Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway: Forever Found by Nazarea Andrews

Forever Found (Neverland Lost #2) by Nazarea Andrews

Release Date: December 30, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: A&A Literary
Format: eARC
Source: ARC for Tour
Goodreads • Amazon

Losing Gwen was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to survive. I’ve never loved anyone the way I love her.

But finding her was never about that. And now that I have found her—now that she knows the truth about me and the Island, I have to trust her to believe. Because her leaving me didn’t just destroy me—its killing Neverland.

I need her to love me. But we all need her to believe again.

Peter Pan has grown up and found the girl who left—but the stakes are higher than ever in this romantic conclusion to the story begun in Girl Lost.

When I read Girl Lost, the first book in the Neverland Lost series, the ending was unsatisfying to say the least. The big reveal that Gwen had not imagined the island or the boy and the Peter was in fact that boy all grown up came, and then...nothing. So once I heard about Forever Found, the continuation of the series, I had to check it out.

Told from Peter's point of view, Forever Found picks up right about where Girl Lost left off, with Gwen learning the whole truth about Peter and her past. Despite Peter finally sharing the truth with Gwen, Belle and the island are still fading. It's up to Peter to really convince Gwen that she truly isn't crazy. She still refuses to believe, but her resolve is cracking. And if Peter is going to save the island and Belle, he has to make sure it crumbles, and possibly risk leaving Gwen even more broken than before as a result.

I still really don't like Peter as a character, so his narration wasn't a selling point for me. The "wild" aspect in him, to me, just came off as overly aggressive, violent, and feral—and not in any appealing way. I missed Gwen's narrative for the calmer, nicer nature, but also for the interesting dynamic that stems from her rather fragile sanity. Peter comes off as more than a little crazy, but with a distinctly more homicidal edge, and that's just not for me.

As far as the story, this was a very short read. As a novella, it didn't have much in the way of plot. It was really comprised of getting into Peter's head a bit, a couple flashbacks, and Peter's efforts to convince Gwen once and for all that he was telling the truth. It made for a quick read that helped to give a much more substantial ending to the story. With that said, there were still a lot of things up in the air at the end, but the story of the island got a real resolution.

I still think that the premise of this story is inventive and cool and made for a fun read. If you are someone who loves fairy tales re-imagined, this is certainly right up your alley. While I didn't like the mechanics of this book as much as the first, if you enjoyed the first book but were, like me, left unsatisfied by the ending, Forever Found certainly manages to alleviate that. Be sure to check it out!


And don't miss where it all began...

Girl Lost (Neverland Lost #1) by Nazarea Andrews

Release Date: May 1, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: A&A Literary
Goodreads   Amazon  B&N

Northern was supposed to be a fresh start—a place where people didn’t know who I was or how I had spent years in and out of mental institutes. People didn't know about my parents death or the island no one heard of. But when Peter sits next to me in lit class, I can’t stop the memories, and I don’t want to. He looks too much like the boy from the island, and despite my best intentions, coaxes my secrets from me.

He’s gorgeous, irresistible, a little mad, and completely lost—we are a pair of broken cogs in a world neither of us truly fits into. He is somehow gentle and fierce, heartbreaking in his devotion and savage in his defense.

When Belle, his best friend, shows up, pale and lovely and sick, Peter pulls away from me, a startling withdrawal. It’s a relationship that scares and confuses me. She is at times warm and friendly, and other times is violent and unpredictable.

Peter says that he wants me, but refuses to let himself get close. And there are secrets, surrounding both of us, that border on nightmares. As the memories close in, as Belle gets sicker and more violent, I’m torn between what is true and what I believe, and what this magical boy knows about my mysterious past.

About the Author

Nazarea Andrews is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. She loves chocolate and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She is the author of the University of Branton series, Neverland Lost series, and Edge of the Falls.

