Sweet Desire, Wicked Fate

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
408 Pages
Reviewed on 02/07/2015
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Author Biography

Wray Ardan lives on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with an artist, five cats and a parrot. Sweet Desire, Wicked Fate was inspired by sculptures her partner in life and business, artist Steven Lee Smeltzer created. Currently she is working on book 2 of Sweet Desire, Wicked Fate. With a desire to promote teens that are PONO, Hawaiian for "doing the right thing," she set up Dakine Teens+ at dakineteens.tumblr.com

    Book Review

Reviewed by Karen Walpole for Readers' Favorite

In Sweet Desire, Wicked Fate by Wray Ardan, fifteen-year-old Jaden, her sister Ava, and their mother inherit a family mansion in Louisiana. The three travel there to spend the summer preparing the home for sale. Jaden happens upon an old, dilapidated building on the property and accidentally awakens some mutant creatures. Releasing these “Mal Rous” sets nightmarish events in motion that threaten the entire town. The Mal Rouse were created by Jade and Ava’s grandfather by crossing plant DNA with human and animal DNA. Jaden is attacked and bitten by one of the animals, which causes her to begin to become evil like them. A local teenager, Bris, who has fallen hard for Jade, joins her and several others in an attempted to reverse the effects of the bite and destroy the creatures permanently. They search for the grandfather’s lab reports and seek help from three albino sisters. These triplets had been able to concoct antidotes for the Mal Rous bites and scratches when the evil beings were first created.

I never wanted to put this book down. The story was suspenseful and the writing imaginative. In Sweet Desire, Wicked Fate by Wray Ardan, Jaden and Bris are in many ways typical teenagers, but have been thrust into a life and death struggle. Bris, as Jade’s boyfriend, struggles with doing the right thing for her. Jaden realizes that teens, and even children in other parts of the world, are forced to grow up too early because of war and national disasters. This thought helps her accept her role in the disaster, and demonstrates real growth in character and maturity. The reader is inspired by the courage of the teens as they deal with their desperate circumstances.

Michelle Stanley

Sweet Desire, Wicked Fate is a young adult fantasy written by Wray Ardan. Jaden Lisette spends the summer in Louisiana with her mother and spiteful sister Ava, renovating an old mansion that belonged to her father’s family, whom they have never met. While exploring the estate, Jaden accidentally breaks some earthen jars that release gruesome-looking monsters. They infect her with their poison before she manages to escape their vicious assault. She encounters Violet, another weird creature who reveals the horrifying truth about Jaden’s lunatic grandfather who created her and the other genetic mutants called Mal Rous, by combining his DNA with animals. Jaden is worried because her infection could give her mutant peculiarities, and enlists the help of three reclusive albino sisters who had developed various potions for her grandfather. It may be too late though to stop the Mal Rous from converting Jaden, while they inflict harm on anyone associated with her.

Wray Ardan has caught my attention with her thriller, Sweet Desire, Wicked Fate. The book’s blurb aroused my curiosity which grew once I began reading. She writes remarkably well, producing an intensely gripping story that could make a nice horror movie. The author’s descriptions of the repulsive mutants and their actions gave me spine tingling moments, but there were parts that I found amusing. Jaden had many personal problems, and I admire the way Wray Ardan focuses on them, while elaborating on other interesting characters like the albino sisters, who brought a mystical aura into this entertaining story.

Gisela Dixon

Sweet Desire, Wicked Fate by Wray Ardan is a young adult novel that combines various genres into one book: teenage love and romance, drama, thriller, fantasy, and horror. The book starts with Jaden Lisette, a 15-year-old girl quarreling with her older teenage sister, Ava, which introduces the reader to each of their characters and personalities. Jaden runs off and stumbles across an old house among the sugar cane fields in Louisiana, while thinking of her teenage crush, 18-year-old Briz Nolan. Strange things begin to happen after that as she deals with old ghosts from her family’s past and comes face to face with real terror for the first time in her life. Jaden is plunged into a living nightmare as she struggles to survive against the evil Mal Rous. Along the way, she meets various and fascinating characters such as the triplets, the mentally disturbed Hubs, and of course, the Mal Rous, some of whom are helpful whereas others are downright evil. Whether she succeeds in both life and love forms the plot of this story.

