Title: Wicked (A Wicked Saga #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication Date: December 8, 2014
Summary: 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.
This was my first time reading an adult book by Jennifer L. Armentrout and I was not even remotely prepared for the amount of sexy scenes in this book. I was honestly hunched over in fear while reading this book, terrified someone was going to peek over my shoulder right when I was on a sex scene. Luckily I managed to avoid any awkward situations of that sort and managed to finish this book with only minor drooling, constant blushing, and several steamy scenes permanently burned into my brain.
Out of all of the Jennifer L. Armentrout books I’ve read so far, this is probably my second favorite, mostly because I really enjoyed the characters and their dynamics. Ivy was an heroine that I actually found myself really liking at times. Everyone knows that I have a soft spot for women who can kick ass and Ivy falls right into that category. She was pretty spunky, although she did have the whole fiery redhead trope thing going for her, something that I find myself a little annoyed with at times. I liked seeing her stand up for herself and most of the time being fairly smart and resourceful, if only occasionally a damsel in distress. But we all know that’s more just so we could get descriptions of how hunky and firm Ren’s chest felt as her pulled her out of danger, not because the author wanted her to look weak. The only problem I had with Ivy was that towards the end, she started making some really stupid decisions and being super over dramatic about things and it made me want to kick her in the throat.
Ren was scrumptious and sexy and snarky and I loved it. There is a fine line between men being cocky and confident and teasing in a good sexy way, or just straight up being a douche, and I found that in this book, Jennifer L. Armentrout did a really good job of keeping Ren on the good side. He never really swerved over into asshole territory and actually ended up being really sweet and vulnerable at times. He pursued Ivy and made his wanting known, but never forced her into anything and it was really attractive how he kind of let her take the lead and make a lot of the first moves. And damn, this guy knew how to turn on the smoldering, panty melting, swoon inducing sexiness. And he had a surprisingly dirty mouth, not that I’m complaining. I’m pretty sure I had to stop reading and fan myself with the book at some points.
The romance and chemistry between the two of them was of course, ridiculously hot. I liked though that in never really felt forced or awkward and was more of a lust at first sight scenario than love at first sight. I can understand lust or attraction right when you meet someone and that growing into love, but love at first sight is beyond silly. I also liked that you do get to see their relationship grow, they spend a decent amount of time together before they start pursuing a relationship. And once they finally do start having a relationship, I really liked them together. Ivy though causes a bunch of problems and is a big baby, but I love that Jennifer L. Armentrout never draws it out to make you suffer or does that whole cliche thing where they break up and hate each other right before the end so we want to read the next book to find out if true love does exist *yawn*. Because of that, the progress and bumps felt really natural.
I’d heard that the secret order of bad-asses this book was really similar to Shadowhunters from Cassandra Clare’s books and I have to agree. The Order in this book is where people who can see Fae are trained to hunt them down and keep these gates from opening that could potentially unleash a lot of Fae badness. They have special weapons and defenses against Fae and secret headquarters. You can obviously see the similarities to Shadowhunters. But with that, I really do like the whole “secret society fighting evil” thing that we see a lot. While Ivy’s job was a big part of this book, it was more of her working with Ren than with other members or in the Order itself, so we actually don’t learn too much about it. I’m hoping in the next book we get to meet some of the higher up members and maybe learn a bit more about the inner workings and how the Order is run.
As far as the plot goes, I unfortunately found it to be a little predictable. Jennifer L. Armentrout pulls a few twists out of her sleeve but none of them were particularly shocking. I still really enjoyed this book because it was so fast paced and fun, but it never really made me stop and think. It did make me stop and laugh or swoon though. All of the stuff on the Fae was pretty interesting, I liked seeing their powers and how the Order members fought against them. I also liked reading about New Orleans, it was a magical but dark sort of place and I’ve never really read about book that takes place there before! There is also this big thing about Halflings that was really interesting, but we didn’t get to learn much about them, so I’m hoping that the next book will give us more. This book definitely ended with a cliff hanger, and I’m really interested to see where the next book goes.