3 Sentence Summary
Ana Huang’s “Twisted Love” is a dark new adult romance that delves into the complexities of passion and healing. Through alternating perspectives, the story follows Ava and Alex as they navigate a powerful connection while confronting their painful pasts. This book explores themes of childhood trauma, vulnerability, and the transformative nature of love.
Summary Read Time: Less than 5 minutes
Actual Book Length: 360
First Published in: 2021
Content Warning: The summary contains mention of adult intimate content, child abuse and mention of suicide as depicted by author in the book.
Below is the detailed yet quick Twisted Love book summary:
The plot kicks off with Ava Chen’s unexpected adventure when she is left in the wilderness after a photoshoot. Alex Volkov, best friend to Ava’s brother Josh, steps in to bring her back, sparking a tension-filled journey home. At Josh’s farewell gathering, as he prepares to volunteer in Central America, Alex promises to guard Ava against her troublesome ex. Despite his detached demeanor, memories of his family’s tragic demise haunt Alex, heightening his desire to protect Ava.
In Josh’s absence, Alex moves in, hoping to keep a closer watch over Ava. A successful COO, Alex’s icy corporate demeanor often permeates his personal life, something Ava wishes to change. A warm gesture, homemade cookies, earns her an invitation into Alex’s life. Sharing personal struggles, Alex’s hyperthymesia and Ava’s memory loss before age nine, they experience a moment of vulnerability, making Alex retreat inward.
As part of a playful scheme devised by her friends, Ava embarks on “Operation Emotion,” an attempt to crack Alex’s stony exterior. Ava’s attempts are in vain until the last phase, triggering jealousy. During this period, their hostile exchanges soften, opening the door to occasional flirtations. Alex’s unexpected reaction to Ava’s dance with another man at a gala signifies a shift in their relationship. A glimpse into Ava’s nightmarish episodes connected to her past trauma further deepens their bond.
Alex and Ava spend the following months wrestling with a growing attraction towards each other. Ava’s interest in Alex intensifies when Madeline, Alex’s ex-fling, hints at his dark desires. Alex, despite his best efforts, finds himself increasingly drawn to Ava, made evident when Madeline pushes Ava into a pool, triggering Alex’s panic. In the aftermath, Ava requests Alex to teach her swimming.
A surprise birthday party for Alex, an event he hadn’t celebrated since his parents’ passing, becomes a turning point in their relationship. After sharing a passionate kiss, Alex withdraws, labeling their moment as a mistake. However, their mutual desires triumph, leading to a secret affair. Thanksgiving brings them to Ava’s father, Michael Chen, where a shocking revelation about Ava’s past emerges. Alex assists Ava in seeking justice against her father while Ava and Josh reconcile their family truths.
Parallelly, Alex devises a plan to exact revenge for his family’s murders, suspecting Ava’s father to be the culprit. This revelation throws light on Alex’s calculated closeness to Ava and Josh, aiming to reach Michael. However, he uncovers implicating letters that point towards his uncle, Ivan Volkov. After weeks of strategizing his vengeance on Ivan, Alex is summoned to his home, only to find Ava and Bridget held hostage.
Part 3 – Twisted Love Ending
In a deadly encounter, Alex confesses his past deceptions to Ava, claiming his lack of love for her and that their relationship was merely a strategy. Amidst the chaos, Alex poisons and kills Ivan. The aftermath leaves Ava hoping for a redeeming explanation from Alex, but he offers none, leaving her heartbroken. Ava decides to brave her water fear and fly to London to pursue her dream fellowship at the World Youth Photography.
When Alex learns of Ava’s solo journey to London, he comes to terms with his love for her but misses her departure. Two weeks into Ava’s life in London, she begins to mend her heart. Alex follows her to London, seeking forgiveness but Ava, struggling with the remnants of a shattered trust, rebuffs him. Nonetheless, Alex spends a year in London, initiating a daily ritual of breakfast and accompanying her to work. As Ava’s fellowship concludes, Alex delivers a heartfelt speech and performs a deeply personal song at her exhibition, leading to their reconciliation.
Fast-forward to four months later, we find them back in the States, contentedly together, and celebrating Thanksgiving with Ralph, Alex’s Krav Maga instructor, and his wife, Missy. Though Josh is still seething over Alex’s actions, Ava and Alex hold onto hope that he’ll eventually accept their relationship.