Bitter Sweet Love (The Dark Elements, #0.5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
ebook, 116 pages
Published by Harlequin Teen on December 1, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Summary (Goodreads): 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 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...
Jasmine is a Warden, a gargoyle-like protector of the world from demons. Of course, she isn't allowed to go after the demons with the other Wardens because she's a female. They want the females to stay safe and have children, because their race has seen better days. Because of this, Jasmine must sneak out when she wants to go flying, and that's exactly what she does.
Then one day, as she is coming home from her unsupervised flying trip, her father returns home. She knows he isn't happy about it, but he has news he thinks will make her happy.
Dez is home.
Dez is her long lost best friend. His clan of Wardens was completely destroyed by an Upper Level demon. He was the only one left. Because of this, he was brought to another Warden clan to live with and be taken care of. He was not happy, and he didn't really speak much to anyone, but he eventually caved with Jasmine, as she was persistent. After this, they became inseparable, even with their 3 year age gap.
Then Dez turned 18, and he was to be mated to Jasmine. The next day, he left. Jasmine had no idea where he was or what he was doing. She questioned their entire friendship, and always feared the worst. She believed he left because he didn't want to be mated with her, and this was the easiest way for him to escape it.
She was wrong, because he's back now, and he's ready to mate with her. She isn't ready to mate with him though, as she wants and needs an explanation, and honestly doesn't feel she will ever want to mate with him, even if she can't deny his attractiveness.
She gives him seven days to complete certain tasks with her, and he agrees. Only then will she consider mating with him.
This novella was definitely interesting. I loved the introduction into the world of Wardens and Demons, and getting to understand the aspects of the different ways they live as a community from the humans, who also know about them. Though I opposed the first kiss Dez and Jasmine had, as I felt a more appropriate response from her would be to slap him, besides that, I loved the way their chemistry was and how she did her best to avoid falling into his trap, even if in the end it was futile.
I honestly felt like this was a great way to ease into this world, and I liked how we got a glimpse at the main character of the main series through someone else's eyes. We got to see what it was like as an observer instead of in the head of the main character, and while she was younger than she is in the main series, you still got a handle on her and her unique powers from the views of an outsider. It was also interesting to see her interactions with Zayne and to be introduced to the Upper Level demon that Jasmine notices watching her.
Overall, by the end I felt like most of the point of this story was to introduce those three characters, Layla, Zayne, and the Upper Level demon, because it adds a curiosity to the upcoming story. The story of Dez and Jas was fun to see unfold, but I honestly felt it was cut way too short. I think there should have been a lot more to it, but then again, it wouldn't be a novella if that happened. Because of the fact that I felt it was too short, I only gave it a four star rating. Besides that, I enjoyed the story and started reading White Hot Kiss almost immediately after finishing, as it made me want to experience more of the demons and Wardens.