The Review: Clipped Wings – Helena Hunting

Clipped Wings is a new adult, romance and contemporary novel written by Helena Hunting. It was published by Gallery Books March 4th 2014. I want to thank NetGalley for providing me with an e-copy of Clipped Wings for review!

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.

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I want to start off with Helena Hunting’s writing. It was beautiful, and it’s very rare that I take my time to acknowledge an auhtor’s writing as this. Her way of telling this story and showing us these characters was so descriptive, and there was not one time where I was left wondering how situations unfolded. It was like a movie in my head, which made the experience of reading Clipped Wings so much better. I don’t always enjoy contemporary books with switching point of views, but I could see that under these particular circumstances it worked very well and I couldn’t imagine Hayden and Tenley’s story being told in any other way.

Hayden, deep down, is very caring and, not so deep down, a territorial prick. Haha, but yes, he is and fully aware of it. But Hayden is also so wonderful and genuine, which people don’t always associate with guys with piercings and tattoos. Tenley is a very special character. She does what is mainly accepted by society, but still shows signs of rebellion. At the beginning of the book she is very shy, but I feel like Hayden kind of grows on her and they become this adorable dream team! It was very interesting to see how differently they were affected by trauma, and that in the end they still came to the same conclusion.

It’s very emotional a lot of the time, not only learning about their pasts but seeing their relationship grow and come to something so comforting and beautiful for each other. Hayden and Tenley are both so supportive and I like that they work not because they are of the same sort or have a lot in common, but because neither are narrow minded and they both want to feel good in life. I feel like they are seeking contentment in some degree, altough Tenley is afraid of loving someone again after what she has gone through. And I totally understood that, whereas Hayden had no idea why she acted like she did sometimes.

As is very well known, characters in New Adult tend to rush their relationship. This book was no exception, still, it took another turn when it came to dealing with the consequences of this. I like that Hayden and Tenley realize that they should have sorted some stuff out and take into consideration how their difficulties would affect their relationship. The best thing is that they learn and come out of this with something to hold on to. I just hope everything will be OK, and that nobody’s hearts will be broken (though, I think that ship’s sailed…)

I had some issues, mainly because I found some of the obstacles and problems they faced were cliché. Despite this, I like that overall their story is special. Throughout the book they come to find themselves and grow so much as people. As I said earlier, every mistake had consequences, which lead to a very unpredictable cliffhanger. I’m so excited about the sequel, called Inked Armor (also the name of Hayden and his friends’ tattoo shop), which will be out May 13th 2014. I can not wait to see how Hayden and Tenley’s story will continue.

I do recommend this book to anyone, but I will warn you that it is a new adult book and there is some sexual content. The story is definitely addicting, as I read the last 200 pages in one sitting and the end had me crying in bed at 4 a.m in the morning. I gave Clipped Wings 4.5 out of 5 stars. So, read it, read it now 😀

– Dina

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