if I would want another love triangle.

Plot Summary

Layla I-don't-know-her-last-name has just turned seventeen. She's like your average teenage girl. She tags demons, works with a group of demon hunters, so of course has to like a demon. So, no, she's not normal but she really wants to be. She is half-gargoyle/Warden and half-demon. This means that she has more abilities, including killer kisses, then the Wardens and also is why she can't mate or marry any of them. This is really bad for her since she has to stay apart from Zayne, her best friend and the Warden that she has liked since she was young. He is very kind and gorgeous and this the problem that much harder to endure.

Of course there is going to be another guy. His name is Roth. He is also gorgeous but unlike Zayne, he is a demon. And has tattoos and piercings, which totally work on him. He can be egotistical but he is kind to Layla. Layla is inexplicably drawn to the man who claims to know everything about her and everything that is going on or will happen. She doesn't need to hide her true self, her demon side, from Roth which also means that they can kiss without fear of losing his soul. Which is a good thing for both of them since they kiss a couple of times a lot.

Together they work together to figure out the cause of the recent demon activity and uprising that could possibly lead to the end of the world. In the process, Layla is torn between choosing between Roth and Zayne who is with the only family that she ever really had.

What I liked

The characters were pretty good for the most part.
I liked Layla and the fact that she was trying to do her best and help everyone. I thought that she could have been seen saving herself more though. Roth was hysterical and I was smiling or laughing at everything he said. From the little I learned about Zayne, I liked him but not as much as Roth. Stacey I didn't like so much because had been with every guy it seemed which is a lot different from Layla. Sam was pretty cool with his smartness.

The love triangle wasn't that pronounced. In the recent series that I've been reading, The Tiger Saga , there is the love triangle throughout the whole thing and it can sometimes get annoying. This never happened with this book. Instead the fact that Layla likes to guys is only brought up and talked about. Well, except for the end which brings up my next point.

The ending was a massive cliffhanger and was a little upsetting.





*mouth gaping and eyes blinking*
It took me a few seconds and a few times going back to realize what had happened. I still didn't like the result but it makes the book that much more enjoyable and the desire for the next one greater!


What I didn't like or could have been better

I already mentioned some of the characters but I'll go over it again. Layla was sometimes shown as weak and would have to be saved or saved instead of her fighting. She would try it to fight it but it usually didn't work out. Layla also repeatedly said that she wasn't pretty or not good enough. I know that sometimes teenagers think like that but it seemed to be accented too much. These two things are also similar to The Tiger Saga . Stacey was also a problem for me. The way that she also talked about sex or made sexual innuendos was annoying and I thought kind of unnecessary. She would make comments about some jock at the school checking out Layla and then her saying that Layla was still a virgin and making fun about it.

Roth and Zayne seemed almost too perfect. I know that they both had problems because of what they were but the whole time Layla seemed to be admiring their "hard stomachs" or "holding their rock hard forearms." I think that it would have been much more realistic if they had more physical flaws. Even Roth's tattoos and piercings made Layla seem to like him more.

It was kind of bizarre that the fact that there are demons wouldn't be known to people. I mean, they knew about Wardens and why else would they be there?

Overall

The book was written well. The plot was good even though to me it seemed to occasionally get confusing. There was a lot of jumping between fighting/learning action and romantic action. The characters were developed well or seemingly too fake or set up. There was a lot of action which was good and it definitely showed both sides of Layla and what they represented.

I can't wait to read the next one.

Profile Image for Lauren.
518 reviews81 followers
October 3, 2019
Oh my god. Seriously, I have no words.

You know those books where you start out liking it well enough but then it hits a point and you absolutely CANNOT put the book down?!

I loved the storyline, absolutely loved it. The whole premise was incredible and I loved her concept of Demons and Wardens. It just made for such good world building and such an intricate premise.

Then there were the characters. I absolutely adored the characters. And I mean... Roth. Ugh I love Roth so damn much. And Bambi!

This whole review is a bunch of jumbled words and I can't seem to get my thoughts across properly, but I adored it.
Profile Image for Patricia Bejarano.
435 reviews5,348 followers
October 6, 2016
Jennifer L. Armentrout nunca me decepciona. Puede que esta historia no haya sido mi favorita de la autora, pero lo mismo me pasó con Obsidian y al final la saga Lux se ha convertido en mi segunda saga favorita. Sé que con el potencial de Jennifer, va a darnos una segunda parte increíble.
Lo que me gusta de este tipo de historia es que nos mete una trama de romance que nos encanta (que por cierto, me ha gustado muchísimo como lo ha llevado en esta novela), pero que no es en lo único que se centra, sino que hay una trama de misterios detrás que es lo que más engancha de esta historia y que hace que sea especial. Sin duda alguna os recomiendo muchísimo su lectura, y más si sois fans de Jennifer. Yo ya estoy deseando que saquen su segunda parte en español porque ¡¡¡menudo final!!!
Profile Image for Mika Auguste.
158 reviews2,585 followers
January 24, 2022
I probably would’ve LOVED this book had I read it in highschool…also why did no one tell me this is kind of the trope where the main character joins “the villain”? like…I would’ve started this book eons ago
Profile Image for ambsreads.
656 reviews1,403 followers
July 18, 2016
White Hot Kiss is the first in its series and a book I've started numerous times and out down. I decided this time I would triumph though and finish it. To my utter surprise I did. I kind of wish I hadn't, it wasn't the greatest book out (but I'll finish the series) and it had a series of issues I found. Most around the characters, both side and main, the dialogue, the love triangle, and the under developed world.

Characters

Layla was our sweet and innocent character. Almost every action of every character was done to prove just how innocent and virginal she was, including her best friend. She's constantly blushing, flushing, turning red, whatever. Eventually she got better, but the fact that there was a lot of focus on her virginity grew tiresome. The fact she was unable to kiss anyone as well, apart from Roth, got boring as well. She was a bit of a kickass character in the end, but still.

Zayne was the "nice guy". But I hated him. I just didn't like his attitude and his superior attitude for what he was. He made promises, but then proceeded not to uphold them. Zayne was a character I wouldn't classify as nice, he is a character I would like to stab 28 times in the chest actually. He was all around crappy and I won't waste my type taking about the arrogant prick.

Roth was the "bad boy". I wouldn't go that far though since he was the only decent character. The only definition that would place him under the definition of a bad boy was that he was demon that was also the Crown Prince of hell. Honestly, he was the only one who told Layla the truth and wasn't constantly lying. If she doesn't end up with him I'll be pissed and punch someone.

Plot

Was subpar, it wasn't anything I hadn't read before. It followed the classic storyline of a JLA book and did get a bit cliche in some parts. Apart from that, I did enjoy the book despite the fact I felt a tad bit of a Sweet Evil trilogy vibe.

Writing

It was classic JLA writing. I loved it and I hated it. The dialogue in some parts was cringe worthy and I couldn't see a 17 year old saying it. However, it flowed and I love just love JLA either way.

Overall

I would give this book a 3.5 overall. It was good. Kept me interested, but wasn't anything I hadn't seen before.
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