Thursday, May 22, 2014

Inked Armor (Clipped Wings #2) by Helena Hunting ~*~*~*~ Blog Tour

Title:   Inked Armor 
Imprint:   Gallery
Pub Date:   05/13/14
Author:   Hunting, Helena 
ISBN:   9781476764306 (Trade Paperback)
Price:  $15.00 (Trade Paperback)
ISBN-13:  9781476764320 (eBook)
Price:  $7.99 (eBook)

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.

A few days, a week, just a little longer. Everyone told me she needed time. Her silence told me she needed time.
Fuck time.
Time went on and on. An endless cycle of sleep, wake, bear the agony, and repeat. I fucking hated time.
Tenley had been gone for three weeks. Every day without her was sensory deprivation, drawn out and torturous from beginning to end. The first week, I called her every day. Her phone always went to voice mail. She never called back. I stopped calling because it sucked to know I’d been discarded so easily.
Memories of her were everywhere: home, work, Serendipity. I couldn’t escape. So at least I understood why she came to Chicago in the first place: to get away from the ceaseless reminders. I couldn’t figure out what had compelled her to go back, though. She could run from me all she wanted, but returning to the place she’d fled from didn’t make much sense. Unless she was looking to shackle herself to the guilt again. It was easy to deny the possibility of a future when she let the past drag her down. I knew. I’d done that for years until Tenley came along.


Totaled by Inked Armor (Clipped Wings #2) by Helena Hunting 
Review by Wennie Conedy 
Stars: 4

** spoiler alert ** 
Adult content, suitable for mature audiences. 
Note: an advanced eBook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 
WARNING: Review contains some spoilers. 

Inked Armor picks up immediately from where Clipped Wings ended. Tenley left Chicago, and Hayden, to deal with issues related to the estates of her family and her fiancé. That's why she left. How she left was another story. Although she had every intention of returning, Hayden saw her departure differently; he felt she left him, not Chicago. Little did Tenley know that, by her leaving, she stirred up Hayden's fears and triggered deeply buried memories. They struggle through hurt feelings, unspoken desires, emotional triggers and unknown demons. They vow to be there for each other, but is it enough? 

Inked Armor is a love story but, more than that, I think the first book, Clipped Wings and its sequel Inked Armor are two books that tackle the subject of loss, of crippling guilt, of survival, and of coping. Both lead characters suffered severe losses; Tenley dealt with it by running away and starting over; Hayden acted out and indulged in deviant behavior. Individually, they existed; but when they found each other, they recognized each other's pain and realized that they needed the other to survive. The story of Tenley and Hayden captured my attention as Helena deftly exposed how too dwelling on the “what if’s” could destroy the what-could-be. 

Hayden is portrayed as having dark ink all over his body, with piercings in his face and other parts of his body. For all his bravado, I think Hayden wears his ink, not to intimidate or display his emotions, but rather to hide behind them. He wears his piercings and ink like a cloak, hiding his pain; intent on making him look unapproachable. Tenley's ink, on the other hand, is her conscious choice of wearing her guilt, much like a scarlet letter. 

I loved this story and would have given it a 5-star rating, but there were a few points in the story that I felt a bit rushed and unexplained. The cordon around the block where Hayden’s condo was located was left unexplained; how they brought down Tenley’s professor is another. I also was looking forward to a courtroom scene, when Hayden confronted Officer Cross with his duplicity. 

Overall, this is a book that does call for an understanding of human frailty, loss and guilt. I am, however, very glad that Hayden finally got the closure he needed, and Tenley is finally able to move past her losses, and start living again. 

Inked Armor is a story of two flawed individuals, Hayden and Tenley, who discovered their strength when they allowed the other to see their weaknesses. 


Title:   Clipped Wings 
Imprint:   Gallery
Pub Date:   03/04/14
Author:   Hunting, Helena                         
ISBN:   9781476764290  (Trade Paperback)
Price:  $15.00 (Trade Paperback)
ISBN-13:  9781476764313 (eBook)
Price:  $7.99 (eBook)

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 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…

Tenley backed up and hit the lower cabinets, her cocky grin fading. I was sure I looked seriously pissed. She tried to scoot to the side, but I mirrored the movement, blocking her in. The kitten scampered over to the empty coffee cup beside the sink.
Tenley glanced at her from the corner of her eye before refocusing on me. The trepidation that usually accompanied such close contact became evident in her rigid stance. I was about to back off when her entire demeanor changed. It was like a switch being flicked. Her eyes closed briefly, and when they opened again the unease was gone, replaced with a desperation I didn’t know what to make of, but wanted to do something about.
“You don’t intimidate me,” she said softly.
That was a lie, but I went with it. “I’m not trying to. I’m merely suggesting you rethink sharing that picture.”
“Or what?”
“Is it worth pushing me to find out?”
“You’re all bark, no bite,” she challenged.
I couldn’t and wouldn’t back down now. I pried the phone out of her hand and slid it across the counter, out of reach. “Is that right?”
I knew exactly where I wanted to take this. I shouldn’t have come inside. I should have handed over the kitten at the door, waited in the hall for the cupcakes, and gone home. Then I could have fixed my own damn problem and gone to bed. But I hadn’t. Instead, I was standing in Tenley’s kitchen with her sandwiched between me and the counter, spinning intricate fantasies about how I would like to proceed with the rest of the night. Fuck The Rule. Fuck everything.
Tenley tilted her head a fraction, exposing the satin expanse of her throat. It was an invitation; I couldn’t ignore it.

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