Series: The Dark Elements,
Published by Harlequin on October 21st 2014
Genres: Love & Romance, Paranormal, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2015 Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout draws readers into the extraordinary, irresistible world of Wardens and demons in the second book of The Dark Elements series.
Every touch has its 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….
I loved Stone Cold Touch! I really, really loved it! All of the things I didn’t care for in the first novel, White Hot Touch, were fixed, and the plot seemed more cohesive. In this novel, Layla is dealing with Roth’s sacrifice and how differently the Wardens treat her in light of her relationship with the demons. She is also dealing with her conflicting feelings towards both Zayne and Roth, which have become even more complicated now that she and Zayne have practically become inseparable. On top of everything, Layla now has a new demonic companion that changes her interactions with everyone around her, and grappling with the possible evolution of her powers.
In White Hot Touch I didn’t particularly think the triangle was very well-developed, or that the Big Bad was that great. Thankfully, JLA improved so much in these two areas. Stone Cold Touch, as the name implies, focuses on Layla’s relationship with Zayne. Through the course of this book the two try to find a way to be together despite Layla’s curse, and her feelings for Roth. Layla also discovers how deeply Zayne feels for her, and that her feelings might not have always been unrequited. By the end of this book I was completely torn over who Layla should chose.
Both guys are hot and care for Layla. They both also offer her different things. Roth understands Layla, and allows her to be herself. He doesn’t try to shelter her, but allows her to make her own decisions. Zayne also understands Layla, is her best friend and confidant, and will do anything to protect her. Even if he pisses off everyone else in his life. Honestly, at this point I will be happy if she ends up with either of the guys, but if forced to chose between them I’d pick what seems to be the less popular choice: Zayne. The two have a great history together, and I think in the long run she’d be happier with him.
The second problem with WHK, was the Big Bad. JLA chose the best person to be the villain this time around, and the end of the novel left me sitting with my mouth hanging completely open. I’m so glad I never read this series until now, because if I had to wait more than a month and half for the third book, I’d be so pissed. LOL! I just have too many series I’m reading that have left me in anticipation over the next book in the series. Ugh, but that’s another story…
Do I Recommend?
This book is so much better than the first, that there’s no way I can’t recommend it. However, you’ll have to get through the first book in order to get to this one, but it’ll be worth it. Per usual, JLA keeps you glued to the page from beginning to end, and the steamy scenes leave you wanting more. Who knew Zayne had it in him? Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend skipping the first book and beginning the series with Stone Cold Touch. Too much happens in the first novel, and you’d miss all of Roth in his glory.
Have you read Jennifer L. Armentrout’s The Dark Elements? If so, do you agree that this book is the strongest (thus far) in the series? Whether you agree or disagree, let me know in the comments below!