FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Simon & Schuster (via NetGalley).
Series: Clipped Wings #1
Publisher: Gallery Books on Mar 4, 2014
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (Adult)
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…
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
Once upon a time, her life was ideal, simple, exactly what everyone expected. But in just a few terrifying, fateful seconds, she lost it all to falling and flames. Picking up the pieces is impossible when so many pieces are missing, and it’s all Tenley can do to move through each day. A new city, a new semester, a new life in which no one will judge her. Because there’s no one left. So she’ll wear the guilt in ink on her back, courtesy of the inked tattoo artist across the street. The one who makes her feel things after being numb and disconnected for far too long.
I love this cover. It’s just different from everything else out there, but it still captures the story perfectly. I’ve seen other versions with models on them, but it seems to me they take away from the story rather than embody the characters in my head. The textured look, the wings, the mess of ink on this cover is a perfect prelude to the words inside.
There’s always a chance when I read a fanfic to published book that I’ll be disappointed. Sometimes the story simply doesn’t hold my attention the way it did the first time I read it, usually because it’s only a few characters’ names short of being identical. In the case of one book, it was so completely changed that it was an entirely different story — one that I enjoyed, but not what I was expecting. And sometimes it’s just that the story, while fine in a serialized online and completely free incarnation, just doesn’t stand up well as something that I’d have to pay to read. I’d gotten it in my head that I wasn’t going to read this series. Not because I wasn’t interested, but because it’s rare that I have the means to buy books, and at eight bucks a pop, fair as that price may be, I couldn’t squeeze it out of the budget. But along came NetGalley… Having read the fanfiction version of the story, I was really curious about the published version. Would it be as entertaining? Would it be another case of simply replacing some names and calling it done? Would it be completely different? No, no, and no.
There’s a certain angst and grittiness to the story of Tenley and Hayden, but it’s tempered with everyday normalcy and awkwardly tender emotions. Damaged as both characters may be, they’re survivors, clinging to routine and glimpses of light, like they’re each subconsciously reaching for the rewards in life that they have convinced themselves they don’t deserve.
Tenley is wrought with guilt over the accident that claimed her loved ones, and it’s compounded by the knowledge that none of it would have happened if she’d only been true to her heart. But even as she’s mired in that darkness, she begins to depend on Hayden, trading in her pills for a man whose brash ways and abundance of tattoos do little to hide his own pain from one of the few people who can relate. Hayden’s guilt, on the other hand, is not as fresh, but it’s no less potent. It set him on a destructive path that he’s only recently detoured from, and as much as he wants to be the right man for Tenley, he’s now having trouble reconciling who he was with who he is becoming.
Somehow Clipped Wings is more entertaining than before, with new elements added and some over-the-top points from the first version now removed. Yet it retains (and I would even say improves upon) the heart of the story that the whole fandom fell in love with in the first place. And now that I think about it, none of the other fic-to-books stories I’ve read have managed to pull that off so perfectly. It’s clear from the very first page that Hunting truly rewrote her story to deliver something fresh for new readers and yet altogether familiar to those of us who fell in love with it the first time.