Bitter Sweet Love by Jennifer Armentrout
Series: The Dark Elements #0.5
Published by Harlequin Teen
Published on: December 1, 2013
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
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In a sizzling prequel novella to her new series The Dark Elements, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout draws readers into the extraordinary, irresistible world of Wardens and demons.
Dez wasn't just Jasmine's crush. A gargoyle Warden like Jas, he helped her come to terms with her destiny—fending off demons and maintaining the balance between good and evil. He was her everything…right until the moment he disappeared without a trace. It didn't help that Jas's father had just announced that she and Dez would one day be mated. Hard not to take that personally.
And now he's back, three years older, ten times hotter, ready to pick up exactly where they left off. But Jas isn't taking that risk again. Dez has seven days to meet all her conditions and earn back her trust. Seven days filled with terrifying danger and sweet temptation. Seven days to win her heart—or shatter it all over again…
Who wouldn’t want to have wings to fly anywhere they wanted-as long as their dad didn’t find out? Jasmine is a gargoyle warden, and lives with her dad and sister. She spends her time flying whenever she can now that her home schooling is over. She has loved Dez since the day her family took him in at age ten, after he loses his family horrifically. So when he leaves her when he’s eighteen, never to be heard of again, she is devastated. She was fifteen at the time and now it’s three years later. When Dez shows back up and is ready to mate with her, Jasmine is completely surprised, and caught off guard to say the least. Due to their tradition, she has seven days to say yes. This is the story of what happens when she gives him her wish list of experiences she wants to have during the seven days, and it’s up to him to fulfill them.
Jasmine is seventeen, beautiful, has been completely sheltered all her life, and has never traveled anywhere. Dez is a super hot guy-one that makes all the women’s head turn wherever he goes. He’s also a really sweet guy that loves Jasmine, and he does have his reasons why he disappeared.
For such a short read, this was full of world building. In this world, demons live among clueless humans, and gargoyle wardens are tasked with killing them. Jasmine’s mom was killed by a demon when she was a child, and Dez’s family was wiped out by demons. The author’s vision of demons was unique. There’s all different kinds of them, and they show up when you least expect them. Since demon hunting is one of the items on Jasmine’s wish list, this goes a long way towards checking this off her list.
During the seven days, the pair travel to several places. When they visit D.C., they meet a demon/human hybrid named Layla. She is a rarity, and can easily steal their souls-if she gets close enough to kiss. This was the introduction to the main character of book one of this series, White Hot Kiss, and just made me want to read it more.
Since it was a novella, it was an extremely fast read, and set up the world for the series. I enjoyed the characters, and the descriptions of the demons the pair meets. The romance was sweet, and the characters fairly well developed. I think if the story had been bit longer, there could have been a lot more fleshing out of the characters. Also, although we find out why Dez left, I was wishing for more of a story of what happened to him after he left Jasmine. While it’s explained why he left without telling her, I think it needed a better reason for not getting in touch for three years. So yes, that’s the part of the read that bothered me.
I do already own White Hot Kiss, and plan to read it hopefully soon. I bought it because Jennifer Armentrout wrote one of my favorite series, The Lux Series, and I wanted to read another by her. While this didn’t really come close to being as good as Lux, I am hoping the rest of the series lives up to it.