“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.”
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.
It’s been almost a month since I last read White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout, so reviewing it now is a bit an effort for me. If I haven’t decided to read the prequel novella, Bitter Sweet Love last night to refresh myself with the world of the series, I might have nothing to write now in this review. Fortunately for me, Bitter Sweet Love done a pretty well job of pushing me to remember White Hot Kiss’ story again. Not only because the major characters from this book made an appearance from the novella but also because once I step back to the The Dark Elements world it become so easy to recall Layla’s story again.
Layla is a half warden, a type of gargoyle and a half demon who lives with the wardens. Zayne’s family, a clan of warden practically adopted her. Zayne on his part take care of Layla since they were both young. He treated her like a family, teaching her everything she needs to know. But not every warden are like Zayne or his father, which means not everyone approved of Layla. Layla being a half demon which is the wardens’ enemy is not trustworthy enough for them. Add the fact that she has this frightening ability to kill anyone by taking their soul. Which make her deadly to anyone who got a soul. Zayne is the only one who isn’t afraid of her, who doesn’t care if she is half demon. Zayne cared for her, almost like a family which is perfect if she didn’t get an eye for him ever since forever.
Wardens trained Layla to detect demons, and this benefits the wardens to do their work easily. She is good in doing her part, but when more demons scattered to the top side, Layla suddenly find herself in danger. Demons trailing her instead of the other way around, including an upper level demon, Roth who is much powerful than any regular demon she ever meet.
White Hot Kiss is my first foray to Jennifer L. Armentrout work. Mainly because I don’t usually pick paranormal reads because they are mostly missed than hit for me. If not for the recommendations of my other bloggers friends I might not even give this one a try, but I’m glad I did because I enjoy reading White Hot Kiss more than I care to admit.
Layla is an interesting main character, I mean half-demon and half gargoyle?! Where can I get another one like her? I’m sure I haven’t encounter someone like her before. Her character development is surely done well. From the confused and scared girl who are trying to belong and be accepted, to the tough and warrior girl trying to embrace her darker side.
Roth is cocky, arrogant, funny, and mean but in the most endearing way possible. He’s cool but I got some reservation when it comes to him. Not only because he is a demon but also because I like Zayne better. Roth’s complexity lies in the mystery of his character. As a demon he is obviously not on the good side but he is also protecting and helping Layla in every way he can. Readers will surely keep questioning his motives and real intention.
“I was raised in Hell. You could say I’m socially awkward”
Zayne is the genuinely good guy. He is loyal, tough, smart, and caring. As a warden hunting demons he is protector of humans and he is good in his job. He really cares for Layla and always there for her. But he also treats Layla like a little girl, protecting her every time instead of teaching her to fight her own battles. In this book Zayne isn’t one of the complex character but him being the good guy will surely win some readers’ heart.
“I lost myself the moment I found you.”
Obviously, White Hot Kiss is intended to be Roth and Layla’s build up story. But with the series’ second installment novel entitled Stone Cold Touch, I can only hope that it will be Zayne and Layla’s story in the next book. Not that I don’t care what happened to Roth after the ending, I just feel that Zayne needs to be in the center next. Enough with the platonic relationship already, because it is too obvious that he cares for Layla more than just a little sister.
More than the characters and their love story, what I really like in this book is the rich history and the impending apocalypse story-line. The myths and legends of wardens and demons are creatively weaven by the author. Add those politics and secret society, I just love the plot and back story. The battles between good and evil, demons on earth with all those actions scenes surely make the story interesting and easy flowing.
On the whole, White Hot Kiss is an entertaining read that took a new spin for an old creatures, gargoyles. Jennifer L. Armentrout successfully weaved an original story with a twist and turns that readers won’t see coming.
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