Disclaimer: Way back when I read and loved a certain young adult vampire series, I discovered fan fiction. At first I was hesitant to read this book because, well, the tattooed and pierced main character kind of scared me. At the time, I was struck by what a unique and almost unrecognizable take this book was on the original canon. As a fan fiction, Clipped Wings and Inked Armor was one of the more popular works out there. Clipped Wings and Inked Armor has been released as two books, with a prequel Cupcakes and Ink also available.
AH’s Review – 3 Skulls – C+
Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting is the story of two people who have survived very difficult traumatic experiences. Tenley lost all of her loved ones, including her fiancé Connor in a horrifying plane crash where Tenley was one of the few survivors. Tenley is both physically and emotionally scarred from her experience. Hayden has also lost people close to him and he too carries the grief around with him. His grief is manifested in severe OCD, potty mouth, and nightmares.
The story is told in alternating first person points of view so the reader gets to be inside each character’s head. Tenley is a smart young woman who is working on her dissertation at Northwestern. She has a lot of emotional issues to work through and is taking anti-anxiety meds. At times, Tenley is like a skittish kitten. Hayden, on the other hand, is like a bull in a china shop. He’s loud, opinionated, yet he has an intellectual side to him. Hayden is ruled by his OCD and cannot stand to have anything out of place. Hayden’s preoccupation with cupcakes is hilarious and often adds comic relief as he waxes poetic about Tenley’s baking.
There’s a lot of angsty drama in this book and some of it is due to a lack of communication between the two characters. Both Tenley and Hayden refuse to ask for help, even though that would have made this book much shorter. Outside forces work to keep these two apart, especially the heinous almost-brother-in-law Trey.
I found it difficult to read this book at times and at one point I had to put it down and take a break. The sexy scenes are fun, as are the icing covered cupcake parts, however the pacing was a little slow and draggy. This book does end in a little bit of excitement and there is a cliffhanger.
Clipped Wings should appeal to new adult readers who enjoy an angsty read and an alpha caveman cupcake eater.
Thank you to Edelweiss and Gallery Books for a review copy of this book.
AH’s Review – 4 Skulls – B+
The conclusion to Clipped Wings was a much better book. Tenley returned to her hometown to deal with Connor’s estate and Trey. I was so very happy for Tenley, who despite being threatened by Trey’s underhandedness, she stood up for herself. Gone is the skittish kitten, replaced by a woman with a backbone. Tenley becomes the self assured woman that she in.
In contrast, Hayden is a mess without Tenley around him. It’s hard to believe that they were together for such a short time and that her absence would have that effect on him. Hayden’s OCD tendencies increase and anger management is something he cannot get a handle on. His anxiety is exacerbated by the fact that Tenley does not return his calls.
I liked Inked Armor more than Clipped Wings. For some reason, separation is good for Tenley and Hayden. It gives both characters a chance to reflect on what they want, and what kind of life they could have together (or apart). Tenley and Hayden are co-dependent. Their life experiences make their relationship work in a bit of a dysfunctional way. These two need to address their emotional issues before their relationship can progress.
This is an angsty book punctuated by some very hot and sexy scenes. The pacing was a little better in this book or maybe I was just rooting for Tenley and Hayden.
I must admit that I learned way too much about tattooing and the reasons why a person would want to get body art. I also learned quite a bit about body piercing, however some of it falls into that TMI box.
Inked Armor was a satisfying conclusion to the Clipped Wings series. If a cupcake eating tattoo artist is your cup of tea, you’ll definitely enjoy this series.
Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for a review copy of this book.
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