“Everyone has scars, Tenley. If we’re lucky, they’re only on the outside.”
*I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
OK I must admit, I am a sucker for tattooed bad boys, especially reformed ones. Uh huh and Hayden Stryker is no different. Hayden was once on a very dangerous path of girls, booze and drugs but with the help of his friends, he turned his life around and set himself straight. Now, the co-owner of a successful tattoo shop, Hayden craves order in his life but all that flies out the window when Tenley Page moves in across the street.
Tenley had lived through the unimaginable and just managed to survive. She arrived in town wanting a fresh start and to leave the skeletons of her past behind. Tenley was a smart girl, just the way I like my heroines. She was attending college and wanting to make something of herself. What she didn't expect was to attract the attention of hot tattoo artist Hayden. But one tortured soul recognises another and together they might just become whole again.
The plot reads like a typical New Adult story, that can't be denied. A tatted, pierced bad boy hooks up with a girl of his opposite. Said girl is running from a tragic past and finding the love again that she never thought she would have. I have read many of this type of story over the last year but with that being said, there was just something about Tenley and Hayden that spoke to me. I fell for Hayden almost immediately. It took a little longer for me to warm to Tenley but I think that was due to the fact she was closed off, to Hayden but also to me as a reader as well.
I liked the slow build up of Tenley and Hayden's relationship; it had to be this way for them to trust each other. Tenley's past left her fragile and wary of giving her heart away and Hayden was learning to let a girl into his world again. I loved how protective Hayden was of Tenley, always looking out for her, especially when sleazy college professors were lurking. And with the introduction of ‘TK’ and the way Hayden cared for it. My little heart was flip flopping.
Of course, the secrets of the past caught up with the couple, I was willing Tenley to come clean for weeks but of course there would be less drama if that happened. It was all for naught anyway when an old face turned up at her door. I thought Hayden would return to his old ways but he surprised me and stepped up to fight for his girl!
I really liked the supporting cast, a great group of friends surrounded Hayden and I loved the way in which the accepted Tenley with no questions asked. I love when tattoos are incorporated into a story, Tenley wanted a special piece of ink on her back and Hayden was the man for the job. There were some lovely scenes between the two of them surrounding this.
I enjoyed the author’s writing, I was in bed ill over the holidays and this was just the pick me up I needed. I thought I would take a quick look but that soon turned into me not moving for the next few hours. At the beginning, Tenley’s past was alluded to and I was desperate to know sooner what had happened to her but the pacing of the story was done well and I cared for these characters even more by the time I learned what they had both been through. When Hayden opened up to Tenley, I wanted to reach out and hug him. Even though this was quite an emotional and deep story, the romance and the passion were there. Hayden was a sexy guy and I loved that he couldn’t wait out his self imposed ban on his client/tattooist relationship with Tenley. When they got together, it was hot!
The story is far from over, although there isn't a life or death cliff hanger, I would say it is bearable and May isn't too far away. If I’m truthful, I wish their story was wrapped up in one book, I do worry if there will be enough material for a second story but they both have unresolved issues from their past so if done well it could work. I do look forward to reading more about the characters, especially Hayden of course!
Clipped Wings is a good début novel by Helena Hunting, I laughed, cried and swooned. Check this one out today in order to fall in love with Hayden, as I know you will.
This is the story of Tenley and Hayden and the bittersweet, true to life, everything that two people go through when trying to figure out what the hell they’re doing together. But these two people aren’t just damaged, Tenley is broken and Hayden has a not so proud past and neither of them is willing to divulge their secrets to one another.
Tenley is just shy of her 21st Birthday and Hayden is 25. These two just happen to live across the street from each other. Tenley living above the shop she works in called Serendipity, and Hayden living above the Tattoo shop he owns called Inked Armor. I really loved Hayden, he was the perfect mix of hot tattoo bad ass mixed with super sweet undertones that cannot be ignored, and he is true book boyfriend perfection! What draws these two together in the first place might be the thing to tear them apart in the end.
Tenley wants a rather large and intricate tattoo done on her back, and Hayden is basically the only person she wants inking her body. Not just for the obvious reason that he’s hot and she basically wants his hands on her, but he’s also good at what he does. And by the already possessive nature in which he exudes in regards to Tenley, he won’t let any other tattoo artist touch her. These two have the strangest most awkward tug and pull at first, but it’s totally cute and kind of perfect for them.
Hayden knows that there is some sort of deep meaning behind the reason for Tenley’s tattoo, but she’s not coming forward with the story anytime soon, and he won’t push her knowing that will do just that which is push her away. But she’s already got Hayden’s number and it’s in the form of cupcakes, He really has a sick obsession with them and Tenley is more than happy to torture him with her baked goodness. In fact her cupcakes are what brings us to our first sexy time encounter, and I loved it! It was uhm… sweet, and hot and I believed it.
As the story moves along I just loved how Hayden and Tenley just naturally fell into place with each other, it was so endearing and cute and it wasn’t rushed at all. Hayden had never experienced wanting a woman like this, and Tenley’s past was so jacked up that she didn’t know how to be with someone. All Hayden wanted to do was figure it out, because having her with him was much better than not having her at all, titles or no titles. He just wanted to take care of her, plain and simple and perfect. I actually fell in love with both of these characters, they were so flawed from their pasts not realizing that they were actually sort of similar. And I love that the Author didn’t make it all like I’m jacked up your jacked up, let’s get together and heal each other blah blah blah. I hate when books all run together with that same old theme, but this DID NOT. It was done really well, and I found myself pulling for these two so hard!
So of course the past stuff comes up and causes drama between Tenley and Hayden, and neither of them handle it very well at all. And this is where the angsty stuff comes in. Luckily these two have some good friends to pull them through it though. Sarah who lives down the hall from Tenley quickly becomes the protective friend that all of us want on our side. And Hayden has his co-workers at his tattoo shop who have his back whether he realizes it or not. And of course there’s the little stray kitten that comes into their lives that Hayden has affectionately named TK which stands for “The Kitten”. He also calls Tenley Kitten, it’s totally corny-cute but I loved it!
This book was great, like really great, I’m not gonna lie though I cried quite a bit towards the end there. I couldn’t help it I just felt everything they were feeling, so Helena Hunting must have done it right. The characters are real and the chemistry seemed genuine and unrushed, and I am now on #TeamTenDen because I want these two to make it so badly!! There is a slight cliffhanger, but don’t worry it’s not too bad. Well I guess that depends how you feel about cliffhangers, so I’ll just say it wasn’t too bad for me. I loved it!
Book 2 . . . Coming May 13, 2104
In this follow-up to Clipped Wings, the emotional love story continues between Hayden and Tenley; two young people who desperately want to love and be loved but are afraid to completely let go of their pasts.
In the wake of losing Tenley Page, tattooist Hayden Stryker's tumultuous past is haunting him. Plagued by nightmares about the murder of his parents, Hayden reaches out again to Tenley. Having run from the man she doesn't believe she deserves, Tenley finally lays her guilt to rest. Despite their intense physical attraction, Hayden and Tenley struggle to repair their fragile emotional connection. As Hayden gets closer to the truth, he must find a way to reconcile his guilt over his parents' death in order to keep the woman who finally cracked his armor, and found her way into his heart
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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