Source: I received an ARC from the publisher (Harlequin Teen) in exchange for an honest review
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.
Hell. YES! I had high expectations for this, and JLA never disappoints– she wowed me again with White Hot Kiss, the first book in her new sexy series about… gargoyles! How freaking cool is that, right? And, if you haven’t read the prequel novella to WHK, you should get to it! Bitter Sweet Love is a great way to introduce yourself to this new world JLA has created, and plus, you get to see Layla, Roth, and Zayne for the first time in it!
Let me first start off with how much I ADORE this new world JLA has created! I think it’s freaking awesome that she decided to write about gargoyles and demons. And plus… she created ROTH, who makes me swoon SO madly. JLA doesn’t bombard you with the world building (although reading Bitter Sweet Love helps), and the writing is just as incredible as ever. I connected with the main character, hell, all the characters, so well because JLA writes them in such a way that makes them come to life. And yes, I really really wish Roth were real, because that boy… er… demon… is like hot damn.
It’s complicated being the only half demon, half gargoyle for Layla. And the worst thing of all? She can’t kiss anyone–or else she’ll take their soul. For basically all of her life, the Wardens, aka the gargoyles, have been taking care of her, even though most of them would rather see her die. Such a good life, right? Layla was taken in by Zayne’s family and she and Zayne have been inseparable since. She knows nothing about her origin, and every day it kills her to be excluded, to not be a part of a group that she so badly wants to be a part of. The Wardens constantly see her as a danger, and it hurts her that they feel this way after all the help she’s given them in finding and getting rid of demons. But everything changes for Layla once she meets Roth. Because all her inherent beliefs about Wardens being the “good” guys and demons being the “bad” guys go straight down the gutter.
“People with the purest souls are capable of the greatest evils. No one is perfect, no matter what they are or what side they fight for.”
Meeting Roth awakens a whole new side of Layla. She learns more about her world and herself, and she also starts to see that what she felt for Zayne was nothing compared to what she starts to feel for Roth. Because Roth is annoying, hot, and riles her up in so many ways she can’t decide between wanting to punch him or kiss him.
At some point, Roth had gotten hold of my cell and replaced Zayne’s name with Stony and listed his own number under Sexy Beast. What a tool.
I honestly LOVED the relationship between Layla and Roth. There’s definitely some strong chemistry between them, but they eventually just become friends… for the most part. There are some kisses here and there, which Layla can have now because Roth has no soul. Roth. is. freaking. hilarious! He and Layla have the best conversations that would have me giggling and grinning so much. God, I love these two. But then there are the more serious, more intimate moments between them that made me swoon so much. Because truly, underneath that rude, crass exterior, Roth is a huge sweetheart.
“You undo me. You have no idea how you undo me.”
And my favorite quote…. (I seriously went “OH GOD ROTH YOU BREAK MY HEART YOU SWEET, SWEET DEMON” when I read this.)
“I lost myself the moment I found you.”
And hello, action scenes! There’s tons of fun, kickass fight scenes with evil dudes (WHK is very much a good vs. evil book), which I love! There’s never a dull moment in this book–between Layla being her awesome, snarky self, Roth being delicious and sexy and hot and amazing and lovable and… okay, I’ll stop here, and the badass fight scenes, I couldn’t put this book down! Loved reading this book, and I can’t WAIT for Cold Stone Touch!
I want more Roth!!!
Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.
Reading Order: The Dark Elements series
#0.5 ~ Bitter Sweet Love: My Review • Ebook • Goodreads
#1 ~ White Hot Kiss: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Stone Cold Touch: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Every Last Breath: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (July 28, 2015)