Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout | Book Review

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Image result for stone cold touchTitle: Stone Cold Touch
Series: The Dark Elements, #2
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: Oct. 21, 2014
Genre: paranormal, YA, romance
Pages: 464
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Goodreads page

There are no spoilers in this review.

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Synopsis

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…

(This synopsis is from Goodreads.)

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Thoughts

I’m going to premise this review with that I don’t remember a lot of what happened in the first book. I was in the mood for a new Jennifer L. Armentrout book. I didn’t want to reread the first book, so I just jumped straight into the second one in hopes that my memories will come back to me while I read. It did (sort of), but I couldn’t remember the details. However, I still had an easy time following what was happening in the second book so if you don’t remember what happened in the first, I think you’ll be okay just going to the second book without a reread.

Ok, that aside, let’s get into the actual review.

Like any other Jennifer L. Armentrout book, I was hooked into the story by page one.

So there’s this group of gargoyles called the Wardens who are the protectors of humans and hunters of demons. Gargoyles have pure souls while demons don’t have any. Keep in mind here that pure doesn’t always equal good. Layla, the main protagonist, is half gargoyle and half demon, and struggles to accept her demon side as she was raised by Wardens (you could see where that becomes a problem). There is this demon called the Lilin that is ransacking her town and could potentially cause the Alphas to step in, which would be bad. Really bad. Basically, the Alphas are there as a sort of reset button where they will kill off everything paranormal and maybe even humans. As she tries to uncover where the Lilin is before catastrophic damage is done and the Alphas are forced to step in, she struggles to choose between her two potential love interests: Zayne, who is a Warden, and Roth, who is a demon.

I remember in the first book I was sort of Team Zayne but also Team Roth. I think I was more on Zayne’s side but found potential to switch over to Roth’s side.

In this second book, Layla was very pro-Zayne in the love triangle spectrum. However, I’m more Team Roth now because we get to see him develop more as a character and I’m here for it. You could tell past his classic bad-boy-with-a-heart-of-gold act that he genuinely cares for Layla and that he will do anything to make her happy. He goes to great lengths to try and make her understand to love her demon side as well as her gargoyle side. Zayne, on the other hand, talks about how demons are all bad, but Layla is the exception because she’s “pure” (his words, not mine). You can see why I’m leaning towards Roth now.

Speaking of love triangles, there’s a sort of love… square in this story and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Zayne and Roth likes Layla (and she likes them both back), although Zayne is pretty much bound to marry a girl Warden named Danika, who likes Zayne. I dunno… it seems like a stretch and I’m not sure what’s going to happen in the next couple books. All I know is that it’s bound to get messier than it already is.

Going back to what I was saying earlier, there’s this great message in the story about accepting all parts of yourself. Layla struggles to accept her demon side, and Roth tries to teach her to love herself. There was a quote that I found really reflected what Roth was trying to tell Layla:

“That’s what your Wardens don’t understand. Just because there’s a few bad demons in the bunch doesn’t mean what we do isn’t a very necessary evil.”

– Jennifer L. Armentrout

I saw it along the lines of “don’t judge a whole group for the actions of a few.” The thing I like about this is that Layla doesn’t automatically just start accepting herself just because Roth tells her to. She struggles to battle all the prejudices her Warden family has placed in her mind since she was a child, and that just makes her character all the more relatable.

There were a couple plot twists in the story. One of them I expected. The other, I didn’t see coming at all. I wasn’t shocked per say, but I was so convinced that it was something else that it still surprised me when it happened.

Overall, the writing was easy to follow and there was never a dull moment in the whole entire book. The plot moves quickly, and you will consume the book faster than you expect. Trust me, the ending approached so quickly that I didn’t even register what happened until I closes the book and realized that I was finished with it. It’s that good.

Also, you will want the next book immediately because this one ends on a cliffhanger. It’s a good thing that this whole series is already published or else I would be biting my nails waiting for the next one.

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Characters

Layla Shaw

Unlike a lot of female protagonists in love triangles, I’m not annoyed with Layla. I sympathize with her and what she’s going through. It’s not her fault that she’s half demon and she lives with gargoyles. As Roth has proved, not all demons are bad. And as events have proved, not all gargoyles are good. She’s the gray area in what is traditionally a black and white situation.

Roth

He’s a hottie with a body (I can’t believe I just wrote that but whatever). He’s the whole book boyfriend package. He’s caring. He likes to cuddle. He is willing to call you out on your crap. He wants you to love yourself before loving others. He’ll put you before himself. And he has abs. Of course the last part isn’t necessary, but it’s a bonus.

Zayne

I don’t hate Zayne, but he’s not my favorite either. He’s overly protective of Layla, and doesn’t realize what she truly needs.

Stacey

She is the type of friend you would want sticking around during a crisis because honestly I’ve never seen a more supportive friend and I’m here for it.

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Sam

I feel like everyone has that one friend that just knows a whole bunch of useless fun facts (I am that friend in the friend group). Like, did you know that Hello Kitty is actually not a cat? Or that back in the day people believed that wearing white would draw out the impurities in their bodies? The more you know.

Abbot

He’s an butthole on so many levels I don’t even know where to start. I can’t really say much or else I’ll spoil something major, but all I’m going to say is that he really doesn’t care about Layla and it hurts to watch her slowly realize that.

Danika

I talked about the weird love square at the beginning of this review, but honestly, I can’t even hate Danika for making this thing more complicated because she’s obviously so caring about not only Zayne but also Layla. She’s nice to Layla even though they have their differences and is willing to set aside her feelings to help out when needed. I can’t hate that. I just can’t.

Bambi

As a refresher, Bambi is one of Roth’s familiar. She lives on Layla’s body (sort of like a moving tattoo) for the majority of the story and comes out when necessary. Throughout the story, I wondered what it would feel like to having a familiar moving around your skin, because according to Layla, she could feel it when Bambi decided to move spots on her body. I’m not sure I’d be able to function in public when a snake is moving around on my skin because I’m ticklish. Anyway, that aside, I love Bambi and if she dies in the next couple books someone is going to. Feel. My. Wrath.

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Conclusion

I give this book 4 / 5 BBC Sherlock heads. I highly recommend this series!

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Until next time….

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6 thoughts on “Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout | Book Review

  1. lalafulton 11/19/2018 / 3:30 pm

    I’d completely forgotten about this series until I saw your review! I read it a few years ago and the whole time I kept thinking “this is ridiculous and I LOVE IT.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jessica 11/20/2018 / 8:26 am

      LOL I was thinking the exact same thing while reading this book! XD

      Like

  2. trufflereads 11/20/2018 / 12:24 am

    oh wow, I’ve been wanting a comeback for paranormal so if that doesn’t happen anytime soon, I’m totally starting this series 😛 great review!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jessica 11/20/2018 / 8:27 am

      I totally agree that we need more paranormal books! I’m liking the series so far, and I hope you’ll like it too! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nimika @ wordhaven 11/20/2018 / 11:11 am

    i remember being in an INTENSE jennifer l. armentrout phase last year where i devoured almost all of her books because knows how to write an addictive romance.

    unfortunately, i have like, no patience for love triangles so even tho i loved the first book in the trilogy, i shamelessly just skimmed through the middle portion in this one until i got to the end.

    BUT. the last book, every last breath? Omg. that book is a blessing for the guilty pleasure reader in me. roth and layla just take over the trilogy in that one.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jessica 11/20/2018 / 3:59 pm

      Now you got me excited for the last couple books in this series! I wasn’t going to start until a little bit later but it seems like I need to start the next one asap! XD

      Liked by 1 person

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