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Readers Advisory: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Harlequin Teen, $9.99 trade paper, ISBN-10 0373211104, February 2014

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.

Woohoo, it’s a Jennifer L. Armentrout novel, and you guys know what that means: FAN SERVICE FOR EVERYONE! Well, for everyone who’s into hot guys, anyway.

All right, all right, yes, it’s another paranormal/urban romance, and yes, it’s another unlikely tale of the fate of the universe hinging on a teenage girl, and yes, I can hear you muttering about Twilight. Agreed, on principle. However, Armentrout knows how to give her fans what they want, namely snappy dialogue, a heroine with a brain, and a couple of equally attractive alpha males, one a white knight and one a bad boy with a good heart. Action, violence, and steamy make out scenes ensue. Oh, and while paranormal romance in the broad sense is “been there, done that” for all of us, Armentrout still finds ways to bring in some originality. Living tattoos, anyone? Romance fans will eat this up with a spoon, although so far Team Zayne has little to recommend it over Team Roth. Due to some mild sexual content, keep this one in mind primarily for mature teen readers.

Recommend to: Teen and adult fans of paranormal romance, Buffy and Vampire Diaries fans (although no vampires)

To buy or not to buy: Great choice for a public library YA collection. Unfortunately, it’s not in hardbound, so I know some of us won’t be able to buy a physical copy, but it’s also available as an ebook.


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