White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

White Hot Kiss
The Dark Elements: Book One
Written by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
Published February 25th 2014 by Harlequin Teen
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★★★½
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.

Layla was born into a world of chaos. Being half demon, and half gargoyle makes life tough for the seventeen year old girl. She'll soon discover that she is also one of Hell's most wanted. Being raised by Wardens (gargoyles) has its ups and downs. She's protected but hated by most of her family - all except her adopted brother Zayne, who she may or may not have a crush on. However, Layla has earned the gift of being a soul sucker due to her demon blood. This means she cannot be with anyone who has a soul.

Cue the entrance of sexy and sarcastic Roth, an Upper Demon who is tasked with looking out for Layla. Despite her being raised to despise demons, Layla takes to Roth - and how fortunate for her, Roth has no soul. Ignoring the values she has been raised with, she confides and trusts Roth for she can be her one true self with him. Together Layla and Roth must discover who is hunting her and why, which leads the two down a path more sinister than either of them ever expected.

kynndra's thoughts

I think that it's safe to say that one does not read a novel by Jennifer L. Armentrout for some mind blowing story that will knock you out of the universe. At least I don't. I read JLA's novels for the sarcastic characters, the swoon worthy boys and the exciting climactic scenes - which in its own right makes for a pretty fantastic read. I fell in love with JLA's work when I read the Lux series; which to this day still makes me incredibly happy (sidenote: did you all know it's being made into a freaking movie! I can't wait). But when I eventually picked up White Hot Kiss I had my reservations. I had no idea if I would like it.

Well I am happy to report that I didn't only like it, I loved it. What I don't love are JLA's damn book covers. But that's beside the point.

The characters are really what make White Hot Kiss enjoyable. Layla is a genuinely likeable character, I had no qualms about her. She was easy to understand and I enjoyed her voice - other than her blatant jealousy at some points she's pretty fun. I'm excited to see her grow in the next two books. Zayne (Layla's adopted gargoyle bro she kinda has a thing for) was a sweetheart, but I'll be honest he was a dull flicker compared to the flame that Roth was. I don't know how you can read this without COMPLETELY swooning over Roth. I like to call Jennifer L. Armentrout the Queen of Swoon. She has a true gift of creating sarcastic and charming boys - and you know what? I fall in love with them every damn time.

Swoon worthy boys aside, the plot was actually pretty thrilling. It's really a race against time. Layla is a magnet for attracting danger. Being on Hell's hit list makes it so that everywhere she turns, she winds up bloody and being saved by a chivalrous boy - I'm not complaining. I'm all about female badassery but sometime I like a dose of boy saves girl, or really whenever any character does whatever they can to save the one they care about. Which is something we get, a lot. But fear not those who detest such things. Layla is not useless, not one bit.

I think the creatures: gargoyles, demons and living tattoos were remarkably unique. I loved that aspect of White Hot Kiss. It was brain food imagining the fearsome beasts within the story.

The only thing I hated about White Hot Kiss was the love triangle. Usually I'm okay with love triangles if they're done right. Unfortunately this one isn't - at least from what I've read thus far (it is the first book afterall). In my own opinion, it's all too obvious which boy Layla will choose - there's no contest, no tugging of the readers heart to which boy it should be. If it weren't for that, the book would have been really great.

in conclusion

White Hot Kiss is a fun and light read. It has all the right ingredients to make an enjoyable YA paranormal series while also remaining original. The characters, especially one hot demon adds an all time high of swoon. Jennifer L. Armentrout throws you into a chasm of treachery, excitement and thrills with this one. AND THAT FUCKING CLIFFHANGER, I NEED TO READ THE SECOND AS FAST AS MY LITTLE SELF CAN. Definitely recommend it to those who want an entertaining and easy read.

Kynndra is currently reading The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, and still swooning over a sarcastic ass of a demon boy.


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32 comments

  1. So it's literally been AGES since I've had the chance to sit down and read people's blogs (oh--how I've missed it!) so I know I'm late, late, late to this, but: I LOVE your new design. Seriously. Freaking. Amazing.

