Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

white hot kissWhite Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Amrentrout
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Age Group: Teen
Source: Netgalley
Good Reads  |  Amazon
Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Summary from Amazon:

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.


4 out of 5

3.75 out of 5

My Thoughts

If you were to head over to my Review Master List, and look under “A” it would be quite clear that I really like Jennifer L. Armentrout’s books.  I’ve read her Lux series, her Wait for You series, and a few of her standalones.  Obviously, I’m a total fan.  So I was pretty excited to read White Hot Kiss, the first novel in the Dark Elements series from Harlequin Teen.  And you guys, I was NOT disappointed.

I’m always more interested in the characters of the story, than the plot, so let’s focus on the characters first.  Besides, although there’s lots going on the plot department of this one, I think that White Hot Kiss is more character driven, anyway.

Layla is a very typical Armentrout main character.  She’s nice, likes good looking boys (who doesn’t?), but also isn’t afraid to stand up for herself.  I love that she is a typical Armentrout main character . . . but at the same time, I feel like I could replace Layla with any of Amentrout’s main characters, and it wouldn’t be confusing at all.  And I’m wanting a little bit difference between all these female leads.  Don’t get me wrong, I really liked Layla.  I love how she tries to make up her own mind about things, even though she’s been taught one thing all her life.  And I like that she isn’t a pushover.  And I like that she is just plain likable.  But, I would also like something a little different.

So, you guys, there’s kind of a love triangle going on in White Hot Kiss.  And if you’ve been reading my blog, then you probably know my feelings about love triangles (I HATE THEM).  BUT, I actually didn’t mind this one.  I’m not saying that I’m a total convert now, and want love triangles in my books, but the LT didn’t make me want to toss the book out the window in frustration.

The two guys are Zayne, a Warden that Layla has grown up with, and who has always stuck up for Layla, even though most other Warden stay far away, and Roth, who is a freaking Upper Level Demon.  I like both guys, a lot!  Layla doesn’t have to choose between them or anything (at least not in this book), but I can see why she would care for both of them.  Zayne is the golden boy, and Roth is full of attitude, and sort of on the same level as Daemon from Armentrout’s Lux series, although Roth isn’t nearly as snarky.  I do think it’s pretty clear which one Layla should end up with, but I also don’t feel like the love triangle was just thrown into the story for the sake of having a love triangle.

The story is very fast-paced and easy to read.  I read 3/4 of White Hot Kiss in one sitting, and then finished it the next day.  Again, the flow of the book is very Armentrout-esque.  If you’ve read her books before, I think you’ll know what I mean.

I definitely liked White Hot Kiss, and I’m really excited for the second book in this series.  If you’re a fan of Armentrout’s books, especial her paranormal series, then I think you will love White Hot Kiss.  And if you are thinking of trying out Armentrout’s books, this is a great place to begin.


About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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5 Responses to Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

  1. Tara says:

    I picked up a Jennifer Armentrout book (and ARC of Don’t Look Back) at an English teacher conference in the fall, but I’ve never read any of her books and I don’t know what I’m getting myself into. You are clearly a huge fan, so I’ll have to give it a go to see what the fuss is all about!

  2. I started the Lux series and read the first book and the first novella but it became clear to me that there would be cliffhangers involved so while I LOVED them, I decided to wait until the series was completed before I restarted them and probably binge-read them. But I’ve had my eye on this series AND am wondering about cliffhangers because they stress me so! I’ve seen a lot of positive feedback from this one, though. And I love the books she writes under the J.Lynn name! Glad you liked this one!

    • Quinn says:

      Excellent strategy about the cliffhangers. There is a terrible cliffhanger at the end of Opal from the Lux series.

      As for White Hot Kiss, there is a sort of cliffhanger. Nothing like Opal or anything. I mean there is an ending, but there is something that needs to be resolved still. Ahhh, I can’t say without spoilers.

  3. That’s great that the love triangle is easy to enjoy, although that’s a bit disappointing that the MC is so similar to the rest of Armentrout’s other MC’s. But, it still sounds like an exciting, fun story!

    Nice honest review 🙂

  4. I’m so curious about this book. It’s been so successful but I’m a little scared of the paranormal element. I just read one of Jennifer’s novellas and perhaps after I read a full book I’ll be brave enough to try this out!

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