Their body art is hot. Their chemistry is even hotter. From her dark hair sweeping below her waist to her soft, sexy curves, Tenley Page intrigues tattoo artist Hayden Stryker in a way no one else ever has…especially when she asks him to ink a gorgeous, intricate design on her back. Yet for all her beauty, there is something darkly tragic and damaged about Tenley that, for Hayden, is everything. Covered in ink and steel, Hayden is everything Tenley has never dared to want, awakening a desire to explore more than the art adorning his stunning body. Trapped by a past that leaves her screaming from nightmares, Tenley sees Hayden as the perfect escape. Although he has secrets too, if they both keep themselves guarded perhaps their intense physical connection will remain only that. But nothing, not even passion, can keep them safe from their pasts….
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Let me just start off by saying that I’m a sucker for story with a classic yet beautiful plot about two broken people who help heal each other. The only requirement I have with these types of stories is it must have something unique that sets itself apart from the others. I can't stand a book that has no depth. I don't want to waste my time on a forgettable book! Clipped Wings without a doubt is NOT forgettable! There was just something about it that worked for me and it definitely stands out. These characters, Hayden and Tenley, don't have just your typical clichéd tragic romance that you tend to see in a lot of books. No, they were much deeper and heartbreaking. Helena Hunting created an emotionally charged love story that even with all the heartache had blissful moments of pure deliciousness. It's told from both Hayden & Tenley's perspectives in alternating chapters, it allows the listener to feel the emotions while following the thoughts of both characters. At 25yrs old, Hayden Stryker has already lived a full life. Once addicted to drugs, alcohol and sex, he's now got his life straightened out, working his own tattoo business Inked Armor. For weeks he's been enthralled by the new girl (Tenley) working in his aunt's used bookstore/coffee shop across the street. He can’t explain what it is about this scared mouse that intrigues him and how to get her to trust him enough for a conversation. Hayden, his past is not pretty. He's done things he regrets, but he's changed his life. He knows all about loss/pain and that is exactly what he sees reflected when he looks at Tenley. He has this desire to help fix her even though he can't even fix himself. Tenley Page is enrolled in a master's program at Northwestern University. After a tragic accident over ten months ago, she wants her life back on track. She struggles with horrific nightmares due to the secrets that continue to terrorize her. Tenley is convinced that getting a large tattoo on her back will help her cope with the pain she's been through. So begin a shaky friendship between Hayden & Tenley. Even though the attraction is obvious both seem to refrain from giving into the temptation. This becomes more difficult when Tenley finally decides to display her pain through the ink of a tattoo, there is only one man that she wants to do it. Her piece is complex and dark, showcasing just how deep her scars go. Henley knows that giving her this won't fix what's broken, but he understand the emotion release that comes with it. The only hiccup, this tattoo is going to take at least two months to complete. Two months of him touching her in private, two months of her pain being exposed and brought to the surface. Hayden can't seem to stop himself when it comes to wanting Tenley. He wants her to open up, wants to know her. Exposing his own pain in an effort to gain her trust. Hayden's troubled past is something he too can never forget, ashamed of how he chose to deal with it all, haunts him to this day. His past is never far from causing problems especially now that he finally found someone good to share his future with. He lives his life in control order for a reason but where Tenley is concerned he feels he has none. When their relationship goes beyond client & artist it is clear that they both need each other to help fill the emptiness that has been lurking for so long. Their need for one another is primal and deeper than any connection either of them have experienced before. These two together really are quite a pair!! Him fearless, impulsive and overwhelming with OCD tendencies and her being shy, emotionally unstable and completely lost. Even with these issues they both have an undeniable connection & extreme attraction to each other, fortunately, this story never turned into insta-love. (Sometimes the "insta-love" factor can become too cheesy and makes the story unbelievable which can ruin a book for me). Their fascination with each other was electric and at times very HOT! Hayden, swoon. This man is pure heaven. Just a bit of an alpha, but only with her. There was some definite sexy times in this book. At times, the banter between them was entertaining which helped keep a balance to the otherwise more depressive & heartbreaking parts in this the book. Overall, Clipped Wings was an emotional love story about two people who are perfect for each other but kept apart by their own secrets. Wanting to be enough for each other, hoping that even though they are broken, together they can be complete. Knowing that they have to come to terms with their own past before they can help each other. Everything was nicely balanced and this book kept the right amount of intrigue to keep you engaged.The one downside, was the cliffhanger at the end. Worthy a credit? HELLZ YA IT IS!!
I hate going into a story with high expectations because my fellow readers just LOVED this story. Although, I too enjoyed Tenley and Hayden's story, I just didn't love it. There was something missing for me, I just couldn't relate. Basically two twenty something characters who have each suffered great losses find each other and build a relationship using their similar experiences as the common ground. The unrealistic part for me was that the female lead is only 10 months out from 9 members of her family and friends dying in a plane crash and when we meet her she's working, teaching and completing a masters program - WHAT? At that point I kind of just checked out although I did finish the book and I did like it but overall it wasn't good enough for me to move on to the second book to find out what happens. The fact that I went on to another series instead of finishing this one said more to me than anything about this story (even though I wanted to love it). I may go back later and catch the next book but not today.