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Bitter Sweet Love by Jennifer L Armentrout

Updated: May 2

Bitter Sweet Love

by Jennifer L Armentrout

Published by Harlequin Teen

Prequel Novel to The Dark Elements series

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...



Bitter Sweet Love by Jennifer L Armentrout is a prequel novella to the Dark Elements series, and centers around Jasmine, a Warden who was betrothed to her childhood best friend, and sweetheart, Dez. The next day he was gone. Dez shows up three years later, ready to claim Jas, but she isn't going to make it easy for him. And Dez isn't going to make it easy for her to say no.

This was a cute little prequel story. I wasn't crazy about it. It had some good information in it, outlining why female Warden's are highly protected, and in essence, locked away, and a bit about the custom of "Mating" (what the Warden's call marriage, as most marriages are not done because of love, but for the sole purpose of adding to their dwindling race), but otherwise, it was kind of ... meh. It's cute.

I do enjoy the characters. Dez is a sweetheart of a guy. My only gripe with him is the fact that he left for three years and didn't want to tell her why. Jasmine is enjoyable, because while she still does love him, she isn't going to roll over and say yes when he doesn't deserve it. She makes him earn it, which I am all for.

Bitter Sweet Love is something you could read if you are reading the Dark Elements series (like I am), but it isn't necessary. It doesn't really add to the series, other than explaining the Warden's traditions when it comes to marriage. You get to see some characters in the Dark Elements series. If you don't read it, you won't miss anything, other then a happy ending love story between two sweet characters.



Danika: "This is going to be so awkward. Glad it's not me."

Jasmine: "Thanks."

Dez: "I'm sorry."

I gaped

Jasmine: "That's it?"

Dez: "You wouldn't understand, Jas."

Jasmine: "Oh, I don't know, I might be able to grasp an explanation if you speak slowly and use small words."

Dez: "I have never lied to you."

Jasmine: "No. You just left."

Dez: "I like what you're wearing."

Frowning, I glanced down at myself. I had on a camisole covered by a cardigan and a pair of god-awful sleep shorts Danika had bought me for my birthday. They were covered with teddy bears.

Dez: "Get's me in the mood for cuddling."

Jasmine: "And that gets me right out of the mood."

Dez: "You lie. It's cute."

Dez: "Only after promising to rip me limb from limb if anything happens to you."

I smiled widely

He frowned

Dez: "I hope you're smiling about him agreeing and not the ripping-me apart."

I laughed, dropping my hair and punching him in the arm

Jasmine: "Definitely him agreeing. And maybe a little bit of him ripping you apart."

He caught my hand

Dez: "That's not very nice."

I gave him a cheeky grin

Jasmine: "Sorry?"

Dez: "And I don't think that's a genuine apology. You father is very frightening. I put my arms, my legs and my balls out on the -"

I laughed

Jasmine: "Oh, my God. Unnecessary information, Dez."

Dez: "Look, you just need to know what's at stake. I have a feeling I'm going to need my-"

I swung at him with my other hand, but he caught that too.

Jasmine: "You are definitely not going to be needing them any time soon."

Dez: "I strongly disagree."

A wicked look flickered in his eyes a second before he tugged me out of my chair and into his lap. He clamped his arms around my waist as I started to wriggle away

Dez: "Jas. You should stop squirming. Or not. I'm kind of partial to it, honestly."

Jasmine: "You're terrible."

Dez: "I'm a lot of things right now. I bet you can figure out one or two of those things."

Jasmine: "Oh, my God!"

Dez: "Oh, come on, it's not like you haven't seen me naked before."

Jasmine: "When you were, like, ten, and it was by accident!"

I clapped my hands over my cheeks

Jasmine: "And you weren't so..."

Dez: "So what?"

Jasmine: "Nothing!"

Dez: "Has something happened?"

He yawned when I shook my head.

Dez: "SO you just wanted to see me?"

I didn't say anything. He grinned.

Dez: "And feel me up?"

I cringed

Jasmine: "You're never going to let me live this down, are you?"

Dez: "Never. Don't worry. I enjoyed it."

My cheeks flushed.

Jasmine: "I hate you."

Dez: "No, you don't."

Jasmine: "Go shower."

Dez: "I am."

Jasmine: "Then go."

Dez: "I'm trying to, but you keep talking to me and looking so damn adorable."

Danika: "I expect mementos. Something cheesy. Like an authentic I Love New York City T-shirt."

Jasmine: "Okay. What about from DC?"

Danika: "A naked picture of Zayne?"

Jasmine: "And how do you expect me to pull that off?"

