The Dark Elements #2
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Paranormal Young Adult
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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…
Stone Cold Touch follows a fairly standard second book formula in terms of the romance, the fragile relationship established in book one falling apart in this sequel as a second love interest steps up and tosses his hat in the ring. While those who abhor love triangles regardless of whether or not they’re well done will likely want nothing to do with Layla, Zayne and Roth, Ms. Armentrout does know how to create a believable romantic tension between three people that leaves us torn as to which pairing we want to see get their happily ever after in the end.
Layla is one of the main reasons this triangle is more successful than most, her longtime love for Zayne and her realistic understanding that said love will forever be one-sided making her reaction to the sudden shift in Zayne’s interest feel genuine rather than forced. When everything she’s ever wanted but thought she could never have is suddenly within her reach, it’s hard to blame her for wanting to reach out and grab it with both hands despite her lingering feelings for Roth. Layla isn’t the waffling type though, nor does she play games and lead one party on before moving on to the next and repeating the action, instead she takes things slowly across the board, questioning Zayne’s newfound interest and calling Roth out on his sudden rejection of everything she thought they were working toward.
The guys, while throwing a well-aimed verbal punch at one another on occasion, don’t cause us to roll our eyes in frustration as they prepare to do battle for Layla, choosing instead to thoroughly confuse our feelings for them by proving themselves both worthy of her affection. Stone Cold Touch isn’t all romance however, and Ms. Armentrout gives us plenty of substance in this second installment rather than stringing us along until everything inevitably comes to a head in the third book. Overall, while the love triangle will likely be a deterrent for many a reader, it is well executed and much more than Layla’s heart is on the line by the time we reach the final page, leaving us anxious to buckle ourselves in for the Every Last Breath ride.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.