Updated: Jan 22
by Jennifer L Armentrout
Published by Jennifer L Armentrout
Book 1 in A Wicked Trilogy
Things are about to get Wicked in New Orleans.
Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart.
Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her.
But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul.
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy New Adult Action-Packed
Violence Romance Sexy
Wicked by Jennifer L Arsentrout is the first book in A Wicked Trilogy, and centers around Ivy Morgan, a 22 year old college student and a member of the Order, which consists of people born and raised to see past glamour, and hunt down the fae, and either send them back to the otherworld, or killing them. All is normal in Ivy's life, until an encounter with a fae who defied all she knew of the fae, leaving her with a gunshot would. While put off duty, she is assigned to show Ren Owens around, a new member of their guild. Both infuriating and hot, he easily gets under her skin. But while they are investigating the fae, something big is brewing.
Random thought ... but the cover is misleading, right? I honestly thought I was about to jump into a series about Siren's and mermaids (which would be a first for me, by the way), but nope. Fae. What's with the couple (that I assume is Ivy and Ren) in the water? Okay, back to your regularly scheduled programming.
It took me a little bit to get into Wicked. It was a little slow to build up action, but once it did, it was steady. Any time I start a supernatural series, I become hesitant, because there is that dear that it will be cheesy, and Wicked isn't cheesy in the least. I really enjoyed it, and not just for the romance and sex, but the story itself. It's the first hunter/hunted book I have read that the hunters were straight up humans, who train to fight, which gives the book a touch more danger. That being said, the romance aspect is fun and all kinds of sexy. The interactions between Ivy and Ren will make you laugh and melt. There is Ivy's friends as well, most notable being Tink, a brownie that Ivy nursed back to health, and secretly lets him live with her (technically she was supposed to send him back to the otherworld). Tink adds a level of humor to this book like nothing else.
Ivy is a likable enough character. She pushes people away, but her reasoning is just. Unlike in other books, we are not beaten over the head with her issues (which stem from the trauma of losing her entire family, and boyfriend), and it's not dragged out. It's not instantaneous. Ivy coming to terms with her loss, the guilt she deals with, takes time, but she finds some semblance of peace. She is also an example of Jennifer Arsentrout's special brand of kick ass female heroines. Strong, smart, motivated, and brave, Ivy is a good role model for young women. Ren is an instant charmer. He is full of flirt, charm, and wit, which leads to some hilarious banter between the feisty Ivy and himself. Total romantic. Strong and capable. When he knows what he wants, he goes for it.
Wicked is an action packed, sexy, and enjoyable read. The story line with the fae was interesting, the chemistry between Ren and Ivy was scorching, and their growing feelings for one another helped propel the story when the action was lacking. Throw in an amazon-prime, cake-baking Brownie with an attraction to troll dolls and enough sass to rival any six foot human, and you have a winner. While there were some parts for me that were a touch predictable (like who the traitor is, and who the halfling is), I can't wait to read the next book and get answer to some questions I was left with.
Top 3 Favorite Moments
Ren finding Ivy on the stairs after she had been shot, and comparing her to "that chick from Brave."
Ivy kneeing Trent in the balls after he started being sexist
Ren proving that Ivy does in fact like him
(bonus) Ren and Ivy dancing at the club
(bonus) Ivy staying the night at Ren's
(bonus) Ren and Ivy finally having sex
(bonus) Ren finding out about Tink
(bonus) Ren and Tink taking care of Ivy after she was injured
Where to Buy
Val: "Don't you have something else to add to that?"
Ivy: "Gimmie ... my precious?"
Ivy: "I like boys. And can we not tlak about boys or swinging both ways or helping me out? Because this conversation is going to lead to the lack of orgasms in my life and how I need to get naked with some random dude, and I'm not really in the mood to talk about that."
The fae I spotted outside of a bar on Bourbon Street reminded me of Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead. Which was made of suck since I was going to have to kill him.
Harris: "Who is it? I can't tell who it is on the monitor and I ain't got my glasses on."
Green Eyes met my gaze again, and that grin spread across his face. Dammit. He had a matching set when it came to dimples.
