Series: The Dark Elements #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on February 25, 2014
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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.
I’m writing this short and sweet review because I received an ARC and I am required to. Erin already posted about WHK and you can check out her more in depth review here.
You can check out my Psych Ward file on Jennifer here.
I read Bitter Sweet Love and White Hot Kiss in one fell swoop. I fell in love with gargoyles in fiction last summer when I read Page Morgan’s The Beautiful and The Cursed. I felt like it was a new and fresh addition to the paranormal romance scene and ended up LOVING TB&TC and the novella about one of the gargoyle’s back story as well. When I saw that JLA was doing a series featuring gargoyles, I thought she must be jumping on the coat tails of a new trend that Page Morgan started. Or maybe she was just inspired to write about gargoyles before that. Either way, who cares. I really enjoyed WHK.
Alex Layla, our narrator, is one confused half-breed chick. I would not want to be in her shoes. Layla has some unique struggles to deal with given her DNA. Part demon, part gargoyle, the struggle to fit in with her adopted family of Wardens (gargoyles that hunt demons) is getting harder every day. Especially after she meets Roth. He’s wholly demon and has his eye on Layla. Soon after the two meet, Roth has his lips and hands on Layla as well. I quite liked this aspect of the story. Layla is yet another funny and relatable female protagonist from Jennifer Armentrout. I usually prefer the male characters to female characters, whether primary or secondary, in all the books I read. That’s not the case with Jennifer’s books. I end up liking the chicks as much as the dudes. While I was more interested with Layal and Roth’s story arcs than Layla and Zaynes, I still felt like Zayne was monstrously swoon-worthy. Seth Roth, the antihero of the novel was of course, MY FAVE. We are given a glimpse of Roth in Bitter Sweet Love at the very end. I knew he was going to rock my socks off in WHK by the song he is heard humming in BSL. Roth might as well be sex-on-a-stick. He has inky black hair, wicked golden eyes, a serpant tattoo, and he is cut in all the right places. Jennifer uses her signature cocky-heart of gold charm with Roth’s character and I wanted to devour him. (Kind of like Bambi devours under-worldly creatures. That last sentence will make absolutely no sense to you unless you’ve read the book.) Let’s just say Roth has something bad-ass up his sleeve when it comes to protecting Layla for his nefarious purposes. Aiden Zayne is Layla’s rock. Or stone to be more exact. He’s a Warden and turns to stone in his gargoyle form to sleep and recover from a full night of hunting demons. He’s a few years older than Layla but they have been connected at the hip ever since Layla was adopted into his gargoyle family. I love the relationship between Layla and Zayne. It’s soft and warm and sweet and SEDUCTIVE. In his human form, Zayne is a blonde hair, blue eyed stud in peak physical condition. His chest stretches sweaters across them like no others. It’s easy to see why Layla would have complicated feelings for this guy who grew up with her like a brother. The complicated feelings Zayne and Layla have for each other in this book creates some AWESOME tension.
The characters and story world are well rounded and wonderfully defined (double meaning there). I love when an author doesn’t try to be coy about where they get a lot of inspiration for their novels. Jennifer acknowledges Supernatural not only by name in WHK, but also by story content.
Fans of JLA’s Covenant series will fall hard for The Dark Elements. I was really sad when The Covenant series ended but this series seems like it will be filling that gap.