Inked Armor (Clipped Wings #2)
Publication date: May 13, 2014
Gallery Books, Kindle ARC, 352 pages
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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.
Ooooh boy. Inked Armor was a roller coaster ride with a ton of feels and emotions. Hayden and Tenley are deeply in love, but separated after Tenley leaves to try to wrap up her estate and issues with her jerk (almost) brother-in-law. She’s completely torn because she doesn’t believe she deserves Hayden and guilty with the realization that losing all the people close to her led her to find this man who is so obviously the love of her life. I could feel her emotions in the words and thoughts of her character. That’s how good Helena’s writing is. I wasn’t just reading it. I was living it.
Hayden is a bit of a mess in this book, but it’s completely understandable. He’s lost Tenley. Not only is he having nightmares about the murder of his parents again, but now Tenley is prominently featured in them. After one particularly bad night, he reaches out to her again and she returns. They set about trying to fix their relationship – and themselves. It’s not an easy road, but they’re traveling it together with the realization that even though they love each other, they’re going to have to fight to stay together.
Inked Armor had it all. It was an unflinchingly honest look at a relationship between two characters with a lot of baggage. After awhile you begin to wonder if love would be enough to make this relationship work. It was angsty, but I didn’t think it was overly so. There were quite a few seriously sexy moments and some suspenseful ones as Hayden and Tenley started to reevaluate what happened the night of Hayden’s parents’ deaths, thinking answers will help lay some of the nightmares to rest.
I loved these characters and felt their emotions so strongly as I was reading this book. Tenley is so strong, but still so vulnerable. Hayden looks like the stereotypical pierced and tatted bad boy on the outside, but there is so much more to him underneath. They were both so complex and so broken. My heart broke for both of them during this book. But, by the end, secrets had been revealed, the characters had grown tremendously and everything was right with the world.
Helena is two for two with me. Her books have ripped my heart out and put it back together. I love her writing style and I can’t wait to read more from her in the future… starting with the novellas in this series. After that, I’ll be stalking her Goodreads author page looking for upcoming releases.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.