Review: Prodigy (Legend #2) by Marie Lu

prodigyTitle: Prodigy
Author: by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Dystopia
Links:

Blurb:
Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic’s most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots – a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?

My Review:
I absolutely loved this book! Prodigy was far superior in ways in which Legend fell down, in my opinion. This book hooked me from the get-go and I ended up reading it in 2 sittings, in less than 24 hours. I thought both the pacing and the writing was vastly improved from the first book in this series.

In Prodigy, we follow June and Day as they struggle to identify whom they can trust. As they get sucked into a ruthless battle for control of the Republic, their relationship is tested as the cultural differences between them become more apparent. Though they still share a strong connection, and are undeniably attracted to one another, their vastly different upbringings threaten to tear them apart. I always love a strong romance element to these type of fast-paced action-packed adventures, and Marie Lu doesn’t fail to deliver in this regard. June and Day are loyally protective of each other and it’s really sweet. Sometimes I struggle to relate this with the fact that they are only 15, however, they are presented as mature 15-year-olds with strong intelligence and keen observational skills, so I can overlook it.

The plot is a lot less predictable in this book, and the suspense and drama is deliciously built the whole way through the novel. There were a couple of twists at the end that I didn’t see coming, and I always love when the author retains the ability to surprise me.

The ending was so shocking, and bittersweet, and my heart was literally in my mouth. Now I can’t wait to read Champion to see how things end up for June and Day.

Review: Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu

LegendTitle: Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Series: Legend #1
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Dystopia/ sci-fi/ post-apocalyptic
Links:

Blurb:
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

My Review:
Actual Rating 3.5 Stars.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, and I’m invested enough to continue with this series. However, initially I really struggled to get into the story. I felt it was very slow-paced at the start, and there was hardly any dialogue so it was difficult to feel a connection with the characters. At around the 30% mark I contemplated throwing in the towel, but I didn’t, and I’m glad that I persevered.

What I like most about this book is the two main characters – June and Day. Initially I was a bit luke-warm on June. She appeared to be spoiled, a little selfish and naive; which was surprising for someone so intelligent and keenly observant. She redeemed herself as the story progressed, particularly towards the end where she made a difficult decision in order to do the right thing. That took huge guts and she embraced that decision with gusto.

Day was a shoo-in for me from the first minute. I never doubted that his intentions were genuine and he struck me as a modern day Robin Hood type, a rebel with a heart. I love the developing relationship between him and June, and I can relate to the strong attraction they feel toward one another: It’s believable.

The plot was fairly predictable, and I guessed everything that happened pretty early on; though there were enough twists and turns to keep my attention.

The book is well written and the prose is decent, but after a 2 month long Jennifer L. Armentrout read-a-thon, there wasn’t anything uniquely stand-out about it for me.

I read the paperback and I struggled at the start with the style choice for Day’s POV. I understand and like the idea of two different style pallets for the different POV’s, but using a bold font for Day was the wrong decision in my opinion. It was jarring to read; however, I got over it as I got hooked into the story.

I’m invested enough now to continue the story, and I look forward to seeing where the author brings it next.

Review: Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

CursedTitle: Cursed
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Dying sucks
…and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand.

After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things–including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden’s adopted father, a man she’s sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister’s hand again. And hell, she’d also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn’t?

But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not’ve been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life.

For real this time.

My Review:
Gifted or Cursed? That’s the dilemma facing our heroine Ember.

Ember awoke from death a changed person. Quickly realizing she now has a death-touch, she has lived the last two years shielding herself from coming into contact with others. Good to the core, she sacrifices a normal teenage life to care for her uniquely-talented kid sister Olivia. Her only friend is Adam, her mom treats her as if she’s invisible, and the kids at school are horrible to her. I felt for her from the get-go.

Then this hot, mysterious guy starts showing up and soon her whole world is turned on its head.

Hayden is an intriguing male lead. Clearly fond of Ember, and willing to literally put his life on the line to protect her, he’s also hiding his own dark secrets.

Cursed reminded me a little of X-Men with the school for gifted kids, but set in a more contemporary environment. There are plenty of twists and turns in this book – some predictable, some not – but plenty to propel the plot forward nicely.

I liked these characters, a little less run of the mill than JLA’s normal characters and I really enjoyed that. There were parts where I literally cringed inwardly for Ember, and could scarcely read on. I love when a book makes you feel that emotionally connected, and that’s what Cursed did for me.

