White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1)

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4.8 (6)
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White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
February 25, 2014
ISBN
978-0373211104
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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.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

White Hot Kiss
(Updated: March 02, 2014)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
I totally didn't think I could love a book character more than Daemon from Jennifer Armentrout's LUX series.

Boy was I wrong!

WHITE HOT KISS has seventeen-year-old Layla, living between two worlds. She's half demon and half Warden. Wardens are gargoyles who hunt and kill demons. She lives with Wardens and wants more than friendship from cute Zayne, who only thinks of her as a sister. What sucks is she can't even kiss anyone as that would kill them.

Then she meets Roth, a demon, who stirs emotions in her that she's afraid to face. What happens next is a story guaranteed to keep you turning the pages.

What worked: Omg, Armentrout is the queen of chemistry. Loved her banter between the characters. Loved how she's able to give dept to all her characters. Roth is a 'bad' boy demon and admits it's in his natural to lie. You got to love a guy that names a 'familiar' snake tat 'Bambi'. It would be easy to make Roth all 'bad' but no we see glimpses of vulnerabilities such as his feelings toward Layla; love of muffins; kittens; and even smelling like chocolate.

Layla's struggles, confusion, and longing to be part of the Wardens is shown in such a way you can't help but want her to find some acceptance with this group. She's vulnerable but not weak. Roth brings out good qualities in her like the need to demand to know the truth about her own heritage.

There's lots of tension, romance(love these scenes that were sizzling hot), and surprising reveals.

My only complain is that I have to wait for the second book in this amazing series!
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Gargoyles, Demons and Removable Tattoos, OH MY!
(Updated: December 28, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
What I LOVED: WHITE HOT KISS, the first full length installment in the DARK ELEMENTS series, is a captivating story full of action, suspense, romance and feelings. Lots and lots of feelings. Chest-clutching, rocking back and forth in a corner, feelings.

Infused with the witty humor we Armentrout fans have come to enjoy, this story is unique in that it doesn't involve cloaking the creatures, humans are fully aware of the Wardens and what they look like and by the end, it is almost impossible to choose between the guys. Almost.

For Layla, life with the Wardens is the only one she's known, but she wants nothing more than to live like a normal teenager. A feat that isn't possible considering she's half Warden herself and half----something else. But she's no wilting flower nor does she let that deter her from her duties to slay demons and protect humans. Layla's full of bada**ery, her only real hang up is her heart.

Layla has had mad feels for Zayne for as long as she can remember and it's obvious he cares for her too. All she really wants to do is kiss him. But she can't because being half---something else means she could suck Zayne's soul out faster than a 4 year old with a juice box. Complicating the situation even further is the fact that Zayne is being pushed by his daddy to hookup with a female of his own kind. That leaves Layla to drown her urges in her after school job and rolls of cookie dough.

But then she meets Roth, the demon who comes with his own theme song and quite few interesting "pets". Roth challenges Layla to question everything the Wardens have told her, everything she's believed to be true. And while she knows Roth is dangerous, knows she shouldn't trust him, I mean, hellew, he IS a demon after all, she starts to wonder if maybe Roth is telling the truth just this once. Roth is dangerous in other ways too, like how he stirs up feelings in Layla. Feelings that don't involve tall, hot and stonilicious Zayne. Roth also doesn't have one of those pesky soul thingys which means there is nothing stopping her from kissing him.

But spending time with Roth could jeopardize Layla's relationship with the Wardens and with Zayne. Before long, Layla finds herself caught in a tug-of-war between good versus evil that leads up to an epic fight and a heart wrenching ending that will leave you begging for the next book! (I suggest finding a corner now, filling it with tissues, maybe even a snack and a pillow because you're going to be there for awhile.)

Fans of BITTER SWEET LOVE will be happy to know that Jasmine makes an appearance and she isn't alone.

What Left Me Wanting More: I NEED MORE ROTH AND ZAYNE IN MY LIFE!

Final Verdict: Fanfreakingtastic start to a new series!

Favorite Quote: "I lost myself the moment I found you."
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Overall rating 
 
4.8
Plot 
 
4.7  (6)
Characters 
 
5.0  (6)
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4.8  (6)
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Armentrout Does it Again!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
MY THOUGHTS
Despite my love of Armentrout's other books, I didn't want to pick this one up. Something about the cover just screams Contemporary NA, which I avoid like the plague. Recently I found out that that was NOT the case, this is actually a YA Paranormal. Once I found that out, I quickly jumped in and was not at all disappointed by the amazing writing by Armentrout!

