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Reviews ~ Clipped Wings (Audiobook) and Between the Cracks by Helena Hunting

Title: Clipped Wings
Author: Helena Hunting
Series: Clipped Wings #1
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster)
Source: Purchased audiobook on my own

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…

Book Links:
Goodreads | Simon & Schuster | Amazon
Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Audible

Author Website:

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.

Narrated by: Jason Carpenter, Elizabeth Louise
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

4.5 - 5 Stars
Since reading Helena Hunting's stories years ago, I've always associated her storytelling to be addictive and uniquely provocative. The first time I read CW&IA (Clipped Wings & Inked Armor) was also the first time I read anything that paid homage to the art of tattooing, which I found completely fascinating at the time. I have also never forgotten about these characters. I was absolutely thrilled when I heard Clipped Wings was going to be published, and even more so that I could listen to the audiobook.

Hayden and Tenley have separately endured great trauma in their pasts. They choose to display their pain on their bodies. Tenley seeks Hayden's skills as a tattooist to place a design that will span her back. This piece is so significant, and the meaning behind this tattoo will tear your heart to pieces. These two bond during the tattoo sessions, deep emotional pain resurfaces, and the fierce chemistry that blazes between them is not ignored. For all those who desire tatted and pierced book boyfriends, Hayden Stryker is made for you!!! I think I love everything about him, especially all his little quirks! (Dangles cupcake in front of Hayden.) When the past comes a knocking, you gotta deal, and often it takes a while to get on the same page with the person you're meant to be with...that is pretty much the gist of this series.

These attractive yet damaged characters beautifully come alive in the audiobook version of Clipped Wings. I immediately connected with the female narration. I found her voice to be so enjoyable and perfect for Tenley. Now, I will be honest and say that the male voice took a while for me to warm up to; however, the more I listened, the more alluring it sounded that I was completely satisfied by the end.

Set with a tattoo shop as the backdrop, Clipped Wings showcases close friendship, passion, and what the human heart can endure. The only thing I would complain about is that I wish the two books were combined as one. Clipped Wings leaves you wanting the next book right away. Listening to the audiobook has allowed me to experience this story in a whole new way and remember how much it touched my heart in the first place.

Read Holly's review of Clipped Wings HERE

Title: Between the Cracks
Author: Helena Hunting
Series: Clipped Wings #1.5
Release Date: May 6, 2014

Tattooist Chris Zelter doesn’t always make the best decisions when it comes to the people he cares about, or the women he gets involved with. Things have changed recently, though. Chris has lost interest in casual flings as he finds himself wrapped up in Sarah Adamson, a waitress at the local strip club he frequents. It takes months of persistent attention before she finally agrees to date him, and he's determined not to mess it up. 

Just as things are finally going his way, Chris receives a troubled phone call in the middle of the night from Hayden Stryker, his best friend and business partner. Unexpected revelations and the sudden departure of his girlfriend, Tenley, has nearly sent Hayden over the edge. Add in a speeding ticket and an impounded car, and Hayden is balanced on the precipice of a total meltdown. Worried about his friend, Chris sets out on a rescue road trip, first to get Hayden, and then to bring back Tenley. The two men run into unforeseen roadblocks, proving even the best intentions don’t guarantee results. 

Chris and Hayden return to Chicago empty handed, and Chris is left feeling as if he’s let down all the people who matter, especially Sarah. But Chris discovers that sometimes the best way to deal with failure is to find a way to forget about it. And losing himself in Sarah is the perfect way to do just that.

Book Link: Goodreads

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4 Stars

Awww! I adore Chris! This novella has events that take place immediately after Clipped Wings and before Inked Armor. Hayden calls Chris to help him out. Even though this is a super, quick read, I love that it shows how Chris is such a good friend. He's there when one needs him even if it interrupts his time with Sarah. Sarah is so special to him, and he truly wants to treat her differently than any other girl. He's been super patient with her. If you're a Clipped Wings fan, then these extra scenes between books #1 and #2 should not be missed!

I wanted to send a huge THANK YOU to my blogger friend, Loupe, at Hot Listens for answering all my questions about audiobook samples. If you love audiobooks, check out her blog!


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this!! I really did too. I really though she could have narrated the entire book, she was excellent!! But like you, I really liked his interpretation within a few chapters. I finished the second book, and know I equally love both.
    Greta review! I love to see you have the sound clips!

    1. Thank you, thank you, for all your help, Loupe! Yes, I agree, she could have narrated the entire book, but his voice grows on you pretty quickly. :)