Superbly written as usual, I’m surprised that this book isn’t one of her more popular ones. I’m suffering separation anxiety now though as this one looks like it won’t ever be anything more than a stand alone, and I’d love to read more of these characters.

I really loved this book. In my opinion it’s a great addition to JLA’s paranormal YA romance collection.

Review: Bitter Sweet Love (The Dark Elements 0.5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Bitter Sweet LoveTitle: Bitter Sweet Love
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: The Dark Elements 0.5
Rating: 3 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Dez wasn’t just Jasmine’s crush. A gargoyle Warden like Jas, he helped her come to terms with her destiny—fending off demons and maintaining the balance between good and evil. He was her everything…right until the moment he disappeared without a trace. It didn’t help that Jas’s father had just announced that she and Dez would one day be mated. Hard not to take that personally.

And now he’s back, three years older, ten times hotter, ready to pick up exactly where they left off. But Jas isn’t taking that risk again. Dez has seven days to meet all her conditions and earn back her trust. Seven days filled with terrifying danger and sweet temptation. Seven days to win her heart—or shatter it all over again…

My Review:
I adore Jennifer’s Dark Elements series so I was looking forward to reading Bitter Sweet Love, but unfortunately it didn’t live up to expectations.
There is nothing wrong with the writing or the pacing, I just didn’t connect with either Jasmine or Dez and found that I really didn’t care what happened to them.
It was incredibly short, an easy, quick read, but it may have benefited from a little more detail and depth.
I really enjoyed the glimpse we got of a younger Layla and Zayne, and the scene with Roth was brilliant. It got extra brownie points for that, and I’d recommend it to fans of this series purely on that basis alone.

Review: The Six, and the Crystals of Ialana (The Six, #1) by Katlynn Brooke

the six and the crystals of ialanaTitle: The Six, and the Crystals of Ialana
Author: Katlynn Brooke
Series: The Six #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Fantasy
Links:

Blurb:
A mysterious island, strange dreams and a powerful healing crystal lost centuries ago: seven young people must discover what their connection is to the disastrous events that took place five hundred years before they were born. Who are the Six Healers, what is their mission and how did it once fail?
The Six, along with a seventh companion, must navigate perilous mountain passes, caves and tunnels guarded by monstrous creatures, and embark on a sea voyage that is doomed from the start. Not only that, there is a potential traitor in their midst who may sell them out at the first opportunity.
The story takes place on the Continent of Ialana, a mythical place in a long-forgotten time that inspired legends and blurs the distinctions between science and magic. The Six discover that all magic is only an understanding of the true nature of reality and the construct of the universe. All they know is that their lives will never be the same again.

My Review:
The Six, and the Crystals of Ialana is a captivating fantasy book that is suitable for everyone from young teenagers upwards.

Relaying the story of six teenagers who are inextricably linked, this is a story of reincarnation, discovery, fate, inner strength and belief. We meet the six main characters as they experience the power of mysterious, shared dreams. These turn out to be memories of themselves in a previous lifetime, and thus begins a new chapter in their journey. Things went disastrously wrong the last time they were all together. Now they’re in a desperate race against time to change their destiny, and the the fate of their country and loved ones. They set off on an exciting adventure, meeting many characters and creatures on the way. Blaidd is clearly the villain of the piece, though I never stopped hoping that he’d turn over a new leaf and see the error of his ways.

Containing many magical elements that are often found in fantastical tales, the author creates her own believable world with engaging characters and vivid details.

I’ll admit that I was initially a little confused over the different characters, POV’s and various locations, but it all makes sense after a few chapters and that became a non-existent issue thereafter.

Exceptionally well written, the writing flows smoothly and it was an easy read.

I think this book would appeal to fans of Percy Jackson, The Chronicles of Narnia and the Hobbit. An enjoyable read.

Book Blitz: Love, Defined by Leila Tualla

Love, Defined banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for Love, Defined by Leila Tualla. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 4 till 10 August, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.

Love, Defined coverLove, Defined
by Leila Tualla
Genre: Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: August 4, 2015

Blurb:

In their final summer before graduating college, three childhood friends expect an uncomplicated transition to adulthood…but learn they all still have some growing up to do.

Alex Makapulo is facing a crisis of faith.
Raised a Catholic, Alex is considering becoming a member of her best friend Jack Page’s church—against her family’s wishes—but she can’t quite take the final step of baptism. Jack loves Alex and doesn’t understand her hesitation, and Alex wonders if Jack’s love is a blessing or a distraction to test her religious conviction.

Lori Hanson embarks on the trip of a lifetime.
For her twenty-second birthday, Lori’s grandfather presents her with a summer vacation in England. While preparing for her adventure, she meets British musician Colin Watson online and quickly falls for him. They plan to hook up when she lands in London, but her grandfather forbids it. Due to complicated family dynamics, Lori must regretfully comply with his wishes, though she vows never to forgive him.

Andy Taylor is looking for love in all the wrong places.
When Andy runs into an old crush, she decides she wants a more meaningful relationship with sexy Miles Webber. But when she confides in Alex, her friend warns her Miles only wants her for sex. Andy becomes angry and devises a reckless plan to distract Alex’s attention from her relationship. Things don’t go quite as she expected, though, and Andy is left facing a crushing moral dilemma.

As the summer unfolds, three young women learn love and faith go hand in hand, not everything is black and white, and sometimes in a fast-paced world you have to slow down, breathe a little, and find your own definition of love.

Alex Excerpt:
“Do you think no matter what we do, we are still forgiven?” Somewhere between Francesca Battistelli’s He Knows My Name and Casting Crown’s I Will Praise You In The Storm, Andy finally spoke. “I mean.” Andy stopped.
The last song had reached its thunderous ascent and rolled towards the finish. Alex had barely heard her and for a second, thought that perhaps she had imagined it. Almond shaped brown eyes locked briefly in the mirror with a pair of big blue eyes and Alex waited, expecting Andy to go on.
She didn’t. Instead, Andy broke eye contact and turned her head to face the window.
“Yes.” She finally replied. Andy jerked up, and the two caught each other’s gaze again before Alex had to look back at the road again, frowning. “We can be forgiven as long as we ask for forgiveness, and repent and promise not to do it again.”
Another song began and once again replaced the gap of silence. Alex turned her head this time to see Andy’s eyes closed, headphones on, effectively dismissing her. She sighed out loud and set her sights on the horizon.
Lord, I pray this won’t be the last time she asks about forgiveness.
Skyscrapers of oil and energy giants glistened as they neared downtown Houston. After some guidance with the GPS, her car pulled up into the tightly spaced parking lot of the Women’s Clinic. The brick building was among other non-descript buildings that they could have easily passed by. A lot better than a little backroom, Alex surmised.
“How did you find this place?” Lori asked reluctantly. Alex got out of the Volkswagen and immediately wanted to retreat back inside. The thought of what took place inside started to make her stomach churn. Despite the blaring sun and Texas humidity, she shuddered.
“The internet.” Andy mumbled the answer as she was getting out of the car.
The three of them stood in the parking lot, in a small circle, looking at their surroundings, the traffic behind them, and nervously at each other.
Alex fixed her eyes on Andy. She wanted to say that ‘You have to forgive yourself and then ask for forgiveness.’ But her lips couldn’t form the words. She had three hours on the drive to craft the perfect words to get through to Andy and yet, here they all were, under the Texas heat, in the middle of a parking lot, shivering with nerves and barely registering each other.
After a brief period of silence, Alex cleared her throat. “Andy, you can still change your mind.”
“I know.” Came the softest reply.
Alex’s jaw tightened, and she looked at her feet to hide her feelings once more. Again, her brain tried to tell her lips to formulate the words it wanted and she looked up to open her mouth again and frowned when no words would come. Again.
This time, Alex searched her friend’s beautiful face and prayed that somewhere in those blue eyes, she could find the one thing for her to go ‘Aha! You’re just as scared as I am. You’re just as doubtful about this thing. Let’s get out of here.’ Her heart sank when instead of those things she hoped to find in her friend’s eyes, she found a quiet and settled determination.
She swallowed the defeat, shoulders hunched down and felt there was only one more thing left to say. “You are loved, Andrea Grace Taylor, remember that. Find your courage.”
Andy just nodded with the faintest smile on her lips
“Okay, you guys.” Alex said trying to keep her voice light and tried to respond to Andy’s smile. It wasn’t working. “I’ll be at the Barnes & Noble we saw on the way here. Call me when you’re done.” She was heading for the car, when she turned around and added, “Call me if you change your mind.”
A few minutes later, she maneuvered in and out of traffic, half concentrating on finding the bookstore. The other remained back at the parking lot of the clinic. A bright green Scion cut in front of her with a slew of bumper stickers. Coexist and Got Jesus, but Alex fixed on the yellow sign with black letters that read “Headed in the wrong direction? God allows for U-Turns.” Andy. Dear God, am I doing the right thing?