She shrugged

Danika: "He's got to take a shower at some point, right?"

Dez: "I'm sure he does, but I have a tiny problem with Jasmine taking a picture of a guy naked."

We both turned at the sound of Dez's voice. He stood in the doorway, hair damn, and an easy grin on his face. I flushed, but Danika looked unrepentant.

Danika: "But she's doing it for me. It's not like she's going to be looking at his goods."

Dez's brows rose

Dez: "No guy's junk needs to be on display for her to take pictures of."

Danika: "What about your junk?"

Jasmine: "Wait. What? Can we not talk about guys' junk?"

Dez: "Don't ever stop eating if you're going to make sounds like that."

I almost choked on my slice, flushing.

Jasmine: "It tastes good!"

Dez: "I can tell."

Dez: "This can only go so far, Jas. And being here, in this bed with you, makes it hard not to take it all the way. And there's one problem with that. I know you don't plan to tell me yes at the end of this."

Dez: "Jasmine... It's a demon. It might be a cute-ugly demon, but it's still the enemy."

Jasmine: "I know, but..."

Dez: "We can't just let it go."

The pukwudgie glanced at Dez and stuck out it's tongue, making a very human raspberry sound. I laughed

Jasmine: "Oh, I like this little guy. If we can't let him go, can I keep him?"

Dez: "Uh, no."

Jasmine: "I shall name him Herbert. Do you like the name, little puke-wedgie?"

Dez: "Pukwudgie. Jas, we need to take care of this."

The earth demon twirled around, hiking its legs up on either side.

Jasmine: "I'll take that as a yes. Herbert is a good name for him."

Dez: "Really? That's the best name you can come up with?"

I flipped him off. His eyes narrowed on me. Herbert hopped onto my boulder, and I help my hand out. He bent at the waist, sniffing the air around my fingers.

Dez: "I wouldn't do that if I were you. God know what kind of messed-up diseases that thing carries."

Herbert spun around, doing another dance, and then brought his hand down on mine as if he were giving me a high five. Then he raised his hand, formed a fist, and shook it at Dez.

Jasmine: "Huh. I really don't think Herbert likes you."

Dez: "That's tragic. I want you to move back from it."

Ignoring him again, I chuckled as Herbert climbed to my side of the rock and wrapped his hand around my pointer finger.

Jasmine: "I think he's shaking my - ouch! Herbert bit me! The little bastard bit me!"

Dez was at my side in a second, kneeling down. He opened his mouth.

Jasmine: "Don't you dare say I told you so. I can't believe he bit me. I thought he liked me."

Dez: "I wasn't going to say anything. Let me see it. He broke the skin, didn't he? Christ. You're bleeding. Come on, let's wash it off and get out of here before more of them show up and decide to take a bite out of you."

Jasmine: "You think there're more?"

Dez: "If there's one, there's probably a hundred."

Jasmine: "You should've killed it."

Dez: "I tried, but someone - no names mentioned - thought Herbert was so ugly it was cute."

I sighed. True

Jasmine: "He doesn't deserve the name Herbert."

Dez: "I'm here with you. I'm not going anywhere, Jas. I'm not going to leave you again."

Zayne: "What fun is being normal?"

Layla: "Nothing in this world is stronger than love. It should always be enough, no matter what."

Dez: "I wasn't with anyone else because I couldn't be. I didn't want to be, because I always knew I was going to come back to you. There was never a doubt in my mind."

Jasmine: "Never?"

Dez: "Never. I loved you the night you brought me pudding and stayed with me until I fell asleep. That was eleven years ago and my love for you has never faded. Jas. Not for one second."

Jasmine: "For three years I thought you ran to escape me."

Dez: "God, I hate that you ever thought that. You were just so strong. You lost your mom. You saw her die, but you were strengthened by it. You didn't let the hate swallow you up. I would've. I'm not proud to admit that, but ..."

Jasmine: "But what?"

Dez: "But when your father announced his intentions for us, I knew I had to purge myself of the rage, because loving you ... love you was bittersweet. Because I knew it I didn't do this, I would never be the mate you deserved."

Jasmine: "Oh, Dez. I..."

Dez: "I know it's probably too little, too late. But what I've told you is true. And like I said before, I'll wait. No matter how long it takes to prove that I do love you, I will."

Jasmine: "I love you."

Dez: "Say that again."

Jasmine: "I love you."

Dez: "One more time."

Jasmine: "I love you, Dez."


Check out the rest of the Dark Elements Series


Check out the Spin-off Series, The Harbinger Series, Below

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