This book takes place in a world like ours where there are Wardens (gargoyles) that protect humanity from demons. Only they don't know about the demon part. Layla has been raised by the Wardens and is half Warden, half demon. The demon side causes some mistrust from the Wardens, but Layla has the ability to see souls and 'tags' demons for them. Also, she can suck people's souls with just a kiss. This problem causes her to not be in any relationships, especially the off-limits relationship she wants with her best-friend and Warden, Zayne. Then Layle meets a hot demon who claims to know who she is as well as all the secrets the Wardens are keeping from her. What exactly are the Wardens hiding?

First of all, the paranormal universe in this book is fantastic. Did you read my crummy synopsis? Not only are there Gargoyles, which are rare in paranormal, but the usual paranormal aspects are even interesting. There's Layla who has her own abilities, as well as the gargoyles and demons who all have their own abilities that are completely unique. Really, this is a unique YA paranormal in a land of Twilight copies.

If you are any way familiar with Armentrout's writing, you will not be surprised to find characters full of snark and humor, as well as some hot guys. Also, come to expect interesting circumstances and not to be cliche, but expect the unexpected. There are a lot of surprises in this book and you will not want to put it down.

Lastly, I mentioned the hot guys, so of course there's romance. There is a bit of a love triangle in this book, which I feel like will expand as the series goes on. Love triangles are despised by the book community, but sometimes love triangles can be done right when the characters are awesome, swoon-worthy, and things are shippable. Personally, I loved the romance and as of right now, I have no side.


IN CONCLUSION
Overall, if you love paranormal, tired of all the same paranormal reads, love Jennifer L. Armentrout, just want a great AMAZING book to read, pick this one up. DO NOT LET THE COVER MISLEAD YOU! This book is fantastic and I can't wait to read more!
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Another addicting series by JLA
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Layla is seventeen and never been kissed. She’s half-gargoyle, half-demon so her kiss will kill anyone with a soul. She lives among a group called The Wardens, gargoyles who protect the world from demons, and she does her best not to call attention to her dark half. But then Roth comes into her life, a hot demon who knows her in ways no one else will, and who claims to want to help her. Trusting Roth means turning her back on her family, including her best friend Zayne, but not working with Roth could mean a violent demon uprising.

I really love the world that was created in this book. Gargoyles vs demons, different Gargoyle clans, demon hierarchy. All of it was interesting to read as it developed.

I enjoyed how much I could relate to Layla. For the most part she was pretty quiet, loved to read, and really just wanted to do whatever she could to help her family in their battle against the demons. She worried about them when they were out and she couldn’t be. We got to see her become more confident in who she is as a person throughout the book.

I was a little nervous about the obvious love triangle that the description mentions but I didn’t hate it. It didn’t overtake the book and it’ll be interesting to see how it develops. The two guys both have qualities that make them a good match for Layla. Zayne is so protective and caring and sweet to her. Roth gets her in ways no one else can and opens her mind to new views.

The plot had a lot of action and mythology about demons, which was nice. As hot as the kissing scenes were, some of them felt a little out of place, or at least hard for me to get into, since they were about to do something dangerous and I was focused on the potential drama instead of the kissing. It was fast paced, which made for a quick read because I kept saying ‘one more chapter’ until the end. There did seem to be more focus on the demon side of things with Layla and Roth so hopefully in the next book we get to see more gargoyles.
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SQUEEEEEEEE
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Before I begin my review, which will involve LOTS of squealing, please note that, while not vital, it is VERY helpful to read the prequel novella Bittersweet Love before reading White Hot Kiss!

White Hot Kiss was AMAZING! I love all of Jennifer L Armentrout's stuff and have been anxiously awaiting this book since it was announced. There are almost no books out there, especially in YA, that have gargoyles in them, but this book mastered them! It was fast-paced, action-packed, and full of swoony moments. I read this book in twenty four hours flat! This book was one of my favorites to date. It's always hard to take on new species, but Jennifer L Armentrout did it well. The other species is demon. Generally, when there are demons, there are also angels. And while they do exist in this world, the main species are the gargoyles and demons!

The main character is Layla. She's half demon, half gargoyle. She has a fairly poor image of herself at the beginning of the book. She believes that demons are evil, and that she doesn't have enough gargoyle in her. She can't use gargoyle powers like others can, but she can steal souls with a kiss, which is highly looked down upon. Over the course of the book, Layla really comes into herself and her abilities, making her confident along with a force to be reckoned with. Layla is witty from page one and a joy to read about!

