I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
Series: The Dark Elements #1
Published by Tantor Audio, Harlequin Teen on April 22, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 388 pages
Length: 12 hours 25 minutes
I’ve had White Hot Kiss on my read-for-review shelf for a while, but for some reason that initial desire to read it had faded by time I had it in my hands. Don’t you hate when that happens? Well, I finally got around to it and boy do I feel dumb! I enjoyed White Hot Kiss way more than the first book in the LUX series, it’s a very strong first book.
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.
- I think the world was the best part – it’s unique, something I’ve never seen before at least. The Wardens – gargoyles basically – are the “good guys”, protecting mankind from the demons that walk among them. They look like humans until they shift to their gargoyle form, when they are stronger and can take out the demons.The demons are cool too and I just love Roth’s tattoos!
- I really liked Layla – the main character, from whose POV White Hot Kiss is told. She’s part-Warden, part-demon and I loved the way her very existence put pressure on the idea of good and evil, showing that those lines are not always so clear. That was a persistent theme and I really liked it.
- I LOVED Layla’s abilities (I guess this is an extension of the world). She can see souls and devour them if she wants to, though she tries so hard to be good since she was part-Warden and has really rejected the demon side of herself.
- The Boys! It’s not a good PNR without some good boy action and White Hot Kiss has it. I LOVE Roth – the demon, of course ;). He’s as bad boy as it gets, in that he’s the Prince of Hell, but he sure doesn’t seem so bad when he’s protecting Layla! I like Zayne too – but what I REALLY like is that while he’s a semi-love interest he’s more like a brother figure that she’s crushed on. You know, that boy that you grow up with, crush on and then as you grow up realize was just a really close friend? That’s how I feel about Zayne – it’s not a real love triangle and I hope it stays that way as the trilogy continues.
- Oooh! I almost forgot to mention that the narration was fantastic! Saskia Maarleveld is a new-to-me narrator that I will definitely be listening to more of. She had great voices and pacing – even at my 2x speed!
What Didn’t Work:
- It’s 4 stars but I can’t put my finger on something specific that I didn’t like. It just didn’t have that special something that pushes it into 5 star territory.
I’m looking forward to reading more of this series… right away! It ended on quite a bit of cliff so I’m anxious to see what will happen next!