Series: The Dark Elements #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on February 25, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
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.
~ Layla is half Warden (Gargoyle), half demon. She can see people’s souls/auras, which demons don’t possess. This means she can “tag” demons so that the Wardens can find them and dispose of them in a more organized fashion.
~ Layla’s the half demon equivalent to Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed. Only in her case, if she kisses a boy or a Warden, she’ll suck the soul from his body. And I thought my being on the Reading Team in high school made me undate-able, Layla’s really got it bad!
~ There’s action in the very first chapter. Layla is a unique character, definitely a spitfire. She’s not as physically capable as a Warden or a Demon, but she tries hard to be an asset to her Warden family.
~ I read the prequel novella, Bitter Sweet Love, and in it I got to meet Layla and Zayne, and caught a brief glimpse of Roth.
~ Roth is one sexy demon! I love his banter. I totally went into this book assuming I’d be Team Zayne, but Roth is pretty irresistible.
~ It was very nice to Dez and Jasmine from Bitter Sweet Love, even if it was a small book cameo. You don’t have to read the novella first, but it’s a great story and well worth the price.
~ The tension between Zayne and Layla reminded me of Cher and Josh in Clueless- but only after they began hanging out and working on Cher’s daddy’s case. Seriously, living with someone like Zayne would be crazy! Imagine growing up with Channing Tatum as your brother/step-sibling. That has to suck.
~ For a book that’s not erotica, adult, or bow-chicka-bow-bow, this is a steamy read! I mean, I don’t think I’ll be loaning it to my almost 15 year old niece anytime soon, but definitely on in a year or two. The sexual tension is very well done without being… crude?
~ It’s hard not to fall for the guy who takes you zombie hunting. I feel that Daryl from The Walking Dead would court in a similar manner, which completely works for me.
~ This book turned me into a bigamist. I’m both Team Zayne and Team Roth. Normally this does not happen. Occasionally I like both boys (Everneath series) but I almost always have a preference over who I want the heroine with (Team Jack for Everneath but I still want a happy ending for sexy Cole). Even though I suspect which boy is endgame for Layla, I’m still torn. Both boys are amazing, yet different. I really think Layla deserves them both. She’s had a tough life.
~ This book will give you the feels! Which I guess according to the internet, I’m too old to say. It remains true, regardless.
~ I love that eating or drinking something sweet can be a substitute for sucking down a soul.
~ Oh, Zayne, I really thing that the best way to improve human/Warden relationships would be for us to mate. Call me!
~ Oh, Roth, I really think that the best way to improve human/demon relationships would be fro us to mate. Call me!
~ Okay, when Layla is with Roth, I love him. But then when Layla is with Zayne, I love him. Is Armentrout trying to make me schizophrenic?!
~ I really enjoyed learning more about Roth, and then Layla’s parents. There were some nice, and not so nice, surprises.
Layla- 1/2 Demon, 1/2 Warden. She might feel unlucky because kissing most boys will kill them, but it’s hard to feel too sorry for a girl who gets to live with Zayne and got to school with Roth.
Zayne- Hot. Layla has loved him since forever, and while she things he treats her like a sister, dear reader, believe her not, because they have plenty of chemistry!
Roth- Upper level Demon. A bit of a Layla stalker, but we forgive because he’s hot and funny, and only a little broody for a demon bad boy. I was expecting him to be very Heathcliff, but he’s not the typical tortured demon boy.
Sam and Stacey- human friends of Layla’s, have no clue that she’s anything other than human.
Bambi- a pet tattoo snake.
Morris- Warden chauffeur, among other things.
Abbot- runs the DC Wardens, father to Zayne, Daddy Warbucks to Layla’s Annie.
Danika- sister of Jasmine, potential love rival for Zayne.
Jasmine and Dez- from the prequel Bitter Sweet Love.
Elijah- not a fan of Layla’s, or the fact that Abbott protects her.
Petr- Elijah’s son and NOT a nice Warden.
Cayman- demon friend to Roth.
Caym- a bad ass.
Honestly, this book had quite a few, but the one that’s really stayed with me was the scene between Layla and Petr at the tree house. I was on the edge of my seat!
Stop the Clock:
I’ve read one other book by Armentrout (Cursed #1) and it was okay, but this book makes me want to track down all her books and read them rightthisveryinstant!! I would definitely recommend this to anyone that likes romance and smexiness with their paranormal.
Jennifer L. Armentrout— Website |Jennifer L. Armentrout
White Hot Kiss gets a Midnight Book rating of: