Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Release Day Launch and Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Synopsis:
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.

BUY LINKS:

My Review!

*I received a copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

You should know that this is the third book I've tried to read by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I've tried Obsidian and Wait for You, but I couldn't finish them. Maybe it was the books, her writing, or maybe it was just because of my reading state at the time. Whatever it was, I was a little hesitant going into this one. But I'd been wanting to read White Hot Kiss ever since I heard of the blurb. C'mon, gargoyles? I had to find out what this was all about!

Rating: 4 stars!

And, it turns out, I loved this book! I was immediately hooked from the beginning. The main character's voice was easy to connect with, and I really liked her. Layla is a half-gargoyle, half-demon young woman living with the Wardens. They've adopted her, treating her like their own. But she's not just a gargoyle. She has demon blood in her, something that she can't come to terms with, something she's been told to suppress. Layla just wants to be normal, to be able to shift, to kiss her crush without stealing his soul. Sometimes, she can be pretty stupid, and naive. I did so many face-palms when she talked. However, I thought her innocence and her character was very endearing. She has a likable personality, and she's just trying to understand her past and who she is. And it's a past that will come back to haunt her and make her question everything.

THE LOVE TRIANGLE
Okay, so if you've read any of my reviews, you'd know that I HATE love triangles. I can't stand them, and I was honestly so worried about this one. It sounds like your average, typical love triangle with the best friend, the MC's crush, someone she can't have, and the sarcastic bad boy who makes her blood boil. I was ready to hate this love triangle. And even though it's a typical trope, I didn't mind it in White Hot Kiss. I ended up really liking Zayne, the totally off-limits hottie. However, I sometimes hated how he treated Layla like a child, like she couldn't do anything besides tag demons. He's protective, I get that. But she needed room to grow, and he was stifling her. And I think that they are better off as friends, but because of everything happening in this book, I was saddened that their relationship sort of tapered off. I want more of their interactions; I missed them after reading Bitter Sweet Love!

And that brings me to Roth. Ooh, I have a thing for fictional bad boys, and Roth was no different. I loved him! He's such a three-dimensional character, and I want to learn more about him in book two, and I have to know if he's okay after that ending! He made me swoon, made me laugh, made me absolutely adore him. He's this badass demon who has a trademark smirk and a dirty comment for everything. Sounds typical, right? I thought so, too. But I really loved how he was more than that, more than just a demon. It's too bad he doesn't make it easy for anyone to trust him, and I was nervous, wondering if he had ulterior motives. But he completely surprised me, and I loved that! 

THE PLOT
Like I said, I was pulled in from the beginning. I read Bitter Sweet Love first, but I still wasn't convinced of this series. But I loved the paranormal aspects! It was different, unique, and the idea of these "gargoyles" being real and being protectors was awesome. And I'm glad that the plot was about 50/50 when it came to the romance and paranormal aspects. The romance, and the love triangle, didn't dominate the story-line, and for that I was grateful. I also thought the action scenes were well-done, and the characters were all kickass. I liked where the story-line headed, and I can't wait to see what JLA does in book two, Stone Cold Touch. I'm hoping for more swoons, more action, and more Roth. ;)

This has a cliffhanger, and boy, does it make me want that second book right this minute. I have to know what happens now. I have to see where Jennifer Armentrout takes this series. But more than that, I want to. I want more of these characters, and I want more of this paranormal world. 

In-between total swoon-worthy scenes, the characters throw out awesome one-liners, and the suspense and danger is never far from their thoughts. They each held their own weight, and the main character's voice was refreshing in its innocence and curiosity about her identity. White Hot Kiss had everything--a little bit of romance, a little bit of action, and a whole lot of humor. :)

***

EXCERPT:

“I don’t think of Zayne that way!” 
She laughed. “What man-parts-loving female in this world doesn’t think of Zayne that
way? I can barely keep myself breathing when I see him. All the guys in school have squishy
waists. I can tell Zayne doesn’t. He’s the awesome sauce with extra sauce.”
That he was and he so didn’t have a squishy waist, but I tuned Stacey out at that point. I
really did need to cram for this test and I also didn’t want my fantasies involving Zayne to
occupy my mind right now. Especially after I’d woken up this morning, carefully tucked under
the covers. The bed had smelled like him: sandalwood and crisp linen. 
“Oh, sweet baby Jesus in a manger,” Stacey murmured.
I clenched my jaw, cupping my hands over my ears.
She jabbed me in the side with her elbow. At this rate I’d be covered in bruises before
lunchtime. “Our bio class just got a billion times more interesting. And hotter, lots and lots
hotter. Holy mother, I want to have his babies. Not now of course, but definitely later. But I’d
like to start practicing soon.”
The cell wall is a thick and rigid layer covering the plasma something, something plant
cells… 
Stacey stiffened all of a sudden. “Oh my God, he’s coming—”
              Composed of fat and sugar—
Something slender and shiny fell from who knew where, landing in the middle of Sam’s
notes. Blinking tightly, it took me a couple of seconds to recognize the faded and half peeled
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sticker covering the back of the silver cell phone.
My heart slammed against my ribs. Gripping the edges of the notebook, I slowly lifted
my gaze. Unnaturally beautiful golden eyes met mine.  
“You forgot this last night.”

***

About Jennifer L. Armentrout:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Links:

***GIVEAWAY!!!***
Harlequin Teen is giving away a large Harlequin Teen Tote. International Giveaway.
Tote Includes:
·        Harlequin TEEN branded tote
·        The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa (trade)
·        Pawn by Aimee Carter (hard cover)
·        Crash Into You by Katie McGarry (hard cover)
·        Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter (hard cover)
·        2 copies of White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout
·        1 pair of black harlequin branded socks (they are so comfy!)