Updated: Jan 19
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Book 2 in A Wicked Trilogy
Torn between duty and survival, nothing can be the same.
Everything Ivy Morgan thought she knew has been turned on its head. After being betrayed and then nearly killed by the Prince of the Fae, she’s left bruised and devastated—and with an earth-shattering secret that she must keep at all costs. And if the Order finds out her secret, they’ll kill her.
Then there’s Ren Owens, the sexy, tattooed Elite member of the Order who has been sharing Ivy’s bed and claiming her heart. Their chemistry is smoking hot, but Ivy knows that Ren has always valued his duty to the Order above all else—he could never touch her if he knew the truth. That is, if he let her live at all. Yet how can she live with herself if she lies to him?
But as the Fae Prince begins to close in, intent on permanently opening the gates to the Otherworld, Ivy is running out of options. If she doesn’t figure out who she can trust—and fast—it’s not only her heart that will be torn apart, but civilization itself.
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy #Romance Exciting
Violence #UrbanFantasy Emotional
Torn by Jennifer L Armentrout is the second book in A Wicked Triology, and starts up a few days after the first book ends, with our heroine, Ivy Morgan, healing from her near brush with death, with the help of her boyfriend, and fellow Warden, Ren Owens, and her bff, and brownie, Tink. All the while, she is trying to deal with what the Prince of the Otherworld called her ... the halfling. The very halfling that Ren's duty is to find and kill before the Prince gets to her.
Torn is the perfect title for this book. Ivy's world is torn apart. The Order failed in their latest mission, and the Prince and his knights came through the door. Her best friend betrayed her, and left her for dead. She found out she is the halfling that Ren, her boyfriend, and the man she is in love with, has been searching for and is sworn to kill. It's intense. The story is wonderfully original, and action packed. Jennifer Armentrout has found a wonderful balance, providing the action nessacary to move along the story, while not forgetting to actually write about it. In some of the most dire situations in the book, it didn't last just a chapter, which is what happens in a lot of books. It lasts multiple chapters. Character growth is not put aside for the sake of plot.
Ivy is still the kick-ass heroine that Jennifer Armentrout, I feel, should be famous for. But as the title suggests, she is torn. This book is really about Ivy fighting with the knowledge that she is not fully human, and what she knows of herself. There are just as many moments where she says, I am Ivy Morgan, as moments where she no longer knows herself. I suspect this will continue in the third and final book of the series. We didn't get too much of Ren in this book, which, as he once said in the first book ... sad face. Ren himself is torn. Between his duty, and his heart. Without getting into spoiler territory, he faces his own inner demons, much like Ivy. We didn't get too much Tink either ... but we do get the human size Tink, which leads to some hilarious banter between Ivy, Ren and Tink. I want to discuss the Prince, but I can't without spoiling ... so just know I haven't forgotten about the "big bad" of the series.
Torn, I feel, greatly improved on the first book. I found it less predictable, and while a lot of stuff happened, the writing and time focused on each action gave each plot point worth. The characters, by the end of the book, seem to be in a place where they are ready for the next step ... very much like I am ready for the next, and last book.
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Tink: "I know you're mad at me and you probably want to slice and dice me up and wear my skin as a new bracelet."
Ivy: "Um. That's not exactly what I want to do."
Hope widened his eyes
Ivy: "But I kind of want to flush you down a toilet."
Tink: "I'd get stuck! And these pipes are old. How would you even do that? I'm not a goldfish."
I rolled my eyes.
Tink: "You might not believe this, but I didn't stay with you because of what you are. I stayed because I like you, Ivy. I stayed because I care about you."
Tink grinned and his eyes glimmered
Tink: "And, okay, I also stayed because you have the magical and wonderful Amazon Prime."
Ren: "Goddamn, you're so sweet. I got another request. I want to touch you. I need to."
Ivy: "That's another thing you can assume you have permission for."
Ren: "You just made my night. Hell, my week."
He kissed me again, dragging his tongue over the roof of my mouth.
Ren: "Fuck it. You made my life."
Ivy: "I do know I want to stab you in the eyeball every time you call me 'little bird.' "
Drake: "You do not like me."
Ivy: "No shit."
Miles: "Am I interrupting?"