About the Author:
Leila Tualla is a Christian blogger and writer. She blogs at www.tuallaleila.blogspot.com and writes about her misadventures in faith, in motherhood, and whatever else inspires her. She holds a membership to the American Christian Fiction Writer. Her current project is a YA Christian Romance.

You can find and contact Leila here:
Website
Facebook
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Review: Beautiful Bedlam (Beautiful Bedlam #1) by Ali Harper

Beautifull BedlamTitle: Beautiful Bedlam
Author: Ali Harper
Series: Beautiful Bedlam #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sixteen-year-old Sienna Rivers has it all, the looks, the smarts, oh and the dysfunctional family from hell, a distorted mind of epic proportions coupled with the return of a childhood sweetheart bad boy Logan Jackson with his smoldering dark eyes, tousled hair, leather jackets and cherry red Mustang, her life suddenly got a lot more complicated.

Before the start of her junior year of high school, Sienna’s greatest problems were studying for the SAT’s and trying to watch Game of Thrones alone in her room without her mother walking in unannounced thinking she was watching some form of adult entertainment.

Now that Logan is back in their small town of Haven Falls, she has to face heartbreak and falling in an all-consuming love for the first time whilst simultaneously dealing with her strange hallucinations, her parents’ crumbling marriage, family secrets crawling out from under the woodwork and her mother’s growing alcohol abuse problem, and of course deciding what dress to wear to her first ever high school dance.

Falling in love had never been so insane.

“He was stunning, striking, charismatic, extroverted, grand and greater than life, every guy wanted to be him and all the girls wanted to be with him. He was the spark, twinkle and gleam of the stars and she was merely the contrasting dark night sky behind that allowed him to shine.”

“She’s everything right in this world, she’s kind, and funny and so beautifully insanely weird and she just gets it. She gets me.”

My Review:
Beautiful Bedlam is in the main a romance story, with elements of suspense, family drama, betrayal, intrigue and a hint at some paranormal twists.

Sienna is like-able if a bit naive at times. Her family life is very dysfunctional, and her best friend betrays her in the worst possible way. Sienna has been pining for Logan Jackson since he upped and left very mysteriously a couple of years previously. As soon as he reappears, she gets sucked back into his life, and falls for him all over again.

Logan was definitely rocking the whole bad-boy vibe, but I’m a total sucker for these type of fictional boyfriends, so I loved him (sad to admit I know). Noah was just too sickly-sweet, no contest if you’re Sienna.

Ali Harper writes beautifully in the main, though I was a little confused in parts at some unclear scene and POV changes.

It’s a very quick, easy read and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next for Logan and Sienna, especially now they’re properly together. I’m also keen to see how the author develops the paranormal theme throughout the rest of the series.

FAVORITE QUOTES:

“Sienna Rivers, ex-nerd, undisputed reigning chess champion of the class of ’09 and the proverbial all around wise-ass degenerate pain in your backside.”

“Be careful. He uses that line on all the girls.”

“All clichés aside, sometimes a girl needed to cry in the rain.”

“Meet Logan Jackson, smug, self-entitled, proud, arrogant, trust-fund brat.”

Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

I engaged in a R4R swap in exchange for my honest review.

Review: Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

dont look backTitle: Don’t Look Back
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: standalone
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Mystery/ Suspense/ Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

My Review:
Sammy wakes up bloodied and battered with no recollection of where she is, or how she got there. This is further confounded when she can’t even remember her name, or who she is. Her family arrive at the hospital to reclaim her and that doesn’t jog her memory. Her brother Scott, his girlfriend Julie and Carson the sorta-boy-next-door all try and help her to piece back the memories of her life. She discovers that she wasn’t a very likable person and quickly realizes this is a ‘second chance’ that most don’t get.

Her best friend Cassie is still missing and her body is subsequently discovered prompting the police to begin a murder investigation, with Sammy prime suspect.

Her parents have a non-existent relationship and the family atmosphere is tense, heightened by Sammy’s obvious distaste towards long-term boyfriend Del and some serious crushing on Carson.She quickly discards the majority of her so-called friends, who are in the main nasty and bitchy.