She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, and overgrown dog. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Review: Tangled by Emma Chase

Tangled (Tangled #1) by Emma Chase

Release Date: May 20, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Comedy
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 254
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Goodreads • Amazon

Drew Evans is a winner. Handsome and arrogant, he makes multimillion dollar business deals and seduces New York’s most beautiful women with just a smile. He has loyal friends and an indulgent family. So why has he been shuttered in his apartment for seven days, miserable and depressed?

He’ll tell you he has the flu.

But we all know that’s not really true.

Katherine Brooks is brilliant, beautiful and ambitious. She refuses to let anything - or anyone - derail her path to success. When Kate is hired as the new associate at Drew’s father’s investment banking firm, every aspect of the dashing playboy’s life is thrown into a tailspin. The professional competition she brings is unnerving, his attraction to her is distracting, his failure to entice her into his bed is exasperating.

Then, just when Drew is on the cusp of having everything he wants, his overblown confidence threatens to ruin it all. Will he be able untangle his feelings of lust and tenderness, frustration and fulfillment? Will he rise to the most important challenge of his life?

Can Drew Evans win at love?

Tangled is not your mother’s romance novel. It is an outrageous, passionate, witty narrative about a man who knows a lot about women…just not as much as he thinks he knows. As he tells his story, Drew learns the one thing he never wanted in life, is the only thing he can’t live without.

When I first stumbled across Tangled, I was most intrigued by the concept of a romance novel entirely narrated by the male lead. It's certainly not the most common choice. Add to that the quality and hilarity of said narrative, apparent even in the synopsis and other small snippets I read before purchasing, and it seemed like a no-brainer choice. Drew seemed to by far be the shining star of his story, a concept I know he would 100% get behind.

And I wasn't wrong. There's something about him that feels so real. He is absolutely what set the story apart for me. His inner monologue was entertaining as all get-out and felt incredibly realistic and raw. Even in the context of a through and through romance, having what comes across as an honest male narrative serves to elevate Tangled to feel different than all of the other books saturating this area of the market. Because, while there are great romances out there, often times the majority seems to fall in the mediocre and below categories. Drew and the spin he brings to the story, in my opinion, help to catapult this book to the top tier of that heap.

There were moments that I laughed out loud (serious, for real lol-ing) at the humorous way in which Drew told his story. His voice is incredibly funny, blunt and unapologetic, which made virtually every comedic move hit home for me. Sometimes it was funny just because he was such an alpha-male type man, and seeing him try to navigate the waters of infatuation was a beautiful justice. But there was also a level of vulnerability to him as the story progressed that grounded him. This seemingly unflappable, strong, in-control guy was brought down by the same romantic devastation female protagonists often experience within the romance genre. And yet, throughout the entirety of his breakdown, the humor is perpetuated by a steadfast denial that he's suffering from anything more than the flu. A likely story...

Of course, his leading lady, Kate, also deserves a mention. She is certainly the perfect counterpart to Drew: a strong, capable personality, both personally and professionally, that matches his own. If the chemistry between them when they first meet sizzles, it lights on freaking fire when she ends up being a new associate at Drew's dad's firm. And it only builds from there. Even as Kate remains steadfast and faithful in her previous, long-term relationship, the tension between her and Drew mounts to the point that I was almost rooting for her to say "screw it." Almost.

I am, after all a steadfast supporter of fidelity and monogamy. Boring, I know.

The moment when things start to happen—the right way to boot—is beyond satisfying. As the romance kicks up, the heat flies off the charts, making for steamy scenes that are...let's say effective.

Indescribably so.

For a few blissful moments, everything is perfect. These two have a dynamic that runs the full romance gambit: sweet, sexy, challenging, and more. You'll find yourself basking in the glory of their one perfect weekend right along with them. Which just makes it all the more saddening when that weekend comes to an end.

And that end is brought about by a painfully obvious misunderstanding—one that makes you want to physically shake whatever book/e-reader/what-have-you you're reading in lieu of doing so to Drew himself. Because it's all his freaking fault. But it brings about the "flu" and you can't help but feel sorry for him as a result.