    Anyway, I'm reaaaaaaaalllly looking forward to this one. I adore her writing--she's just so much fun to read. And I had no idea this is being made into a movie!? Now I absolutely HAVE to read this one now.

    Lovely review! <3 :)

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    1. I understand how strapped for time one can be. It certainly is nice having some free time to check out blogs and catch up! Ha, well you'll have to compliment Kells on that - she's the one who does all the fancy design stuff c:

      I agree, she is a very fun writer and it's always a party when reading her books. And no, sorry I probably worded that improperly. It'll be Obsidian (Lux #1) that's being produced into a movie. Can't wait for that!

      Thank you <33

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  2. I've yet to try a JLA book because the covers rarely reach out to me. *HANGS HEAD IN SHAME* Yes, yes, I'll try to stop judging books by their covers! Sad to know about the love triangle, though. Makes me wonder what use is a love triangle if there's no contest in the first place? I would have liked it better if the girl were dense and it's only the boys fighting each other for her feelings.

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. Blah, I agree Faye. The covers are quite often horrendous. Worry not, it's sad but I'm a cover judger too. But I assure you, especially with JLA's Lux series the unattractive covers are worth it!

      I don't know what the point of love triangles are - especially when they are executed poorly. It may be an opinionated thing, but the love triangle here just didn't do it for me.But I agree, it probably would have been better that way :/

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  3. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Kynndra. I don't know what it is about this author, but her books just don't work for me. I want to join in on the fangirling over her, but so far none of her books have really impressed me. I agree that the love triangle in this one was horrible. And I was annoyed with the voting nonsense to pick the guy that she ends up with.
    Anyways, I hope you enjoy the rest of the series. :)
    Lovely review!

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    1. Thank you, Nick. I can definitely see why JLA might not be for some. She appeals to a certain audience I think. If I'm honest, I don't think The Dark Elements series will ever outrank that of the Lux series (which I'm a huge fangirl over). Exactly right though, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought the love triangle was horrible. I had no idea about the voting of boys - that's so peculiar ;_; I hope the rest are better, we'll just have to see.

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  4. JLA books has been in my TBR for years now but I still haven't read any of her works. 😞
    I just can't bring myself up to it and end up reading something else. I've heard nothing but good things about her books. This is a great review. ☺

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    1. Hi there Nickle. Thank you very much, I appreciate it c: When you do have the chance to read one of JLA's works, I highly recommend the Lux series.

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  5. I am so curious about JLA titles because of your ravings about them, Kynn!! I think I will check out the Lux series first because it sounds more my sorta thing. Love the sound of the chemistry between the leads in this one as well, though BOOO to poorly executed love triangles.

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    1. Aentee! Yes, yes! Absolutely do check out the Lux series first. Lux, dare I say is far better than this one (from what I've read so far). BOOO to the love triangle indeed. Thanks, bub ^^

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  6. Hmmm .. okay, I planned to read this series first, but now knowing the Lux series will be a movie, I think I'll finally get around to those. Yeah, I know, I haven't read any of JLA's books. I suck.

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    1. I think you'll be reading the better series first anyway, Christy. Not that White Hot Kiss wasn't good, it just doesn't compare to the Lux series. Can't wait to see how it'll be adapted into a film. I hope you enjoy them!

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  7. I FELL IN FREAKING LOVE with JLA when I first stumbled across her Lux series and I have to say that I'm a proud stalker of her and her books ever since!♡♡ I'm so glad you enjoyed this one K!I really need to start picking up more JLA books because I've been seriously slacking! The love triangle thing kind of turns me off too girl!

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    1. I too adore JLA due to her Lux series! I really did enjoy this one to an extent. She has SO MANY BOOKS, so it's excusable c; I've only read this one and the Lux series. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who was turned off by the love triangle. Thanks so much, Keionda! ♡

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  8. PREAACH!!! JLA's covers suck so much and you are right, I don't read her books for some mind blowing story. I actually really enjoyed this book. I agree Roth is just like OOOOOMG so HOTTT. It wasn't until I read the second book that I realized that this was going to get all love triangely , so kudos to you for figuring it out before book two. The second book really sucked for me because of the love drama, which double sucks because I think this book had an overall interesting and unique plot ( which JLA does really well) but the overbearing romance was just too much. Great Review!!!

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    1. THEY SUCK HARDCORE. I'm only being honest when I say I detest most of her books covers :/ but at least the books themselves are good. Roth is amazing, I love that demon boy. Such a heartbreaker. I'm sorry to hear the second book sucked, I probably won't read it right away but I'll get to it! Thanks, Taylor! ♡

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  9. I still haven't read anything by JLA, but that's great you liked this way more than you thought you would. that's why it's always good to try things sometimes! But ugh, bummer there was a love triangle and it didn't work right!

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    1. You're exactly right. I'm glad I gave it a try regardless of my doubts. Yeah, the triangle was a bummer but I'm hoping it gets better in the following two. I hope when or if you read a book by JLA that you enjoy it c:

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  10. Roth sounds yummy. I do love her books, i think she comes up with some swoon worthy male leads. The half gargoyle thing is interesting

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    1. Roth is yummy c: She is the Queen of Swoony Males, I swear she has a gift. The gargoyle thing was extremely creative and a fresh idea. Glad I gave it a shot, I enjoyed that aspect very much.

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  11. I totally agree with you about Jennifer L. Armentrout’s writing. When I want a light book with likable characters and swoony romance, I pick a novel by her. Her books are very addictive and enjoyable. While her books are objectively are not without flaws, they make me happy. I was actually thinking about picking up this book, since all books in the series are released, so thank you for you helpful review, Kynndra-Jo!

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    1. Exactly right. Her books are sooo addictive. They absolutely have flaws, no doubt but I find it easy to ignore based on how fun the stories are. No problem, Ksenia. Thank you for the kind compliment ♡

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  12. I have also yet to try a JLA book, but this sounds so swoonworthy. I'm pretty sure I would just read this to read it, and enjoy all the swoon rather than focusing on all the analyzing that I have been doing recently. I actually have Lux on my bookshelf, and I had NO IDEA that it was going to be turned into a movie. That will be interesting!

    Awesome review Kynndra!

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    1. READ LUX FIRST YAAS. THAT ONE IS FAB. Val, if you're looking for a light and fun read then JLA is the way to go. It's nice to take a break from analyzing so much and just let the swoon take over. The movie will be interesting to see how they adapt it, I hope it's done right.

      Thank you very much, Val. Much appreciated :D

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  13. Sounds like it is a really swoonworthy and exciting read! A shame about the love triangle though, especially if it's obvious already, why include it to begin with? Exciting that Lux had a movie too!

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    1. So much swoon, Jeann! Yeah, the triangle was a real shame but at least it was a good read. I can't wait for the Lux movie!

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  14. Oh Lord. I don't know. JLA's books and I have never seen eye to eye, so I tend to stay away. She tends to have a**holes for male characters, and I'm just not a fan. :/ This one, well. Gargoyles? One of those paranormal characters that I just don't think I can get into. OMG. I'm such a Debbie Downer today. Sorry Kynndra! I'll be better next time, I promise!

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    1. Lmao! Joy, your comment made me laugh. Her males tend to be assholes, but not in an abusive way. Just... Not gentlemanly on a few occasions (especially when their first introduced). But, I'm a sucker and fall in love with them eventually. I can definitely understand why JLA wouldn't be someone cup of tea, don't worry <33

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  15. I've heard so many great things about this book (and all of JLA's books, actually) but I still have yet to read any other than Obsidian, which I liked well enough. LOVING the sound of the romance in this though. I need.

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    1. Alise, I have to recommend you continue the Lux series (much better in my opinion) but this one is good too! Nothing can beat Lux though in my eyes. The romance is so good between Roth and Layla! Loved it.

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  16. YEP. I really loved the first book. Unfortunately the rest of the series paled in comparison for me!!!!

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    1. That's a real shame to hear, Brittany :c

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