Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Inked Armor by Helena Hunting

By 7:14 AM , , , , , ,

Inked Armor (Clipped Wings #2)
   by: Helena Hunting

Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC received from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 368 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks
My Rating: 5/5 stars

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.

I honestly don't even know where to begin! I am so in love with this series and this book was such an emotional one to read. Where Clipped Wings really dealt with Tenley and getting her to open up to Hayden and watching a relationship develop between them, I felt this was Hayden's book. He is laid bare for the world to see and my heart broke over and over for him. We knew from the first book that he too has a very painful past, but we really get to see just how much he is affected by it here. Helena Hunting has done such an incredible job with these characters and their journey and I don't want to let them go!
Pacing: I felt this read quite a bit faster than Clipped Wings did. Clipped Wings was really character driven and while this one was too, I felt there was so much more going on and at stake. I read with some serious apprehension because I was so afraid shit was going to hit the fan and I was going to be a weeping mess.
Storyline: Clipped Wings ended with a sucker punch to the gut. Hayden and Tenley's world has been thrown into further chaos and while Tenley is trying to lay her past to rest, Hayden's is coming back with a vengeance. He is plagued with vivid, horrifying nightmares and is a complete mess. He feels betrayed and abandoned and no matter what his friends try to do, he's not coping. Tenley is trying to settle her past and I love that she's not letting herself be manipulated and scared off by her brother-in-law Trey. She is determined to get back to Hayden and she hopes that it's not too late to make amends and salvage their relationship. This book primarily focuses on Hayden and Tenley working to pick up the pieces and get that emotional connection back. Their chemistry is out of this world and are just stronger when they are together. We do have some added mystery in this book surrounding the murder of Hayden's parents. Between dealing with the intensity of their emotions for one another (both physically and emotionally), Hayden's past, and what their future holds, Hayden and Tenley's story is one you will not forget.
Characters: Both Tenley and Hayden are very needy, dependent characters. While that would normally bother me, Hunting really makes you look at these two and their connection and say: I want that. It is intense, emotional, and not one that they can just throw away. Hayden really had to come to terms with his demons in this book and I'm glad he finally was able to come to a place where he realized that he had to do something instead of continue on the path he was taking. He needs Tenley. Without her, he isn't able to function. Hayden has some very compulsive tendencies and Tenley seems to balance him out when he needs her to. He is really stronger and able to face the pain of his past, but only because she's there with him every step of the way. She keeps him from slipping into the blackness that threatens to consume him and while she hurt him deeply, he is able to forgive her because plain and simply: he can't survive without her. Having lost his parents in the way he did, Hayden is desperate for stability. Tenley has upset that stability and his world has crashed down around him. While I don't agree with her for going the route she did, I understand her at the same time. She wants to feel like she's worthy of him and she can't feel that way with her past life still hanging over their heads.
I felt she was the crutch in this book and the one to remain strong, where it was all Hayden in the first book. She loves him and needs him as much as he needs her. Coming back from dealing with her past, Tenley is a bit more timid and withdrawn, which angers Hayden. As upset as he is with her for leaving, her well-being comes first for him and is there to protect and support her no matter what. As the book progresses and the two work to overcome the tension between them, we do see that timid nature dissolve, but she will always have triggers of the past and thankfully Hayden to lean on during those times. He brings her back to the present and convinces her it will be okay and I just freaking loved that about their relationship. It's give and take, passion and heat, love and kindness.
There are some incredibly sexy scenes in this book and I love that Hunting didn't hold back. Tenley and Hayden are wild and unashamed of their raw passion with one another, so it wouldn't make sense to downplay their sexual relationship.
Tenley and Hayden's friends are present in this book also and I really loved that they are a family. They support one another, watch out for one another, and love unconditionally. Tenley and Hayden are lucky to have people like that in their corner and I'm glad Hunting placed such emphasis on the secondary characters.
I will admit I felt a couple of storylines could have used a bit more resolution. I have a hard time believing Trey would just admit defeat after the lengths he went to for the estate and I am curious as to the deeper meaning behind Hayden's nightmares. He experiences the same ones over and over and I felt they were foreshadowing, but we didn't really see anything come of them. Still, those two things were minor and they in no way changed how I felt about the book or how it ended.
Final Thoughts: I can't recommend this series enough. I love how the characters have developed, the role ink plays and how significant it is to these characters' lives, as well as the fact that even the most broken of characters can find the strength and will to fight for what they love as well as their inner demons. Hunting has such a detailed, but beautiful writing style and I cannot wait to read more by her!
Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She's putting her English degree to good use by writing popular fiction. She is the author of Clipped Wings, her debut novel, and Inked Armor.



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  1. I only skimmed this because I actually just ordered Clipped Wings from amazon last night and I am hoping to read it soon! But I can tell that you really loved this book and this series and that makes me so excited! Cannot wait to read these! *hugs*

    1. Oh yay! I hope you enjoy it Teresa! I was so surprised! I love these character driven books!

  2. Yay! I loved this one too! So much.
    I was expecting Trey to come back and do something else too and I was sure Tenley would get shot because of the dreams. This was just the perfect kind of angst.

    1. Yes! I agree Nereyda. I was freaking out the whole time waiting for it all to bottom out!!!

  3. I can't wait to start this series, Jessica. I love the sound of its emotional complexity. And Tenley and Hayden seem incredible. Fantastic review!

    1. I hope you love them as much as I did Brandee! Tenley and Hayden will not be forgotten any time soon!


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