Of course, that just makes the moment he steps up all the more satisfying.

Because Drew, our just-maybe-reformed playboy, might just master the grand gesture to win back his perfect match. And by might, I totally mean will. And it feels so good!

If you are a romance fan already, Tangled is not to be missed. This story is, in my opinion, the best of what the genre has to offer. It has the heat and the swoon-factor, but without taking itself too seriously. The humor element is possibly the strongest part of the story overall, and it was definitely one of my favorite parts as I was reading. If you're not currently a romance fan, then this may be exactly the book to convince you that there's more to the genre than its reputation often suggests. As someone who both loves romance and understands why people tend to disregard and turn their noses up at it, finding a book like Tangled that can really showcase all the genre is capable of bringing to the table is special to me. If you haven't already given this a shot, you definitely should!

About the Author

By day, Emma Chase is a devoted wife and mother of two who resides in a small, rural town in New Jersey. By night she is a keyboard crusader, toiling away the hours to bring her colorful characters and their endless antics to life. She has a long standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

Emma is an avid reader. Before her children were born she was known to consume whole books in a single day. Writing has also always been a passion and with the 2013 release of her debut romantic comedy, Tangled, the ability to now call herself an author is nothing less than a dream come true.

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Review: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Hopeless (Hopeless #1) by Colleen Hoover

Release Date: December 17, 2012
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Atria Publishing
Pages: 488
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Goodreads • Amazon

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

Hopeless was one of those reads that I just couldn't escape. It was recommended to me on virtually every book-centric platform I participate on, and it only seemed to show up with more frequency the more books I read. It got to the point that I figured I had to give it a shot, and I'm so glad I did.

Sky is, at best, a participant in her own life. She moves through it with a level of apathy and lack of connection that is jarring and intriguing in the same moment. At times, she seems to be an entirely normal (read: bizarre and weird but built that way) teenager. Others, there's a layer to her that's shrouded in mystery. Something that just doesn't click and might just explain those feelings of discord she occasionally brings about as you read.

Then she meets Holder. And for the first time in as long as Sky can remember, she's feeling things again. At first, it seems like all they have in common are shared poor reputations among their peers. Then, gradually, she starts to feel a growing connection to her fuzzy past. The more time she spends with Holder, the more she starts to think he's hiding something from her and wonder what exactly it could be.

The progression of their relationship combines a number of different elements. There's a sweetness that comes from their lack of histories where meaningful relationships are concerned. There's subterfuge with regards to what Holder isn't telling Sky. There's the complexity that comes with the mystery of how they're connected. It all comes together to make you swoon and sweat and want them to work it out so badly.

The two experience their ups and downs from an early point in the story. When they finally seem to be on solid footing with regards to their feelings for each other, Holder's secrets come to a head. And what he has to say begins a slow build to what will ultimately bring devastation.

Because that's not the end of it. The first reveal is only one in a series of steps to uncovering the truth. And by the time the last layer is pulled back...there are hardly words to describe it.

The final reveal in this book is flawlessly done to exact maximum impact. I'm talking about the kind of reveal you start to see coming, but continue to deny because it would be too gut-wrenching. Even as it becomes more and more clear what's going on, you'll want to deny it. You'll want to look the other way, turn out the lights, and hide under the proverbial covers. You'll want to fight it, tooth and nail, until the moment that you're exhausted, out of excuses and alternatives, and have to face what's right in front of you. But, even though you knew it, saw it coming and just didn't want to believe it could be real, it's like a punch to the gut and a vice on your insides.

Am I being a little melodramatic? Perhaps. But, damn, if this wasn't exactly what I went through while I was reading. I have intense, visceral memories of actively and out-loud denying what I was reading, because what happened to's just the lowest of what humanity is capable of doing. It made me feel ill and cry and just want to scream as the pieces of her history were revealed. This is not an easy read. It is not something I would recommend to everyone. If you can make it through, though, the end is worth it.

Because, at it's core, Hopeless is a story of healing. It's a story about what it takes to pick up the pieces and move yourself forward when your very foundation has been soundly cracked and ripped apart. With Holder's help, Sky begins to overcome what could for some be an insurmountable tragedy in a beautiful example of human triumph.

You can probably tell from the touchy-feely review, but I have a lot of love for this book. It comes with just a little bit of hate as well. Not for the story or the characters or anything related to the story in that way, but I kind of hate the story itself. Only because it wrecked me, in that I know this could've happened to someone and that hurts. It just does. To the point that it's painful to think about, even far removed from reading it. The hurt is so good, though. The kind of pain that will bring you back for seconds, much as you can get.

If you are a fan of the emotional, romantic drama this could be an amazing pick. This is the kind of book lovers of Wait for You by Jennifer Armentrout and/or Easy by Tammara Webber would likely enjoy, but it's possibly even more heartbreaking. If you're looking for a hugely engaging (perhaps to the point of temporary emotional combustion) read that may just give you a cathartic release for the ages, be sure to check out Hopeless!

About the Author

Colleen Hoover is the author of five New York Times bestselling novels. Her first series was published in 2012 and includes Slammed, Point of Retreat and the companion novel This Girl. Her second series, published in 2013, includes the #1 NYT's bestseller Hopeless and the companion novel, Losing Hope. She has released a free novella, Finding Cinderella, as a thank you to her readers for their continued support. The novella is a companion to her Hopeless series, but can be read as a standalone.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cover Reveal: Asa by Jay Crownover

Asa (Marked Men #6) by Jay Crownover

Image Map

Release Date: April 21, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: William Morrow (HarperCollins)
Pages: 416

Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one stunning arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.

Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.

A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make.

And don't miss the other books in the Marked Men series:

About the Author

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series. She also introduced the dark and sexy world of The Point that started with Better When He's Bad and is currently working on her newest series The Saint of Denver. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review: Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Opal (Lux #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Release Date: December 3, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 382
Format: Paperback (Emily), eBook (Izzy)
Source: Purchased by Reviewers
Goodreads  Amazon

Emily's Rating:

Izzy's Rating:

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.


Note: this review is based off a re-read. Does it matter? Probably not. But now you know.

In Obsidian, we saw asshole Daemon.

In Onyx, we saw sassy, wooing Daemon.

Prepare yourselves, because Opal is bringing a whole other animal...

Romantic boyfriend Daemon.

And the world was never the same again.

At the end of Onyx, Katy, Daemon, and company were left shaken. The destruction Blake left in his wake coupled with the reappearance of the one person they'd been desperately trying to find made for an epic, emotional conclusion, and they're still reeling as Opal begins. I have loved all of the books in this series (see my reviews here and here) and it just keeps getting better and better—the stakes are higher, the action is more intense, and the romance...well...let's just say Daemon and Kat totally have the ability to render me nothing more than a pile of goo.

I'll start by discussing their relationship, because the happiness it brings me is practically boundless. The chemistry between Daemon and Katy has always been beyond intense, and that's only more true now that they've made things official. Their snark and quips—the reason I fell in love with them as a couple—still abound even as they settle into being together. But now everything has an extra layer of playful sexiness and tension that will make your knees weak, put butterflies in flight in your stomach, and have a stupid smile on your face virtually the whole time you're reading. Of course, in true JLA fashion, it's just setting you up for the heart break.

And it's a doozy, y'all.

