2.5 stars out of 5
“Everyone has scars, Tenley. If we’re lucky, they’re only on the outside.”
Clipped Wings follows Tenley as she relocates to Chicago for her Masters program and to escape her past. She meets Hayden, a tattoo artist recovering from his own past, and an immediate connection is formed.
I’m going to preface my review by saying that my opinion is incredibly biased because of the amount of romance books I’ve read.
Hayden and Tenley have an immediate lustful connection as soon as they meet. They are aware of each other on a physical level whenever they are in the same room. Their sexual tension is so thick you could cut it with a knife. The only reason I know this about them is because the amount of times the author told me. The reader is told time and time again how sexually attracted they are to each other. It isn’t until about 100 pages into the story that the sexual tension is shown rather than outright told to the reader. Being able to experience sexual tension and romance through characters, without the author telling the reader about it, is what separates good writing from mediocre writing. Clipped Wings has a high star rating on Goodreads, so I expected more.
Tenley and Hayden are very much broken characters in different ways. I enjoyed getting to know them and discovering their deep dark secrets. Their pasts have shaped who they are as characters and that really comes through their personalities.
Tenley’s past is much more recent than Hayden’s so she’s more fragile and broken. I didn’t have an issue with that, however the issue I had was every time she said Hayden fixed her or made her feel complete. There’s nothing more aggravating in a romance novel than when being in a relationship fixes all the emotional problems.
My connection to the characters was limited and it was not because I couldn’t empathize with them or connect on a personal level. I felt emotionally disconnected from them while reading the novel. It felt like there was a barrier between the story and me. I think this because I couldn’t feel the character’s immediate connection at the beginning of the book, so for the rest of the book their relationship didn’t feel genuine.
Overall, Clipped Wings failed to wow me. It had the typical tropes of any romance story (experienced bad boy, inexperienced innocent girl, past issues being resolved by relationship, secrets that lead to supposed betrayal, etc.) and I wasn’t able to connect to the character’s relationship because of the writing at the beginning of the book. I will read the sequel, Inked Armour, but I’m not falling over myself myself trying to get it.