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BOOK REVIEW: Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

BOOK REVIEW: Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements #2) by Jennifer L. ArmentroutStone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements #2)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

“I want you so badly it’s like a hunger that gnaws at me endlessly. It doesn’t go away.” He dipped his head to the space between my neck and shoulder, inhaling deeply. “You have no fucking clue.”
“Then do something about it,” I whispered.

Thank God. Thank. Gooood. I am not going to lie to you all. I have been soooo nervous these last few months about my relationship with JLA. I think it’s because of her NA series. It just doesn’t touch me the way you’d think it should, seeing as she’s been my favorite author for a good two years or so. But, in the last year I’ve started to see and feel….some different feelings. I’ve seen changes in Armentrout’s work. She’s began to use repetitive phrasing occurring in each and every book she produces and anyone who knows me at all knows that is a Hell NO for me. And, I’ll be honest, if it wasn’t such childish phrasing it wouldn’t bother me-at all. But, as it is, Holy crap on a cracker and Holy alien babies doesn’t make me laugh like it once used to in her Lux and Covenant series. No, it makes me roll my eyes. Hard. But, as I said in my last JLA review in her NA series, I really do think her bread and butter is paranormal romance. I felt that was a bold statement and that maybe I was just hoping that was the case. But, here comes Roth and all my doubts were obliterated-this was everything I’ve ever loved about JLA. I knew it. I just knew it.

I wasn’t thinking as I reached over and plucked the hamburger right out of his hand. Twisting at the waist, I threw the hamburger on the floor behind Roth as hard as I could. The satisfactory splat it made as ketchup and mayo splattered like a gruesome burger massacre brought a wide smile to my face.
Stacey let out a burst of shocked laughter.
Roth glanced down at the hamburger and then his gaze slowly tracked back to mine. His eyes were wide. “But I really wanted that hamburger.”

I was in a sleepy haze allll weekend. I’m not guna lie. It was a struggle to read any and every page for whatever reason (Hey, it was a busy weekend!) so I was extremely nervous it would effect my overall feeling for the whole novel. This is partly true, but it was so good that I still came out thinking, ‘Wow, 5 stars!!!’ I missed some of the sexiness. I missed some of the peril. But nothing can beat peril peril peril peril peril and sexy scene sexy scene sexy scene and a badass twist near the end….it was one hot or action-packed thing after another and it became difficult not to see what was right in front of my face. One thing I do know is that when book three comes out, I will be doing a re-read….and I never do re-reads (hardly) before a new release for a series. It takes too long and makes me all flighty. Point being-this will be like a whole new book to me when I re-read it because I missed so much.

I almost rushed Roth right then and threw my arms around him, but a low growl rumbled from behind me. At first I thought it was Abbot’s response, but when I realized it was coming from Zayne, I couldn’t move.
Roth tilted his head to the side, watching me as a slow, roguish smile graced his lips. “Are you…seriously growling at me, Stony?”
“I’m about to do a lot more than growl.”
He chuckled. “That’s not very appreciative.”

I will also admit another thing-to those of you who loathe love triangles, pass this one up. I’ve always thought Armentrout is very clear about who is going to be the final male in the end. It’s always been easy to tell. But…I think she was approached by her marketing people for this one because what was once a landslide victory for my dark demon Roth is now a murky, convoluted mess of a Zayne and Roth banana split. Seriously. This is her first novel where (everyone is supposed to vote for which guy she ends up with) I have no clue if my guy will win. Like….really? Why, Jen?? Whhhhyyyyy? It was excellent, sure. But it was also clear that Layla is in love with two guys. I’m not going to lie, though, I think her feelings are stronger for Roth. I really do. Zayne has been someone she’s loved since she met him. Roth is that fresh guy that swooped her up when Zayne didn’t want anything to do with her….and I think that really impacted her. She just won’t let him go….and I think Armentrout kinda did that on purpose-All of Zayne’s scenes were super hot and sweet and I wouldn’t DIE if she ended up with him because of all the nuts who would vote for him but I really and truly believe, that despite what JLA is saying on the voting page, she wants and believes she should be with Roth. It was like that in book one, and then it did a complete 360. And every word or phrase kinda hinted at how much Roth got under her skin and how he let her be herself. I loved that…and I think it was a true reflection on the author’s feelings. The truth of what she wants came out in her writing.

Roth came back up the step, crowding me. As he dipped his head so that his mouth nearly brushed mine when he spoke, I refused to back away. “I know why you say that. I even understand it, Layla. I get it. I hurt you and deserve every single one of your lies.”
I stilled as his warm breath danced over my lips.
“But there is so much you don’t know or understand,” he said, tilting his head so that his words brushed the lobe of my ear, sending a shiver down my neck. “So don’t claim to know what I really want or what I would do to protect it.”

I really have a soft spot for Layla. She’s funny, loyal, determined. She’s flawed and not altogether a goody-goody. I like her obsession with sweets (ie sugar cookie cookie-dough) because it helps her to satiate the urge she gets for soul-sucking lol. I love how that’s her replacement. I like how she interacts with her friends and how she doesn’t shy away from a battle. There are many things Layla is, including scared a lot of the time, but she’s not a coward. I love it.

“Shut up, whore of Satan.”
My mouth dropped open and my head was about to spin Exorcist-style. I stepped forward as Roth cracked his neck, signaling he was ready to end this little conversation. “Call me that one more time and I’ll give you something to fear.” I had no idea where those words came from because, even with Zayne’s training, I wasn’t really a fighter, and I wasn’t a badass, but my lips curved into a cold, tight smile. “That’s a promise.”

So, I will stop here because as I said, the details are fuzzy as it is and I will be re-reading this anyway but I’ll sum up a bit-The plot was super strong (for me) and there was a lot of love in this one. It wasn’t the loving I wanted but we still got plenty of each guy. I liked the mystery behind who was reeking havoc on the school and wardens alike, even more I liked the way Armentrout channeled her evil side again (she hasn’t been so evil since my fav books Obsidian, Onyx,and Opal) and let the blood and betrayal fly…and we know how I love that. I don’t know, I just really love this series, and even more I love that it’s a trilogy. 5 books is too many, three will sum this all up perfectly….and I can’t wait to see who our part demon chooses….you assholes better vote for Roth.

BOOK REVIEW – White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

BOOK REVIEW – White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1) by Jennifer L. ArmentroutWhite Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

“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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