Because despite all of the happiness our beloved alien and kitten are experiencing, things are far from perfect. Dee is being Ash-level awful (perhaps the most gut-wrenching thing of all). Daemon's friends and family are still not happy with Katy, made worse by the end of Onyx. Katy still doesn't know the full extent of what being a hybrid could mean. Not to mention that with the mysterious return of Dawson, Daemon and Dee's brother, the drive to understand what the Department of Defense is up to has never been greater for our group. While Daemon and Dee are overjoyed to have their brother back, Dawson is...different. He's not what they remember, and he's determined to get Bethany back. The others just want to know what the DOD's end game is. Their fact-finding missions were intense and nerve-wracking, but also gave some awesome ways to showcase the culmination of Katy's blossoming into a certifiable badass. Which was too amazing for words.

Real talk: Katy is the kind of female protag I love, the kind I want to be. Her attitude, spunk, and passion are beyond fabulous. She loves books. She runs her own book blog. I mean, gah. With every installment, I fell more in lady-love with her, and I truly believe you'll feel the same. But I digress.

Back to the story itself. With all of this spy-level observation of a top-secret government agency going on, they still manage to struggle with those normal teenage experiences. Juggling a government agency that may or may not want to kidnap, study, and probe you with prom and exams is just so very Katy and Daemon, I can't stand it. And they do it with flawless sarcasm, quick wits—basically perfection. This is the best kind of story, with supremely fantastic elements while still maintaining a quality that is relateable for the reader. I smiled like an idiot, squealed with joy, groaned in frustration, and generally got way too invested in the incredible moments of these characters' stories.

But the real impact moment comes at the end. This book will leave you wrecked, with a conclusion so intense and gut-wrenching that you should definitely prepare for the possible tears. I know I shed more than a few. It's beyond rough, and still somehow beautiful. All you can do is take a deep breath, pull on your big girl (or maybe boy—you could be lurking out there somewhere!) undies and trust in the magical powerhouse that is JLA. Because she'll take care of us. We hope.

The Lux series is one of those extra-special finds. I was lucky in that I got wise to it relatively early on (in fact, over one particular summer I found both the Covenant and Lux series, kick-starting my complete and utter devotion to JLA—certainly the high-point of that summer), but if you still haven't jumped on the bandwagon, do so. I seriously can't recommend it enough. With an excellent story line, amazing characters, and beautiful interactions throughout, this series is a clear choice for any YA paranormal fan. And Opal may be my favorite of the series. I don't know. It tends to switch depending on which installment I'd last read, but Opal has a special place in my heart. In an already stellar series, this is an incredible installment and should not be missed!


After the debacle with Blake and Will, everyone knows. The damage has been done. People have been hurt— been killed—and Katy isn't who she used to be. And, her blog is in complete disarray!


Dawson, apparently not dead, returns. But he is not the brother Dee and Daemon lost a year ago. Unhinged, Dawson is obsessed with finding and rescuing Bethany. At the same time, Blake approaches Katy and Daemon with a proposition that will get Bethany back to Dawson. And now, Katy and Daemon have to decide if they can trust him...again.

With the rest of the Luxen against her, Katy feels isolated from her friends—but at least she has Daemon! That's right, they're official (THANK ALL THAT IS HOLY)! So, Daemon fans, get ready to live vicariously through Katy! But their relationship is not smooth sailing. If ever there is a theme to their relationship, it's this:

Every. Single. Time. I mean, is there no privacy in this group? Nope, apparently not! Poor guys, they just want to spend an hour together without someone barging in and demanding their presence. 

The third installment of the Lux saga is jam packed with sizzling chemistry (the only thing better than a wooing-Daemon is boyfriend-Daemon—get ready to swoon repeatedly) and action. The DOD is still sniffing around, suspecting that a hybrid has been made. Pair that with Katy actively poking around them to find out about Bethany, and you've got yourself a severe case of anxiety.

Seriously, I was so nervous for them every time they decided to "scout out" the DOD.

Unlike Onyx, Opal focuses back on high school life (Prom time!) and I loved it. I feel terrible that Katy has to balance an alien boyfriend to whom she is telepathically connected with (okay, not so much sympathy there), hiding her shenanigans from her mom, and Bio exams. That just straight up sucks--high school is terrible enough without adding paranormal stuff!

