Book Review: Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting

Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting

Title: Clipped Wings
Series: Clipped Wings #1
By: Helena Hunting
Author Info: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Age Group: NEW ADULT
Genre Type: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: March 4th 2014
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Gallery Books


An emotional love story that follows the touch-and-go relationship of Hayden and Tenley; two young people who desperately want to love and be loved but are afraid to completely let go of their pasts.

As Hayden and Tenley navigate their newfound but slightly unstable relationship, they want to trust each other, but Hayden is hiding a dark and shameful past that he doesn't ever want Tenley to find out about. And Tenley has secrets of her own that could make Hayden run away forever. When Tenley asks Hayden to put a beautifully elaborate tattoo across her back, the two form what they thought was an unshakeable bond. But when Tenley's past shows up on her doorstep, will Hayden stand by her side...or run?


An adult review for mature themes and situations

Intense, Emotional, Dark, and Erotic . A love story between two very damaged souls.

I was really curious about Clipped Wings after seeing it at the bookstore. It sounded like something quite different from the normal New Adult books that I have read before and seen around. I knew immediately from the book's description that it was going to be emotional, and bit of a dark read with some serious sexual chemistry between these two characters.

Clipped Wings is about two people who have suffered each in their own way, and are trying to break free from the hurt and loneliness they feel. When Tenley asks tattoo artist Hayden to ink an intricate design on her back, he is immediately intrigued by her and senses that she is hiding something from him. Something dark and tragic. He feels this immediate chemistry and connection with her. He senses the suffering and loneliness that they both share.

No matter how many times I spoke to him, the intensity of my reaction didn't wane. From a single glance it was clear that he was fearless, unchained and unfettered by the confines of what society deemed acceptable; Hayden embodied everything I wasn't but wanted to be.

With all his ink and piercings, Hayden represents everything that Tenley has long for. A wildness and freedom that she has never dared to take. She sees him as an escape from the pain she is suffering, but the emotional connection they begin to have together is more than she expected. A bond that goes beyond the physical. Both are hiding secrets that may prevent them from ever really experience what they really need in one another, especially when the past comes to visit them.

What I enjoyed:

  • Frankly, reading Clipped Wings was like receiving a tattoo vicariously through Tenley. The book describes the art form of tattooing and its unique beauty through Tenley's eyes and her experience with Hayden as he creates a unique and beautiful piece of art for her. Art that becomes a strong and symbolic design that bonds them together and acts as a sort of healing process for Tenley, bringing her and Hayden ever closer.
  • I liked the fact that the story is told from both Hayden and Tenley's point of view and in alternating chapters. I love alternating pov/chapters and it's something I really enjoy when reading and trying to get inside the characters head, especially with such intense emotions and sexual tension running across the pages.
  • I enjoyed how the author brought Hayden and Tenley together. Hayden and Tenley would seem to be complete opposites for all intents and purposes, but both are emotionally vulnerable and this comes across as they slowly let down their barriers. I was held captivated by these two who seem so different on the outside, but found such strong chemistry in one another. The romance between these two was seriously hot, exotic and erotic.
  • I was surprised how well I was able to emotionally connect with both Hayden and Tenley despite it being a dark, edgier read than I usually pick up.
  • Hayden...Hayden would appear to be the total bad boy with all his piercings and tattoos, but on the inside he is sweet, caring, and as vulnerable and damaged as Tenely. I was surprised by this cupcake addicted, kitten wielding, reformed bad-boy. He's not what I expected at all, on the outside he seems all tough and alpha, but on the inside he's more of the opposite.  He's smart beyond the normal textbook college bound guy, reads seriously deep thinking literature, runs his own Tattoo business, and is a very gifted artist. There's a few times though that Hayden lets all his pent up emotions get the better of him, especially when he feels threatened of losing Tenley, and goes a bit Neanderthal on us. I still found him endearing, and through Tenley, a hot, cupcake addicted and somewhat exotic mess of a guy with more than enough emotions to spare.
  • Tenley, on the other hand, comes off shy and very reserved. Even awkward at times around Hayden. Several scenes had me smiling at her jumpiness and awkwardness around Hayden.  Despite the heavy burden she is carrying, it was these moments that really made it easy for me to connect with her. She's intelligent and what you would expect in your from someone attending an ivy league school. But, wow, underneath  all those layers, is someone that is suffering, emotionally and physically, that feels both repressed and lonely. Hayden brings out a side of Tenley that she has always been afraid to reach for.  A freedom to be what she wants rather than what others expect of her. It was great to see her start to take charge of herself - to be strong, and okay with her wants and desires. To try and look beyond her pain.
  • Clipped Wings is also about the power of friendship. There's several characters, and a special couple that are really there for and help support Hayden and Tenley. They often added a bit of humor and quirkiness that helped lighten the mood when emotions were running high and at moments of darkness.
  • I liked the contrast between the two settings that mostly occur in Clipped Wings, which just happen to be across the street from each other. The tattoo shop Hayden owns, Inked Armor and Serendipity, the used bookstore and cafe that Tenley works at. Both are so rich and full of atmosphere, both representing an aspect of Hayden and Tenley.

What I didn't care for:

  • There was almost too much negativity going on, coming from several different directions that Hayden and Tenley had to deal with, and the readers as well. So, you really have to be in the mood for some dark periods of turmoil when reading this story.
  • I wanted to see more positive - emotional growth in Hayden and Tenley before the closure of the story. Luckily, book two, Inked Armour is already here, and I'm hoping to see the growth they each need to find in themselves, in the continuation of their story.
  • How soon Hayden and Tenley began their relationship. You may think I'm insane, but I wanted less sex. Yes, you read right. Book Swoon, who loves to swoon over the romance wanted less sex and more sexual tension and emotional growth. These two are like magnets to one another, you know its going to be hot and fierce. So, I wanted to see these two hold out longer, teasing us readers longer. I wanted Hayden and Tenley to catch up somewhat emotionally before they jumped in physically. I thinks this is also in part because I knew they were both so seriously, vulnerable, that it was almost sensory overload. Yeah, I said that.

Clipped Wings delivers an emotionally, gut wrenching story and the beginning of an romance between two very different, damaged people. I would recommend this to adult readers who enjoy the New Adult genre, and are looking for a sexy, emotionally darker, and edgier read.

My Rating: 3.5 stars. I liked it.

PLEASE NOTE: A courtesy review copy of this book was provided by Gallery Books in exchange for my fair review. Thank you Gallery Books for Young Readers for the review opportunity!