Sunday, May 11, 2014



I am so happy to be bringing you Inked Armor! I have a review and two great giveaways. Thanks for stopping by!

Inked Armor (Clipped Wings, #2)Series: Clipped Wings #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication Date: 5/13/14
Format: ARC
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 stars

GoodReads  |  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks  

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.

Clipped Wings was a big surprise for me. I went into it with absolutely no expectations, and came away with a heartfelt story with gorgeous writing and intense characters. And that ending? I was not happy! In a good way, I promise. I was so desperate to read Inked Armor, but also nervous. Would I pick this book up and get a fulfilling conclusion to Hayden and Tenley's story? I sure hoped so. I began Inked Armor with high expectations and a sense of hopefulness. I'll also admit that I mentally prepared myself for a let-down. Once I dug into the story, though, I quickly realized the doubts were not necessary.

Inked Armor takes up immediately after Clipped Wings, and as you know if you've read CW, things are not good for Hayden and Tenley. Tenley was taken to Arden Hills by her deceased fiancĂ©'s brother, Trey, in an effort to gain control of the family estate. What a miserable bastard he is! Trey preyed on Tenley's guilt and fears, ambushed her physically and emotionally, and put her in a bad place, emotionally. Part of my worry for Inked Armor was my fear that the story would have Tenley and Hayden separated throughout; fortunately that was not the case. It would have been very easy for Hunting to rely on this effective yet extremely frustrating technique to keep tension alive in the plot. I'm glad the story went in a different direction because honestly? I couldn't handle poor Hayden without Tenley.

Lemme tell you,  Hayden is distraught. Hayden begins the story heartbroken and withdrawn over what he feels is Tenley's rejection. After losing so much, he was slow to trust that he was worthy of relationship with Tenley. Knowing that the two would never have been together without the devastation that destroyed her world messes with Hayden's head, causes him to feel inferior. His nightmares are back, but now include Tenley dying. He's so very vulnerable, and that sense of...smallness, is heartbreaking. His vulnerability was so raw, palpable, like an open wound. I found myself repeatedly getting teary eyed as his residual terror overwhelmed him. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized his parents' unsolved murder does play a big part in this story. It serves as a huge source of tension and upheaval on his part, but also gives an enormous sense of satisfaction.

At this point it might be redundant to say that Inked Armor is an emotional heavy-hitter. But I'm obviously hung up on that. Hayden and Tenley's secrets are all finally out and now the relationship needs to be rebuilt. There's an awkwardness and strain that can't just be brushed over. They must figure out how to deal with all the baggage they each bring to the table. Both have been wracked with guilt, especially Tenley, though her perspective is changing a bit. She was initially focused on her decisions and what happened to her family and friends as a result. Now that she's accepting that she doesn't need to hold that blame, she feels guilt for her happiness. How can she be so happy with Hayden when she knows that if she hadn't lost everyone, she'd have never met him? Acceptance needs to be embraced so they can be happy together. I admire Hunting for going that route and forcing Tenley and Hayden to take the harder path. I would imagine that writing a smooth reunion would have been easier, caused less frustration. I think putting the two through their paces results in a much bigger payoff.

Inked Armor was an excellent continuation of Clipped Wings. Once again, Hunting brings readers an extremely insightful, emotional turbulent story. I like that while the story has some extremely dramatic elements, she never veered into melodrama and super-angst. I mean, yes, this series is angsty, but in a way that kept me flying through the pages, not ready to bang my head against the wall. With this series, I've gotten characters who were bent, not broken, who both experienced great character growth. I adored Hayden and Tenley and all their friends. I got a big, emotional story that had me thoroughly engaged and invested in the outcome. It was very satisfying in all ways. I was excited to see that Chris and Sarah (Hayden and Tenley's friends) are getting a novella this summer, and that has me very excited. I highly recommend the Clipped Wings series, and will eagerly read whatever Helena Hunting brings next.