I can feel unstructured ramblings coming on, so I'm going to cut myself short. I loved Opal, behind Origin it was probably my favorite in the series. And in general, although I've made this pretty clear, I love this series!

So PLEASE go read this series! You will fall more and more in love with Katy and Daemon with every page in every book!

About the Author

# 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.

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

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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

Release Date: February 25, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 392
Format: Paperback (Emily), eBook (Izzy)
Source: Purchased by Reviewers
Goodreads • Amazon

Emily's Rating:

Izzy's Rating:

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.


After reading Bitter Sweet Love and getting a first glimpse at the dynamics between and story surrounding Layla, Zayne, and Roth, I couldn't have been more excited! If you've read my review of the prequel, you know just how incredible I found the world of Wardens. Even just that small snippet painted a picture of strong characters with enthralling histories.

We'll start with Layla. I've mentioned on multiple occasions how much I despise the reader-on-female protagonist hate, and perhaps my favorite thing about JLA and her stories is that not only does she think it's bull as well, but she writes characters that seem to openly defy it. They are by no means perfect—in fact they can be downright frustrating at times—but she writes characters with a realism that opens your eyes to the fact that hating or mocking them for their limitations is as healthy as doing the same to yourself (read: not at all). The strength of these girls, even in the case of those trained with the skills of a thousand badasses (of which Layla is definitely one), comes not from particular skills but overall character. They have their beliefs and positions and they don't apologize for them. They do everything they can to protect those they love, albeit with a few natural, selfish hang ups along the way. They always rise to the occasion. It's an incredible skill to consistently be able to craft characters of this caliber, and JLA is a gift to all genres she writes as a result.

But let's talk specifics. Layla, introduced to us briefly in BSL, is a half-human, half-Warden struggling to define herself. She has the kind of spunk and determination that makes her instantly likable, while also managing to constantly question herself and her place in the world—that totally natural, teenaged thing to do—made worse by her hybrid heritage. There are aspects to her that are so fantastic, in fitting with the world she lives in, but also things that really serve to ground her. She appreciates high school, because it allows her to feel normal. She loves ice cream and has an excessive sweet tooth. She has dreams and goals, but she sometimes struggles to not get derailed by the prospect of romance and cute boys—especially since it's something she thinks is out of reach. Her soul-stealing (literally) kiss makes sure of that,

Basically, she's the coolest, and I'm not sure I can really explain just how true that is. So at risk of ranting, I'll move on with the parting message that this is a leading lady you definitely want to get to know.

Next up is Zayne. He's the Warden who's been Layla's protector, best friend, and unrequited love for as long as she can remember. Their friendship is one that everyone can relate to—it has both the feeling of that beloved, super-comfy, and comforting sweater with a healthy dose of butterflies-in-your-stomach. Zayne is sweet and safe and completely off-limits, given Layla's very specific affliction.

Which bring us to Roth, resident hotter-than-hell (ha!) demon. And holy mother of god is he worth talking about.

While, realistically, I'm aware he is the embodiment of the risky choice, I couldn't help but be pulled in from the start. He has some of the cockiness seen in the likes of Daemon from JLA's Lux series with an extra dose of bad boy—complete with tattoos that can come to life—thrown in. And it's exactly for that reason that—the lack of soul, that is—that Layla can't help but be intrigued. He's different from what she'd expect, their chemistry is off-the-charts, and suddenly all those romantic milestones aren't so out of reach. Their relationship is full of sparks and snark—which are definitely two of my favorite things! The amount of swooning done over the course of the book was ridiculous, more than a little embarrassing, and oh-so enjoyable.

The story itself has all the makings of an intense, adventurous, and fun read. It's full of rich mythology to build up the back story, peppered with a number of new elements to make it pop. There's a healthy dose of action and some pretty serious suspense and emotional carnage (the end...the FEELS!) for a book of it's kind. Perhaps we should just take to calling this the JLA special? It's like the TARDIS of YA novels; there's so much more to it on the inside.

