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Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements) Paperback – October 21, 2014
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"Armentrout balances suspense and romance, spicing it up with Roth's one-liners and Layla's wry inner commentary, all adding welcome humor...Demonic fun." -Kirkus Reviews
"The second in the Dark Elements series is an absolutely phenomenal, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride....arguably some of Armentrout's best work to date, and what just might be the prolific author's best series....chock full of nonstop action and fast-paced drama. This is a book you'll be hard pressed to put down." -RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)
About the Author
# 1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. Find her on Twitter @JLArmentrout or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.
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Top customer reviews
We see more of Zayne in this book, and the rivalry between Zayne and Roth over Layla. However, something happens that allows Layla to kiss Zayne (trying very hard not to spoil). And now the triangle love is getting real.
If officially falls under the category of books where "you are panicking because you seriously have absolutely no idea who the heroine is going to end up with because both choices are real". Even Jennifer had no idea beforehand, which is why she held that post for us to choose.
(By the way, no one has ever done that. And more authors should do that. Jennifer will have my lifetime blessing for this.)
But Roth got so much better in this book. I don't know why, but he's growing on me. Like, the more I read him, the more I'm falling in love with him. I don't know if it's because we get more glimpses of his true self and the depth of his character, or it's just Jennifer's natural weird ability to make me love the character more every time I read them.
If you're in any way disappointed or didn't like the first book as much, Stone Cold Touch totally redeemed it. It's amazing. Now, I don't know if it's because I've only read Twilight once, but I never noticed all the comparisons between this and Twilight until other readers mention it. If that's the case for you, don't worry it's much better. Layla is a beautiful, strong (literally), and capable girl who does not need a prince of hell of a hot warden to save her. And...there's the whole case where Roth is actually quite similar to Rhysand from Court of Thorns and Roses, if you liked that series.
This book did end in a cliffhanger, but even if there aren't any, I would've continued the series anyway because looking at how it's getting better and better drastically, there is no way I'm missing the third book.
Let’s talk about this love triangle. Stone Cold Touch really ups the tension! Layla and Zayne are getting closer in Roth’s absence, but then his appearance makes things totally awkward. He does have the cliche “I didn’t really like you” speech, but we all know he’s lying, but why? I’m firmly on his team though. I kind of fluctuated to Zayne for a moment, because I think the fact that they can’t kiss is awesome. It’s very Pushing Daisies. But then I figured there would have to be a magical way for them to get to kissing, and that would be kind of annoying. So back to Roth, Prince of Hell! Plus he has awesome tattoos and a tongue stud.
As for the plot, Stone Cold Touch had me hooked from the beginning! I 100% hate Abott and his lying, hypocritical nonsense! He’s been telling Layla for years that she’s more Warden than demon, even though he likes to use her demon powers for his benefit. But the moment something goes wrong, of course it must be Layla! She’s a demon! She’s evil! She’s out to kill them all! Dude, chill! No one knows what the heck is happening, and yes it looks bad for Layla. And honestly, I believed she was doing this stuff without knowing for a moment. It’s all just so weird and twisted! Although I did kind of figure out one of the twists at the end.
Layla. My dear dear Layla, I have a girl crush on you. You are so kick ass, but in such a soft spoken way. She is quiet and unsure and doesn’t think much of herself BUT really she is all sorts of awesome and I love her. I love that she is strong despite the way she was raised and I love how she survives everything thrown at her. The way she is treated by those who are supposed to care for her is horrible and I love how strong she stays in spite of that.
And now we get to the part of the review where I discuss the guys. After White Hot Kiss, I was firmly Team Roth, but this book really changes everything. I am officially torn after reading Stone Cold Touch. Roth is everything I loved about him in the first book and so much more. He is funny and charming and all sorts of dangerously sexy, but he is a good guy. He believes in Layla and trusts that she can handle herself and accepts her for who she is. He does some things I’m not too happy with in this one but I completely understand his reasons and when I discovered his reasons my heart turned into the middle of a gusher. I seriously love him. But then there is Zayne and well Zayne is such a good guy. The things that made me hesitate with Zayne in White Hot Kiss were no longer a problem in this one. He made me so proud in this one and it became abundantly clear how much he cares for Layla. I wanted to hate him going into this. I did, because I was so convinced that I was all for Roth BUT I can’t hate him and I don’t want to. I absolutely love him.
So as you can see this book delivers one heck of a love triangle, but it’s not your normal love triangle. It’s not the love triangle where it is abundantly clear one of the love interests is just there for the drama. I can see Layla ending up with either Zayne or Roth and that makes it wonderful. I’m truly torn. There is no obvious choice or right choice here because either choice would be good for Layla. I can’t think of the last time I was this torn over a love triangle. Maybe The Infernal Devices? But even then I preferred Will by a landslide. So yeah… I’m a mess and I don’t know who to pick. I think I like Roth a bit more but then I think of how wonderful Zayne was and I just do not know.
But beyond the romance this book was awesome just in and of itself. Things have changed and crazy things are happening and I nearly went crazy trying to figure it all out. I kinda figured out some of it but then I didn’t. Here is the thing. When it comes to JLA books I get so absorbed in the ride that I never even try to guess the outcome, I just keep reading and waiting. I gasp and laugh and cry along with the story and I love that. Her books never ever disappoint. This book is just addictive and so good. I also love the idea of Wardens and how different they are from the majority of paranormal books out there.
I also need to talk about the secondary characters, because there were some really great ones. Surprisingly I came to really like Danika and I didn’t think that would happen. I also loved Stacey! I loved that she was such a good best friend to Layla. One of my pet peeves in YA is when the BFF is terrible and Stacey was anything but that. I also liked seeing Dez again because I really loved him in Bitter Sweet Love. And then there were characters I wanted to punch in the face. Seriously such a great cast of characters all around.
Stone Cold Touch was a crazy ride from beginning to end. Your heart will be torn, your mind blown, and you will be kept on the edge of your seat. If you loved White Hot Kiss you will go crazy over Stone Cold Touch. All I know is I need Every Last Breath right this minute.