There are also two male characters, Roth and Zayne. Roth is a demon, and an upper-level demon on at that. According to the author, he's the character that Daemon from her previous novel Obsidian is based off of! Roth is one heck of a bad boy, but I actually like his character a million times more than Daemon. He has an ego the size of Mars, but he doesn't treat Layla horribly, like Daemon sometimes did to Katy. Basically, Roth is made of swoon, kick butt, awesome sauce, and humor, but mostly swoon! The other guy is Zayne. I honestly don't know how readers liked him, because I wanted to strangle him most of the time! I felt he was much better for the best friend role than the love interest one. Maybe that could change in book two, but Roth was the one who was always there for Layla, not Zayne. Sure, he's hot, and he stands up for Layla when it comes down to it, but he doesn't have much else going for him. My favorite character by far is Bambi. She is a snake tattoo that Roth has that happens to come to life and eat people. If the rest of the review hasn't interested you, that should draw you in!

The romance in this book felt a little forced at times, but I still really liked it, and think that it evened out as the book went on. True to its title, there are A LOT of swoony scenes in here. This is definitely not for younger readers. I loved this book from chapter one till the end. The romance blows other stuff out the water, and I was swooning the entire time! If you have not read anything by Jennifer L Armentrout, start with this series! This book was amazing and I see many rereads in my future! A full five stars for sure!
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White Hot Kiss is White Hot!
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I love, love, love Jennifer Armentrout’s Lux series. She made me fall in love with uber hot and cocky Daemon. And, she made me cheer for strong, yet vulnerable Katy. She stunned me with the betrayals and left me guessing about what happens next.

Well guess what? She did it again with her new book White Hot Kiss!

This book is part of The Dark Elements series and it delivers everything I loved in the Lux series but differently. It has a unique world setting with gargoyles and demons. There is mystery and danger. And, of course, romance, between Roth, a smoldering teenage demon, and Layla his love interest. Watch out Daemon. This new bad boy demon burns up the pages!

Pros
The world setting of this book is unique—gargoyles and demons are at war with each other. We are told gargoyles are the good guys and demons are the bad guys. But wait. Are they? Well, no. Like in the Lux series, its not clear and this makes JLD’s books unique and kept me guessing.
I said earlier the main characters are Layla and Roth. Layla is half gargoyle and half demon, and thinks this makes her half good and half bad. I really liked Layla and suffered with her during her demon cravings and when others in her gargoyle family treated her like an outcast. Can you imagine living in a household where everyone regards you as a dangerous viper that you don’t want to get too close to?

Luckily, Layla meets bad boy Roth, a powerful demon who oozes sex appeal, names his “pets” after Disney characters and wants to be her protector. Roth rivals Daemon on the hotness scale with the right blend of cocky, snarkiness, and vulnerability. I loved that Jennifer portrayed Roth, not brooding or dark, but as a boy hell-bent on having fun. Listening to loud music and driving a Porsche like a mad man. And he encourages Layla to embrace herself and have fun right along with him.

The third major character is Zane, the sexy gargoyle, who is like a brother, and who Layla crushes on but can’t get close to. Zane is kind and handsome but he doesn’t stand a chance compared to Roth. Also Zane spouts gargoyle propaganda to Layla making her feel bad about her demon blood. To me, it seems Zane gives in to his father’s demands too easily, like he has no opinion of his own, and which sometimes hurts Layla in directly. He just is too vanilla next to Roth who is like rich chocolate.
The book took me through a range of emotions. At times, I felt sad and angry when Layla was treated badly by the gargoyles, excited when she went out with Roth on adventures, and happy during their romance scenes. The ending is a cliffhanger and you will need Kleenex but read the cover blurb for the third book, Stone Cold Touch, due out this fall and you won’t feel so bad. ;)

Cons
Only downside? It is a series, so there is a cliffhanger ending and you have to wait till this fall to read the next book!

My advice? Buy it now!
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Jennifer is the queen of Paranormal Romance!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Jennifer L Armentrout is my favorite author. I have loved everything of hers, that I have had the pleasure of reading. White Hot Kiss is no exception! Heck I think this may even be my favorite.. No I defiantly know this is my favorite!!

I loved everything about this book. The plot, the romance, the humor, the paranormal world, and the amazingly epic characters. I think JL just created a new epic Book Boyfriend, Roth, he is defintly up there toe to toe with Daemon from The Lux Series.

I think what I loved the most about this book, was Layla and her insecurities and the feeling of never fitting in. It's something pretty much all teens and even alot of adults go through everyday.`Jennifer puts all these emotions into her story, and as you read along you experience those emotions. It's something I love about reading, it's like you get to live many life's through the lifes of the characters you read. Layla was an unforgettable character.