Ren: "You going to get pissed if I say yes?"
Ivy: "Do you ever leave this house, Tink? Go anywhere?"
Tink: "Why would I leave? This place has everything I need, and if it doesn't, I can order it from Amazon. Though, on second thought, we could use a live-in chef, because you can't cook for shit."
Tink: "Thou shall not pass!"
Ren halted mid-swing.
The knight caught Ren's arm, blocking the jab as he turned and cocked his head to the side, staring at the brownie."
Tink: "Well, shit. That worked in The Lord of the Rings."
Tink: "You're cutting into my sleep time. And you don't want to mess with my sleep time. I give you one more chance, sir. Leave, or else."
Ren: "Jesus. What are you going to do, Tink? Annoy him to death? Because that might actually work."
Ren: "What in the actual fuck of all fuckdoms?"
Tink: "I'm very powerful, Ivy. I've told you that a hundred thousand times before, but you probably just ignored me. Big things come in small packages."
Ivy: "That ... explains nothing."
He cocked his head to the side
Tink: "Well, I am kind of like a house elf."
Ivy: "Oh my God! You are not a house elf! This isn't the wizarding world of fucked up! You're fully grown. Like man-sized grown."
Tink: "I'm going to pretend you did not speak of the wizarding world in such a tone."
Ren: "I warned you, Ivy. I even asked you if you knew what you had living in your house."
Ivy: "Did you know he was actually six-and-a-half-feet tall and anatomically correct?"
Ren's nose wrinkled
Ren: "Well, no."
Ivy: "Then shut the hell up!"
Ren threw his hands up in the air
Ren: "Alrighty then."
Tink: "Why would you think I wasn't anatomically correct in the first place?"
Turning back to naked, person-sized Tink, I ignored his question and shouting, "And where are your goddamn wings?"
Tink: "I have them hidden now. In this form, they're pretty big and would be knocking shit over left and right, and considering how unstable you are, I doubt that's -"
Ivy: "I'm unstable because you're not the size of a fucking Barbie doll."
Ivy: "Oh my God, I'm going to kill you!"
Tink drew back, his eyes wide.
Tink: "That's a little drastic."
Ren: "Can you put some damn clothes on?"
Tink arched a brow
Tink: "You have a problem with male nudity?"
Ren: "I have a problem with your dick hanging out."
Tink: "You didn't have a problem walking around the apartment with your junk all out and in everyone's face."
Ren: "That's because I didn't know you were here."
Tink: "You know what I think the problem is? You're intimidated by my size."
Oh my God.
Ren: "Yeah, I'm not intimated. That's not a problem."
Considering I fortunately knew Ren's size, and unfortunately now knew Tink's size, I could confirm that was, indeed, not a problem. Picking up a throw pillow, I tossed it at Tink. He caught it and sighed, holding it so it covered up parts of him I hadn't wanted to ever see.
Ivy: "This is a nightmare. I'm going to wake up in a few minutes, the lock on my front door won't be broken, there will have been no knight, and Tink will still be a goot tall playing with troll dolls."
Tink: "Oh, I'll still play with them."
I squeezed my eyes shut
He sat down on the edge of the coffee table, bare ass and balls just everywhere. Jesus.
Ivy: "Oh my God, Tink, you could've just said something. Like, oh, I din't know. 'Hey, I may look small, but I'm really a giant dickhead." That would've been helpful."
Tink: "Hey, at least I killed the warrior with my sheer strength and skill.
I snorted as I brushed up the pieces of broken lamp.
Ivy: "More like you shocked him with your nakedness."
Tink: "Well, my girth is impressive."
Ivy: "First off, I'm not going to be screwing the prince, because I actually have taste in men. And secondly, I didn't choose to be this, Val. I didn't wake up one moment and decide to be a fucking coward and betray every person who trusts me, because that's basically what you are. A fucking coward who fucks everyone while fucking them over -"
Val swung on me, and that flipped my oh-hell-no switch. I dipped and shot back up. Cocking my arm, I threw a punch. I didn't miss. My knuckles connected with her jaw, snapping her head back. She stumbled a step and then her head whipped in my direction. She worked her jaw,
Ivy: "Really? You deserve that and more."