Sammy’s mind is playing tricks on her as she suffers hallucinations/visions, surges of memory/recollections, eerie images of dead Cassie, and mysterious warning notes that are left in close proximity.

It’s no secret that I’m a massive fan of JLA’s writing and I adore the Lux, Covenent and Dark Elements series. This is the first contemporary novel I’ve read from JLA and while I thoroughly enjoyed it, it didn’t hook me as much as the other books did. The romance is quite muted compared to her other novels, and I missed that. Because boy can JLA write great romance scenes.

However, she has deftly developed the mystery/suspense theme within this novel and as a reader, you constantly wonder whether Sammy is being told the truth by those around her, and continuously ponder who is trustworthy. I did guess the culprit pretty early on – the clues are subtly embedded throughout the story – but I constantly questioned myself, and switched my mind a few times.

The writing was sublime, and the pacing bang-on, as usual. I don’t think the dialogue was as engaging as normal, lacking the humorous/satirical element that is regularly found in her fantasy books, however I felt the characters were a bit more unique and individual as a result.
I finished this book in less than 24 hours, and that says it all really.

Another epic read from writing power-house Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Review: Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Stone Cold TouchTitle: Stone Cold Touch
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: The Dark Elements #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Every touch has its price

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…

My Review:
I started reading Stone Cold Touch as soon as I turned the last page on White Hot Kiss. I was sold on Roth. Completely. Unflinchingly. He’s the man. But goddammit JLA had to go and mess all that up for me!I’m now referring to White Hot Kiss as Book Roth and Stone Cold Touch as Book Zayne.

You can’t help but fall in love with Zayne in this book, even though there are moments where you want to shake some sense into him. He loves Layla with such intensity that he overlooks the fact that she’s running off on little adventures with Roth left, right and center.

Layla’s mind and body are in a bit of a mess, as she feels torn between the two guys. I don’t blame her, it’s a real dilemma as both guys are incredibly hot, very protective of her and offer distinct possibilities. However, Zayne always errs on the side of caution while Roth is more your typical bad-boy (rocking some Seth/Daemon qualities in my opinion, not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

I felt there was a lot more focus on the romance in this book than usual, but there’s still plenty of action to propel the story along.

I hated Abbott in this book and really couldn’t understand how he could throw Layla under the bus so easily. She was supposed to be like a daughter to him, but he never treated her this way and was always quick to think the worst of her. Zayne in comparison was resolute in his defence of Layla, and his belief in her inherent goodness.

I hate snakes, they give me a serious case of the heebie-jeebies, but I love Bambi! Go Figure.

I worked out the identity of the Lilin pretty early on, the subtle clues were there, but that ending was still incredible.

I only read this after the whole voting on Roth vs. Zayne had ended so I couldn’t contribute to who Layla ends up with. I’m guessing it’s going to be Roth. It’s a tough call as both guys are great. However, ultimately I think she’s better suited to Roth as it’s easier to be with him. If she ends up with Zayne she’ll constantly have the whole no-kissing-or-I’ll-take-his-soul type dilemma. No one could live like that. It seems more natural for her to belong with Roth.

Another epic read from JLA, and I can’t wait for Every Last Breath.

Review: White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

White Hot KissTitle: White Hot Kiss
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: The Dark Elements #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
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.

My Review:
Layla is half demon, half warden and very confused over her identity and her place in the world. Having grown up with the Wardens, her entire belief system comes into question the minute she meets Upper Level Demon Roth. Inexplicably drawn to him, her feelings towards him are initially conflicted, but as she gets to know him she can’t help but fall in love.

However, she also has ill-conceived feelings for her ‘adopted’ Warden brother Zayne, and is fending serious bouts of jealousy and envy at his apparent closeness to his proposed mate Danika.

Throw in a seriously bad-ass Mom who is chained in the fiery pits of hell, and an errant Dad who seems hell-bent on eliminating her, and you get a sense of the turmoil that is Layla’s life.

White Hot Kiss contains all the elements that make a JLA novel completely riveting. Superb prose, engaging characters, fiery romance, action packed scenes,compelling dialogue and roller-coaster twists and turns.

By the end of the book Roth had won me over completely,never more so than when he made a massive sacrifice in the name of love – all to protect Layla and those she loves.

A must-read for fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout.