“She’d found a way between the cracks in my armor and blew it apart.”
*I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
I adore Tenley and Hayden but Hayden even more so after this book which I didn't think was possible! He is a diamond in the rough! Clipped Wings was definitely Tenley’s story whereas this time around it was Hayden’s turn to take centre stage. From book one, I knew Hayden was harbouring a lot of pain but I had no idea how much until Inked Armour; there were several times I just wanted to reach through the pages and hug him!
“I just don’t want you to leave me again. I can’t do this without you anymore.”
Hayden has been hurting ever since Tenley’s departure, he sees her return home as a betrayal to their relationship and what he had to offer her and I’ve got to admit I wasn’t best pleased with Tenley for making him feel this way. I know Tenley had her past to confront as well so I did feel for both of them. I just wanted them to be together as I knew that’s what would heal them both.
“Hayden was right. Knowing wouldn’t change the past. Letting go was the only way. And I didn’t need the answers because the person I loved and wanted was sitting right in front of me. Hayden was my present and my future.”
I have become a fast fan of Helena Hunting, I love the characters she has created, Hayden could have easily faded into the background as just another tatted, pierced reformed bad boy, yet he didn’t. His character was endearing and everything about him appealed to me. I felt his pain when Tenley left; I felt his anxiety when his past returned but most of all I felt the love he had for Tenley and his makeshift family that meant the world to him. If you can’t guess by now, I really did love him!
Tenley never fails to surprise me, her character grew so much in this book, and she confronted her demons head on. She pulled strength from Hayden and she became the girl that he knew she had the potential to be. She made a split second decision to leave without telling Hayden, she broke the trust between them but she spent all of her time making it up to him and proving she was in it for the long haul. I couldn’t fault her for that.
“Because it made my relationship with Connor feel like a fucking farce. The way I feel about you? I never felt anything like that for him.”
“Just like the first time we were together, he cupped my chin in his palm and whispered hoarsely, “Look at me.” His icy-blue eyes shone with vulnerability. “I – I need-” He shook his head. “You’re mine.” His body stiffened. It felt as if I had always been his. My heart belonged to him for as long as he wanted to keep it.”
Tenley’s creepy advisor was back and this time Tenley didn’t give up without a fight, although Hayden made sure McCreeperson got the message in case it wasn’t made clear.
“You will not recommend her to another male advisor, or I will come back here and beat the living fuck out of you. If Tenley tells me that you so much as looked at her, I will come back and beat the fuck out of you. And if you touch her again, so help me God, I will rip your dick off and feed it to you.”
Yeah I’m gonna need a Hayden of my own thanks!
Not only was he protective over Tenley, he was dominant in the bedroom too, Hayden was a man who liked to take charge and he knew how to please Tenley. The passion between them was palpable; the scenes were very hot indeed. But it wasn’t all Hayden’s doing. Tenley would remind him she was just as capable at taking charge liked he did with her.
“Jesus!” My head slammed back into the couch as I exploded; hot and violent and pulsing as she sucked and swallowed. When I finally stopped coming, she gently laid my used cock on my stomach. Then she leaned over and gave it an affectionate kiss and a pat, as if it were her pet. Which it kind of was.”
TK was back and I think my heart melted at every scene Hayden and TK shared together, they were just too cute! And of course the Ink and tattoos played a vital role in the story and I loved how it was incorporated, it was a big part of both Hayden and Tenley’s life. I felt the depth of their connection during the time they spent in Hayden’s studio it tethered them together.
“We were so similar in our pain. If only we could cancel each other’s out.”
As I mentioned earlier, the storyline focused on Hayden’s past, he had issues still to work through and with nightmares plaguing him, he couldn’t ignore it any longer. I felt the pacing towards the end sped up and I wanted more detail on the events that transpired, at one point I actually thought it was going to end on a cliffhanger as I didn’t think there was enough time for the problem to be resolved. Time jumps were used to cover the outcome and I did feel like it was skimmed over too quickly. For it being a huge part of Hayden’s life, I expected it to be explored fully.
Helena’s writing was lovely to read and I easily fell back into the Inked Armour world, I loved the supporting cast, they were the family both Hayden and Tenley needed. I found myself highlighting many passages, as Helena’s writing was great. I felt everything along with these characters, their heavy heartache, their uplifting joy and pure need for each other.
“You have no idea what I’m going to do to you.” It was a warning and a plea. We needed each other on the most basic level. It was that simple.”
I love my epilogues and I was swiping my kindle frantically looking for one! With the story feeling rushed towards the end and the lack of epilogue I wasn’t left with the warm and fuzzies that I was after, I wanted to peek into Tenley and Hayden’s future and be left knowing they were all loved up and deliriously happy. I can’t help it, I’m an epilogue junkie ;) As far as I’m aware Tenley and Hayden’s journey is over but if it isn’t I wouldn’t be completely shocked either.
At the end of Clipped Wings I questioned if a second book was needed, I wanted their relationship all wrapped up in a one-part bow. Now I know how foolish that thought was, Tenley and Hayden needed this book, they had so much to work through and over come, both separately and together. I’m glad they were given this chance and it just cemented my love for them both.
Clipped Wings and Inked Armour is a great series from Helena Hunting and not one to be missed.
