Ever felt immediate lust for that hottie across the room? Indie author of  CLIPPED WINGS Helena Hunting puts that feeling into words better than we ever could!


I’d like to take the opportunity to thank XOXO After Dark for having me back to discuss my debut novel, Clipped Wings. I’m so excited for readers to get to know Hayden and Tenley!

Ever have one of those life altering moments? The kind where you’re just plugging along, doing your thing—whatever that might be—and something happens to change everything? It’s like a karmic smackdown. The event/person/thing bulldozes right over you in your perfectly acceptable life, leaving you scrambling to figure out what the hell just happened and what to do next.

For tattoo artist Hayden Stryker, Tenley Page is a karmic smackdown. I’m making it sound like a bad thing. It’s not. Tenley is the catalyst for a significant and much needed change in Hayden’s life; a move from solitude to connection. And it creates a torrent of emotions he’s not great at managing, but he sure does try.

Hayden’s first challenge is that his karmic smackdown begins in his pants. Does that sound wrong? Let me explain:

Fact: you can’t see a brain from across the room. Maybe it’s shallow, but it’s true.

I don’t care how deep you are; when you’re checking someone out, it’s not because their IQ is tattooed on their forehead. If it is, I suggest you seriously question whether or not it’s accurate.

It could be the cut of his jeans hugging his sweet, sweet ass, or the way his biceps flex as he holds open the door for you, showcasing his incredibly gorgeous full sleeve, but that first impression is based on physical appeal.

Whatever it is about him, it makes your heart flutter and your cheeks warm, and it ruins your damn panties—if you’re wearing any. That full on physical reaction makes you wish you were a little less shy/conservative/nervous/spoken for. It makes you want to grow a pair so you can grab that hottie by the shirt, drag him into the nearest restroom, and get naked. Okay, maybe not the last part, since it’s not very sanitary, but you get the point.

Too often, those opportunities pass right by. The fantasy about that hottie fizzles, and you’re left wondering how quickly he would have dispelled the illusion of perfection anyway.

Just like your reaction to fantasy hottie is all about the physical, so is Hayden’s initial reaction to Tenley. This is typically normal behavior in the world of twenty-something males. His first thought is what she’s going to look like naked. His second thought is how quickly he can make it happen.

However, Hayden is aware that Tenley—unlike some random—is his aunt’s employee and clearly not the kind of girl he’d be likely to pick up in a bar for a one-nighter. In an attempt to dispel her illusion of perfection, he creates opportunities to get to know her. Tenley doesn’t make it easy, but Hayden is nothing if not tenacious.

Sensitive, guarded and a tad on the compulsive side, Hayden is far from perfect. Until he meets Tenley, he’s never been the relationship type; more the get-it-on-and-get-out type. Having spent the better part of his early twenties shirking the whole relationship deal, when he finally gets involved with Tenley, he finds himself in completely uncharted territory.

For Hayden, it’s like stumbling into a field of landmines without a map. Eventually, he’s going to step on one; and when he does, he’s not all that surprised to find himself coming out the other side with shrapnel in his ass.