Review: Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting

Release Date: March 11, 2014
Clipped Wings
by Helena Hunting
Book 1 of the Clipped Wings Series
3.5 stars

I was very excited to read CLIPPED WINGS because it was the talk of town when it was first released. So many reviewers raved about it, the blurb sounded like exactly my type of read, and the cover was awesome (yeah, I judge books like that lol). The storyline truly is the kind I love to sink my teeth into. I don't know if it's just because my mood then wasn't right for the book when I started to read it, but I had a hard time connecting with Tenley and Hayden. More on that later.

Story-wise, CLIPPED WINGS does have a wonderful set-up. We have two very different people who are, for some mysterious reason, drawn to each other. Hayden is a huge tattoo artist covered with ink; Tenley is a bookworm, petite, quiet, and rather introvert. She works in the café across the street, which is also owned by Hayden's aunt. At the beginning we see Hayden exerting all efforts to get to know Tenley. It becomes clear later on that his attraction for her is growing deeper. Unfortunately for him, she comes with a whole lot of baggage from a tragedy that she hasn't really recovered from physically and emotionally.

Finding out what happened to Tenley and what caused her to be so emotionally walled in was just a punch to the gut. She carries a whole lot of guilt and I think that also drivers her to think so little of her own worth. She is incredibly lucky to have someone so patient and so dedicated at making her feel worthy and capable of love again as Hayden. 
"...he told me I was too damaged to love."

Hayden is I think the ideal "bad boy" that women swoon for. Sure, we imagine our ideal guys to be rugged, sexy, tattooed and very alpha. At the same time we imagine them to be very tender, caring and loving towards the women they love. That is Hayden. I can totally understand why so many readers are raving about him. It would be a dream to have such a protector fall in love with you.
"I was starting to think of her as mine. For the first time in my life, I wanted someone for myself. And I would take her any way she came."

Normally I'd fall in love with such a pairing, but honestly the push and pull, the "let's do this.. ahh no, I changed my mind" dance they did throughout the book just made me impatient. It reached a point where I became really irritated with the both of them, more so with Tenley. I wanted to shake her hard. I mean, what more does Hayden have to do for her to realize that he really does care no matter what happened in the past?? My annoyance with both characters made them less likable and I found it difficult to be 100% sympathetic to their respective situations.

On the other hand, there are also lots of beautiful scenes in the book. My favorites are the times Hayden works on Tenley's tattoo. They'd be locked alone in the backroom of the tattoo parlor. I really love those scenes! The tension between them is palpable, but there's also a deep sense of calm that's apparent to me as the reader.  That calm makes sense because it is during those sessions that their walls are lowered and they get to talk more openly with each other.
"Hayden had been right about the effect of physical pain as a release for the emotional... I imagined the tattoo would be infinitely more purifying, an etching pain into skin; a release for the agony I carried with me."

CLIPPED WINGS ends in a cliffhanger, so it's best that you have the second book on hand. You'll want to find out what happens asap! 

If 3.5 stars is too low a rating for you, I'd still urge you to keep this series in your TBR. Like I said, it has a really good foundation story-wise. Who knows, you might feel differently about it. I honestly think my rating might change upon reread, and I fully intend to do that soon. I really like Helena Hunting's writing style too, so I'll definitely look out for her future books.


The passionate and addictive love story of two young people haunted by their dark pasts. 

Hayden Stryker is a devastatingly handsome tattoo artist. Covered in ink and steel, his artwork acts as armour while he attempts to move on from a world-shattering loss.

Twenty-one-year-old Tenley Page is new to town and battling demons of her own. The chemistry between the two is instant and unlike anything they've ever experienced before.

When Hayden agrees to apply his art to Tenley's skin, the pair embark on an emotional and intense relationship that neither could have anticipated. But as Tenley's past threatens to destroy their fragile romance, Hayden must find a balance between his desire to protect her and his need to claim her as his.

For fans of J. A. Redmerski, Jamie McGuire and Fifty Shades.

Here are the other books in this series:

Cupcakes and Ink (Clipped Wings, #0.5)  Between the Cracks (Clipped Wings, #1.5)  Inked Armour (Clipped Wings, #2)  Cracks in the Armor (Clipped Wings, #2.5)

Book 0.5: Cupcakes and Ink

Book 1.5: Between the Cracks
**Part 1 novella featuring Chris and Sarah
Amazon | Barnes & Noble  ➜ FREE!

Book 2: Inked Armor

Book 2.5: Cracks in the Armor
**Part 2 novella featuring Chris and Sarah

Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s putting her degree in English Lit to good use by writing contemporary erotic romance. She is the author of Clipped Wings, her debut novel, and Inked Armor.

**My thanks to Gallery, Threshold, Pocketbooks (through NetGalley) for the opportunity to review Clipped Wings!



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