Novella Review: Clipped Wings Novellas

Earlier this month I got sucked into the Clipped Wings series by Helena Hunting. After I finished the second book in the duology, I wanted more and thankfully Hunting provided that in the form of numerous novellas. Because there are a lot of them and they’re all pretty short, I’m going to do one round up review of all them. So settle in for a trip into this world of tattoos and romance.

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Cupcakes and Ink

In this novella, we meet the duology’s main characters, Hayden and Tenley, prior to the start of Clipped Wings. Told in both of their POVs, this novella simply shows where their infatuation with each other began. Personally, I could’ve done without reading this one. It didn’t really add anything to the story for me. That’s not to say it was bad; I just didn’t see the purpose of this story.

Stars: 2/5

Between the Cracks

This novella is told in the POV of Chris, one of Hayden’s friends and coworkers. Similar to Hayden, Chris has a troubled past. However, now that he’s been able to capture the eye of Sarah, the woman he’s been infatuated with for a while now, he’s trying to make his relationship with her work.

Between the Cracks take place right after (spoiler!) Tenley leaves Hayden at the end of Clipped Wings. Hayden decides to try to bring her back, but ends up in some trouble, which is where Chris steps in. After their journey, Chris returns home to Sarah and there’s a little smut to make this story worthwhile.

Stars: 4/5

Cracks in the Armor

At first this short story really bugged me because it ends with no answers. Told in Chris and Sarah’s POV, this novella takes place after the end of Inked Armor, and Chris and Sarah’s relationship is still rocky… and it’s not fixed by the end of the novella. Hence, my problem with this novella. However, it turns out there’s a reason for that.

These two actually got their own book (Fractures in Ink), which I now own and plan on reading ASAP. Besides the annoying end, I really liked this story, hence why I bought the book. I need more of these characters in my life!

Stars: 3/5

Get Inked

I wasn’t sure I’d like this novella because it’s a crossover with Hunting’s other series, Pucked. However, I actually ended up really enjoying. Even though I was unfamiliar with a lot of the characters because I haven’t read the other series, Hunting was still able to quickly pull me into their stories without making me feel like I was playing catch up. Because this novella involves a lot of characters there are also a lot of different POVs, and at points I sometimes felt the characters were too similar.

However, Hunting played into that a little, especially by having her two female leads (Tenley and Lily) joke about how their boyfriends (Hayden and Randy) were so similar, mainly in appearance. Besides that, this novel had a decent amount of smut, which is always fun, and I was intrigued enough by the Pucked characters to consider giving the series a read.

Lastly, it’s worth noting this novella also takes place after Inked Armor.

Stars: 5/5

Borrow or Buy: Overall, I would buy all these mainly because most of them were free or 99 cents, and I think they’re all worth at least that much.

Book Review: Inked Armor

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Synopsis:

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.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

Inked Armor picks up two weeks after the end of Clipped Wings. Tenly has returned to her hometown to get her affairs in order and to figure out all her complicated feelings about her past so she can be in a real relationship with Hayden. Of course, she went about this all wrong, and really hurt Hayden.

Once Tenley returns to Chicago, fixing their relationship is much easier said than done. They’ve both been hurting because of their dark pasts and while Tenley has finally begun to come to grips with hers, Hayden must now face the ghosts of his.

I really liked that this book took more of look at Hayden’s issues, because they were definitely hinted at in the first novel but weren’t ever really explored. In this book we learn more about Hayden’s parents, the night they died, and how that one night really altered Hayden’s life. I also really enjoyed the kind of mystery surrounding that night as well. I started making my own guesses at who could’ve killed Hayden’s parents and while I was right, I was also still surprised, which I loved.

Besides that, this book also didn’t disappoint in the romance/smut department. The scenes between Hayden and Tenley were just as steamy and interesting. They can really just hook-up anywhere, honestly. More than the smut though, their relationship was incredibly cute, as were the other couples in this novel.

Overall, I thought this was an excellent sequel and perfect end to this duology. I’ll definitely still be reading all the short stories in this series, though. I already bought them all on my Kindle. Can you tell I’m obsessed?

Borrow or Buy: Buy it!

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“The most dangerous criminals are the ones who appear the least threatening.”

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Book Review: Clipped Wings

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Synopsis:

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…

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

Clipped Wings took me by surprise. I was given this book and it’s sequel and decided to randomly give them a try because I was in the mood for a romance and I absolutely loved them.

The novel is told in alternating points of view of Hayden and Tenley, both of whom have dark pasts. Hayden has made a family out the people he works with in his tattoo shop, Inked Armor, and his Aunt Cassie, who’s more like an older sister to him than an aunt.

Tenley works at Cassie’s bookstore, across the street from Hayden’s tattoo shop. Tenley just moved to Chicago in attempt to move on from a terrible plane crash that took the lives of those closest to her. She’s also trying to get her degree at Northwestern, which comes with it’s own complications because her advisor is the absolute worst.

When Tenley goes into Hayden’s shop with an idea for a back tattoo, the chemistry between the two of them is palpable. Eventually, they let their lust for each other overwhelm all their senses and start to get to know each other on a very physical level and then an emotional one. However, they’re both keeping secrets and unfortunately, all secrets eventually come to light.

I really liked the relationship between Hayden and Tenley and I could understand why they weren’t being completely honest with each other, though it still frustrated me. The smut scenes were great and not repetitive like some other romance novels I read. I also really liked the side characters. Besides the awesome people at Inked Armour, Tenley’s neighbor, Sarah, was the best. Cassie and her husband were also really cute and fun.

Clipped Wings gave me serious Confess (by Colleen Hoover) vibes but there were enough differences that it still felt like it’s own book to me. Still, if you loved Confess as much as I did, I’m confident you’ll love this book. There’s even an antagonist named Trey and an asshole cop, though in this book those characters are two different people.

My point is, you should definitely give this book a read if you’re looking for a dark romance that will give you all the feels.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Stars:
5 stars

Favorite Line:

“Hope was a dangerous emotion; it gave false confidence and made a person do unconscionable things.”

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