Favorite Quotes

"I couldn't get to you. You were dying and I couldn't--the bleeding, there was so much blood and you were, and you were--" He started to hyperventilate. "I was so fucking empty without you. I'm so empty."

  "Sometimes I feel guilty for having you," I whispered.
  "I get that. And I wish I could make that feeling go away for you. You know your family wouldn't want you to be alone, right? They'd want you to have people in your life to love you and take care of you. I don't know that they would have chosen me to be that person, but I want to be if you'll let me."

  Hayden's arms tightened around me. "I just don't want you to leave me again. I can't do this without you anymore."
  His expression made my heart hurt. "Hayden, you everything I could ever want. You are the place I want to be."

      Clipped Wings Series

 Cupcakes and Ink (Clipped Wings, #0.5)  Clipped Wings (Clipped Wings, #1)  Inked Armor (Clipped Wings, #2)    Cracks in the Armor (Clipped Wings, #2.5)

(covers lead to GoodReads page)




Must be 18+ years of age; US only

About the Author
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.




  1. "I mean, yes, this series is angsty, but in a way that kept me flying through the pages, not ready to bang my head against the wall."

    That, was why I was scared to get into these books but I'm so glad I have them a try. I can handle this kind of angst. I love your review!

  2. I really want to read this series. I don't like too much angst, but I do LOVE an emotional story and your review definitely convinced me I need to read these books!

  3. I've heard nothing but good things about this book, Andrea, so I finally decided to grab a copy of the first book last week.
    Hayden and Tenley sound really intense and I'm glad to hear that the author didn't separate them for a long time. I'll hopefully get to this series sometimes this week. Great review, Andrea!

  4. I eat up the angst, especially well done angst so I know this series is going to be a hit for me. I am really hoping to make time for this series soon- definitely one I plan to read when I get back to "me" book for a bit. Great review!

  5. No, I have not started reading this series!! This does look like it will be a good read! Will be adding to my TBR list.

  6. NO but I really want to! Been reading such great reviews! Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Oooh will most def read this sooner than later while I'm still in my Contemporary romance kick. I hope the heavy emotional drama won't annoy me though, I have to be in the right mood to enjoy this one

  8. I'm really hoping to get to this series soon. It sounds great!

  9. I have not started this series yet. Just discovered it.

  10. I haven't read any of these, but I LOVE the covers. That's great you really liked this one. Sequels are always scary to start!

  11. Both books sound great. Hope I win a copy. Thanks for the giveaway

  12. I have not started the series but would love the opportunity to.

  13. I've not yet read any of this series but CLIPPED WINGS has been on my TBR list for a while. Love the covers (I'd gladly collaborate on a tattoo *for me* if the cover artist worked in that medium ... or purchase prints if they were available). Some angst can definitely deepen the emotional impact of a story; thanks for confirming it's not overwrought!

  14. I haven't yet but I've heard really good things!

  15. This book was nothing like I expected and I am sooooo happy for that! I thought they were going to be separated most of the book. I was also scared that we would have another cliffy ending. I love these two but I don't like when stories are just beat to hell with unnecessary drama. I liked this one more than Clipped Wings because I loved how great the author portrayed a broken Hayden. I loved the ending and I'm excited to read Chris and Sarah's story although I'm hoping for a full length book.
    I need to have those covers framed. They are gorgeous!

  16. Well, you know how I love an emotional heavy hitter and this sounds like its up my alley.

  17. No, I haven't started this series yet. But it does sound good.

  18. I haven't started this series but I want to. You've loved it and others have too.

  19. I NEED to read Clipped Wings. It seems like this series just out of nowhere with a vengeance. At least to me, anyway. I can't wait to read it.

  20. I haven't had the chance yet, but I want to read it soon! I've heard awesome sexy things about Clipped Wings! I can't wait!

  21. Gah! Andrea, I can't wait to get started on this series. You know, I don't mind the emotional story! ;) Great review, hon!

  22. I started CW, but knew the angst would kill me if I didn't have Inked ready to read immediately after. So, just waiting to have it in my hands!


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