I usually try to wait for a few novels of a series to come out before I start them. Mostly, because I am an impatient girl. However, I was in a YA mood after rereading Lux and Covenant series and I do adore JLA, so off I went.
I am so incredibly glad I did. A nice little war between gargoyles – or Wardens as they call themselves – and demons. What could be better? And the main character, a girl who is half-Warden and half-demon and wham, you’re in for some fun. This series is also a YA paranormal romance and I have to say, I was excited to start it.
Bitter Sweet Love (Dark Elements prequel 0.5)
This is the story of Jasmine and Dez, before the start of the main series. You even get to meet the main protagonists in this novel, although they are much younger.
I think this story is set up as a way of explaining a lot of Warden-type traditions and rules within their mating and romance areas before the main show begins. Or at least that’s how it felt to me. However, the emotions behind each of the main characters here, plus Jasmine’s sister, seemed very real and potent to the reader. It definitely wasn’t a filler read. The world Jennifer L. Armentrout is creating this time is as in-depth as her Lux and Covenant universes and I can’t wait to see where it goes. The prequel didn’t impress me that much though, but I do like Dez and Jasmine well enough. Maybe it was because I knew it was only a prequel to the actual real protagonists of the series which put me off. I read this one first, so maybe it should be read in another order. So my rating is 3.5 stars. Sorry JLArmentrout!
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White Hot Kiss (Dark Elements 1.0)
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 going to go a girly squeal of happiness because I absolutely, completely, totally (yes I am being redundant) LOVE Roth. I just do. He’s great. He’s hot. He pops up out of no where, talks Layla into doing crazy things, and he likes her. What’s not to like about the beginning of this series?
Well okay, I do have one peeve. It’s the age of Roth. JLA explains it and everything within the novel, but honestly… eh, I’d have preferred a more traditional, “he’s been around since demons were created” type story. However, I can overlook that with the awesomeness of this novel.
Firstly, the world JLArmentrout created with the Wardens and demons was nicely done. I have my own theories on them and the Alphas and what exactly is the reasoning behind it, but I won’t share. That would involve spoilers of what was explained in the novel and I honestly try to avoid those in reviews. In the beginning, Wardens equaled the good guys, and demons were all evil. By the end of the novel, you knew not everything was what is seemed, although not nearly enough was explained. Hence, I’m holding my breath for the next novel.
Secondly, the characters are as always diverse and realistic. Layla with her issues of belonging because of her heritage, yet her strength in not giving into most of her self-doubts. Roth, well he’s a little hard to read sometimes, but he’s great. And the fact he hums Guns N Roses makes me grin. (I’m a Guns N Roses fan, it’s my decade, so yeah, I LOVE it!) Of course, Zayne is a sweetheart, but I was so angry with him in this novel. Layla has it so hard and to go and do some of the absentminded things he did…. Wow. And of course Dez and Jasmine as well as their twins were here, plus Jasmine’s sister. The patriarch of the clan, some dissenters who hate Layla’s very presence, and add in an evil bad-guy hunting for Layla and the action and drama never stop!
Lastly, the story was wonderfully done in that it gave you enough to explain what was going on, yet kept some things from the reader so you have more to learn next time. Nice balancing, that. All in all, 5 stars!
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To be released on October 21, 2014:
Stone Cold Touch
Every touch has it’s 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…
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Jennifer L. Armentrout – website
Do you read YA? If you do, why do you like them? If not, why don’t you want to read them? Comment away!