Green Eyes: "How would I know? But she kind of looks like that chick from the movie Brave. You know, the one with the really curly red hair."
What. In. The. Hell.
Green Eyes: "She's got really pretty blue eyes, though."
Though. Though? As if that somehow made up for the act that I had frizzy red hair like a Disney character.
Ivy: "Don't touch me."
Green Eyes: "Not something I usually hear from the ladies, but your wish is my command."
Ivy: "Bite me, and I will bury you alive in a shoebox."
Ivy: "You wouldn't lie to me, would you, Tink?"
Tink: "No. You have Amazon Prime."
Ivy: "Good to know how I can secure your loyalty."
Tink: "Don't get addicted to those. I don't want to be roomies with a junkie because then you'll move on to harder shit and end up doing bath salts and eating my face off."
Tink: "You're not going out to work, are you?"
I shook my head
Ivy: "I'm just heading out. I won't be late."
Tink: "I don't believe you. You're up to shenanigans! I can tell."
Ivy: "Wan me to bring back some beignets?"
Tink's eyes widened and a look of childlike glee crept into his expression.
Tink: "Would you? For me? A while plate for me? All mine? Not yours?"
I rolled my eyes
Ivy: "Yes, Tink."
Tink: "From Cafe Du Monde?"
Tink: "Then get the hell out of my face and get going!"
Ren: "I'm a lot of things, but today I'm your fucking saving grace."
Ivy: "Wow. You're so incredibly modest. Let me back you some damn cookies."
That grin turned into a smile that I could easily see stopping hearts across the nation.
Ren: "I like sugar cookies. With extra sugar sprinkled on top."
Ivy: "Oh, go fu-"
Jo Ann: "You look like crap today."
Ivy: "Thanks. I feel even better now."
Ivy: "If you don't let me go, you're going to regret it."
Ren: "Jesus, is this going to happen every time we meet?"
Ivy: "If you keep doing shit like this, then yes!"
Before he moved, I placed the very pointy end over a very important artery.
Ivy: "Role reversal, bitch."
Ren: "That move was really kind of hot."
I narrowed my eyes
Ren: "You really are Merida."
Ivy: "Who the hell is Merida?"
One side of his mouth kicked up again
Ren: "The chick from the movie Brave with -"
Ivy: "The frizzy red hair. Got it. Thanks. I'm seriously going to stab you."
Ren: "She didn't have frizzy hair. And besides, she was hot."
I stared down at him.
Ivy: "You think a Disney character is hot?"
Ren: "Have you seen some of those Disney characters?"
Ivy: "She was not hot. She's like the least hot of all Disney characters."
His brows lifted.
Ren: "She could kick ass, therefore she was hot."
Ivy: "Are you hitting on me? Are you for real?"
Ren: "My momma probably thinks I'm real."
I ignored that
Ivy: "While I have a stake at your throat?"
Ren: "You're also sitting on me, and sweetness, if you slide about an inch or so down, things are going to get real awkward. Or fun."
Ren dipped his head again, and before I could process what he was doing, he swooped in and pressed his lips to my cheek. I jerked back and stared up at him.
Ivy: "What in the hell?"
A wicked grin appeared
Ren: "You looked like you could use one."
Ivy: "I looked like I could use a kiss on the cheek?"
Ren: "Yeah. Everyone could used a kiss on the cheek once in a while. Plus, the expression you make when you're confused is fucking adorable."
Ren: "You going to let go of my shirt? I mean, you don't have to, but you keep tugging on my shirt like that, I'm going to get all kinds of naughty ideas that I will, without a doubt, act on."
For such a large guy, he moved as if he was made of air. Actually everything about the way he moved was fascinating to watch.
Or I really, seriously, just needed to get laid.
Then the worst possible thing in the history of mankind and beyond burst out of my mouth.
Ivy: "Do you have a girlfriend?"
Holy shit balls on Sundays, I did not just ask that. Ren looked over his shoulder at me, one eyebrow arched. I did ask that. Those words really did come out of my mouth and I wanted to main myself, but I wanted to hear his answer.