Ivy: "Did you just apologize for overstepping? Overstepping? Are you on crack? And she isn't going to woo me to the dark side. I'm un-woo-able. So I don't know what she's been promising you, but it's a whole lot of nothing. You can't use her to get to me, Drake."
He turned his head in my direction and smiled.
Drake: "I didn't give you permission either."
I spread my arms wide
Ivy: "Look at all the fucks I have to give. I give zero. Zero fucks."
Ivy: "What the fuck? Tink! Are you fishing in my sink?"
He looked up
Ivy: "If there are fish in my sink, I swear to God, I'm flushing you down a toilet."
Tink shot me a bored look.
Tink: "As if I'd fit down a toilet."
Ivy: "What would you do if I died?"
Tink: "Why would you even be thinking about that?"
Ivy: "I've thought about it before, but just ... you know, with everything going on, there's a chance. There's always been a chance, Tink. Wht would you do?"
Tink opened his mouth and then closed it. HIs wings drooped.
Tink: "I don't know what I'd do. I guess I'd have to go find someone else who has Amazon Prime."
Ivy: "How about a tortoise?"
He rolled his eyes
Tink: "What would I do with a tortoise?"
Ivy: "I don't know. What would you do with a car or ferret?"
Tink: "Pet it. Hug it. You can't do that with a damn tortoise."
Ivy: "I think you can pet it."
Tink: "I want something fluffy."
Ivy: "Look, if you had a cat, you'd have to take care of it."
Tink flew up to the ceiling fan and grabbed one of the blades, dangling from it.
Tink: "I'd have to get a litter box - preferably one of those self-cleaning ones, and cat toys and -"
As I exited the bedroom, I hit the switch and turned on the fan, grinning when he shrieked.
Tink: "That was screwed up! I'd never do that to a kitten!"
Jerome: "Ya look like crap Thought ya should know."
Ivy: "Well, your house smells like dust and Vick's Vaporub."
Jerome: "Insultin' me while I might be dyin' is a new low even for ya, the red-headed demon."
I rolled my eyes
Ivy: "But hey, I brought you chocolate pie."
Drake: "Two weeks."
Ivy: "Three. I need time to grow accustomed to this. To become comfortable."
Drake: "You don't need to be comfortable. You just need to let me plant my seed in you."
Ivy: "Yeah, okay. That's why I need time, because you say stuff like that while I have a chain around my neck, and I just want to throw up in your face."
The prince's lip curled in disgust
Ivy: "Exactly. I need time."
Ren: "Don't do this. I'm not worth it. You can't do ... this."
Ivy: "You are worth it. I couldn't live with myself if ... I love you. No matter what, I love you."
My smile widened as I faced Breena. She looked at me expectantly. I cocked my arm back and punched her right in her stupid face with everything I had in me.
Faye gasped as Breena fell backward onto the bed. I didn't give her a chance to recover. Straddling her thing hips, I gripped the sides of her head and thrust my thumbs deep into her eyes.
Ivy: "I'm going to kill you. Maybe not right now, but one day I will kill you."
Breena screamed, bucking her hips, but I held on to her like an octopus, waiting for Faye to intervene. The bedroom door flew open, and an ancient rushed into the room. I kept digging my fingers in, relishing Breena's shrieks of pain until two hands gripped my shoulders and tore me away. My butt hit the floor.
Metal closed around my neck and the chain was pulled tight, forcing me to stand. Breena jumped to her feet, shimmery blood dripping from the corners of her red eyes. Screaming like a banshee, she rushed me, but didn't get far.
Faye caught her around the waist and started dragging her, arms and legs flailing, around the bed and toward the open door. A hysterical laugh bubbled up in me as the ancient shoved me back toward the bed. I caught myself and whipped around.
His arm shot out, the back of his hand connecting with my jaw. Pain erupted along my mouth. I touched my chin, wincing when red smeared my fingertips.
Ancient: "The prince will be displeased with your actions."
Lip bleeding and aching, I gave him a bloody smile.
Ivy: "Worth it."
Drake: "When you were on your back and I'd broken some very important things inside you, didn't you want to live? Has that changed?"
Ivy: "Yes. Your mere presence makes me wish for a fifty-story window to jump out of and a cement sidewalk below. Or a moat. A moat with a dozen hungry alligators in it."
