BOOK REVIEW – White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1) by Jennifer L. ArmentroutWhite Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
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“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’d only be lying to myself if I said I didn’t fall head over heels for yet another Armentrout novel. I don’t know what it is about this woman that makes all her YA series/novels 5 star reads for me, but almost everytime I start a new series by her, it immediately goes onto the favorites and elusive unforgettable male leads shelves.

“You’re running away.” The upper level demon sighed. “Even after I asked you not to, and I think I was really nice about it.” He glanced at the Seeker, frowning. “Wasn’t I nice?”

Set in a totally different world than I am used to, gargoyles are the paranormal feature that Armentrout chose to write about this time. I don’t know. I guess I have been discovering new things lately that have been reaching the ‘shock and awe’ factor with me despite my tendency to hold judgement over certain genres. I mean, some things, to me, are just too much. Some worlds take it too far and too out of the realm for me, and I just figured this would be one of them. I’m not going to lie-I didn’t think there was any possible way I could like this book. There. I SAID it. Gargoyles? How can a gargoyle be hot? How can she twist this so that I’m not picturing a character out of The Hunchback of Notre Dame the whole time? Well, unsurprisingly she has surprised me again. I don’t even know why I second guess her works. I don’t think there is one book I’ve rated less than four by her….and to think I almost skipped this one.

Trusting him would be like smacking the Wardens in the face. Demons lied. Even I lied. Well, my lying really didn’t have much to do with being a demon, but still.

What I love about Armentrout is her ability to make every series or story with a cast of completely likeable characters and a totally fun plot. Sure, some of the same thoughts may come across or similar areas may show up when you get to a certain point….but you just don’t notice. She makes the story so deliciously addictive that even when you have seven of her books on your mind, you can decipher the difference between every single story. You don’t simply mix up the Covenant or the Lux series, you just know because you have fallen completely in love with the worlds she has built and rooted in your mind. Simply put? There are similarities but not once is there a lack of individuality for each world or character she creates.

“I think you like me,” Roth said suddenly.
I stopped pacing and my heart did a funny little jump. “What? No.”
He tilted his head to the side, his lips spreading into a teasing grin. “The way you lie to yourself is sort of cute.”
“I’m not lying.”
“Hmm…” He sat up, eyes glimmering with mirth. “You wanted me to kiss you earlier.”
Heat flooded my cheeks. “No. I did not.”
“You’re right. You wanted me to do much, much more.”

Zayne was boy one in Layla’s effed up little love triangle. She has grown up with him and has been in love with him for quite some time. He has always been her closest friend, the one she shares all her secrets with-but he seems to only think of her as a sisterly type-or maybe that’s just what she sees. He was the good guy-the one with the soul. The one she could never kiss (see below) and will forever long to be with. But what happens when Layla stops confiding in him and starts to become more independent and less like the puppy dog that follows him around…will he start to notice her then? Or had he always noticed her but couldn’t act on it?

The really, really bad and the really, really good were the most appealing, which made Eva very interesting to me, but eating the soul belonging to the most popular girl in school would be way uncool.

Layla was a fun character to follow. She is half warden and half demon, not altogether pure but was brought up in a house of wardens. Since she can never fully be a true warden, she tags the demons during the day so the wardens can hunt and destroy them at night. This is her effort to contribute to the greater good, but what if the greater good isn’t really what’s right? What if everything she has been told is fabricated by lies….and that there are some good demons in the world? Oh yeah, aaanndddd she can’t kiss anyone with a soul. Talk about a buzz kill.

But that was the catch. Sometimes the demonic blood won out. I knew it was wrong. Totally understood that, but it meant nothing in the end.

Enter Roth. Roth is a demon-plain and simple. Layla meets him one night when she is lured into a trap and he comes to her rescue. Right off the bat he has the sexy snarkiness that we have all grown to love and I knew he’d be a strong contender for my eerrrrr, Layla’s heart. I can’t even begin to express how much I fell for Roth. He was sweet, loyal, protective, and, frankly, not the good guy-not the clear cut good guy anyway….but I guess you’ll have to read to see how you feel about him. 😉

“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.”

I loved this book. I really and truly did-the only thing I don’t like, and listen closely because this is my ONLY complaint as far as Armentrout YA novels go, you won’t hear anything negative from me again, is the repeat phrases I’ve seen in her other books. I do wish she had some new phrases or a less formulatic curse system. That’s all. Nothing big enough to make this anything less than a favorite, but it’s enough that I DO notice and wish there was some different material. Other than that? I adored this book and all the smexiness inbetween every single page.

Walking over to where I’d left my bag, I dug out my phone. At some point, Roth had gotten hold of my cell and replaced Zayne’s name with Stony and listed his own number under Sexy Beast. What a tool.
I grinned.

A fun and exciting ride with rarely a dull moment, I had so much fun reading every aspect of WHK. I even loved the characters at school-again, not a dull moment. A quirky cast with a lot of drama and humor, there was no lack of plot points or characters to focus on. And though I went back and forth throughout the entirety of the story, I finally chose a team. So important, right?? I love Zayne tons, and I adore Roth, but I’m proud to pledge my loyalty to Team Roth-the sexy demon with a heart of gold. Oh yeah, and I can’t forget Bambi, his lovable demon snake companion!!!! So I guess I’m on two teams. 😉

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