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…
Let's talk a little about White Hot Kiss first (since I never did a review on it). I read WHK on a whim, hoping it would be a light fluffy read that would help me get over my reading slump post Queen of Shadows. It did the job and managed to surprise me as well. I wasn't expecting to like the story as much as I did. Maybe it's because I'm a sucker for the good girl, bad boy trope. Or the opposites attract trope. Or everyone is not what they seem on the surface trope. WHK had all of that and then some. The story was interesting and enjoyable, despite being a bit predictable.
Maybe I read Stone Cold Touch a little too soon after finishing White Hot Kiss but it just didn't live up to the expectations set by the first book. The story was even more predictable this time around and there were so many moments that felt really cheesy. I don't mind cheese, if done right, but at times it's just too much. This time, it was too much, at least for me. The plot itself felt pretty stagnant throughout most of the book. It didn't seem like we were getting anywhere and certain parts just felt very repetitive. The characterizations also were somehow worse. Particularly with Layla and her friends. There seemed to be a lot of forced teenager-ness (i.e. teenagers behaving the way people think teenagers are instead of the way teenagers actually are). It just felt very disconnected.
The ending, on the other hand, might have saved this book a little. The ending is probably what convinced me into giving a three star rating as opposed to maybe two stars. There is a point in the story (within the last 100 pages or so) where things really get going. There are some developments and plot twists and it seems like all the energy that was missing in the earlier parts of the book can be found in the climax and conclusion. Yes, it was still pretty predictable, but there are also things that happen that I didn't see coming.
I'm invested enough in this series and in one relationship in particular *ahem*Layla&Roth*ahem* that I will most probably get around to reading the finale at some point, but I'm hoping that Every Last Breath is more action packed than its prequel.