Sweet Desire, Wicked Fate is presented in a gripping way, and is guaranteed to keep readers on the edge of their seats. The characters in this book are well thought out, and it is a delight to meet some really unique and original characters along the way. I also enjoyed the romantic element of the teenage couple in the book. Jaden, as the central protagonist, is immensely likeable and one automatically finds oneself rooting for her. Overall, Wray Ardan has written a compelling story with superbly drawn teenage characters, and ones that young readers will especially connect with. An enjoyable read!

Victoria Wallace

This is one of those rare books that from the first page has you by the throat until you finish the last page and wish you hadn't read it so fast! The characters are rich and layered. The story line never lets up as the author takes you on a wickedly fun ride.
This author will have legions of fans because books like this don't happen often.She already has one in me as
I can't wait for the next one. It better come soon or I am going to have to become one of those fans that find out where Wray lives and sits outside, refusing to leave until she hands me the next chapter in the ongoing adventures of the incredible inhabitants of "Sweet Desire Wicked Fate".


I was hooked on the first two pages! It's so well written, entertaining, witty, funny, and just enough creep factor to hook the youth. For elders, it will take you back to your youth, remembering first love, all that angst, and spirit of adventure with wonderful devil-may-care attitudes. The youth will totally relate. All ages will love it and wait anxiously for the next one to come out.


This is a very well written book. The main character is so real and funny as she struggles with her family dynamics, aka 'Sister Dearest'. This of course becomes the least of her problems as the story develops…The group of characters that soon enter her life are so off the charts, that you can sleep at night, but not quite. Really a fun read!


A friend told me about this book and I'm glad they did! It was a fun read that provided a wonderful escape into a familiar world with a twist. I loved the authors' use of word play and the vivid 'pictures' she creates with them. Her characters were well developed and believable, portraying the satire of youth and the wit of an old soul. Not always does a YA book hold my attention, but I found this story very compelling. I was eager to learn where it was going to take me. I still am... so I'm looking for the next release by this author so I can continue the adventure. This would be a great story on a big screen complete with colorful, wild creatures, romance and action. Would pay to see that!


I gave this book five stars by remembering back to when I was fifteen years old and how much I would have loved it at that age. Wray developed her characters well. I actually wanted the Mal Rous to kill Ava. I could see, feel and smell the Louisiana bayou. The story was suspenseful, creepy and most of the time, fast-paced. I knew exactly what the Mal Rous looked like. I am a Smeltzer fan.
I was put off by the preoccupation with the reference to sex - is that really all teens think about? The subject was redeemed by Briz' self control and common sense to abstain even though he was tempted to do otherwise. There were some good messages in there.
I would recommend this book to teenage girls. There's adventure, strong female characters, fantasy, relationships, teen problems and teen angst.
I look forward to the sequel.

Olivia S-P

Way better story than Twilight or any of the other young adult fiction books out there! I'm 16 years old and I can honestly say this is the most entertaining read I have had in a long time! Looking forward to much more from this author!


I enjoyed it. Very entertaining. It was nice to read a young adult book that wasn’t about the end of the world, but still had scary, creepy creatures, a unique cast of characters, and was a page turner.

Nancy E.

This book is well written, to the point that at times I didn't want to read the scary stuff, but couldn't help myself. The main problem is that now I have to wait for the next book. A fun read, but I think the author may have been bit herself by those nasty Mal Rous. Enjoyed it thoroughly, that says a lot for someone that doesn't do scary very often. Treat yourself to a world of Sweet Desire, Wicked Fate!!!! and Beware where you step...


I feel very close to the characters in this wonderful fast passed thriller. Wray Ardan is an amazing story teller with a writing style that does not bog down with flowery description letting the tale grap hold and not let go. A page turner for sure. I am so looking forward to the next installment in the trilogy. Learning more of the back story of older players will be welcome. The Professor, the triplets, Hubs, Dr Whiting.... This would make a great movie. Scary, romantic, edge of your seat fun.

Baja Hombre

I could not put the book down. The author's imagination is off the chart. The characters are real and the wicked creations of the heroine's grandfather are beyond scary.


I read the book because I collect art by the artist Steven Lee Smeltzer, and the story was inspired by sculptures that he’d made. Now the sculptures that I own are whimsical and funny. The ones depicted in the book Sweet Desire, Wicked Fate, are anything but. I was warned of this in advance. I wasn’t even sure I was going to enjoy a YA book. But like Steven’s art, I am now a fan of the book. I will read the sequel, and I recommend the book to others