The second thing I loved the most about this book was the Romance! I am a complete sucker for this, and it's something Jennifer knows how to deliver just right! There was a bit of a love triangle if you can even call it that I guess. I mean sure she obviously has feeling for Zayne, the Warden but I felt like his feelings just didn't show enough or to late, and it was to shadowed. I mean if you read this book and didn't ship Layla with the Demon, Roth, then I am not even sure we read the same book. I mean come on, her and Roth are just epic, and obviously has to happen! Seriously Jennifer if you ever happen to see this review, MAKE ROTH & LAYLA ENDGAME! Or you will crush me! Just saying :)

I have never read any books on Gargoyles before, so I wasn't sure what to expect on that aspect. I am always willing to find new supernatural/paranormal creatures to indulge in though.
I think Jen did an amazing job with the world building, and I am so down with the Wardens :)... Well some because like Roth said "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." .....*cough* Petr & Elijah *cough*.


From the moment I picked up the book and read the sentence "There was a Demon in McDonald's" I knew this was gonna be in JL fashion and I would no doubt love it. Her witty Dialogue, amazing Paranormal Worlds, and just enough mixture of Action & Romance is what makes her one of the best paranormal romance writers in my eyes. She also knows how to write a jaw dropping, scream worthy, cliffhanger for and ending to! Seriously!?!?! I need book 2 now!!!!!!!!!

I 100% recommend this to fans of Paranormal Romance, and Jennifer's other books!
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Hot, exciting and fast paced, left me craving more.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
I wanted to read this one because I loved the prequel and if you've read my blog long, you know I am a long time fan of Jennifer's. Her men are steamy, her main characters easy to relate to, it has exactly my kind of humor, and she writes a darn good story.
I didn't really read this synopsis after reading Bitter Sweet, so I kinda was expecting to be back in Dez' perspective, and get more of their romance and see what was next for them. But alas, I quickly started liking Layla. She is more reserved around people, and she has a skewed perception of herself. But she is half-demon and half-gargoyle, she has some characteristics from both and then other things that are uniquely Layla. Bitter Sweet hinted at how much Layla was crushing on Zayne, so I was expecting that, but what I wasn't really prepared for is his protectiveness and their close bond--partly platonic and the other half a tension you could cut with a knife. But like Layla admits to herself, since they grew up with that bond, and since her kiss is deadly and even if there was a work around, Zayne wouldn't keep his good standing with the Wardens. So to me, no matter how sweet, he wasn't a real possibility. But maybe that is because I knew about Roth and didn't want to fall for the underdog.
But oh Roth, he was ten kinds of amazing. He was so protective of Layla and so honest, but like Layla, he didn't have a good view of himself and thought that he completely fit into all of the stereotypes. But there was a lot to him and he even surprised himself when he was sweet and considerate to her. The moments between the two were so deliciously full of tension and I loved the ya steam. He is so snarky, I couldn't help but want to kiss him and smack him for some of his dirty jokes and sarcastic humor. Just what I love to read about and it was so well written.
Jennifer manages to write these books that make me want more, fall in love with some strong and hot male leads, feel for and connect to the female heroine, laugh out loud and sometimes want to bawl my eyes out. She keeps proving to me that she deserves her spot on my favorite authors shelf and her fast paced ingenious writing that takes a new spin on paranormal and completely trudges a new path.
The confidence that he brought out in Layla, and what she discovered about herself in talking to him, crushing on him and trying to convince him that while he may be a demon, that doesn't mean that he is all bad. She saw through to his heart of gold that he'd proved himself, protected her, spent time with her, all the while falling for her that he felt, he had good motives and that the races could work together against the truly corrupt. Layla knew how to defend herself, how to throw a good punch and could hold her own against the weaker demons, and that showed her will to live as well as her inner strength. She could kick some ass of some demons, and bring out the best in others, and once she had the chance could look at and accept that things aren't always what they seem and what she's been taught, but much more complicated.
I was so torn in this one because I am the kind of girl who thinks she likes a very black and white when it comes to bad guys and good guys. In this series and in Obsession she really blurs them and everything is gray. They both have bad good guys and supposed bad guys that melt my heart and really surprise me how much they are working for the good, they just have different origins.
What she has done with the gargoyles and twisting the demon mythology is so neat and I haven't read anything like it, but the details that she has with the different kinds of demons was really neat and well thought out.
I loved the plot twists and so can't wait to see where Jennifer takes the story next. I couldn't and could all at the same time believe the ending. It shocked me but it proved so much about how far one of the characters developed and grew. I will def be continuing this series, I'm in love with a demon and of course am a JLA fan girl.

Bottom Line: Hot, exciting and fast paced, left me craving more.
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