Cupcakes and Ink



by Helena Hunting

Pocket Star a Simon and Schuster Imprint
Feb 3 2014
e-book/Audio Formats  51 pages

E-Galley provided by publisher via Net Galley for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as needed.

The prequel to Clipped Wings—“twisted, dark, incredibly erotic…a love story like no other” (USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton)—this emotional tale follows Hayden and Tenley as they struggle to let go of their pasts and maintain an emotionally safe distance from each other.

Tenley Page is looking for a new start: a new city, a new apartment, a new life. Her plan is to keep to herself and stay focused. But leaving her past behind and starting over isn’t as easy as she thought. And neither is maintaining her solitude. As Tenley settles into her new surroundings, she finds herself drawn to Inked Armor, the tattoo studio across the street. But it’s the gorgeous, dark-haired tattoo artist who captures her interest. There’s something about his severe beauty that captivates her—and not just in her waking hours.

Covered in the ink he inscribes on other people’s skin, Hayden Stryker has made a career out of being a tattooist. He’s got his own business and a tight circle of friends. As far as he’s concerned, that’s all he needs. At least until his aunt, who owns the antiques and used book store across from his tattoo studio, hires a new employee. At first his intrigue is based on physical appeal; hot chick equals something nice to look at. But as he begins to catch glimpses of the fiery personality under the fragile, feminine exterior, his fascination with Tenley grows. Annoyed by his inability to control his fixation, Hayden decides the best way to cure him of the new obsession is to get to know the girl under her skittish façade.

But like the ink he wears as armor, Tenley has the ability to get under his skin and stay there. Simon &

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My Take!



Tattooing in process. Artist: Damien Bart of B...
Tattooing in process. Artist: Damien Bart of Bruce Bart Tattooing. Model: Cary Bass. Photographer: Michael Deschenes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CUPCAKES AND INK is mysterious, hot, rough,silky, and dark, yet hopeful in the sense that people battling demons may find each other.

The female character Tenley obviously has a terrible thing in her past that has made her flee and end up in Chicago at almost 21.  The first thing I note about her is a probable drinking problem as she downs several vodkas in one short night. Then I realized she was using the booze to subvert some kind of tragic experience.  Hayden, the male love interest,  had already faced the addiction demon.

This is obviously a couple intensely attracted to each other, but she can’t even face him.  She is fascinated by him, and he has massive fantasies about her.  There’s the chance they’re going to hook up, at least in their dreams. There’s no actual sex in this book, at least not with others. But at some point, to have more than unrequited lust leading to masturbatory fantasies, they’ll have to talk.  Does lust make you bold or shy?

I found the point of view and tense a little confusing but I sure as hell want to know what happens next. And, I can’t wait to find out what the big mystery in her past is. It feels like it’s going to be something awful.  If you want to try out the author in a quick, inexpensive read, I highly recommend checking out CUPCAKES AND INK.