Title ~ Clipped Wings (Clipped Wings, #1)
Author ~ Helena Hunting
Genre ~ New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date ~ March 4 2014
An emotional love story that follows the touch-and-go relationship of Hayden and Tenley; two young people who desperately want to love and be loved but are afraid to completely let go of their pasts.
As Hayden and Tenley navigate their newfound but slightly unstable relationship, they want to trust each other, but Hayden is hiding a dark and shameful past that he doesn't ever want Tenley to find out about. And Tenley has secrets of her own that could make Hayden run away forever. When Tenley asks Hayden to put a beautifully elaborate tattoo across her back, the two form what they thought was an unshakeable bond. But when Tenley's past shows up on her doorstep, will Hayden stand by her side...or run?
Love consumes you. Secrets tear you apart.
Clipped Wings is book one in a new series from Helena Hunting focusing on the story of Tenley and Hayden. There is a prequel novella, Cupcakes & Ink, which it is not necessary to have read to enjoy this book but provides some nice background. The story does not conclude in this book and will continue in Inked Armor due for release in May.
I really loved this darkly atmospheric story from Helena Hunting. It’s so full of raw pain, anguish and sorrow. It tells the story of Tenley and Hayden, two very damaged people linked through the pain of loss who share an unyielding chemistry whose connection grows far beyond the physical into an innate need for one another.
We start with Tenley moving to Chicago to embark on a Masters Programme at the university and renting an apartment opposite a tattoo parlour. She can see the comings and going of the four people that work there but one of them catches her eye, Hayden and she watched him from afar, silently longing for him. She takes a part-time job at his aunt’s shop which is right next to Inked Armor, his tattoo parlour, but she’s painfully shy and skittish and every time he comes into the shop she tries to blend in with the background and disappear and constantly hides from him but he has noticed her and he likes what he sees and he is intrigued.
Tenley really did a number on me. Even when I was sleeping, she haunted my dreams. Her pain and her incredible grief were almost palpable. She’s so broken and she’s built such incredibly strong emotional walls that she really doesn’t want to let anyone in but, slowly, Hayden chips away at her defences and she begins to let him in and he agrees to do a really huge tattoo on her back – something that will bring them into close, intimate contact for weeks to come. It’s going to be very hard for them to resist that incredible pull that exists between them.
Hayden is inked and pierced but beneath that apparently hard exterior and brash comments and flirtatious nature lurks a surprisingly sensitive soul – he’s quite the pussycat under all that body modification. No stranger to loss himself, Hayden has handled things badly in the past and it’s only in the last year that he’s attempted to clean up his act and make something of his life but he also has a past that haunts him and is ready to roar back into his life.
Hayden has a bad case of OCD going on, really likes things in order and his feelings for Tenley are like a tornado throwing everything into upheaval – Tenley is the variable disrupting the order in his life. He sees her pain and can only guess at what she’s been through and he can see that she’s keeping everyone at a distance and how socially awkward she is but he can’t help but find himself developing very strong feelings for her. He’s a little territorial and possessive where she’s concerned but just his physical presence seems to ease Tenley’s pain and, slowly, they start up a beautiful relationship.
They’re linked through the pain of loss and they really do manage to heal one another – they’re both eased by the other’s presence but there were times when their reticence really frustrated me. They’re both very backward at coming forward and both hold so much back that, with your birds eye view as a reader, you can see disaster lurking on the horizon for these two as secrets from the past come roaring back to tear them apart and you can do nothing to stop it. There were times when I wanted to scream at them to just talk and open up but, alas, they don’t do enough of this and we;re left with a humdinger of a cliffie!
I really enjoyed this – it’s really quite haunting and atmospheric and I completely lost myself in their world. The pacing is spot on and I loved at how much time was given to allow these two to get to one another, to digest what was happening and recognise their feelings and, OMG, just how hot is it when Hayden finally gets to ink Tenley?? It’s actually a slow burner but all that pent-up sexual attraction becomes wound so tight that it’s ready to go off like a nuclear bomb when they finally succumb.
I’m now desperately waiting for the sequel to see how on earth these two come back from the events of the last few chapters – it can’t come soon enough.
Series Reading Order
0.5 Cupcakes and Ink
1. Clipped Wings
2. Inked Armor
2.5 Cracks in the Armor
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