Drake: "You always paint suck lovely pictures with your words, little bird."
Ivy: "I'm going to paint lovely pictures with your intestines."
Drake: "You know, little bird. I plan to keep you afterward. Your mouth amuses me. Perhaps I will have a pretty cage fashioned to hold my pretty red-headed bird."
Ivy: "You should go update your Match.com profile with that information. The ladies will be lining up outside, because nothing screams romance like being help captive in a cage."
Drake chuckled darkly
Drake: "Ah, you are amusing."
Ivy: "I am not amusing! I'm pissed."
Drake: "Really? I never would've guessed that."
Ivy: "I'm going to kill you. I will find a way, and I will kill you for everything you have done to Ren, and everything you're doing to me.
The prince tipped his head to the side.
Ivy: "And that's not a warning. It's a promise I won't even consider backing out of."
Tink: "I grabbed some of your jeans and sweaters, and yeah, I kind of had to grab the unmentionables, so I sort of rifled through your underwear, and honey child boo-boo, you should buy some thongs, because really, the boy shorts are so yesteryear."
Ivy: "You worked with Ren?"
Tink: "I had to find my Ivy-Divy."
Ivy: "Thank you. Thank you for looking for me and -"
Tink: "You don't have to thank me. It's what friends do. And we're the very best friends."
Tink: "What happened to you?"
Ivy: "A lot."
Tink: "You aren't ... I know ... how the fae can be. I know they can be cruel. I know what they are capable of, but I know ... I know you are strong. You will be okay."
Ren: "You made deal with that bastard to set me free. You sacrificed yourself for me, and I couldn't do anything to stop you from doing it, to stop him from hurting you. You're the bravest person I know."
Ivy: "I'm not brave. I just ... I couldn't let him hurt you anymore. I ..."
Ren: "You love me. That's why."
Ivy: "I do, but -"
Ren: "I love you, Ivy."
Ren: "I love you. I'm fucking in love with you. I don't know how long I've been in love with you, but it was probably that night you flipped me onto my back, straddled me, and held a dagger to my throat. If it wasn't that night, it was the first time you let me get close to you, let me see the real you under everything."
Ivy: "You're crazy."
Ren: "Crazy in love with you."
Ivy: "I'm a halfling, Ren."
Ren: "I know. I know what you are."
Ivy: "Apparently not. I'm not completely human. I'm part fae. I'm -"
Ren: "You're Ivy Morgan. You're this beautiful, wild, and brave woman. You're incredibly loyal, and I don't deserve your love, but I'll take it. I'll keep it close to me and I'll never regret a damn second of doing so. You just also happen to be a halfling. That doesn't change who I fell in love with."
Ivy: "You can't go through that again."
Ren: "I don't plan to. And I don't care what you are. Trust me, when I Was taken - when you were taken - I got a real one on one with the way I felt about you. Those weeks you were there and I couldn't get to you? Yeah, I figured out real fucking fast what I cared about and what I didn't. I love you, Ivy. You aren't going to talk me out of that."
Ren: "Did you feed of your own free will or did he manipulate you into doing it?"
Ivy: "Does it matter?"
Ren: "Yes! That fucking matters, Ivy."
Ivy: "He forced me."
Ren: "Son of a bitch! HE forced you to feed. He fucked your head up. That's totally understandable, but he forced you, Ivy. You didn't have a choice, and the Ivy I know, the Ivy I first found sexy as hell every time she told me off, and the Ivy I grew to respect and fucking admire - the Ivy I fell head over fucking ass in love with would never do that without being forced. So don't put that on you. Don't wear that kind of guilt."
Ren: "You would never hurt me. Never. It's not because I love you. It's because you love me."
Ivy: "You love me."
Ren: "That sounds about right. You have something you want to say to me? I think there is definitely something you want to say to me."
A grin tugged at my lips
Ivy: "I don't have anything to say."
His brows rose.
Ivy: "I love you."
Ren: "That's what I wanted to hear."
Ren: "You're going to be okay."
Tink: "Of course she will be. She has us."
I was not alone in any of this.
I was only a little torn, but not broken.
Ivy: "Yeah. I'll be okay."
And I was brave.
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