“‘Sticks and stones may break your bones, but I’m going to demolish you.’“White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Layla just wants to fit in at school and go on a date with Zayne, whom she’s crushed on since forever. Trouble is, Zayne treats Layla like a sister–and Layla is a half demon, half gargoyle with abilities no one else possesses. And even though Zayne is a Warden, part of the race of gargoyles tasked with keeping humanity safe, Layla’s kiss will kill anything with a soul–including him.
Then she meets Roth–a demon who claims to know her secrets. Though Layla knows she should stay away, it’s tough when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue. Trusting Roth could ruin her chances with Zayne, but as Layla discovers she’s the reason for a violent demon uprising, kissing the enemy suddenly pales in comparison to the looming end of the world.
Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Gargoyle, Demon, Adventure, Saving the World
Others in Series:
Books 0.5: Bitter Sweet Love
Book 2: Stone Cold Touch
Book 3: Every Last Breath
Why This Rating?
I knew that this was going to be a fun book from the very first lines: “There was a demon in McDonald’s.” And what a catching way to draw you in! Of course, with Jennifer L. Armentrout being the author you know that it is going to be one hell of a book regardless.
I would read this book before you pick up the Harbinger series. I read that series before this one and SO much was explained! I understood the depth of relationships happening between Layla, Zayne, and Roth. I was saying “OH that’s why!” most of the time. I feel like I would have a different response to Harbinger series if I had read Dark Elements first. But I did not read the prequel (Bitter Sweet Love) before this book. It isn’t needed as much since it just provides a bit more background for another set of characters that are main characters in this series.
This story was one that I found really entertaining and loved the way Armentrout wrote the interactions between everyone. Layla’s story is one that I feel everyone can relate a little towards. Wanting to find where you belong, the need to have independence, finding a purpose that is genuinely enjoyable. She shows a strength that is quite admirable as the story progresses. It proves that you never knew what is inside yourself until you let it shine through. Roth was such a fun character! I was always looking forward to the little quips he would interject towards everything. However, I was humming Paradise City (if you are also curious here you go!) quite frequently after finishing this book – heads up you might too! Because, of course I wanted to know exactly what song Roth was obsessed with. It is a lot of fun to see songs like this or other pop culture moments showing up in books. Yes, it runs a chance of dating the stories; however, it makes them just a little more unique in my opinion.
I did find that this book does fall underneath one of the typical YA romance tropes – the love triangle. There were definitely moments that I was rolling my eyes. That being said, I went into this book understanding that there were going to be some moments like this. Layla is a senior in high school, so there are moments in her life that are going to be a bit less in the mature levels that can be found in New Adult or even true Romance genres. This is YA for a reason. And if you don’t get annoyed with some of the tropes found in that genre’s tool box then this book will be prefect for you!
This is a completed trilogy, so thankfully you won’t have to wait for the next ones to come out. Even though Armentrout pushes books out really fast, waiting for the next book can be a pain! I finished the whole series in a week since they are all around the 400-ish page range. I never wanted to put the book down with something always happening or the humor that kept me laughing! It was a well written and set up book. I highly recommend this book and the whole series!
Time to get lost in the next story!