Title: White Hot Kiss
Author: Jennifer L Armentrout
Series: The Dark Elements #1
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Date Published: February 25, 2014
Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal- fit in at school, and go out on a real date with the gorgeous Zayne, whom she's crushed on since forever. Trouble is, Zayne treats Layla like a sister- and Layla is anything but normal. She's 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 hunting demons and keeping humanity safe, Layla's kiss will kill anything with a soul- including him.
Then she meets Roth- a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know her secrets. Though Layla knows she should stay away, it's tough when that whole no-kissing rule isn't an issue. Trusting Roth could ruin her chances with Zayne- and brand her a traitor to the Warden family that raised her. But as Layla discovers she's the sole reason for a violent demon uprising, kissing the enemy suddenly pales in comparison to the looming end of the world.
The book starts out with Layla hanging out at McDonald's with her friends, Stacey and Sam. She spots what she believes to be a Poser demon. Stacey and Sam leave, but Layla is forced to stay and do her job- tag the demon so the Wardens can send it back to Hell. Oh, boy Stacey is so cringey. She's very blunt and is definitely boy-crazed. Stacey and Sam have no idea what Layla is, all they know is that she was adopted by Wardens. As usual, Layla goes after the Poser. After a few minutes of following her, it turns out it's not a poser at all. It's a higher level, more dangerous demon. A Seeker. She has no choice but to fight her, but the Seeker isn't going to go easy on her... Layla's losing the fight. Out of nowhere, an Upper Level Demon appears, and along with his snake, Bambi, saves Layla.
The next day at school, an unexpected guest appears. Roth. The Upper Level Demon. Soon, all of the secrets of Layla's last and who she really is, are revealed to her, by none other than Roth. They go to get something to eat after Roth promises to tell Layla more about her heritage. This is when one of my favorite scenes happens. "He moved unbelievably fast. I didn't even have a chance to react. One second he was standing a good three feet away from me and the next his hands were gentler clasping my cheeks. There was an instant when I wondered how something strong and deadly could hold something so carefully, but then he tilted my head back and lowered his own. My heart rate kicked into hyperdrive. He wasn't going to kiss me. No way- Roth kissed me." YES YES YES! Loth or Rayla? Either way, ooohhhh Roth is so swoonworthy!!!!
The high level Wardens, the Alphas, come which forces Layla to hide. She chooses to hide in Zayne's childhood treehouse. After a long time, someone finds her, and he's not friendly. Petr shows up, intent on killing Layla. In an effort to defend herself, she presses her lips to his and sucks out his soul. Roth and Bambi show up and finish off the job. She is taken to Roth's loft before returning home in the morning, in his clothes. Abbot, her adopted father makes me super suspicious when he smiles and notices Layla isn't wearing her own clothes.
A new character we get introduced to, Tony, reminds me so much of Luc from the Lux series. While we are talking about parallels to other books, we find out that Roth is short for Astaroth. Sound like Sweet Evil? Duke Astaroth? Ginger? Marna?
Together, Layla and Roth find the Lesser Key of Solomon. Unfortunately for them, the Wardens catch them. Layla is ground... for life. Layla and Zayne go for ice cream and spot a Hellion. Layla is forced to run, and she runs straight into Paimon, a demon out to kill her and unleash the Lillin. She and Zayne escape but Roth goes back to Hell.
"I lost myself the moment I found you." Oh my god! All the feels...
Going to Roth's apartment, she has a feeling Roth is still on Earth. Having no one else, Bambi attaches herself to Layla. Okay, am I the only one that thinks of Bambi as a person sometimes?
The only things I didn't like about this book was how there are so many demon names: Seeker, Upper Level, Poser, Fiend, etc. it gets really confusing. Overall, I loved this book and can't wait to read the next one in the series.
Buy White Hot Kiss:
by L.J. Smith
Goodreads 2018: 36/100