Ren's grin was like dark chocolate, smooth and rich.
Ren: "Not yet."
Tink: "You left the house with him even after he obviously broke in. I'm telling you what, you females are freaks. Guys break in and you all swoon like B&E is a desirable trait. Females of my kind? If you did that they'd eat you for dinner. And not in the fun way."
Tink: "Let's talk about sex."
Rolling my eyes, I walked away.
Tink: "Sex is good!"
Ivy: "Shut up, Tink."
Tink: "Sex is fun!"
I shook my head
Ivy: "The only thing you're having sex with is inanimate objects, so what do you know?"
He ignored me
Tink: "Sex is best when it's one on one!"
Ivy: "Isn't that a George Michael song?"
Tink: "Maybe. But he was wrong. I like to think sex is best when it's like three on three or something. Seems more adventurous."
Ivy: "Whatever. Goodnight, Tink."
Val: "You likie? Because I'd like to get me a piece of that, but only if you're not interested."
I opened my mouth to say no but nothing came out. Nothing. Not a no or a yes. Nothing.
Val: "Oh my God, you're interested in him? You want him to set your panties on fire."
Ivy: "I really don't want my undies for catch on fire. At all."
Ren: "You bake? You bake chocolate cake that's apparently the best in the whole world for half senile old guy?"
Ivy: "Um, yeah. I do. Baking ... is like a hobby.
Ren: "And why haven't I been offered any cake?"
Ivy: "You're going to have to get to know me better before you taste my cake."
Ren: "Was that an invitation? Because I'm willing to get to know you in any way possible if that means I get to taste your cake."
Ivy: "Invitation for ..."
Oh my God. My words replayed. My face turned crimson.
Ivy: "You are such a pervert!"
I smacked his chest hard
Ivy: "That's not what I meant."
Ren: "That's a damn shame then."
I hit him again, on the arm this time, then stormed around him.
Ivy: "You're such a dog."
Tipping his head back, he laughed loudly and deeply, and in spite of my embarrassment, my lips formed a wry grin.
Ren: "I really do want to taste the cake - the real cake. Well, I'd also love to taste your cake, too."
Ivy: "If you stop talking about cake in general, I promise I will get you a slice of cake. And I won't stab you."
Ren: "You'd stab me?"
Ivy: "Even after giving me a rose."
Ren: "Okay. Deal. No more cake."
Ren: "I don't think I've met anyone like you."
Ivy: "Sounds like a bad thing."
Ren: "It's a good thing. I think."
I bristled at his commanding tone, switching the helmet to one arm and flipping him off with my free hand
Ren laughed, the skin crinkling around his eyes
Ivy: "I don't like you."
Ren: "Don't lie. I know better. You might not want to, but you like me."
Hiding the fact that he' been unerringly observant, I smirked at him
Ivy: "You are grossly mistaken."
He hooked his fingers through the loop in my jeans and tugged me forward. Balancing the bike with just his legs, he reached up with his other arm and curled his fingers around the nape of my neck.
My breath caught as my eyes widened. I almost dropped the helmet as he guided my head to his. Too shocked to resist, I found myself staring into his eyes, out mouths so close I could feel his warm breath dancing over my lips. He didn't take his eyes off mine as he shifted his head. His lips brushed the curve of my cheek, and my pulse thundered with excitement and dismay. I didn't want him to kiss me. Or did? His breath tickled the spot just below my ear, and the muscles low in my stomach clenched. I shivered. Okay, maybe I did want him to kiss me. Ren's lips swept over the line of my cheek and his nose brushed mine.
Ren: "I bet you have the softest pair of lips out there. And I bet you taste sweet - sweeter than one of those beignets you've got me addicted to. But you got one hell of a bite - a kick to that sweetness. It'll be rough getting in there, and you're going to fight it every step of the way, but it'll be smooth once I'm there. You like me."
Letting go, he smiled up at me, that angelic face a picture of innocence.
Ren: "You just aren't ready to admit it."
All I could think as I gawked at him was, what an observant son of a bitch.
Ivy: "Jesus! How would you like it if I just went around and started pulling up your shirt?"
He paused, rais