And with that beyond-lame Doctor Who joke, I should probably wrap this up...

If you are a fan of the YA paranormal romance and you still haven't picked up this series, I'm seriously beginning to question what you're doing with your life/time/whatever. Fans of the genre will not be able to resist the insane appeal and captivation power, and fans of JLA will surely mark this as another win. And now that she's announced that the first draft of Every Last Breath is finished, there couldn't be a better time to get sucked into the magic of the Dark Elements!


Where do I even begin? I guess with the fact that Emily is still the Queen of Recommendations, because I loved it! Seriously, if any of you ever get the honor of getting a rec from her, read it—she will not lead you astray!

I'm a huge fan of angel/demon literature, so you'll see that I read it a lot. And I am quickly becoming an avid and adoring fan of JLA! The voice she gives to her characters is absolutely hilarious and engrossing. I swear I have fallen equally in love with her narrating leading ladies as I have with her devilish love interests! Basically, I always want to transport myself into their worlds (preferably when they're not getting attacked) and get coffee with her characters...maybe become best friends with them. Nope. Definitely become best friends with them.

But anyway, my rantings are not what y'all are looking for. So here's what I thought of the basic plot:

Fabulous. JLA's interpretation of gargoyles is fascinating and original. It's obvious that she's had this story close to her heart for a while now, because every detail about the culture is completely thought-out.

The Wardens (gargoyles) are charged with the protection of humans. Humans are now aware of their presence, but they remain blissfully ignorant of the existence of demons. Which is ironic, really, because demons are more prevalent than ever now.

Set in D.C., White Hot Kiss is about Layla, a half-Warden, half-Demon, who just happens to be able to suck people's souls out. Like a Dementor kiss, really. It makes having a boyfriend extremely difficult, I imagine....

But Layla is a trooper, shunning her demon heritage and fighting her constant cravings of the soul variety. She just feels isolated. The Wardens that she lives with despise her existence out of sheer principal, and the demons hate her for her association with the Wardens.

Talk about being stuck between a rock and Hell.

But enter Roth: the mysterious, sexy Upper Level Demon who is now enrolled in Layla's biology class. And man-oh-man, if he had been in my bio class in high school, I would never have passed. And I would be completely okay with that. But with his mere presence, he turns Layla's world upside down and introduces her to the good side of bad.

To all the Daemon lovers out there, know that Roth exudes that Daemon-esque quality that you fell in love with. He will become your new obsession to keep you warm. So, grab ahold of something and get ready to swoon!

And Layla? Bless her. You can't help but to sympathize with her and admire her. I mean, sure she has her hang-ups, but she is a great character. Her narration makes the book, in the obvious manner and the ... non-obvious manner. Basically, this chick is my new homegirl, and I want her on my team if the apocalypse kicks-off.

Imagine, for a moment, that I actually have an eloquent transition here. I hope it's tear inducing in it's beauty.

Let's talk about Zayne, Layla's brother-not-brother who she's been in love with all her life. Zayne is a nice guy, I would love to be his friend, but that's about all I can say about him. Wait. No. I like his car. Every Supernatural  fan will like his car. It's Baby, but in red, and I drool every time it's mentioned. But as far as Zayne's character goes, he seems to be lacking a personality. I mean, sure, he is handsome, nice, and has a strong sense of justice...but let's be honest, he can't hold a candle to Roth. Basically, Zayne is the love interest I would support if this wasn't a fictional piece of literature.

But anyway, holding true to her infinite awesome-ness, JLA's White Hot Kiss is adding itself to my favorites shelf. For lovers of Paranormal Romance, this is a must-read.

So get off your butts and get it! ....Or order it to your kindle, if you can't be bothered to go to a bookstore. No judgement. That's precisely what I did.

But you. Will. Love. It.


About the Author

# 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Jennifer Armentrout 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.

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