*ARC was received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
For Tenley… Now I don’t want to be too mean to you, but good god woman would it have killed you to at least text poor Hayden once to let him know you were still there? To give him that little peace of mind so that he knew you were ok? And what about TK? Were you not worried about her at all? It’s a good thing Hayden had TK, she totally saved his sanity while you were absent. It a marvelous thing what a tiny kitten can do for the human psyche. I kind of wished that when you came home both TK and Hayden would have snubbed you for longer. Yes, I know you had your reasons for leaving, but still, I don’t think you even understand how much you hurt Hayden (and by that I also mean us readers). Ok, mini rant is over… I get it. I now see why Hayden forgave you so fast. My, my how that boy does love you so hard!
For Hayden… I am so glad that Tenley finally came back home to you. Even though it was a bumpy ride, to get your HEA, you two had the bones to stick it out. The love and bond you share is like no other. Any girl would be lucky to have the love you have to give, and Tenley now knows how to accept that love and keep it forever. I am glad she was there for you throughout the painstakingly long process to settle your past. To be by your side through it all and help you come through with your head held high. That’s true love, baby!
These two really did make me a bit insane! This story made me furious at times, but at other times sad, and hopefully and weepy. I thought perhaps Tenley tended to dwell on the whole Sienna issue a bit too much, which made her sound too insecure for my liking (and yes I know she had her own personal reasons), I just like my heroine’s to be more confident. I liked the Hayden story line and that of his past and what happened to his parents and the resolution of their murders. It kept my attention and I like a little mystery like that in the books I read. Their chemistry jumped off the pages, and you could just tell how much they meant to each other. And as always, their sexy times were smokin’ hot!
Even though (please don’t hurt me) I didn’t have the same mad love for Inked Armor as I did for Clipped Wings, it is absolutely essential to read to see them finish their long journey to the love they so clearly deserved. Hayden and Tenley (and can’t forget about little TK) are definitely one of my favourite book couples!
"I missed our physical connection. I missed the way he tasted, the feel of his skin, the endless lines of ink covering his body. I wanted him back—but I needed to be worthy of him first.”
When I read Clipped Wings, Hayden & Tenley cemented a special place in my heart. And when I finished reading Inked Armor that place was solidified. At the end of Clipped Wings we are left with a bit of a cliffhanger, so like always, I was a little worried with how the outcome would be in Inked Armor. Plus I couldn’t wait to get back to Hayden and his sweet ways! I just knew that no matter what happened that he would be just as perfect as he was before, and I wasn’t disappointed.
“I was so fucking empty without you. I’m so empty.”
From the very beginning your heart will feel for Hayden, he’s so profoundly lost without Tenley that you can’t help but ache with him throughout the beginning of the book. And when the connection does come it’s one of uncertainty and pain. He wants her so badly, but he can’t quite come to terms with the fact that she left him in the first place. What he doesn’t realize is that she is going through the same withdrawals from him although he would never know this with the way Tenley blatantly avoided him. She has her reasons, but even I was a little perturbed with her at this point. Like sheesh girl, at least pick up the phone--let him know you care about him a little! It was just hard watching sweet sexy Hayden go through that crap!
“It’s always the same dream. I can’t get to you in time and then you’re gone, and there’s nothing I can do to stop the emptiness.”
This story moved a bit slower for me than Clipped Wings, but I honestly didn’t mind that. I actually found it to be cohesive and in stride with how this situation would play out in real life. I knew that once Tenley & Hayden got their crap together that it wouldn’t be instant rainbows and unicorns, and that Hayden would harbor a lot of reluctance towards Tenley for breaking him the way she did. Their connection was obviously there, and the flame between them was still super hot but it was definitely a slow progression to get them where they needed to be. Helena’s writing is smart and witty, and her characters are loveable and cute so I didn’t mind the shift in tempo one bit. And can I just say how much I love the crap that comes out of Hayden’s mouth! Stuff like this:
“I’m going to make you come so hard, so many times; the only thing you’ll be able to think about is what it will be like when I’m finally inside you again.”
“I’m having a conversation with my kitty.” (NOT the actual cat)
Going through this little journey you’re constantly worried that something is going to blow up in your face, because at certain points it seems like it’s almost going too good for Hayden & Tenley. Even though there is a serious undertone that it’s not ok, hence the “blow up” scared part! Does that make any sense? Kind of like in a real relationship when you get back together with someone and it feels so right yet your afraid the whole time what the other person is feeling isn’t the same as what you’re feeling, THAT is this book! I knew what they were feeling but I’m not sure they knew that about each other, and to me that’s what makes a good book, or at least that is what made this book good. You really get a sense of normality with these two characters, and I just love them, both of them. As usual, you have the same witty banter between these two, and their cute little cat “TK” is back, and just as adorable as you could imagine. Or maybe it’s Hayden who is adorable because of how he is with TK, yeah, probably the latter.
“It’s okay, little buddy, that’s your mom. She went on a trip, but she’s back now.”
So basically this book had a totally different vibe than the first book, and I really appreciated that. I love when I can read about someone’s story and have it feel like it’s a part of my story as well. Some books and character’s are just really special to me and this book and these characters are a part of that. I really- REALLY love this series, and I would recommend it to anyone!
“Hayden, you are everything I could ever want. You are the place I want to be.”
“It’s not just about wanting you. It’s this fucking need. No matter what I do, how close I get, it’s like I’m consumed by it.”
Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She's putting her English degree to good use by writing popular fiction. She is the author of Clipped Wings, her debut novel, and Inked Armor.
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