Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Length: 105 pages
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...
Protagonist: Jasmine gone through tragedy and had her heart smashed to pieces, and not necessarily at the same time. She's a strong character, and a bit stubborn, but deep down she's still wounded by her past, so when one of those things from her past, namely the boy she loved who left with no notice, comes back expecting to pick things up as if he never left her, she's, well let's just say pissed off isn't strong enough of a word. I really liked Jasmine's character, and liked that I felt a real development, even though the novella is only around a hundred pages long.
Romance: With this being such a short story the romance is a bit fast tracked, with a lot of the feelings and love between Jas and Dez already there, just needing to be brought back up to the surface. This was done very well, and while I did feel it moved a bit fast, I really didn't mind it.
World-Building: This book actually had a lot of world-building to it and was pretty much a bunch of set up for the first full length book in this series. I rather enjoyed that the author decided to use this novella like a companion novel, introducing us to the world and a few of it's characters, and didn't try to write an entire novella about Layla, the main character for the rest of the series. This novella however really played out a lot like a contemporary, with only a few parts here and there really incorporating the magic and paranormal elements of this series.
Predictability: On the whole this novella was fairly predictable, the only thing I couldn't really pin down was why Dez left, and honestly when we do find out it's a bit anticlimactic given all of my theories about why he left. There were a few small things here and there that I thought might happen that never did, one in particular that I think would have elevated this story a lot more, though the reasons why it didn't satisfied me well enough.
Ending: The end of this story was very satisfying. Everything comes to a close and while I'm not really hoping or expecting a larger story containing these two characters, I did feel a want for a little more. That being said, towards the end we do get a taste of the characters we'll meet in the rest of the series, just enough to wet my appetite a bit.
So, even though this review is going up after my review of White Hot Kiss I did read, and write the review, before even beginning the first book in this series. So this novella is a great taste of the world-building in the series, rolled up in a fun and entertaining love story. I wasn't really surprised that I would give this story 5 stars.